Bangkok’s drinking scene becomes more exciting each day, whether it’s new products in town that we’re excited to try or new super-luxurious hotel bar openings.
Find The Locker Room
1. Forget shaken not stirred
These days, it seems as though vermouth is the key component of almost every cocktail in Bangkok, but in Europe people actually drink the stuff on tap. B-Delicious (known for importing Gin Mare) has brought three labels of French vermouth (Dry, Rouge and Blanc) over from Dolin, and are encouraging Bangkok F&B businesses to serve them on the rocks. What even is vermouth, anyway? It’s basically fortified wine flavored with various botanicals. Head to Cactus
(15 Yen Akat Rd., 02-249-1451) for the refreshing Dolin Rouge on ice, garnished with orange zest and olives (B250). Find The Locker Room
(406 Sukhumvit Soi 55 (Thonglor), 092-895-3689) also has them for B280.
Salon Du Japonisant
The team that blesses us with all the Suntory, Hibiki, Yamazaki products is now bringing a new French crafted gin to Bangkok. Generous Gin is made in a small hamlet within the cognac region of France, La Rochefoucauld. The bottle looks like it’s been transported from the Ming Dynasty Palace, while inside it is full of floral notes with hints of lavender, citrus, and pepper. You can try it now at Salon Du Japonisant
(the bar owned by the importer themselves) for B450 for a G&T, or get a bottle at www.bacchusglobal.co.th
Salon Du Japonisant, 36/5 Sukhumvit Soi 39, 083-019-9062. Open Mon-Sat 6:30pm-midnight
3. Sugar Ray is on the move
, the speakeasy from the masterminds behind Q&A
, has left its homey digs in Ekkamai for Sukhumvit Soi 24, located just inside Octo Seafood Bar
. This new incarnation of the bar (which first opened in 2014) swaps the original’s mix-and-match charm for something sleeker and more minimalist. The menu features classics alongside a few signature cocktails with Asian twists like Elixir #1 (B380), which combines ginseng-infused gin, bianco vermouth, absinthe, Cointreau and lemon.
88/2, 88/9 Sukhumvit Rd. 24, 094-417-9898. Open Tue-Sun 7pm-2am
4. The wait goes on: Ashley Sutton’s Dreadnought at Riverside Plaza
Over a year ago Bangkok was abuzz with the news of a new Ashley Sutton-designed riverside bar set to open. Unfortunately, the news died down and it never came to fruition. We made a call to Riverside Plaza and found out the opening has been postponed, with a view to opening at the same time as a bunch of other new bars in the area. The lady on the phone didn’t know when we can expect it all to open, so the wait goes on.
Riverside Plaza, 257 Charoen Nakorn Rd. Opening date TBC
5. Unusual concoctions at TaladNath
The dead-end Thonglor soi that’s home to Black Amber
has gotten even livelier thanks to this new low-key speakeasy, TaladNath
. Manning the bar is Nath Arjhan, formerly beverage director for Hyde & Seek Group and one-time head bartender at Singapore’s Tippling Club, who whips up “ethnic” concoctions using spirits that don’t get too much love around these parts. The bar also promises a lot more to come, like street food pad Thai, ice-cream cocktails, slushies and punches. Grand opening on Jul 18.
160/5 Thonglor Soi 6, 084-553-7706. Open daily 7pm-1am
6. Yen Akat gets a taste of Palm Springs
The buzzing Yen Akat neighborhood has just welcomed its first genuine cocktail bar—and what a space! Sitting right above Cagette
deli—meaning good food at your fingertips—Cactus
is the brainchild of Sanya Souvanna Phouma (who gave us Bed Supperclub
, Maggie Choo’s
and Sing Sing
). Dusty fire-pits, warm-wood seating modules, views framed by palm trees and a list of on-theme cocktails created by none other than Joseph Boroski (B250-500) make this Yen Akat’s answer to a mid-century Palm Springs lounge bar. The bar itself is already in operation but we still have a rooftop terrace and 4/F lounge to look forward to soon.
15 Yen Akat Rd., 02-249-1451. Open Tue-Sun 5pm-1am
The Loft Rooftop Bar. Credit: waldorfastoria3.hilton.com
7. Waldorf headed to Bangkok with six bars in tow
Yet another luxury hotel is opening in Bangkok. According to booking.com
, the hotel comes with 171 rooms and six restaurants and bars—yes, six! You could really spend the whole day here, hopping from afternoon tea at Peacock Alley, to steaks and seafood at Bull & Bear on the 55th floor, and ending with a few sundowners at The Loft Rooftop Bar. The hotel is set to open by Aug 1 with a rooftop that should be finished by the end of that month.
151 Ratchadamri Rd., 02-035-8108. Opening hours TBA.
8. A star is born
Another addition to Bangkok’s ever-expanding world of gin, the award-winning Star of Bombay
has made its way over from the burgeoning UK gin-scene. Its 12 herbaceous botanicals, including Sicilian bergamot and Ecuadorian ambrette seeds, are captured via an innovative slow-distilled vapour infusion technique, which gives this gin an intense aroma and smooth taste. A bottle will set you back around B1860 at selected branches of TOPS, Villa, The Mall, and Foodland, or you can try it out at A Bar
(B425 for a G&T).