Interconnected bars aspire to great heights, focusing on high-quality spirits
The Bangkok Marriott Marquis Queen’s Park hotel opened gradually over the past year, introducing new restaurants and rooms when the time was right. Just before Christmas, the hotel finally revealed its finishing touches: ABar and ABar Rooftop. It seems they saved the best for last.
The bars don’t seek to capitalize on a 37th-floor setting above Benjasiri Park. They certainly won’t be known for their Mojitos, either: ABar Rooftop focuses on high-quality gin drinks, while ABar specializes in premium dark spirits—whiskies, dark rums, cognacs. The F&B team believes both can join the ranks of the city’s top cocktail bars. They may be right.
On a recent Monday night, three quarters of the loungers and tables at ABar Rooftop were occupied. Bar staff flitted across vinyl wood flooring, serving Be Gins (B375)—a tangy mix of Beefeater 24, maraschino liqueur, house-made lavender syrup, lemon juice, and egg white, that galvanizes the palate for a night of progressive drinking—and signature G&Ts, like the No. 3: Martin Miller (B425), with edible flowers and Fever Tree Mediterranean Tonic.
The young, uber-talented Saimai Nantarat, previously of Bunker and Highball, leads the bar team here, making signature cocktails from gins that start at Beefeater 24 (served straight, on the rocks, or tall). To that end, ABar Rooftop currently shelves 57 gins—many of them boutique—and should stock north of 100 soon, as more labels legally enter the market.
The gins are separated on the menu by characteristics—fruity, floral, light and crisp, London dry, barrel-aged. Pick one and customize your G&T with any of a dozen different tonics from East Imperial, Fever Tree, 1724, and more. Looking for a local taste? Consider Grandma Jinn No. 1 (B315), a floral and aromatic Thai gin, paired with elderflower tonic (B85).
A level below, ABar takes different design cues. Inspired by Victorian England—specifically, Sherlock Holmes—the bar features dark wood interiors, high ceilings, and library lights set on reading tables. Head Mixologist Rojanat ‘Ping’ Chareonsri and team tend a bar rising tall in the middle of the room, aiding interaction between you and the person preparing your cocktails.
And those cocktails are nothing short of excellent. The opening menu highlights vintage recipes enhanced with Ping’s flair. If you like your drinks stiff and spirit-forward, try the Bobby Burns (B395). In this blend of Glenlivet Founders Reserve, Carpano Classico vermouth, Bénédictine, and crème de cacao, the booze ebbs and flows, broken up by a rush of sweetness in the middle. If you want something brighter, go for the Scofflaw (B425). Chivas Regal 12YO is the base for a refreshing, earthy drink featuring fresh lemon, Carpano Dry, and house-made ginger shrub, a concentrated syrup made from fresh ginger, sugar, and champagne vinegar.
Whatever you choose, you’ll be satisfied. ABar has big rewards for the bold drinker.
By Craig Sauers
ABar & ABar Rooftop
Bangkok Marriott Marquis Queen’s Park
37-38F, 199, Sukhumvit Soi 22
Open daily: 7pm-1:30am
Tel: 02 059 9999