Back in August 2019, a century-old mansion on Soi Kasemsan 3 was brought back to life by a group of youngbloods who share a passion for cocktails and after-hours hedonism. Nachapol “Na” Kasemsuwan and his friends put up Philtration in the basement of the heritage house owned by long-established pharmacist Moh Mee, which is known for purveying a wide range of Chinese and Thai herbal medicines.
The bar’s mysterious entrance (we won’t spoil the fun by revealing where it is) leads into a dimly-lit den that displays classy interiors by WVS Interior Design. Some elements of the 100-year-old structure, such as the original floor and ceiling, have been retained, adding to the charm of Philtration.
Just as intriguing as the bar’s ambience is its drinks menu. The pages contain illustrations of each cocktail, which are served in various presentations, from basic cocktail glasses to a teapot. The ingredients and laughter-inducing descriptions of their health benefits are listed alongside each illustration.
To honor the historic significance of the speakeasy’s location and to pay tribute to Moh Mee’s legacy, they came up with a line-up of concoctions inspired by herbs, spices, tea and the medicines of the brand.
Moh Meetini (B400++), for instance, captures the essence of Philtration by mixing Moh Mee’s herbal potion Uthai with herbs and spices, and Broker’s Gin. There’s also The Antique Cup of Tea (B420++), a teapot cocktail that blends oolong tea with Roku Gin and lime, and The Merchant of Kasemsan 3 (B400++), which will calm you down with its fragrant jasmine aroma.
While Philtration didn’t fully take off after the emergence of coronavirus in 2020, the bar is now back in full force and has added more cocktail mixes to its roster, including ones that mix formerly-prohibited herbs. There’s Kratoms (B420++), a refreshing drink that combines kratom with pandan; and Stronger by Dr. Phil (B440++), which infuses Moh Mee’s potion with cannabis.
Philtration has also taken on an entertainment element. The venue is now hosting live jazz acts, and has teamed up with musical-oriented platform The Showhopper to hold special performances based on internationally popular musicals and plays. Limited-edition cocktails inspired by these performances will be available.
You can keep up with the ever-evolving line-up of inspiring events and activities at Philtration on its official Facebook page. The bar is open from Wednesdays to Sundays, from 18:00 to 00:00.