Thirst traps for the season
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Thirst traps for the season

New drinks and watering holes to quench your thirst

Thirst traps for the season

While the temperature in Thailand soars, there is little risk of dehydration as seasonal thirst-quenching options are introduced to the Bangkok market. Though should you wanna venture out, the best option would be to head to space…. Read on.

An Indian coastal beverage

If you grew up on the west coast of India, “feni” is a common spirit. Though not outside of Bombay or Goa, where it is native. Feni is to Goa what mezcal is to Mexico. Goa is the only place that produces it and it comes in two ways: coconut or palm feni. The first is made using coconut sap toddy and cashew feni, distilled from the juice of the cashew apple. Since the cashew apple is seasonal, so is coconut feni, while palm feni is produced year-round. 

Offering this single origin Indian spirit is Tinto, which translates as market place in Portuguese. Tinto is being served in cocktails at Nila Bangkok, the Indian coastal restaurant at Amari Bangkok. A “heritage” feni, Tinto is produced the old-fashioned way by Solomon Diniz, who is a fourth-generation distiller and who comes from the family-owned Adinco Distillery. It is also important to note that feni is the only spirit to have a Geographical Indication (GI) status in India.  

Adinco began operations in the late 1800s when Aleixo Diniz first started distilling Feni at his home in Quepem, Goa. Though the company was set up in 1970, production only started in 2000. “Thailand is the first overseas country that we export Tinto to,” says Diniz.  

A drink for free-spirited souls

Hendrick's Gin has unveiled its newest limited release, Hendrick's Grand Cabaret for the Thailand market. This drink caters to the whims of dreamers, artists and free-spirited souls, and is inspired by a bygone Parisian fruit-based libation from the early 20th century. 

Hendrick’s Grand Cabaret boasts a rich ensemble of bright flavours that seduce the senses. Master distiller Lesley Gracie was inspired after reading about stone fruit spirits that gained popularity at fashionable parties in Paris in the early 1900s. Of particular interest was a stone fruit eau de vie (a distilled fruit-based spirit) that was served with a dash of gin and scented with rose. Gracie selected stone fruits to anchor a rich cabaret of flavours in a gin. “I added sweet herbs to round the vibrant fruit out. It’s the first time I’ve experimented with stone fruits in Hendrick’s Gin and I love how it adds a decadent depth of flavour and yet still has the signature refreshing lightness of Hendrick’s, too,” says Gracie.

For the perfect thirst quencher to beat the tropical heat, the Hendrick’s Grand Cabaret Iced Tea combines the gin with iced lemon tea and a splash of soda water. To taste the gin, head over to the Hendrick’s Grand Cabaret Salon at Aesops Bangkok until June 7.

A lifetime of memories

The Balvenie, one of the world’s most handcrafted whiskies, is celebrating the 60th anniversary of master blender and malt master David C. Stewart, the longest serving malt master in industry history. To commemorate his journey, The Balvenie Sixty, a single cask bottling filled in 1962, marks the distillery’s oldest and rarest whisky ever offered.

Stewart is credited with pioneering cask finishing techniques now ubiquitous in the world of scotch whisky. A technique where whisky spends years maturing in one cask and is then moved into another cask, usually one that has held a fortified wine or another spirit, for a final few months of maturation. This adds a layer of unique flavour that cannot be achieved in whisky by any other means.

Only 71 bottles of The Balvenie Sixty has been released worldwide, each a testament to Stewart’s remarkable six-decade tenure. “The Balvenie holds a special place in my heart, and I am proud to have spent the better half of my life working at the distillery,” Stewart reflects. “This release is a profound moment for both The Balvenie and myself. In 1962, as a young whisky stocks clerk, I witnessed the filling of this cask. Now, six decades later, it reaches fruition, a culmination of time, tradition, and shared passion. I feel honoured to have been given the reigns to create and experiment over the past 60 years, and I enjoy passing my knowledge and stories onto Kelsey to continue building the legacy that makes The Balvenie what it is.”

The hand-blown crystal bottle rests within a unique five-layer tube, each layer etched with personal anecdotes from individuals who have shaped Stewart’s career. The final layer features a quote from The Balvenie’s first female malt master, Kelsey McKechnie, symbolising the future generations who will carry forward The Balvenie’s legacy.

Head into space

With one of the most unique concepts in Bangkok’s bar world, Nova Social Club at Cielo Sky Bar & Restaurant takes one to new heights. Literally. 

The brainchild of Nutthaphat “Cream” Poolworaluk, Nova’s concept is space. The hint is in its name, which is short for the Supernova. The cocktails are inspired by temperatures at various altitudes and secrets from the celebrity cosmos and galactic systems. New flavours change with different temperatures of each atmospheric level. Each cocktail plays with temperature, mouthfeel and flavours to represent the space theme. 

The bartenders are young and eager and that’s reflected in the cocktails, which are unlike anywhere else. The menu builds — start from the ground and climb to 33,000 feet above the ground, where humans reside. A notable feature is that as the altitude increases, the temperature decreases. Therefore, the higher the altitude, the lower the temperature, decreasing at a rate of 6.5°C per kilometre until reaching approximately 12km, where the temperature stabilises at around -60°C. 

Signature cocktails are under “The Earth’s Atmosphere”, while under the “Troposphere”, you’ll find the Himalayan Cloud, which is pisco, 1757 dry vermouth infused with butterfly pea, Maraschino liqueur, peach liqueur, lemon, topped with Himalayan salt air.

A floral, citrusy and salty drink, the exhilaration is in how variation in atmospheric layers affects gas solubility serves as inspiration for this beverage. It aims to enhance flavor by capturing the essence of the gravitational force of the Earth to dissolve the saltiness of the Himalayan salt out of the air bubbles onto the beverage's surface. When combined, it blends every flavour and sensation to give the beverage a much wider range of tastes and a complex experience. The Big Bang is under “Stratosphere” and the “Mesosphere” has drinks like the Black Hole. You get the drift. 

Nova Social Club is currently closed for renovations, but I can’t wait to go back.

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