Cocktails with a touch of class
Sip your daily dose of vitamin C in a Yuzu Mandarin Cosmopolitan or Old-Fashion Orange HabitIf you like your cocktails tangy, sweet, sour and simple, head to the bar at Zuma, where the mixologist's latest creations are ready to quench your thirst.
Forget flowers, umbrellas, smoke and what have you. The cocktails here are often served "as is", as in plain. They are not completely bare though: there are a few garnishes but fortunately these are minimal.
Take the Yuzu Mandarin Cosmopolitan. This elegant orange beauty comes in a martini glass with half a sugar-rimmed edge. The formula includes Grey Goose Citron vodka, fresh yuzu and mandarin puree, a splash of cranberry juice and a tiny bit of syrup to round out the tang. The mixture is then shaken, strained and pour into a chilled glass. Not too sweet or too sour, the balance is right, complimenting the soothing tang of the mandarin. If you like it a bit sweeter, sip with the sugar for maximum effect.
The concoction was first served in Zuma Hong Kong. A glass in Bangkok goes for Bt285.
If you like whiskey in your sweet and sour drink, opt for Old-Fashion Orange Habit, at Bt325 a glass. There is no lack of vitamin C here as the ingredients include umeshu (plum juice), home-made orange syrup, orange bitter, almond syrup and the Black Nikka whiskey, which gives the cocktail a pleasant hint of smokiness and a spicy aftertaste. The drink is served with candied orange peel to munch on while you sip. It could be a little sweet, though, but indulge yourself if you have a sweet tooth.
Next up is the addictive Tokyo Dream (Bt325). The wow factor is probably the mouth-watering lemon sorbet that is thrown in the mix, along with vanilla-infused Santory Kubin whiskey, umeshu, dry sake, almond syrup and lime juice. With the help of the vanilla-infused whiskey, the smooth, rich aroma helps round out the sourness of the rest of the ingredients. The sorbet adds texture and a slight creaminess to the drink, making it delightfully delectable one. Oh, and this one is pretty stiff, so watch out.
"We make the infused spirits ourselves," James, the assistant bar manager, tells us, as we admire the vanilla beans in the whiskey bottle. "What you do is put whatever you want to infuse in the alcohol of your choice - in this case vanilla beans and whiskey - and leave it for 36 hours. Take it out promptly to avoid bitterness from over soaking. You can infuse flowers in spirits, too, like we did with jasmine."
Jasmine whiskey is the main ingredient of the next drink, Mandarin Fizz (Bt335). Conceived and born in Zuma in London - the Zuma that started it all - the drinks is based on muddled lime zest and fresh ginger, then topped with jasmine-infused Ichiko Mugi shochu, mandarin and apple juice and mandarin sorbet for the creamy texture. A splash of Prosecco on top adds luxury to the simply presented drink. You'll probably try to smell the jasmine from the glass, but you won't get any until you take a sip. The flower's essence is perfectly infused with the shochu and the aroma is idly released, slowly and subtly perfuming your palate while you're enjoying it.
The bar also serves an extensive selection of drinks, including wine, sake, whiskey and cocktails.
SHAKEN AND STIRRED
Zuma is located at the lobby level of St Regis Bangkok near Rajdamri BTS stop.
Zuma's bar is open daily from noon till midnight from Sunday to Thursday, and from 11.30am till 2am on Friday and Saturday.
Call (02) 252 4707; www.zumarestaurant.com