Vipop Jinaphan aka Tor: Sugar Ray, You’ve Just Been Poisoned (Bangkok)

Vipop Jinaphan is the co-owner of Sugar Ray, You’ve Just Been Poisoned in Bangkok. He makes us two cocktails, one with Rye Whisky and Cynar and the second with Campari infused with Bengal Spiced Tea and Cocchi Torino.

Tor introduce yourself
I worked in an office for many years but found it boring. Then twelve years ago I decided to surprise my girlfriend for her birthday by making her a mojito (because she likes fresh drinks). I wanted to make her the perfect cocktail, so I looked for a recipe online and found that there were many variations. It became a quest to find the perfect mojito. Then I decided to look into some courses, but couldn’t find any I liked, so joined a catering company to learn. At this time the Bangkok cocktail scene was more about mixer drinks and nothing too elaborate. Two and a half years later I won Worldclass for Thailand, then Bacardi Legacy and some other competitions. When we opened Sugar Ray, You’ve Just Been Poisoned it was a speakeasy that was only open for 3 days a week (Wednesday, Friday, Saturday), but now we’re open every day.

The classic you want to show us
40ml Rittenhouse 100 Proof Rye Whiskey
20ml of Antica Formula Vermouth
5 ml of Cynar
3 Dashes of Jerry Thomas Bitters

The bar you dream of
My dream bar would be in the middle of the jungle here in Thailand. It would be an omakase bar for around 10 people where I could work alone. I’d use ingredients I could find around the jungle to create bespoke cocktails and serve local food too.

What do you do in your time off
Before I had my daughter, I used to go to bars and cook for my friends. Now I spend all my spare time with her.

The spirit you like the most
I would say rum because it’s a tropical spirit, and Thailand is tropical too. You just have to add some fruits and local spices and it’s done. Jamaican rums like Appleton XII are my favourite, I also really like Matusalem rum.

What makes a good cocktail
The ambience is always first for me (music, the interior, lighting, temperature, service and farewell). Then it’s about the passion of the bartender and their understanding of the cocktail.

What ingredient do you enjoy using in cocktails
I like vermouth, as it’s versatile, especially the red ones. My favourite brands are Antica Formula, Cocchi Americano and Mancino.

The signature cocktail you want to show us
East Coast Boulevard
30ml of Campari infused with Bengal Spiced Tea (Cloves, Cinnamon, Vanilla, Anise, Ginger)
10ml of Rittenhouse 100 Proof Rye Whiskey
10ml of Sweet Vermouth
10ml of Cocchi Torino
1dash of Chocolate bitters
1 dash of Grapefruit bitters

Where do you think we need to go to interview another bartender
You need to go to Taipei and visit Aki Wang from Indulge Experimental Bistro. Then go to Singapore to visit Jigger & Pony,  Native and go to Shin Gi Tai and ask for Anthony he makes an amazing negroni.

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