Finding a good cocktail in South East Asia is not easy! Beer is everywhere and these days, an expensive restaurant will even offer a good wine list, if at high prices. But cocktails beyond a too-sour margarita and a too-sweet mai tai are hard to come by. But then, in Bangkok, there were rumors of a speakeasy with good cocktails. The address was secret, and only whispered, mouth-to-mouth. It’s down a little alley in the Thong Lor neighborhood, with no sign on the door. Thanks to a local friend (ok, and now The Google), we found J Boroski and the best cocktails in Thailand!
While the secrecy is over, J Boroski is still hard to find. It’s on Sukhumvit Soi 55 Thong Lor, down an alley that has no name and also houses the (well signed) Hotel Nantra. The bar is at the end of the alley, on the right-hand side behind a black glass front. Friendly staff will usually open the door for you when you stumble down the alley, looking lost.
Inside, J Boroski is a very dark bar, all black-on-black, with a long bar on the left and a few tables and chairs on the right. The best spots are at the bar, so you can watch the bartenders to their work. Well, bartender doing work isn’t really a fair description. You’ll meet mixologists (like Sebastian in our case) who are more artists than bartenders and are masters at their craft!
There are no menus at J Boroski and Sebastian interviewed us about the type of cocktails we’d like, inquiring about the type of alcohol we like, the sweetness or lack there off, or our favorite cocktail. There were four of us and each of us asked for completely different drinks – from a fresh drink, 3-on-a-scale-of-5 sweetness, based on vodka to “something old fashion-ey”. Sebastian managed to mix four drinks and each of us was blown away how good they were! He had hit the nail on the head for everyone – and we all loved our own drink, while not necessarily appreciating the others.
Granted, that could have been pure luck. So we came back in a group of three a few days later – and Sebastian made different drinks again, yet each again just hitting the spot. Each of the drinks followed the general description, but used unusual ingredients to create a unique flavor. I don’t think I could get ever bored with the cocktails here and having a pleasant surprise, while getting a familiar’ish drink every time, is a fantastic concept for a bar. And, sitting at the bar, allows you to watch the mixologists and have them explain what your drink includes!
The quality of the ingredients and the skills of the mixologists come at a price – drinks are $10+, which is expensive for Bangkok, but certainly worth every penny! You won’t find a drink this good at a price even remotely close in Europe or the US. So, if you want the best cocktails in Thailand and value quality over quantity, head to J Boroski and enjoy a great drink in a great atmosphere!
I wish I could have taken pictures of the interior, but it was plain too dark and I didn’t want to ruin the atmosphere with flash photography, so you’ll have to see it for yourself!