Sora Bar at Rosewood Phnom Penh combines a classy cocktail lounge, cosy whisky library, and a stunning rooftop bar offering an impressive view of the Cambodian capital.

Unlike culture-steeped Siem Reap or charming Kampot with its beautiful countryside scenery, there’s generally little reason to visit Phnom Penh unless you’re travelling there for business. But the Cambodian capital has been undergoing a renaissance of sorts; a raft of investments in recent years has invigorated the city, sending impressive modern skyscrapers soaring up the city’s skyline.

And, more importantly for tourists, opening up an impressive slew of new and modern accommodation, dining, and nightlife options.

One of the newer additions to the Phnom Penh cityscape? Vattanac Capital, a glittering modern edifice located in the city’s Central Business District that has the honour of being the city’s second skyscraper after Canadia Tower. Nestled within the upper floors of Vattanac Capital building is Rosewood Phnom Penh, which stands among one of the most luxurious accommodations you can find in the city.

Sora Bar is a live music cocktail lounge

And even if you’re not staying at Rosewood Phnom Penh, there’s one very good reason to visit – Sora Bar. A multi-concept drinking hole, Sora combines a snazzy cocktail lounge, a cosy whisky bar, as well as a rooftop bar.

The sky bar alone is good reason to visit, offering possibly the best aerial views of Phnom Penh’s landscape. Come golden hour you’ll find guests, tourists and visitors all clamouring for the best seats in the house to catch the best sundowner views of the Mekong while lounging over aperitivo-style cocktails.

Then there’s Sora Bar itself, its indoor cocktail lounge. You’ll be impressed. Sora Bar is every bit the kind of contemporary hotel bar you find in the most thriving of metropolises.

Its drinks programme is expectedly progressive. The current cocktail menu, ‘The Book of Yokai’, taps Japanese mythology for inspiration while leaning on the use of native Cambodian ingredients.

Sora 75 is a signature cocktail using Kampot pepper

You’ll find examples like God of the Seas, a hat tip to the Japanese dragon Tatsu that also pays tribute to Cambodia’s reputation as a producer for top quality rice. Brown rice infused gin gives this dry Martini a smooth silkiness on the palate, its inherent rice sweetness balanced by rice vinegar and dry vermouth.

Then there’s the Sora 75. Inspired by the legendary kitsune fox, this variation on the French 75 employs the use of Kampot pepper renowned in kitchens all over the world to spice the classic up. The Jewel Princess is more spirit-forward, a French Manhattan of sorts. Combining cognac, vermouth, amaro and accented with Japanese genmaicha tea, this creation is named for Toyotama-Hime, daughter of the sea god Watasumi. 

The Whisky Library at Rosewood Phnom Penh

‘The Book of Yokai’ extends to the Whisky Library as well. So yes while Sora’s cosy and opulent whisky library is home to an impressive collection of rare whiskies – we even spotted a bottle from the highly-prized Hanyu card series by Japanese cult whisky producer Ichiro’s Malt – you can get your cocktails in here as well.

Try The Imperial, a lighter take on the Boulevardier made with fig-infused Scotch, Campari and umeshu, or the Rosary, a classic Japanese highball snazzed with yuzu liqueur, lime, and grapefruit oil for a more citrus touch.

The Whisky Library also a cigar lounge, for those inclined towards having a puff to chase their drams.

Sora Bar, like Rosewood Phnom Penh and the Vattanac Capital building it’s located within, is the perfect if ostentatious display of a city determined to shake off the spectre a brutal civil war that’s ravaged the country in its recent past and anxious to set itself on the path of progress.

Sora’s newly-hired bar manager KT Lam – transferred from award-winning bar Darkside in Rosewood Hong Kong – is likely to work on refreshing the menu in the coming months. But for now the set of 12 progressive cocktails in ‘The Book of Yokai’ is a resounding declaration that Phnom Penh can have great cocktails, and drink them too.

We’ll cheers to that, from the sky bar at Sora in Rosewood Phnom Penh.

[Photos courtesy of Rosewood Phnom Penh]

Sora Bar

Address Vattanac Capital Mall, ផ្លូវឡើងជំហៀង, Rosewood Phnom Penh, 66 Level 37, Phnom Penh 12202, Cambodia (Google Maps link)
Opening Hours 5pm to 12am daily
Tel (855) 2393 6860
Facebook RosewoodPhnomPenh
Instagram @sora_phnompenh

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