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Gangsters' hideaway

The Speakeasy at the Hotel Muse has classic cocktails to suit every Great Gatsby and Public Enemy No 1



America's booze-prohibition era, during the Great Depression of the 1930s, was fun only for bootleggers and the people they allowed into their illegal bars, the speakeasies. Now there's a recession but at least alcohol is still legal - and lots of fun to drink at the Speakeasy, the rooftop bar and lounge at the Hotel Muse Langsuan.

This Speakeasy doesn't look exactly like the smoky gin joints you see in "Scarface", but there are giddy holdovers from the Roaring Twenties. You can do your best Al Capone impression amid the fashionable opulence embodied by the high ceiling, plush leather sofas, marble bar and posh cigar den.

In place of the old jazz swing there's contemporary "nu jazz" and even groovy electronic tunes later each night.

The bar gets its truest Prohibition Era kick from the Forgotten Classics menu of cocktails. The elegant Brandy Crusta, perfect for sipping while you watch the sun set over Bangkok, originated 150 years ago. It's primarily cognac, orange curacao and bitters, shaken with ice and garnished with lemon peel.

For something sweeter and fruitier, a French Martini mingles vodka, Chambord and pineapple juice - no flamboyant garnish, just a creamy white foam floating on the pale pink surface.

Among the other great drinks of yesteryear on offer for Bt290 apiece are the Manhattan, the Old Fashioned, the Negroni, the Hanky-Panky and the Mint Julep. All are made from the traditional recipes but with pricier alcohol.

Standard cocktails come in three sizes. A small one, meaning 350ml, costs Bt290. Medium is a litre for Bt1,500 - a jug that will satisfy up to five tipplers - and a large is four litres for Bt2,700, a vat for the family reunion.

Champagne cocktails cost Bt650 and those made with and Prosecco are Bt350. A small local beer is Bt150.

The Blind Pig - the cigar aficionado's lounge - is well stocked. Sign up for a Corona membership for Bt20,000 per year or, if you really, really love cigars, the more expensive Churchill or Presidente levels. The amount you pay, plus 10 per cent, becomes your credit to be redeemed at the Pig. You even get a silk jacket and a secret place to stash your personal cigar box.

If food crosses your mind, the Speakeasy serves snacks and finger food at reasonable prices. The beer-battered snowfish with chips (Bt240) and savoury grilled Italian sausage (Bt180) are both widely recommended.

DAMES WELCOME

<< The Speakeasy is on Level 24 of the Hotel Muse Bangkok Langsuan on Langsuan Road, close to the Chidlom Skytrain station.

<< It's open daily from 6pm to 1am.

<< Find out more at |(02) 630 4000 and www.HotelMuseBangkok.com.


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