Le Derrière is an absinthe, champagne and oyster bar positioned in the rear of Q Bar, but the cheeky name is also a pun, as ‘Q’ is the pronunciation of ‘cul’, another French word for ass. And, yes, it is trés cute.
They scored Buddha Bar designer Bruno Tanquerel to fashion the interior, sourcing all furniture from French flea markets. Apart from the beautiful rhomboid patterned ceramic floor – which was locally made to a traditional French design – everything is imported and authentic, from the 100 year-old ‘zinc’ bar through to the 50 yearold balloon-backed chairs and the classic painted wall panels, circa 1920.
On the bar, beneath the soft orange glow of tasselshaded lights, sits the star of the absinthe ritual: a traditional absinthe fountain. Shaped like an old oil lamp on a metal stand, its clear glass bulb is loaded with water and ice. Absinthe is poured on top, which then drips through narrow taps over a sugar cube, through ornate holes on an absinthe spoon, and into your glass.
Le Derrière has several absinthe cocktails (B350-B450) and ten absinthes (B350-B690/glass), including French, Swiss and Czech and what manager Benoit Raynal says is the world’s strongest, Hapsburg, from Bulgaria, at a mind bending 89.9°. They also have Authentique, made by Pernod, a company originally formed as an absinthe distillery in the 19th century.
Standard cocktails run from B190; there are 13 wines by the glass (from B230, B1,300/bottle) and a choice of eight champagnes. Grab a bottle to enjoy with oysters (B80 apiece) on the developing small snack menu, which also has foie gras, cheeses and saucissons.
Absinthe was famously banned for several decades for being hallucinogenic, but modern research shows it was never hallucinogenic, merely potent. That might deflate the legend slightly, but at least we know we’re enjoying the effects in all their original glory, like Degas, Van Gogh, and the rest of Bohemia. And, as one section of Le Derrière is open to the night sky, you can also smoke… and do many things your mother warned you about. คิวบาร์ สุขุมวิท 11
Q Bar Bangkok
34 Sukhumvit Soi 11| 02-252-3274 | qbarbangkok.com | OPEN Daily 9pm-3pm