Eating/Drinking  •  Cocktail Napkin Review

Cocktail Napkin Review: Down the Rabbit Hole

Alice may have incurred the wrath of Wonderland’s Queen of Hearts, but we discovered her sweeter side on our adventure down in Thong Lor’s Rabbit Hole.

March 03, 2017

To promote their Monkey Shoulder whisky, William Grant and Sons recently revived a 75 year-old bartending instrument: the Konga Shaker. The once must-have item of 1930s bartenders was created at a time when the tiki bar craze took off in California—hence the name.

When we heard that Rabbit Hole had procured one of the seven Konga Shakers given out in Bangkok, we headed down to the Thong Lor watering hole and, in honor of the shaker’s history, started our session with a Tiki-era cocktail created by the bar to coincide with the Konga launch.

The El Coco (Monkey Shoulder, Luxardo, honey, lemon juice, coconut, and pandan) wins for stylish preparation, using both the Konga Shaker for mixing and a coconut cream foam applied as final bit of flair. The whisky-based cocktail packs a punch but is balanced by both the sweet maraschino flavor of Luxardo liqueur and the coconut foam.

For our subsequent rounds we had intended bartender extraordinaire Chacha to come up with variations on other Tiki classics but found the existing menu items too enticing. In addition to the 40 current menu options, an additional 25 beverages are about to be featured by the bar. In addition to these 65 creations, a selection of roughly 30 gins, paired with five different tonics and prepared by an impressively knowledgeable staff, allows patrons of differing palates to select from an exponential number of custom-crafted gin-based cocktails.
While the Rabbit Hole offers many spirit-forward beverages utilizing this arsenal of gin, one such cocktail stands out: the White Truffle Martini, featuring white truffle oil-rubbed Tanqueray gin kept chilled at an icy -14 and poured over a glass with a vermouth mist.

On our Friday afternoon visit, we were mostly in the mood for something refreshing and we found the Queen of Hearts the most satisfying in this regard. Crafted of vodka, aloe vera juice, citrus, and lotus syrup made of a secret recipe from an auntie in Amphawa, the Queen of Hearts was a winner.

Taste: ♡♡♡♡♡ - While the taste of its cocktails is clearly paramount, as the sophistication of patrons’ tastes has evolved, the new menu has been organized into five categories: Spirit-forward, Refreshing, Dry, Savory, and Fragrance. There’s now something perfectly suitable for everyone who sidles up to the bar, newcomers and regular patrons alike.

Presentation: ♡♡♡♡ - Garnished simply with a lotus flower petal, Queen of Hearts was the most presentable looking drink we ordered, though the cocktail presentation is only a facet of an imbibing experience that places equal emphasis on aroma, color, texture, temperature, and taste.

Ambience: ♡♡♡♡♡ - Dimly lit and yet enticing, this cozy warren of a watering hole was designed for drinking and intimate conversation, with the ground floor featuring predominantly bar-front seating and tables for two and an upstairs with a cozy corner of sofa seating for larger groups (* Reservations recommended).

Tips: Don’t be shy to chat up the bar staff about the menu or the spirits featured therein: the selection can be overwhelming (especially with so many great offerings available) but you’re unlikely to order something unsuitable if you take the time to discuss your preferences with the knowledgeable staff.