Supachok “Choak” Buathong Carries the Classic Old Fashioned to Majestic New Heights with the Extra Infinity
As afternoon fades into evening, the crowds start climbing to Red Sky, the chic rooftop bar on top of Centara Grand at CentralWorld, where Supachaok “Chaok” Buathong stands at the ready. The bar supervisor watches over all of Red Sky’s outlets—the alfresco dining and drinking space, the top storey bar, even the indoor restaurant—designing, crafting, and delivering a range of well-balanced signature drinks to hundreds of guests each night. But of all the cocktails Chaok creates, one stands out above the rest to him: the Extra Infinity.
Chaok has elevated the classic Old Fashioned without sacrificing the integrity of the original. His aromatic mix is made up of 45ml of Chivas Regal Extra, 15ml of Disaronno, two dashes of chocolate bitters, and garnishes of cinnamon stick, star anise, and a twist of grapefruit peel—plus one of the most unique Old Fashioned ice balls in town, a perfectly smooth sphere with the star-shaped anise frozen inside of it. “When the ice melts,” explains Chaok, as he stirs all the elements together with ice, “the anise adds new character to the cocktail.”
As a finishing touch, Chaok squeezes the grapefruit peel and runs it around the rim of a large, chilled snifter glass. Then he wraps the peel around a cinnamon stick leaning against the glass. The grapefruit lends a bright aroma and flavour to the drink without overpowering the whisky and amaretto. “There’s no extra oil on grapefruit peel,” says Chaok, explaining his decision to use this peel rather than the same from an orange, the more traditional choice.
It’s a well thought-out move by the rising bar expert, who leads the creation of all the signature drinks at Red Sky. The anise complements the bittersweet almond flavour of the Disaronno, an Italian amaretto liqueur. Meanwhile, the cinnamon perfectly draws out the spicy notes of the Chivas Regal Extra, the sophisticated Speyside blended Scotch whisky aged in sherry casks. The spiciness then gives way to a smooth finish with hints of vanilla. The Extra Infinity is the whisky drinker’s answer to the sundowner, a complex cocktail with some warmth to replace the heat of the setting sun, something to savour as the night begins.
For Chaok, a man who believes in trial and error and fearless experimentation, such an inspired take on the timeless drink represents yet another evolution. “I studied art, but my first job was at a French fine dining restaurant, where I made the same drink over and over again,” he says. “At the time I just liked to drink. Now I love to lead.”
From making Mai Tais and Long Islands to mixing new and unique drinks, like a yet-to-be-unveiled blend of Chivas Regal Extra, green apple, and cinnamon that recalls all the best flavours of apple pie, Chaok has come a long way. His drive to break barriers explains why he likes to race his motorbike on the weekends, and why his next major project is to pick the perfect cocktail to pair with meals. “For a fish dish, I’m working on something muddled. And for a dessert like mango sticky rice, I’m thinking of something with cinnamon,” he declares.
With an appropriately fire-like sunset illuminating the horizon each evening, and a doyen of a barman leading the team in Chaok, it’s easy to see the infinite appeal of Red Sky.
- Combine 45ml of Chivas Regal Extra, 15ml of Disaronno, and two dashes of chocolate bitters in a tall glass with ice and stir to combine the ingredients.
- Pour into a tall, chilled snifter glass or Old Fashioned glass.
- Squeeze the grapefruit peel to release its aroma and then run the peel around the rim of the glass.
- Wrap the peel around a cinnamon stick; garnish with star anise, if desired.