Cocktail Of The Month: The Hangovertini
The scene opens with gangster Leslie Chow singing “If I Could Save Time in a Bottle” as the elevator rises slowly toward the 63th floor. Stew: How can you be so calm? Chow: Relax, it’s classic switcheroo. I give them the money and they give us Teddy. Phil: Do you ever do anything that doesn’t end in a standoff? Chow: I’m an international criminal. It always ends like this! This sets up one the of the most memorable scenes in the 2011 blockbuster “The Hangover II.” The Wolfpack find themselves once again immersed in a web of unrecalled troubles on the morning of an important wedding. This time they’re in Thailand and they’ve lost Teddy, the brother of Stew’s Thai fiancée. It looks like relief is in sight as they set out for a rendezvous with federal agents at a Bangkok rooftop lounge, hoping to make a money-for-hostage trade. But things don’t go as planned. A police helicopter swoops in and the agents arrest Chow, sending the bachelor-party boys back to square one in the search for their friend. Perhaps as memorable as the scene itself is the setting, with its sweeping views of the Bangkok skyline. Sky Bar, 63 stories up, at the top of the Lebua Tower Club hotel, is Bangkok’s most famous rooftop hotspot. The circular bar is perched on a ledge that allows for electrifying vistas of the Mango City and Chao Phraya River. As the sun sets and the city lights begin to twinkle, the bar itself lights up, changing colors every 90 seconds. While its fame skyrocketed after the movie, it’s the fine-crafted cocktails that keep people coming back. Fans won’t be disappointed with the bar’s signature tipple, the Hangovertini, created for the cast during their stay. Forged from Chivas Regal 18-year-old Scotch, Martini Rosso, green apple juice and house-made rosemary-infused honey, this elegant cocktail seems far removed from the bad-boy antics that inspired it. It’s even a hit with ladies, according to resident mixologist Valerio Politano. He claims that, thanks to the fruitiness of the apple juice, you don’t feel the alcohol. “Ladies order it even if they think they don’t like whiskey,” he says. The drink strikes a superb balance. On the nose you get a hint of Chivas, but the taste is decidedly fruit-forward, with an herbally toned whiskey finish. The vermouth and rosemary impart a savory element, keeping this tipple from becoming too sugary and adding a delectable layer of flavor. There is also scientific evidence that the Hangovertini may help ease the day-after blues. First there’s the obvious “hair-of-the-dog theory.” But, apart from that, the juice is packed with vitamin C. Honey is a good source of natural sugar (for energy) and has organic healing properties. And rosemary contains antioxidants; its connection with memory has been noted for a long time. Perhaps the Wolfpack should’ve downed a few of these when they were trying to remember the chaos of the night before. Next up is Politano’s signature drink, the Sky Devil, his interpretation of a margarita. Influenced by Thailand’s famously spicy food, Politano uses red capsicum and black pepper to give this drink a piquant kick. He prepares it by muddling the red pepper to squeeze out its fiery juices and mixing it with Olmeca tequila, fresh lime juice, agave syrup and a pinch of pepper. Then he garnishes the drink with the tips of two red peppers, giving the appearance of devil’s horns. This gives new meaning to the saying, “The devil made me do it!” Though its strong peppery scent is calmed by the tang of the lime and tequila, the Sky Devil finishes with a chili smack. As a connoisseur of margaritas and hot food, I rank this tipple very highly. Chili-powered, yet straightforward, the taste of tequila shines through. As I admire the dizzying views surrounding me, a robust wind gusts, billowing my clothes in the air. I glance in all directions, looking for a police helicopter possibly coming after another unsuspecting patron. In my case, it’s just a refreshing summer breeze, but, according to Politano, due to the altitude of the bar, helicopters do fly by closely at times. Luckily, there haven’t been any criminal busts since the “Hangover” cast left town. So I’m safe … for now.