In a small pocket just off the beaten track of Bangkok’s high-end party district we’re greeted by the newest edition to the nightlife scene: Liberation, a dark and handsome speakeasy brought to us by the same team behind Rabbit Hole and Canvas BKK and bartenders from Backstage Cocktail Bar and Tropic City.
In line with what seems to be Bangkok’s new in, Liberation isn’t exactly hidden but it’s not in plain view to those passing by, either. Set upon the fourth floor of Piman 49, to get up there you’ll have to make your way past Gai Yang Sua Yai and take the lift by the toilet. Inside you’ll find interior which could be likened to that of 008 Bar, however darker, smaller and without the view. A large marble bar and a couple of short tables and chairs seat around 25 people in a space with wood-lined walls and flooring. What really sets it apart, however, is a small distillery room by the bathroom. Inside, bartenders use a rotary evaporator to experiment with the different flavours of juices and alcohol.
Flavour experimentation isn’t limited to just the liquids, as bar goers will find out. The four-chapter affair begins with propaganda, a play on the bar’s name with illustrations to match. Following propaganda is plot twist, a spinoff to both the flavours and posters in the first chapter–utilising propaganda posters from the same era and recycling ingredients from the first chapter but with different flavours.
How do you achieve a sustainable cocktail? By extracting multiple flavours from a single ingredient, they tell us. The first example of this can be seen with the Snooze No More which essentially recycles coffee used from their cold brew. By using a slightly different extraction method they’re able to produce coffee cherry. Snooze No More then adds banana rum, coffee cherry, islay whisky and toasted coconut bitters (B390). The second is with chocolate curd made from the condensed milk in Propaganda’s Invisible Passenger.
Chapter three is where things get really interesting. In a slightly different manner to the menu-free approach you might find at J Boroski, Liberation utilises three ingredients: Waterbug commonly used for pastes in Northern Thailand, Cacao from Chanthaburi and Goat’s Milk. In essence, chapter three is kind of like a made-to-order suit, there’s a template but instead of it being made around you, it’s made according to the bartenders–and what they have in their inventory.
So who’s behind it all? While Liberation itself is brought to us from the team behind Canvass BKK and Rabbit Hole, the bar is run by familiar faces like Krit “Joey” Parkobdee of Tropic City, cocktail innovator Suwincha “Chacha” Singsuwan of Rabbit Hole and Kitibordee ‘Gov’ Chotubtim of Backstage Cocktail Bar.
4F Piman 49, Sukhumvit Soi 49, Thong Lor, 093 654 2500, Open daily 7pm-1:30am, facebook.com/liberationbkk