Manhattan in the mix at St. Regis

Continuing to ring in the new year, the St. Regis Bangkok recently showcased a sophisticated bar programme developed by new bar manager Volkan Ibil. The hotel's daily Violet Hour martini ritual and a curated menu of drinks with New York influences have been crafted to represent the art of drinking.

Nattasha Bunprachom, Sadanun Balenciaga, Metal Sukkhao, Vasuwat Kuhapremkit, Natalee Jia Voranun, Aimsiga Chotivichit, Thanyawan Thephatsadin Na Ayutthaya and Sarocha Burin were among celebrities attending the event.

The bar programme pays homage to the glamour of the original House of Astor where elaborate drinking customs started in 1932 at the St. Regis New York's famed King Cole Bar, where the iconic Bloody Mary cocktail was created. With a selection of 40 cocktail recipes, the St. Regis Bar in Bangkok explores the history of the St. Regis New York by evoking the ambience of the city's varied locales.

For instance, the cocktail Hever Castle in New York summons up Lower Manhattan, a true melting pot of nationalities with its kaleidoscope of cultural diversity. The drink's fruity, succulent juiciness -- from an inspired combination of strawberry gin, apricot shake, fresh lemon juice, clove syrup and crème de menthe blanche -- brings to life the magnificent architecture of Lower Manhattan's SoHo neighbourhood and Hever, the old castle of the Aster family.

Manhattan Club, a classic Manhattan cocktail with a daring new twist, draws inspiration from Jerome Mansion at Madison Square Park, a rendezvous point for progressive politicians and thinkers. The spirit of the time and place are recalled with ingredients including spiced whisky, rosso vermouth, bianco vermouth, absinthe verte and aromatic bitters.

For this new programme, Ibil draws on experience gained while creating works of cocktail art at numerous bars in prestigious hotels in France, Hong Kong and Turkey as well as in China, where he worked as head bartender at the Four Seasons Hotel in Guangzhou.

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