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8 Bangkok cocktails inspired by Thai culture and cuisine
Fancy a glass of tum yum with vodka, or a bloody Siam? These concoctions pack a muay Thai-strength punch and taste fabulous, too
Bangkok's barflies, boozers and other alcohol enthusiasts are raising their glasses to the latest drinks trend -- giving cocktails a supersonic boost with Thai-style makeovers.
As a result, mixologists around the city are continuously experimenting as they attempt to translate the bold, complicated tastes of Thai cuisine into great drinks for their customers. Others are drawing inspiration from Thai culture itself.
Some work, some don’t. Here are eight specialty drinks that pack a tasty punch.
Passion Fruit Caipiroska
Where: Zuk Bar, Sukhothai Hotel
Price: 350 Baht
New to the the Zuk Bar menu, this rush of fresh locally grown saowarot -- aka passion fruit -- lime and vodka gets the evening started with a sweet kick. Simple yet satisfying.
13/3 South Sathorn Road, +66 (0)2 344 8888.www.sukhothai.com
Tom Yum Siam
Where: Aqua, Four Seasons Bangkok
Price: 320 baht
Thailand's infamous spicy soup has inspired an honorary cocktail. Aqua's Tom Yum Siam features vodka infused with lemongrass, lychee syrup and ground chili that's thankfully not as potent as the throat scorchers found in its parent dish.
155 Rajadamri Road, BTS: Chidlom or Rajdamri. +66 (0)2 126 8866.www.fourseasons.com
The Siam Mary
Where: St. Regis Hotel
Price: 290 baht
In this drink, Thai chili, wasabi, basil, coriander, lemongrass and tomato juice go flying around in a fancy sterling silver tankard.
The spicy Siam Mary, introduced to commemorate the recent opening of the St. Regis Bangkok, is the Thai version of the luxury brand's signature Bloody Mary.
159 Rajadamri Road, +66 (0)2 207 7777. www.starwoodhotels.com
Where: Fat Gut'z
There are a few drinks at fish and chips saloon Fat Gut'z that have completed their proper Thai naturalization paperwork.
The Lancastria, a lychee vodka martini with lemon, stands out because of the piece of Ayutthaya hanging from it in the form of cotton candy-like dessert known as "roti sai mai."
264 Thong Lor Soi 12, +66 (0)2 714 9832. www.fatgutz.com
Where: Sky Bar/Distil
Price: 490 baht
This drink was concocted to commemorate "The Hangover Part II" --which features a few key scenes shot at the luxury hotel -- and was given a nod of approval by director Todd Phillips himself.
Have a taste and see if the green tea liquor, Martini Rosso, green apple juice and rosemary-infused honey packs enough punch to lead to a night of poor decisions.
1055 Silom Road, +66 2624 9999. www.lebua.com
Where: Soul Food Mahanakorn
Price: 210 baht
Don't be afraid when your bartender whips out a Thai mortar and pestal to make your drink.
Unlike many cocktails that try to bring the flavors of Thai cuisine into a glass, you're neither overpowered or annoyed by The Exile's tom yum ingredients -- lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves -- floating in your cup, mixed with ginger ale, soda water and lime.
56/10 Sukhumvit Soi 55 (Soi Thonglor), +66 (0)85 904 2691.www.soulfoodmahanakorn.com
Where: Felice Pasta & Dessert Bar
Price: 180 baht
Though Felice's regulars come with pasta on their mind, that hasn't stopped the owners from getting creative with their drink list.
The Zudrangma is a simple and tasty combination of fruit juices, tequila and vodka. One sip and you'll want to pop on your favorite funkdified "mor lam" record and chill out.
77 Ekamai 21, Sukhumvit Road, +66 (0)2 711 5110. www.facebook.com/FeliceHomeCooking
Price: 160 baht
The funky watering hole known as "WTF" also has a fun list of Thai-style drinks, including the Muay Thai punch, made with Sangsom, triple sec, dark rum, lime, orange, syrup and grenadine.
But it was the less intimidating Orchard, made of gin, lychee and lemongrass, that won us over on our latest visit.
7 Soi Thonglor 51, BTS: Thonglor. +66 (0)2 626 6246. www.wtfbangkok.com