Travel the world from the comfort of an uber-cool speakeasy. Enthusiastic imbibers and wide-eyed wanderers will love BYT, which stands for Bright Young Things. Abscond from Bangkok’s bustling Sathorn district through a hidden entrance, tucked away behind a vintage bookcase. This warmly lit wateringhole invites you to pick from cozy sofa seats and bar seats that overlook BYT’s gifted mixologists.
A beautifully furnished casual hangout, BYT is inspired by the spirit of travel. It used to be customary for a young British aristocrat to embark on a ‘Grand Tour’ – a lengthy global voyage that would open this journeyman’s eyes to the world – which British aristocracy considered vital to the grooming of a proper gent.
Likewise, BYT brings its clientele on compelling journeys through whimsical concoctions. “Porto” is a full-bodied Bourbon cocktail complemented by Port wine, Maraschino liqueur and Angostura bitters, then topped off with egg white froth and a hint of lemon, while “Istanbul” is a blanco tequila drink enriched by dry vermouth and a mix of spices that the Silk Road brought to Turkey.
BYT specializes in classic cocktails of the 1920s too: Gin lovers will enjoy an old-school “Fitzgerald”, while rum connoisseurs will be wowed by BYT’s rendition of the “Mary Pickford”, a floral recipe consisting of pineapple, grenadine and Jamaica’s famous Appleton white rum. Don’t skip “Amsterdam”, which accentuates the subtle nuances of genever (Dutch-style gin) through the addition of orange, lime, vanilla, peach and Peychaud’s bitters. Guests can also tuck into bar bites like cold cuts and cheese selections; and bruschetta of roasted garlic, oregano and olive oil.
Who or what are the ‘Bright Young Things’? This nickname was first given by the tabloids to a few young Bohemian socialites in the 1920s. In the face of World War I’s gloomy outlook and Prohibition in the U.S., this group dressed flamboyantly and partied hard. Today, this spirit of living life to the fullest is celebrated by a few bartenders and their guests, in a speakeasy behind a bookcase in Bangkok’s Sathorn district.
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