The Bar Awards Bangkok’s Best New Bar in 2018 is the brainchild of industry veterans – Hidetsugu Ueno (Bar High Five, Tokyo), Colin Chia (Nutmeg & Clove, Singapore), Nick Wu (Bar Mood, Taipei), Ronnaporn “Neung” Kanivichaporn (Backstage Cocktail Bar, Bangkok), and Chennarong “Janz” Bhumichitr. Janz was also recognised as a Bar Awards Luminary for his contribution to the bar and beverage industry at the city’s awards this year.
Those who have visited their original digs at Arena 10 on Thonglor Soi 10 in the first six months of their opening will miss the old space behind the lockers. That said, the narrow two-story space on the main Thonglor stretch gives the venue two bars to play with, especially useful when it comes to hosting guest bartenders. The establishment has worked closely with Remy Cointreau, with the ground floor showcasing The Botanist Gin cocktails, after having spent the last year featuring Remy Martin.
The menu concept at #FLTR has remained the same since day one; they take classic cocktails and term it the “past”, and present their take on the modern-day (“present”) and “future” versions of the tipple.
One highlight of their new menu is Million Dollar Cocktail (THB390), a lesser-known classic created in Yokohama at The Grand Hotel in 1894 by Louis Eppinger, to whom many credit the creation of the Bamboo cocktail too. Ingredients include The Botanist gin, sweet vermouth, grenadine syrup, fresh pineapple, egg white, but with this drink, it seems to be more about a good show of technique.
Instead of shaking twice, a power mixer is used in lieu for the first shake since it combines everything more evenly. To chill the cocktail, he uses a plastic shaker and a big chunk of ice – both used in an attempt to lower dilution rate since ice chips lesser with plastic (rather than hard metal). The result? One of the smoothest drinks I’ve ever had.
It’s also rumoured that the Million Dollar was created by Ngiam Tong Boon – the creator of the Singapore Sling – at Long Bar, Raffles Hotel Singapore, so it’s no surprise that the modern-day version was named From Singapore to Yokohama (THB420). Creamy and thinner in texture but no less flavourful, it sees fresh pineapple juice, creme de cassis, and gin cold infused with shiso. We’re not kidding when we say it tastes like an alcoholic probiotic drink.
A clear liquid served short over ice and garnished with rosemary, the futuristic Pineapple-Apple-pine (THB420) turns it around when it comes to presentation.
However, the use of double apple shrub (clarified pineapple and green apple with white grape vinegar) takes the sweet-sour profile one step further. Lower in alcohol at approximately 20% ABV, it’s too easy to drink – this is definitely one for the white wine drinkers.
Other new tipples to join the menu include the Margarita (THB390), which spawned an intriguing Margherita or Margarita? (THB420). Jose Cuervo Traditional goes into the sous vide with mozzarella for a creamier mouthfeel, and is combined with tomato cordial and fresh orange juice for a more flavourful drinks. Ohh La La (THB420) is a tall drink that kicks it up a notch by using jalapeño infused Skyy vodka, Luxardo Bitter Bianco, Fever Tree tonic, and most importantly – a type of Indian salt that tastes exceedingly like boiled egg. Spicy and savoury, but still refreshing like how a Margarita should be.
Find The Locker Room sometimes hosts secret guest shifts featuring their esteemed founders – we’ve visited a couple of times with Ueno-san behind the bar at #FTLR – when there are industry events (such as The Bar Awards Bangkok, finals of global cocktail competitions) that the owners encourage their staff to attend. What a lovely HR guideline.