Ronnaporn K: Backstage Cocktail Bar (Bangkok)

Ronnaporn K is the co-owner of Backstage Cocktail Bar in Bangkok. He makes us two cocktails, one with Gin and Lemon Juice and the second with Rum and Olive Brine.

Ronnaporn introduce yourself
I’m Ronnaporn, aka Ronnie aka Pornstar and I used to work in entertainment as an actor and model. Through this work, I met a lot of people and opened a nightclub with a rooftop bar and restaurant with a friend of mine. Since university, I’ve always been into cocktails, but really started playing with flavours and learning more, so I could jump behind the bar when needed. When World Class arrived in Thailand in 2011, my catering company organised it and I was the MC until 2013. It made me very passionate about cocktails and I started to think, what would I do if I was a competitor. In 2014, I joined the competition and represented South East Asia for the Global level. Then in 2016, myself and five other bartenders opened Backstage Cocktail Bar and I’ve also been part of other bars, like Find the Locker Room. In 2017, I went global with World Class but didn’t win again and as you can only do it twice, I was looking for another top competition to challenge me and Bacardi Legacy was the one.

The classic you want to show us
Gin Fizz
45ml of Gin
15ml of Simple Syrup
20ml of Lemon Juice
Top with Soda Water

The bar you dream of
It would be a naughty place here in Bangkok for around 60 people. As I was nicknamed Pornstar in 2014 (after World Class), I would feature vintage porn movie posters, but all the girls faces would be replaced by mine. It would be a place where you can party with deep house music and behind there would be a laboratory where we could prep or invite people to see what we do.

What do you do in your time off
When I have time, I like to go wakeboarding 30 kilometres out of town. Otherwise, I chant every day. To find inspiration for my cocktails by going to Michelin star restaurants, or bring back products from my travels to try new flavours.

The spirit you like the most
Now it’s all about mezcal. Currently I am really into savoury drinks and mezcal gives a drink umami and earthy notes.

What makes a good cocktail
Everyone has different taste, so it’s the cocktail which matches with the customers palate. Secondly, the balance is important, as you can create a new flavour with the different ingredients even if you don’t taste all of them. It’s just like a movie, it’s the whole thing which makes it interesting, not just one part.

What ingredient do you enjoy using in cocktails
I like working with mirin, it’s very underrated as an ingredient. It’s a Japanese rice vinegar and is sweet, savoury and salty. It works with everything, even in an old fashioned, it gives great flavour.

The signature cocktail you want to show us
Pink me up
45ml Bacardi Carta Blanca
1 Tomato
5 Leaves of Basil
10ml of Orgeat Syrup
20ml of Lemon Juice
5 ml of Olive Brine

Where do you think we need to go to interview another bartender
Of course, you should interview my mentor, Hidetsugu Ueno from Bar High Five in Tokyo. I also really like Nico de Soto, from Danico in Paris.

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