So many cocktails, so little time. Head to these bars for mixologists whipping up masterpieces in a glass. 

BK's annual B.A.D. Awards celebrate all that's good in Bangkok nightlife. One of the toughest tasks for the 2018 issue of the guide was narrowing down the "Best Cocktail Bar" category to just three bars. At a time when bartenders are outgunning each other with advanced new ingredients, techniques and twists, the local cocktail scene has never been more vibrant.

 

 

ABar


How many times have you been to a hotel rooftop bar and found the great views and service are let down by average drinks? That’s not the case here. The top floor specializes in gin, the floor below dark spirits.

38/F, Marriott Marquis Queen’s Park, 199 Sukhumvit Soi 22, 02-059-5999. Open daily 5pm-1am.

 

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Asia Today 


Fancy a bit of baccaurea kunstleri in that gin sour? How about a hint of champedak? If you don’t know what we’re talking about, then you need to go plant yourself at the crumbling, neon-lit counter of Chinatown’s local ingredients-championing watering hole.

35 Soi Maitri Chit, 097-134-4704. Open Tue-Sun 7pm-1am.

 

 

Backstage 

One of Bangkok’s cocktail pioneers still remains an industry favorite. Here, you will find bartenders from around town coming to wind down with after-shift drinks—if it’s good enough for those guys, it’s good enough for you. 
L/F, Playhaus Thonglor, 205/22-23 Sukhumvit Soi 55 (Thonglor), 061-519-5891. Open daily 7pm-2am

 

 

Bamboo Bar 


Take Bangkok’s oldest jazz bar (open since 1953), lavish it with a respectful new interior of lacquered bamboo and animal print, install a head barkeep (Jamie Rhind) who earned his stripes at London’s Artesian Bar, and you have a damn fine place to knock back a Manhattan and watch the live performances.

1/F, Mandarin Oriental, 48 Charoenkrung Soi 40 (Oriental Avenue), 02-659-9000. Open Sun-Thu 5pm-1am; Fri-Sat 5pm-2am.

 

 

Eat Me 


Tim Butler’s ever-evolving, transcontinental cuisine has made Eat Me a fixture on regional restaurant lists, and in mixologist Buntanes “Pop” Direkrittikul he has a worthy ally. Pop’s gastronomy-inspired creations don’t shy away from bold Thai flavors (khao mun kai in cocktail form, anyone?), ensuring this is far more than a run-of-the-mill watering hole.

1/6 Soi Phiphat 2, Convent Rd., 02-238-0931. Open daily 3pm-1am.

 

Evil Man Blues

Bartenders labor over serious, booze-heavy cocktails amid a photogenic mix of wood, marble, brass and neon at this sexy little cocktail lounge. Funk, old-school hip-hop and r'n’b provide the soundtrack as you knock back glass after glass of potent stuff like the Jet Lagged, which sees bourbon, coffee liqueur, sweet vermouth, black walnut bitters and Grand Marnier poured into one very powerful wake-me-up. 

G/F, 72 Courtyard, 72 Sukhumvit Soi 55 (Thonglor), 02-392-7740, Open daily 6pm-2am.

 

 

#FindThePhotoBooth 


Yes, this cocktail bar is located on Sukhumvit Soi 11, but don’t worry, you won’t be drinking Long Island Ice Teas here. Coming from the team behind The Locker Room, they keep up the speakeasy gimmick and definitely bring a touch of class to Nana. 
2/F, 14 Sukhumvit Soi 11, 02-117-2636. Open daily 6pm-2am.
 

Exclusively for Citi credit card members: :
Get a complimentary drink valued THB 390 when ordering minimum one item from selections (limit 1 glass /card /table / sales slip) Today - 31 Oct 19

 

J. Boroski Mixology

Run by Joseph Boroski, creator of cocktail lists for sophisticated bars and many five-star hotels, this is a hidden gem among Bangkok's countless bars—and by hidden, we really mean it. Turn left down a dark, damp alley near the start of Soi Thonglor. Once inside, you’ll be served cocktails tailored to your requirements (there’s no menu) using ingredients you can’t find anywhere else in town.

Sukhumvit Soi 55 (Thonglor), 02-712-6025. Open Sun-Thu 7pm-2am, Fri-Sat 7pm-3am

 

 

Junker and Bar 

By our reckoning, still the absolute cheapest place in Bangkok to find superlative gin, poured as it should be (stiffly) and with a decent tonic to boot. Owner Bard Passapon serves 20 of his own infusions on the menu, which accounts for much of the bar’s unbelievable Friday night popularity. That, and the burgers. 
454 Suanphlu Soi 1, 085-100-3608. Open Tue-Sun 3pm-midnight.

 

Exclusively for Citi credit card members: :
Get 15% discount on food only when spending THB 1,200 or more /sales slip Today - 31 Oct 19

 

 

Just a Drink (Maybe) 

Here, Thonglor gets on board with Bangkok’s gin boom—and they’re serious about their selection, stocking over 50 gins from around the world. This comfortable, friendly spot is neatly tucked away on the residential Thonglor Soi 1, yet still within reach of Sukhumvit Soi 55’s shenanigans, making it the ultimate choice for pre-gaming.
44/3 Thonglor Soi 1, 095-341-9056. Open Tue-Sun 5pm-1am.

 

 

The Key Room No. 72 


If you think Ari cocktails are all simple and easy-drinking, think again, as this recent opening’s (very) spirit-forward concoctions are proof that quality, crafted cocktails are no longer reserved for Sukhumvit only. Keeping up with the speakeasy trend, the ‘20s-style bar is hidden away in a secret room, only accessible after obtaining a keycard. 

G/F, Josh Hotel, 19/2 Ari Soi 4 (Nua), 02-102-4999. Open daily 6pm-2am.

 

 

Ku Bar

Other bartenders whose opinions we have a lot of time for tell us that nowhere else in Bangkok man-ages to pack such intense flavors into their house infusions than Ku Bar. The results speak for themselves, poured from a meticulously crafted marble and blond-wood bar that playfully contrasts the otherwise stark, concrete space.

3/F, 469 Phra Sumen Rd., 091-731-9752, Open Wed-Sun 7pm-midnight.

 

Liberation 

Coming from the team behind Rabbit Hole, Liberation promises quality cocktails created by three big local names: Kitibordee “Gov” Chortubtim from Backstage, Krit “Joey” Parkobdee from Tropic City and their own Suwincha “Chacha” Singsuwan from Rabbit Hole. They’re still in that super early opening stage, which means that the menu and prices have yet to settle down, but what you can expect for certain is a central, walk-around bar that would look at home in a six-star hotel—all wood-paneled walls and waistcoat-wearing service staff.

Piman 49, Sukhumvit Soi 49, 093-654-2500. Check for opening hours. 

 

 

The Locker Room

Hidden away behind a wall of grungy looking lockers, this speakeasy showcases some of Asia's top mixology talents. Ronnaporn “Neung” Kanivichaporn, two time winner of  Diageo's national World Class cocktail competition, joins forces with Hidetsugo Ueno from Bar High Five in Tokyo, Colin Chia from Nutmeg & Clover and Nick Wu (third in the World Class Cocktail Competition 2016). Find the secret entrance, pull up a counter seat by the bar staff, and try one of their Bloodless Marias, a clear martini-like drink that uses mezcal and tomato sous-vide vermouth. Powerful stuff.

406 Sukhumvit Soi 55 (Thonglor). 061-524-2689. Open daily 6pm-2am.

 

 

The Loft 

Bangkok’s beau monde are making a beeline up the rolling brass staircase of the Waldorf Astoria’s F&B suite and into this intimate cocktail den thanks not just to those stunning interiors by AvroKo, but also because head barman Michele Montauti has found his natural habitat: refined, spirit-forward, and with a strong nod to time-worn traditions. The original Waldorf Manhattan is superb, hough you’d be just as happy with a surprisingly affordable bottle of Cava. For something even more luxurious, seek out The Champagne Bar hidden one floor above.
56/F, Waldorf Astoria Bangkok, 151 Ratchadamri Rd., 02-846-8888. Open daily 5pm-midnight. 

 

 

Penthouse 

 

We love Penthouse for one simple reason: they don’t rip you off. In fact, we don’t reckon there’s a cheaper beer at a five-star rooftop in Bangkok. It also helps when the view’s this stunning, plus that name—the Park Hyatt—it just sounds good. 

34-36/F, Park Hyatt, 88 Wireless Rd., 02-011-7480. Open daily 5.30pm-midnight.

 

 

Q&A

Attapon De-Silva pours drinks to be genuflected on at this gloriously polished bar. That might mean burning seaweed over mezcal and mixing the results with almond syrup for an intensely umami taste sensation, or cognac blended with cloves and ginger for something sweet and spicy.

235/13 Sukhumvit Soi 21, 02-664-1445. Mon-Sat 7pm-2am

 

 

Rabbit Hole

Step inside this three-story shop-house and you’ll find a charming, dimly-lit, narrow bar with a huge rose gold booze rack behind a marble bar. The classic drinks with technical twists and infusions attract Thonglor’s pretty faces, as well as a lot of bar owners and veteran mixologists. 

125 Sukhumvit Soi 55 (Thonglor), 081-822-3392, 098-969-1335, Open daily 7pm-2am.

 

 

Revolucion Cocktail

This late-night, fire-show spot on Sathorn Soi 10 served up refined and crafted cocktails like the tasty Banana Fashion, which combines banana-infused Diplomatico rum, sugar, and bitters, garnished with rum sous-vide-banana. 

50 Sathorn Soi 10, 02-235-4823 ,02-235-4822, Open daily 6pm-2am.

 

 

Salon Du Japonisant 


Take a cushioned wicker armchair at the flowing wood bar and prepare to be mesmerized as head bartender Kei Sawada masterfully carves blocks of ice, blowtorches herbs and sprinkles curious ingredients from test tubes into exquisite Japanese hand-carved glasses. The result? Mind-blowingly creative cocktails that are nothing short of artwork. With alcohol importer Bacchus Global at the helm, the dizzying array of labels traverses infused shochu and sake, Japanese whiskeys galore and numerous homemade concoctions.

36/5 Sukhumvit Soi 39, 083-019-9062. Open Mon-Sat 6pm-1am.

 

 

Sugar Ray

This speakeasy from the masterminds also behind Q&A and Thaipioka has left its homey digs in Ekkamai for Sukhumvit Soi 24.  Located inside the sprawling 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. On top of the classics, you can expect signature cocktails with Asian twists

88/2,88/9 Sukhumvit Rd. 24, 094-417-9898. Open Tue-Sun 7pm-2am.

 

 

Teens of Thailand

Soi Nana was buzzing well before Teens of Thailand opened its doors, but no venue on the street has made as much impact on Bangkok’s bar scene. Built from the remains of a near-crumbling shop-house, the venue’s haunting Indian-style door and sticker-starred exterior concrete walls are a loud-andproud counter to speakeasy cocktail culture. Co-owner and mixologist Niks Anuman-Rajadhon stockpiles an apocalypse-ready supply of gin, while venue’s small, dimly-lit room gets rammed every weekend.

76 Soi Nana, Charoen Krung Rd., 096-846-0506. Sun-Thu 7pm-midnight; Fri-Sat7pm-1am.

 

 

Thaipioka 


By the same team as Q&A and Sugar Ray, this place has a similar long layout, with added Japanese coziness. The living room-like space houses a light wooden bar lined with cute chairs, where quality drinks are served up in ceramic glassware. 

Salil Hotel, 44/7 Thonglor Soi 1, 087-713-6943. Open daily 7pm-2am.

 

 

Tropic City 


This community-focused tropical cocktail bar has made waves in the neighborhood, hosting collaborative block parties with local restaurants like 80/20 that have kick-started a shift down the road for the area’s nightlife. Despite their impressive cockt ail list from award-winning bartenders—think fat-washed rums and bark-infused vodkas—they manage to dodge stuffiness with their tropical shirts and jovial atmosphere. And pssst, top tip—if you don't wanna drink the cocktails they'll pour you a cheapo whiskey soda instead.

672/65 Charoenkrung Soi 28, 083-838-2750. Open Tue-Sun 7pm-1am.

 

 

Vesper 


When it comes to cocktail bars, small is good, and Vesper’s intimate new look just goes to prove it. So long as you get there in time for a bar stool, you’re in for a carefully crafted treat of cocktail perfection and a soundtrack that’s so much more fun than the standard big-band jazz.

10/15 Convent Rd., 02-235-2777. Open Mon-Sat 5:30pm-1am; Sun 5:30pm-midnight.

 


B.A.D. Awards is BK Magazine's annual guide to all that's good in Bangkok nightlife. Read the full list here or download the PDF version here