January is the month when we all take a long sober look at what lies ahead. In fact, some take the “sober” part a step further by swearing off booze completely until February – which seems like such a pity when there’s so many cool new bars and cocktail menus to check out.
(Hero image: one of the many classy cocktails on offer at Behind The Curtain)
Ranked in 2022 as one of the World’s Best Bars, coming in at No.79, Vesper is the perfect place for some serious cocktail consumption. Last month, the team – led by the ever-smiling Bar Manager Federico Balzarini – introduced their latest drinks menu, created under the concept ‘People of Vesper’. Celebrating some of the memorable guests who have faithfully frequented the bar over the years, the 14 new signature cocktails all display their own unique characters (just like the locals who inspired them). Highlights include the ‘Mango Manhattan’, the ‘Miami Vice Vesper’, the ‘Spiced Pear & Tonic’, and the intriguingly named ‘Black Sesame Presidente’. In addition, the bar has also upgraded its food menu, and now offers Siberian Baerii caviar with traditional servings, and 44-month-aged Jamon Iberico ‘Joselito’.
CARDROOM COCKTAIL CLUB
The two friends behind the Cardroom Cocktail Club, a new drink spot on Thong Lor, both love cards – not so much for playing or gambling, but the collecting of both unique decks of cards and mind-bending card tricks. They used this hobby as a springboard for the bar’s inspiration, and the result is a cool, classy tippling lounge with a private club atmosphere, where first time guests must register to become members. The imaginative drinks are courtesy of mixmaster Santisak “Song” Silprasert, and each is named for a Hollywood movie about cards, or a superstar of the card world. Highlights include ‘Edward Thorp’, named for the father of modern Blackjack card counting, and the ‘21’, named for the hit movie about six MIT students who took the Vegas casinos for millions.
ONE TWO TWO
A sultry new mixology bar opened late last month in the middle of Sukhumvit Soi 11, and it goes by the name One Two Two. The interior decor – think lots of plush red velvet and low mood lighting – conjures up evocative images of sensual indulgence, while the beverage menu, created by Michel Gonggiat Stein, takes inspiration from the original One Two Two bar in Paris, which had its heyday back in the 1920s. The current list of signature cocktails includes: ‘Smoke on the Water’, which fuses the bitter tatses of chocolate and coffee with aged rum and maraschino liquor; ‘Midori Symphony’, which sees yuzu, lime and lemon combined with Roku gin and Midori; and the ‘Oriental Express’, which pairs a yuzu, lime and pineapple blend with vodka and Campari.
BEHIND THE CURTAIN
While local gourmands have long been acquainted with the restaurant Mia, cocktail connoisseurs will soon be making a beeline to this space as well, now that Behind The Curtain bar has opened up in the ground floor space immediately below the dining area. Led by Bar Manager Marc Perez Rodriguez, it presents a selection of carefully conceived concoctions and signature small bites in an intimate, stylish, atmosphere. In addition, an ‘Omakase Dessert & Cocktail Pairing’ experience is offered to six special guests per evening, which sees sweet (and some savoury) bites created by Chef Michelle Goh served alongside five specially crafted cocktails. With combos such as roasted mango cordial with homemade fish floss, or lime and ikura paired with a roasted cordial and Champagne mix, you know you’re in for something special.
THE PIANO BAR
Impeccably chic and glamorous, The Piano Bar – located on the ground floor of the luxurious VIE Hotel Bangkok, MGallery – features elegant Art Deco interiors, comfortable lounge seating, and live piano and jazz vocal entertainment. Now, you can add to all that the formidable culinary talents of Chef Prasertchai “Jacky” Trongvanichna, who has created a modern Thai tapas menu consisting of a dozen delectable dishes. Meanwhile, Head Mixologist Jedsada “Zen” Tanariyachai’s offers his eye-popping signature cocktail menu which, he shares, is inspired by the fantastical, other-worldly imaginations of writers such as J.R.R. Tolkien, and H.P. Lovecraft. Standout drinks include: the ‘Yveltal’, a superb blend of tequila, blue curacao, coconut liqueur, lime juice and egg white; and ‘Over The Rainbow’, a nicely sweet blend of gin, vermouth, fernet branca, raspberry oleo, lime juice, egg white, and violet liqueur.