Sathorn and Silom dominate Bangkok’s cocktail scene right now. And five of the neighborhoods’ leading bartenders are right now vying to win Bacardi’s Legacy Cocktail Competition 2016 with a new white rum-based cocktail with the potential to become classic. Here’s what we make of their creations.
The Expat by Sebastian De La Cruz at UNCLE
Swedish bartender Sebastian De La Cruz landed in Bangkok in 2014, fell under the wing of Sapparot Group (Lady Brett, UNCLE, Rocket) and has been manning the bar at UNCLE ever since. Sebastian’s entry to the competition, The Expat, already has a strong following down on Sathorn Soi 12, and takes inspiration from his first time working outside of Sweden. The daiquiri-inspired drink mixes white rum with Japanese Umeshu, aromatic sweet vermouth, tamarind syrup, lemon juice and sea salt flakes. Refreshing and crisp.
2/F, Lady Brett, 149 Sathorn Soi 12, 02-635-0406, Open Tue-Sun 6pm-1am
The Haole by Mitchell Kai Lum at Vertigo Too
Banyan Tree’s Vertigo recently welcomed a tapas-and-cocktails sister bar called Vertigo Too on the 60/F of the hotel. The atmoshphere here is more proper restaurant than cocktail bar, but the full bar setup straightaway suggests they know how to pour a drink, too. Hawaii-native Mitchel kai Lum mans the bar, jumping into the competition with his creation, The Haole—white rum, white vermouth, lemon juice and pineapple syrup topped with ginger ale. It’s the kind of refreshing, tropical long drink that has you longing for the beach.
60/F, Banyan Tree, 100 Sathorn Rd., 02-679-1200
The Little Wings by Weerawan Yodkamol at Vesper (RUNNER UP!)
Vesper never dips its cocktail standard. After Milk Pailin made her mark in the Diageo World Class Competition (and now mans the bar at Il Fumo), it’s the turn of Wareewan Yodkamol—the only female bartender in Bacardi’s finalists. Her Little Wings cocktail is quite distinct thanks to Frangelico hazelnut liqueur to strengthen the nuttiness of Bacardi white rum, along with honey, port wine, lemon juice and egg white for that foamy top.
10/15 Convent Rd., Silom, 02-235-2777, Open Mon-Fri 11:30am-2:30pm; Sun-Thu 5pm-midnight; Fri-Sat 5pm-1am
Quintus by Hideyuki Saito at Vogue Lounge (BK PICK!)
The only spirit-forward drink among the five finalists comes from Japanese mixologist Hideyuki Saito of Vogue Lounge. Quintus is a Latin word for five, which Hideyuki has adopted for this aperitif due to the five characteristics of the punch. He mixes white rum with dry fino sherry, La Quintinye vermouth and Benedictine D.O.M served with a zesty pickled onion. It’s elegant, sweet and has a spicy kick that you wouldn’t guess comes from a rum-based cocktail. It might not hit Bacardi’s criteria for a future classic, but the booze-heavy, perfectly balanced drink certainly gets our vote.
6/F, Mahanakhon Cube, Silom, Narathiwat Ratchanakarin Rd., 02-001-0697
The Serenity by Sarawut Pinpech at Bamboo Bar
The second daiquiri-inspired drink in this competition is The Serenity, created by Sarawut Pinpech of the Mandarin Oriental’s elegant bar. The top-four finisher of Diageo World Class Bangkok last year has created a Thai-style daiquiri mixing white rum with triple sec, pineapple syrup and lime juice shaken with crushed basil leaves and garnished with basil. The pineapple and basil are the stars here.
1/F, Mandarin Oriental, 48 Charoenkrung Soi 40 (Oriental Avenue), 02-659-9000
From left to right: Little Wings, Quintus, The Expat, The Haole and The Serenity