It’s only been open for a few months, but it looks like Liberation on Soi Sukhumvit 49 is already receiving some industry recognition. The speakeasy, opened by a dream team of cocktail specialists who have launched some of the city’s most beloved cocktail bars — Rabbit Hole, Back Stage, and Tropic City — was named “Best New Bar” in this year’s Bar Awards list for Bangkok.
On Sunday night, the awards organization announced a total of 12 winners. In addition to Liberation’s nod as best newbie bar, the Bar Awards also named Asia Today as “Creative Cocktail Bar of the Year.”
Hair of the Dog, which carries hundreds of beer bottle labels and has dozens of brews on tap, was named “Best Beer Bar,” while ABar, a stylish open-air spot on the 38th floor of Bangkok Marriott Marquis Queen’s Park, won as Bangkok’s Best Rooftop Bar.
Bamboo Bar, which sits on the ground floor of a riverside hotel and is known for showcasing great live jazz, picked up two awards: Best Hotel Bar and Best Bar of the Year.
The Bar Awards were inaugurated in 2014 by Tron Young, who launched it in Singapore after surveying a group of drink industry peers about their favorite watering holes. After it saw success in the Lion City, Young later extended the concept to Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, and then, in 2017, to Bangkok.
The organization has officially partnered with Drink Magazine and calls its NAVs (nomination and voting system) the “most objective and transparent in the world” — you can read more about that selection process in their infographic here.
Here’s the full list of this year’s winners in Bangkok — do with it what you will, boozehounds.
New Bar of the Year: Liberation
Bartender of the Year: Supawit “Palm” Muttarattana (Vesper)
Bar of the Year, presented by Monin: The Bamboo Bar
Restaurant Bar of the Year: Tep Bar
Beer Bar of the Year: Hair of the Dog
Rooftop Bar of the Year: ABar
Hotel Bar of the Year: The Bamboo Bar
Thai Product of the Year: Iron Balls Gin
Creative Cocktail Bar of the Year: Asia Today
The Rising Star: Arron Grendon from Tropic City
Hospitality Ambassador of the Year: Suwincha “Chacha” Singsuwan from Rabbit Hole, Liberation
Hospitality Team of the Year: Tropic City