Taking advantage of Bangkok’s longest happy hour
For those of us who like nothing more than to relax and unwind with a well-crafted cocktail in a glamorous location, Bangkok is a city with more than its fair share of venues designed to bewitch patrons with a yen for the finer things in life—and Flava Bar & Lounge at the Dream Hotel is no exception.
Taking its visual cue from the private wet bar of legendary British fashion designer Paul Smith, Flava’s interior matches leather furniture, twinkling striped walls, and a pair of, what the hotel describes as, “kooky pink leopard statuettes” in an artful and restrained manner, which belies its description. It’s also a favourite location for many a Thai pop video and TV show, including The Cupids, Club Friday, and the promo for Yah-Plaew, the latest jam from Yayaying Rhatha Phongam (who starred in the 2013 film Only God Forgives).
Taking advantage of what Flava calls ‘Bangkok’s Longest Happy Hour’ (5pm till midnight, seven days a week), my guest and I settled down for an evening of tasty snacks and pleasantly boozy beverages, opening with a pair of aperitifs. We opted for Gone Feral (B250) a blend of fresh watermelon, Limoncello, Martini Bianco, Finlandia vodka, lime juice, and torn basil leaves which, despite its ferocious name, is a well-balanced and refreshing drink ideal for cooling down on a sultry summer’s evening; and Blue Dream (B250), where Finlandia vodka, blue curaçao, apple juice, sweet and sour syrup, and lemon, meet to form a delicious concoction reminiscent of blueberry bubble gum–but in a way devised to appeal to the savoury palate, as well as a sweet tooth.
Our food choices, the meaty New York Beef Burger (B350) and BBQ Pork Skewer (B330), arrived at the same time as our second round. This time I upped the ante with the Casino Martini (B300), bar manager Sunthorn ‘Lek’ Pancae’s take on a classic, made from Gordon’s gin, Finlandia vodka, vermouth and finished with a lemon twist. It’s a less herbal version of the famous cocktail, but still just as inviting. My guest went for the Sly Thai (B250), another signature of Lek’s, which mixes Finlandia vodka and Limoncello, shaken with muddled lime and then finished with a lychee garnish. It went down so well with the both of us we ordered another… just to make sure.
Overly protective of her new favourite drink, my guest urged me to try Mai Tai (B250) and I was not disappointed. This subtlety sweet combo of Pampero Blanco rum, Captain Morgan dark rum, almond orgeat and orange curaçao, is here topped with pineapple juice, which gives this tiki tipple a satisfying citrus kick—more than worthy of the Tahitian phrase Maita’i roa ae (“out of this world!”) for which it was named.
By Alastair Newport
2F, Dream Hotel | 10, Sukhumvit Soi 15
Tel: 02 254 8500
Open daily: 5pm-midnight