New cocktails prove there’s more to Scarlett than reds and whites
Scarlett Wine Bar & Restaurant has always seemed to be the kind of place you would prefer everyone not know about. Between a novel-sized wine list, mouth-watering bistro-style fare, and a 160 sq.m balcony presenting legitimately sweeping views of Silom, Sathorn, and the Chao Phraya River, you would be forgiven for wanting to safeguard your “secret” rather than let it slip to all your friends. Word has spread, though. Within the city’s circle of writers, Scarlett is often cited as one of the more reliable venues around, and the number of regulars you’ll find on any given night suggests that many residents feel the same way.
With such a good thing going, management has only ever had to implement subtle changes to the script to keep up with trends. To that end, Scarlett has recently gone all-in on craft cocktails and spirits, the craze currently reshaping nightlife in Bangkok.
“We formerly took a very classic approach [to cocktails],” says General Manager Guillaume Places. Now, explains the sociable French national, all the bartenders have been encouraged to add their own flair to time-tested drinks. They bought a dehydrator and have been playing around with dehydrated fruit, for one, but more remarkably they have begun to infuse their own spirits—gin, tequila, rum, Calvados even—to add depth to their signature cocktails.
Gin infused with vanilla bean and roasted red pepper gives the Negroni #1 (B320) a sweetness that plays off the floral aspects of the base spirit, as well as a vegetal note that complements the Campari. The gin neat or on the rocks would be an excellent choice, believe it or not, but the Negroni, which is barrel-aged for at least three weeks and has a texture so much like velvet that it almost sticks to the roof of your mouth, comes highly recommended.
White rum serves as the canvas for herbs and spices traditionally used in tom yum. The spicy infusion goes into the Citrus Rum Cooler (B320), a potent piece of work uniting orange and ginger in the base with chillies, Kaffir lime leaf, and lemongrass in the infusion.
The Humadorita (B320) features not just house-infused tequila, but also dehydrated pineapple with scorched brown sugar. The latter leaves its smokiness on the nose, balancing the drink’s sweet and sour notes. Likewise, the Breakfast Martini (B320), a spin on an old Savoy recipe that combines Tanqueray, Cointreau, and orange marmalade, employs singed dehydrated orange to level its sweet elements. Both can be refreshing pre-dinner drinks or partners to some of the seafood on the menu, such as Le Crabe Royal d’Alaska (B580), a beautifully plated king crab salad featuring mango and avocado.
With these cocktails, the ever so unpretentious Scarlett has given us good reason to come back, again, and again.
By Craig Sauers
Scarlett Wine Bar & Restaurant
37F, Pullman Hotel Bangkok G
Open daily: 6pm-late
Tel: 096 860 7990