Stirring it up on the roof

If wine is bottled poetry, what's a cocktail? 

A cocktail is a glass of art and science that entices imagination and precision through the rendition of classical, contemporary and culinary mixology. It is something that I love, as it brings together analysis of what works together with a level of creativity and technique used to develop a very special beverage.

To me, a cocktail is like building a hotel. You have to collect the correct ingredients, find the right people to shake the ingredients, the perfect glass to fit all your ingredients, and a proper garnish to design it. With all those combined … then you have a perfectly balanced cocktail. Not too sweet, not too sour and not too overpowering with so much decoration. 

Where does a good cocktail fit with energising a MICE group?

For MICE groups it is the perfect ice-breaker. It brings people together, heightens confidence and increases happiness. It helps delegates enjoy themselves and bond as the night goes on. They’re fun too – lots of different choices, recipes, mixes and decorations. It also gives our team the chance to interact and enhance their experience. It is important to get the balance right though. Cocktails need the right balance and should not be too strong.

What does being on a rooftop add to a bar?

The location is so important. Hua Hin has a great heritage and history courtesy of the Thai royal family dating back to 1926 when they made the destination their getaway. Along with that came some stunning 1920s architecture which can be seen in Hua Hin Railway Station and the Summer Palace. This is what we overlook from our perch on the 27th floor of the Vana Nava Sky Bar, which has the most stunning transparent Observation Deck that arches over the side of the building, adding some spice to events as well as a wonderful photo opportunity for groups.

Name a favourite drink, and where you'd like to drink it

I think it has to be a hot creamy chocolate with toasted marshmallow on top with melted dark chocolate during the chilly winter months in England with the comfort of a roaring fire. It not only warms up my body and spirit during the cold weather but I’d like to share it with someone dear.

What next for mixology and associated arts?

I think it will be “spa-mixology” as health and wellness come together with the science and art of mixology to make a wonderful contribution to healing, creativity and art. Mixology is becoming more progressive and I think it can play an important role in this space – moving away from the bar and alcohol to offer an alchemy of juices and healthy herbal concoctions.

Raising the bar in Thailand

Ron Ramirez is an award-winning mixologist and general manager of the Vana Nava Sky Bar in Hua Hin. He was interviewed by Ed Peters

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