The Loft at the Waldorf Astoria Bangkok’s art-inspired cocktail menu is now in its second year, with the launch of #ArtistsatTheLoft Vol.2.
This new menu features 13 cocktails, each crafted in collaboration with a group of professors and students from the Faculty of Fine Arts at Suan Sunandha Rajabhat University. Using different mediums to express themselves, The Loft bar manager Michele Montauti and his team have created drinks that are artworks, exploring the intricate interplay between artistic techniques and the craft of cocktails.
“This time, we have not partnered with only one artist, we have partnered with a Thai university. The students and teachers of the fine arts department have created 13 art pieces using 13 different mediums. Instead of matching the cocktail to the art, we match them to the medium used. For example, if the artwork is a water colour, we use a water colour idea for the drink; for paper-layering we use a different type of paper as a garnish, etc,” explains Montauti.
The results is not just a visual experience but one that will also satiate your thirst in the blamy Bangkok weather. Cha Thai, a rum-based cocktail, celebrates the essence of Thailand. The drink, inspired by Thailand’s famous iced tea with milk, blends local rum with Thai tea-infused vermouth, kaffir lime and tamarind syrup, lime juice and jasmine rice foam. The associated artwork draws inspiration from the mixologist's craft of cocktail-making and uses a spray art technique, adding an artistic dimension to the drinking experience.
“Level 56 is a milk punch with mezcal. I made the drink for bartenders, if they want to try something new,” says Montauti, whose portrait accompanies the cocktail. It also has gin and is created in homage to The Loft’s talented mixologists. Crafted with coconut milk punch, lychee and rose syrup, and blood orange and elderflower tonic, this was a clear favourite of mine despite not being a fan of mezcal. The smokiness of the mezcal made it delicious but did not overpower the gin. Superb! The drawing technique on the glass adds an extra layer of creativity because one cannot forget about the ’gram!
“One painting uses an oil dropping medium and so the cocktail that represents it is ‘garnished’ with four different types of oil,” says Montauti. Just Drop It is a whisky-based cocktail crafted with saffron-infused Lillet Blanc, aloe vera juice, citrus, lotus and tamarind syrup, and Perrier. The oil-dropping art technique in the cocktail is represented by two coconut oil-based drops and two olive oil and ginger-based drops. The oils are basil, ginger, raspberry and rose. “The idea is that when you start to sip the drink, the ice ball is going to break the oil drops and mix them,” says Montauti.
Other highlights include The Magnolias, a rum-based cocktail with homemade goji berry infused pisco, yuvi, guava, lime and walnut and sesame syrup. The drink showcases the technique of acrylic art, with the artwork capturing the ambience and setting of The Loft perched atop Magnolias Ratchadamri Boulevard, the location of the Waldorf Astoria Bangkok.
Midnight Mosaic is a spirits-based cocktail in old-fashioned style crafted from bourbon, coffee, orange liqueur, vermouth, roasted barley syrup and Perrier. It is a mosaic of flavours and tastes seamlessly blended together with the uplifting aroma of orange, creating a smooth drink that draws artistic inspiration from the collage art technique.
I can already see that Candy Cat, another gin-based cocktail, will be extremely popular due to the cute cat artwork it is paired with. Though none of the artwork are for sale, I have been informed that art enthusiasts may request copies — good luck!
The Loft is on level 56 of the Waldorf Astoria Bangkok and offers stunning views of the city from 5pm. Call 02-846-8888 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.