BANGKOK — Parich “Joh” Sanguamkul, 28, is as fun as the drinks he peddles: boozy slushies.
Joh is the portly, shy and smiling co-owner of Brain Freeze, a slushie and fizzy cocktail bar at Thonglor’s Arena 10. One of his employees pulses out a Long Island slushie from one of the four machines spinning its formula in the neon-lit bar.
“The Thai bar scene is getting kind of the same. You need to dress formally in a wooden place and go drink craft beers,” Joh said. “I wanted to bring something different, more textured, more fun.”
“When I saw slushie machines in events, it made me want to have a place full of slushies” he said, grinning as he sipped a Daifreezi slushie.
The bar only opened at the end of November, fits about 20 people and is still largely unknown except to partiers from the area who walk in – first at 9pm and again in the wee hours.
Joh hopes that instead of coming just for pre-drinks, people will start slurping slushies at his place throughout the night.
As a bar owner, Joh wanted to serve fast cocktails that he and his staff could easily pump out.
“A bartender can only shake so many drinks an hour,” he said.
Consistency is key in the slurpee idea, he said. While a bartender might make a drink heavier on the booze than the next due to human error, slushie machines and fizzy taps make sure all drinks are equally alcoholic.
“There’s no need to wait for a bartender to shake your drink and then wait 15 minutes for the waiter to bring it to you,” Joh said. “In 30 seconds we can just pump out a consistent drink.”
While Brain Freeze’s flagship drinks are its four slushies, the bar also serves cocktails from the tap.
The slushies are easy to drink and yet (reporter certified) surprisingly strong: the Daifreezi (280 baht), Margarita (310 baht), Long Island (330 baht) and Milky Whey (310 baht). The Long Island, a slushie of gin, rum, tequila, vodka, citrus juice and cola, comes topped with playful gummy colas.
There are two types of tap cocktails: “fizzy” ones with oxygen bubbles and “fluffy” ones with nitrogen bubbles without the “ahhh”-inducing fizz in the former.
Try the Rumble Rasp (330 baht) for a fluffy cocktail with gin, lemon, elderflower and raspberry. For a fizzy cocktail, down the LGBT (260 baht), named after its mix of lychee, gin, basil and tonic – the absinthe spray on top really gives this one an extra kick.
After finishing a slushie (or three) you’ll understand why the shop is named Brain Freeze. Be careful for slushie booze effects: before you know it, you’ve downed three yummy, yet strong drinks and all that vodka and absinthe is freezing your veins with joy or rage – or both.
Brain Freeze, located at Arena 10 and is reachable by a short motorcycle ride from either BTS Thong Lo or BTS Ekkamai. It’s open from 7pm to 2:30am daily.