Classic cocktails are getting a Thai twist at Chao Baan (4087 Chouteau Avenue, 314-925-8250). Located in the Grove, the lauded restaurant is now slinging signature cocktails that riff on the regional Thai flavors that have made it an instant hit.
Chao Baan beverage director Lindsey MacTaggart developed eight cocktails for the all-new list, drawing inspiration from the northeastern and southern Thai dishes that inform the food offerings. The bar program began service on Friday, November 22 and also features a full selection of beer, wine and spirits, plus Thai coffee and tea.
The restaurant is the second offering from the Prapaisilp family; husband-and-wife Suchin and Sue founded the King & I (3155-3157 South Grand Avenue, 314-771-1777) in 1981. When the family had the opportunity to open a second restaurant, this time in the mixed-use Chroma building, their adult son, Shayn, wanted to share the food his parents grew up eating across Thailand.
“Thai cuisine is comprised of many ingredients that work together,” Shayn said in a recent release. “As a restaurant that’s committed to introducing the authentic regional flavors of Thai cuisine to St. Louisans, we developed these cocktails to be an extension of the flavors from our menu. Many of our house cocktails are a nod to some bar favorites but with a signature Chao Baan spin to make them exciting for our guests.”
MacTaggart and team had fun with the cocktail names, too. Take, for example, the Smoky Hot Thai Boy, which was named by the staff as a tribute to Shayn "and his hotness." Made with Banhez mezcal, Thai chile-infused Cimarron tequila, lime juice and a Thai chile-sugar rim, the cocktail strikes the "perfect balance of smoke, heat and citrus that pairs well with Chao Baan’s spicy dishes."
Other fun standouts include a Thai version of a classic Old Fashioned flavored with askashi ume and a Mai Tai — dubbed the My Thai — with housemade peanut orgeat. The new menu offers one nonalcoholic cocktail, a traditional Painkiller, made with pineapple, sweetened coconut milk, lime and grated nutmeg.
Here's the full cocktail list:
Death of a Bartender: Fernet, Plantation Rum, lime, pineapple, cinnamon and brown sugar simple syrup and Angostura bitters.
Tamarind Sour: Four Roses bourbon, tamarind syrup, simple syrup, lime and lemon.
Plum Old Fashioned: Akashi ume, Templeton rye, simple syrup and bitters.
My Thai: Plantation rum, lime and housemade peanut orgeat.
Caipiroska: Haku vodka, simple syrup, muddled lime and muddled Thai chiles.
Sochu like Thai Food?: Roku gin, lemongrass sochu, lime and simple syrup.
Tamarind Lemonade (nonalcoholic): Lemon juice, tamarind, simple syrup and soda water.
Painkiller: pineapple, sweetened coconut milk, lime, grated nutmeg
Smoky Hot Thai Boi: Banhez mezcal, Thai chile-infused cimarron tequila, lime juice, simple syrup and a Thai chile-sugar rim.
For more information, visit Chao Baan's website.