Sunday August 19, 2018

Salvador: Sipping crafted cocktails high above the Bangkok streets

THAILAND. Innovative cocktails at the top floor- the G&T Signature Serve No. 3 (top) and Be Gin (below). (Photos by Ayie Miskov)

IF you love sipping your cocktail with a bird’s eye view of The Big Mango at twilight or on a starry night, then this new exciting bars at the top floors of Marriott Marquis Queen’s Park are the spots for you.

High above the streets of Sukhumvit, on the hotel’s topmost floors are two of downtown Bangkok’s new, hip moonrise destinations—ABar and ABar Rooftop, two of the latest must-be-seen-at haunting grounds that showcase contrasting side of the city’s stylish scene. It gives a glimpse of the dark and the light, the indoors and the outdoors, and wherever you end up, the experience will leave you wanting for more.

Let’s start with the interior design. The look of ABar on the 37th floor of the Marriott Marquis transported me into a bygone era with its classical dark wooden décor, wingback chairs and leather-bound books. It was a thrill to be inside a cool sophisticated cocktail bar that blends the mystery and magic of Victorian London with the gritty edge of 1930s America.

It’s like being in a posh, old library. However, the twist is in its contents. It stacks on its shelves not only a collection of leather-bound books, but a wide selection of spirits as will. It will fly any bacchanal to firewater heaven.

ABar’s dark spirits on its reserve matches the look and feel of the place—an array of whiskies from around the globe, dark rum and cognac, plus vintage and prohibition era cocktails, craft spirits and rustic mixes. Perhaps at some point in anyone’s after-sunset indulgent revelry, one will discover one or more favorites among Head Mixologist Raojanat Chaorensri’s hand-crafted cocktails, or get excited by how this brilliant man reimagines a favored classic.

I found a couple from his masterpieces— “The Sidecar Ritual”, a drink with presented with a key made of chocolate over the champagne saucer glass filled with a mix of Martel VSOP, fresh lemon juice, Pierre Ferrand orange curacao and Giffard crème de cacao; and the “Devonshire Daisy”, a refreshing, lemony blend of Plantation pineapple Rum, green chartreuse, house made parsley syrup and fresh lime soda. Two good cocktails to kick-off the night and got my head bobbing to the other mixologist’s creations—the weaving of new world beats as the perfect complement to the libation.

Within the high-end yet cozy aerie I got to enjoy the spectacular Bangkok skyline while moving warm indoor “library’ and at the semi-al fresco terrace overlooking Benjasiri Park.

One floor up is the “hidden” open-air destination. With its drape-concealed doorway accessed through ABar’s game room, ABar Rooftop is Bangkok’s latest addition to the city’s rooftop bar passion.

While the drinks at ABar are unique, the open-air destination’s offerings are equally as “intoxicating”, in the figurative and literal sense.

The supervisor, Jake, said that ABar Rooftop features one of the largest selections of gins in the city, with more than 50 different varieties including many craft labels. These are used to create an extensive range of signature G&Ts and innovative cocktails, which can be enjoyed in the ultimate intimate setting whilst gazing out over the illuminated Bangkok cityscape.

So how does one choose from the range of specialties? Simple, just ask the experts. Jake recommended a house signature, the Be Gin. It was a kicker of a blend with The Beefeater 24 gin, Luxardo Maraschino liqueur, lavender syrup, fresh lemon juice and egg white drink.

Interesting on the palate and nose was the G&T Signature Serve No. 3 made with Martin Miller, edible flower, violet and Fever tree Mediterranean tonic.

Served on the rocks in a pewter mug was “Just Mine”. Made with Jasmin flower-infused Beefeater gin, melon syrup, chardonnay, fresh lime juice and soda splash, the iced aromatic brew would perfectly go with the outdoor Bangkok weather.

But how much crafted cocktails can one enjoy in a night? It’s impossible to feast on ABar and ABar Rooftop’s spirits menu on a single visit. But knowing there’s a lot more to sip, I know I will be back in these sophisticated Bangkok haunts on the next visit.

ABar and ABar Rooftop on the 37th floor and rooftop of Bangkok Marriott Marquis Queen’s Park. Access to the bars will be via a dedicated elevator from the South Tower Lobby.

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