Sugar Ray

This collaboration between some of Bangkok's hippest of hipsters is tiny, moody and dedicated to seriously good cocktails. 

The buzz: Sat in the little soi right across from Moose Ekkamai, Sugar Ray serves up an ideal drinking environment, and one that’s very, very cozy. The bar is a collaboration between syrup makers Socrates, the folks behind the Made by Legacy flea market and What If Café on Sukhumvit Soi 31.

The décor: Located on the second floor of Baan Ekkamai, above a clothing shop, the bar welcomes you with a proper outdoor terrace (soon to be made into a conservatory, sadly). The bar itself sits behind an imposing steel sliding door. The interior combines homey charm with a certain gentlemen’s club masculinity. This is not the bright and vibrant mix and match furniture you’ve seen at the likes of Tuba. Instead, think leather couches, wooden tables and steel shelves. It’s very, very small, though, with a DJ deck to one side facing a big communal table taking up most of the room in the middle. There are shelves showcasing jars of syrup all over the room, too, with a mixing table in one corner encouraging you to watch the bartenders in action.

The music: Not only do they take their drinks seriously, but they’re pretty big on their music, too. Wednesday night is set aside for a pure vinyl set from local DJs like Nanzie; Friday nights get surprisingly bouncy with electro-house, hip hop and r n’ b, while Saturdays are open for themed parties.

The crowd: Tight-knit groups of Thonglor-Ekkamai hipsters who love to know exactly what goes in their drinks.

The price: This place doubles as Socrates’ office during the daytime and on non-opening days, so you can expect all sorts of new, one-off and regular syrups used in your cocktail. These, by the way, are made by Vipop “Tor” Jinaphan, winner of Diageo World Class 2011 in Thailand and ex-bartender of Hyde & Seek, so you’re in good hands. The list covers all the classics but with twists in ingredients and techniques, whether its infused syrups or handcrafted ice-balls. The popular Old Fashioned sees bourbon mixed with orange syrup, soda and bitter served with an ice-ball, lemon twist and home-made infused cherry (B350). Other cocktails are seasonal, like the White Lady which was actually created for Christmas but has been kept on due to popular demand; it mixes gin with flavorful apple-resin-cinnamon syrup, egg white, lemon juice and Cointreau (B330). For something non-alcoholic you can choose a syrup and have it with soda (B110). There are also bottles of beers, but you’ll have to check what’s in stock that day.

Why you’ll come back: It’s a great place to go as a couple or a small group, not just because of the cozy surrounds, but also because you can sit right by the mixing table and have the bartender serve up whatever suits the mood. Do note, they’re only open three days a week—Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.

Venue Details
Address: Sugar Ray, Baan Ekkamai, Ekkamai Soi 21, Bangkok,
Phone: 094-417-9898
Area: Ekkamai
Opening hours: Wed 8pm-2am; Fri 8pm-2am; Sat 8pm-2am
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