Drinks International has just released the second edition of Asia’s 50 Best Bars, and five Bangkok bars made it on this year’s list — comparable to last year’s six.
Singapore is easily the big winner, taking a total of 13 spots this year; Singapore’s Manhattan also tops the list with its luscious libations. Manhattan is closely followed by Speak Low (Shanghai), High Five (Tokyo), Indulge Experimental Bistro (Taipei), Operation Dagger (Singapore), Quinary (Hong Kong), Stockton (Hong Kong), The Union Trading Company (Shanghai) and Lobster Bar (Hong Kong). Click here for the full list of Asia’s 50 Best Bars.
And here are the five Bangkok bars that made the cut:
Famous for its live lounge jazz and signature concoctions, the Bamboo Bar at Mandarin Oriental Bangkok is a legendary landmark. Its humble beginning dates back to 1953, and ever since, it has been frequented by world high society. Black rattan armchairs, tiger-skin print patterns and historical images of the hotel lend this lounge sophisticated allure. Offering a selection of classic cocktails and original recipes, it is no surprise that Bamboo Bar takes the lead at No. 13.
Bamboo Bar, Mandarin Oriental Bangkok, Oriental Ave, Khwaeng Bang Rak, Khet Bang Rak, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon, +66 2 659 9000
New on the list, Backstage Cocktail Bar is ranked No. 18. Situated in the theatre-themed Playhaus boutique hotel in the Thonglor district, the bar boasts a Broadway burlesque vibe and a range of irresistible cocktails. Choose to sit at the bar counter where the daily features are written on backstage mirrors, or ensconce yourself in plush seats at one of their semi-private booths. Fun, playful and glamourous – Backstage Cocktail Bar is a seductively stylish spot with plenty of refreshing sips.
Backstage Cocktail Bar, layHaus Thonglor 205/22-23, Sukhumvit 55 Khlong Tan Nuea, Watthana, Bangkok, +66 61 519 5891
A refined speakeasy named No. 34, Q&A Bar offers innovative cocktails in a setting reminiscent of a vintage train carriage in the 1920s. Hop onto one of the barstools and ask the gentlemen behind the bar for their signature selection of Negroni cocktails – or better yet, request for a bespoke concoction. Fusing artisanal spirits and local ingredients, the award-winning mixologists can craft a delicious array of personalised cocktails according to your mood and preferred tastes.
Q&A Bar, 235/13 Soi Sukhumvit 21, Khwaeng Khlong Toei Nuea, Khet Watthana, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon
Bangkok’s popular Italian restaurant and bar, Vesper came in at No. 40 this year – as opposed to No. 17 last year. Offering a wide range of Italian bites and imaginative sips, Vesper has been a long-time favourite of Bangkok residents and savvy travellers. Inspired by the bygone era of Europe, the expert bartenders craft inventive concoctions with precision. For those who enjoy Negroni cocktails, their six-week barrel-aged Negroni is a must-try.
Vesper, 10/15 Soi Convent Road, Silom, Bang Rak, Bangkok, +66 2 235 2777
Push through the heavy wooden door and find the dedicated gin bar – Teens of Thailand. Nestled within an 80-year-old shophouse, the bar is adorned with lascivious photography and a blackboard featuring its evolving menu. At No. 27 last year and now No. 46, the bar continues to impress us with its extraordinary inventory of more than 30 gins. Simple, easy and original, Teens of Thailand is a reputable establishment that makes an ace gin and tonic plus a range of in-house infusions.
Teens of Thailand, 76 Soi Nana, Charoen Krung Road, Bangkok, +66 81 443 3784