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Over the last decade, Singapore has emerged as one of the most exciting and important centres for innovative cocktail making on the planet. This boozy little guide takes you on a crawl across the best bars in the Lion City. I dare you to try and visit them all in one night.
Aun, Singapore, Singapore
- Employees Only142EO Singapore is a spin-off of the successful New York City Bar. It's a gorgeous, bustling space in which you will always have a good time, a well-made drink, and some good grub.
- 28 Hong Kong Street307This tiny speakeasy on Hong Kong Street arguably kickstarted the current craft cocktail scene. 28 HKS today is the OG, a place that industry folks like to gather and a place to definitely check out, if only because of its history.
- ATLAS Bar645The other grand daddy designed by the founders of 28 Hong Kong Street, Atlas is an Art Deco love letter to gin and the jazz era. Originally designed as a wine bar, the space was reinvented and relaunched and quickly cemented itself as one of the must try, must be seen at, places in town. This is where you go when you want to be seen. Atlas has, they boast, the world's largest gin collection. One inside tip, the joint is also open in the afternoons and serves up a pretty awesome high tea.
- Manhattan344Manhattan is perhaps one of the two swankiest, most opulent bars in town. It is also one of the best. From the service, to the drinks, to the food, this bar, inside the Regent Hotel, and created for the hotel by the founders of 28 Hong Kong Street, cuts no corners in delivering a world-class experience.
- Native70Owner-mixologist Vijay Mudaliar is considered to be an inspiration for so many these days. His bar Native stands out and apart from the rest for a few reasons. Chief among them is he only uses Asian spirits and ingredients. None of the drinks on offer are Asian versions of Western classics. They are all entirely new recipes he has come up with that tell stories of the region. Equally impressive is that Native operates at almost zero-waste. Some days wastage is down to just a few tens of grams. A visit to Native is a must for any self-respecting cocktail lover.
- Jigger & Pony85J&P may be the most popular bar in town among the cool cocktail crowd. It has moved from its original space into a secret but no really secret location inside the lobby of the Amara Hotel. Drinks are made beautifully. The playlist is perfect, and the ambience gorgeous. This is the cool cocktail bar of your dreams. Oh, the food is surprisingly good too, so feel free to have dinner here while you work your way through the cocktail list.
- The Secret Mermaid8Owned by Chinese-American Howard Lo, Secret Mermaid is discretely tucked away in a corner of the basement of an office building in Singapore's CBD. The bar celebrates America and uses only American spirits to craft imaginative and delicious takes on classic drinks.
- Gibson43Gibson makes me think of the kind of speakeasy that should be hidden inside a posh New England prep school. But that's only because of the interiors and the staff uniforms. The drinks, on the other hand, reflect Asia. The menu is filled with wonderfully novel classics reimagined with Asian ingredients and with an Asian palate in mind.
- D. Bespoke48Some say that Daiki Kanetaka's old world Tokyo style bar is the most expensive in Singapore. But that is because he uses only the most premium, most special and exquisite spirits in his perfectly crafted drinks. A definite must-visit for the well-heeled and discerning crowd.
- Tippling Club12Tippling Club first opened as an experimental C shaped molecular cocktail bar cum restaurant. In those early days, drinkers and diners sat side by side eating and sipping equally modern concoctions. Today, in the current location, the bar is separated from the restaurant. The cocktails are a little less molecular but still push the boundaries of science, and are all expertly crafted.
- Anti:dote438Head bartender Bannie Kang is not just one of the few female mixologists in town running a bar, she has also won the title of the world's best bartender at the Diageo World Class event in 2019. Bannie draws on her Korean heritage as well as ingredients from Southeast Asian that inspire her to craft truly unique and delicious libations that are as much art as they are drink.
- Origin Bar220Origin Bar is tucked down a corridor in the Shangri-La Hotel. While it is technically attached to the swanky steakhouse cum fusion restaurant Origin Grill, it has its own identity and swagger. Boasting Singapore's largest rum collection and live music a few times a week, this is a fun, hideaway for people-in-the-know and discerning rum lovers.