Bangkok’s drinks industry is thriving more than ever, and as your trusted insiders and late-night sippers at all of the city’s trendiest bars, we’re always on the lookout for where to enjoy the next best tipple. Yet whilst we list new bars and new cocktail menus for you on the monthly, we couldn’t possibly fit all of our findings into one merry round-up. That’s why we’ve created Thirsty Thursday: a one-stop one-drink solution to where (and what) you should drink, every single week of the year. Featuring new standouts or old favourites, consider it a bit like your calling for when you don’t know where to go; served like a shot, but, well, in writing. See you at the bar.
There’s a historic bomb shelter located just outside this bar. And you may as well have been living inside of it had you not gotten at least a little bit of the buzz surrounding the opening of Philtration.
Philtration is Bangkok’s latest and greatest speakeasy opening, situated within a beautiful century-old house with a noted heritage and storied charm to suit. The hidden bar is the first project by Elysium Enterprise, and is helmed by none other than Bangkok’s notorious Shavinraj ‘The Fairy Godfather’ Gopinath and a group of well-to-do Bangkokian cool cats. The grand public opening of the bar is tonight, yet as riders on a storm ahead of all trends, we’ve already visited for an insider tipple. Here’s a quick low-down.
The concept of Philtration is one very apt for January, whether that means fresh and healthy beginnings or whether that means the end of your #DryJanuary quest. The cocktail menu is centred around using medicinal herbs to curate an inspired drinks list, each explained alongside quirky and amusing health benefits (there’s even one that is said to cure smelly feet, in case you were in need).
This theme isn’t sporadic at all, as Philtration sits in the secret basement of a century-old herbal medicine house. Over a hundred years ago, it was where the famous doctor Moh Mee concocted herbal medicines, and sold them for generations. The chamber was later sealed away under the Moh Mee family’s protection — until now.
A modern take on an oriental apothecary bar (look out for the beautiful original medicinal drawers by the entrance), our spotlight cocktail this week is the Moh Meetini. It’s Philtration’s take on a classic martini, infused with Moh Mee’s infamous Uthai medicine, which is said to improve blood circulation, benefit the heart, and aid with weightloss.
Nevertheless, the cocktail is not one for the faint-hearted. Beautifully fragrant, with notes that are reminiscent of the Orient, the cocktail packs a real punch upon sipping. It is a gin-based cocktail, naturally, but features a lot of local flavours, from fennel and lemongrass to black pepper and cumin. Strong in character, it is one of the bar’s true signatures, and could also get you really, really drunk — besides improved blood circulation, heart benefits, and weightloss, of course.
You heard it here first.
Philtration, 2 Kasemsan 3 Alley, Pathum Wan, Bangkok, +66 92 282 9005. Open Tues-Sun 7pm-2am.