When it comes to our favourite watering holes, Singapore’s bar scene is evolving at a fast pace.
When it comes to our favourite watering holes, Singapore’s bar scene is evolving at a fast pace. Although still far behind everyone’s favourite Asian city – Bangkok, it would seem Singaporeans’ thirst for a better presentation of their drink is being answered – one pour at a time. We take a look at the 10 most creative bars in Singapore.
Manhattan, Cuscaden Road
The signature drink at Manhattan in Regent Hotel is made with Michter’s US1 Straight Rye whiskey. Manhattan is a modern hotel bar infused with a touch of old New York glamour. Try the cocktails crafted from the world’s first in-hotel rickhouse, paired with a collection of ingredients made in-house, or sample the finest American whiskeys. Manhattan also offers an indulgent, adults-only Sunday brunch with unlimited craft cocktails, beers, custom Bloody Marys and a Boozy Milkshake station. www.regenthotels.com/regent-singapore/dining/manhattan
Atlas, North Bridge Road
Located at Parkview Square, the Atlas Bar has a Gatsby, Art Déco feel, with all the decadence of that era. Their drinks menu has been carefully curated over more than two years, with the finest tipples cultivated from generous friends, distillers and vintners, and includes a selection of rare whiskies and wines. Try the classic Gin and Tonic, made with London dry gins as far back as 1910, or for a grand celebration, the 2003 Bruno Paillard “Nec Plus Ultra” Rosé. atlasbar.sg
Tippling Club, Tanjong Pagar Road
Now at its new location at 38 Tanjong Pagar Road, its cocktail menu features an innovative twist—12 flavoured gummy bears, each infused with a drop of the cocktail they represent. The cocktails are named after emotions, such as Lust, Revenge, or the desire to own a Supercar, which interestingly enough, contains Petrol in its ingredient list, which is substituted by truffle oil. If you prefer a sweeter treat, try Lust, which is chocolate, vanilla and peach and champagne. The sweetness lingers in your mouth and then dissipates once you swallow. Other non-cocktail options include an extensive wine list, of which the most expensive is the 1996 Domaine De La Romaneé Conti Grand Cru – La Tache. tipplingclub.com
Native, Amoy Street
The creation of award-winning mixologist Vijay Mudaliar, who also won the Altos Bartenders’ Bartender 2018 award, Native focuses on creating cocktails from local and regional produce. Vijay aims to forage at least 10 per cent of his ingredients, which might include jackfruit, turmeric leaf and pink jasmine. His sustainable ethos was also evident at the Smith Street Tapas event, where he used spilt beer, bottom barrel beers and leftovers to create fantastic cocktails like a clarified IPA, strengthened with gin botanical distillates. His concoctions may also require extra liquid courage before imbibing—one of his cocktails contains crunchy ants as an ingredient. tribenative.com
28 Hongkong Street
Located in a nondescript former shophouse, the bar might be challenging to find, but worth the trouble. Its interiors feature a black marble bar and booths. For a stiff drink, try a Prescription Julep that features a High West Double Rye, Pierre Ferrand 1840 Cognac, Mint and Smith & Cross Jamaican Rum. For this drink and the Vieux Carré, touted to be the Manhattan’s wealthy Southern cousin, treat yourself to the rarer Michter’s Single Barrel Rye Pierre Ferrand Reserve 20 Year Cognac. 28hks.com
Operation Dagger, Ann Siang Hill
Rows and rows of similar bottles line the shelves behind the bar at Operation Dagger, each with handwritten labels, with thousands of bulbs hanging overhead as an art installation. Owner Luke Whearty is in charge of the cocktails, which includes the Caramelo Koala—a cocktail made with cacao, caramel tea, olive and eucalyptus. For the full experience, try the Omakase menu, where each course is paired with a different cocktail. One of the dishes might include the broccolini, which uses the macadamia pulp that remains after distilling for the drink, an example of the minimal wastage and sustainability ethos that Luke is strongly passionate about. operationdagger.com
Gibson, Bukit Pasoh
This craft cocktail bar aims to use ingredients indigenous to Asia, whether it’s the familiar tastes that they grew up with or those sourced from travels around the region. Try the namesake cocktail, mixed with Roku Gin and the Ginjo Sake-Vermouth that was specially created for Gibson, which is paired with condiments like wasabi leaves, pickled onion and smoked quail’s egg. For those who prefer their drinks without the alcoholic kick, try the Virgin Lobster Mary, a Bloody Mary mixed with spices and lobster tail. Whiskey lovers can also try the 30-year-old Glenfarclas. gibsonbar.sg
Employees Only Singapore, Amoy Street
The award-winning restaurant and bar, the first overseas outpost of the New York speakeasy, has an old-world feel with art deco accents, and like a lot of the bars on this list, is somewhat hidden, this one behind a fortune teller’s shopfront. The curving bar greets guests as they enter, and leads to a back dining room. Try the EO Gimlet, which is Perry’s Tot Navy Strength gin that’s shaken with the EO lime cordial, served over ice, or 2006 Don Pérignon Tête de Cuvée. employeesonlysg.com
D. Bespoke is a Ginza-style bar, and the owner Daiki Kanateka believes that each drink should be made to suit each customer perfectly, the way a bespoke suit would. The 28-seater shophouse is tucked behind a lifestyle retail front, furnished with wood-clad long bars, leather armchairs and chesterfield lounges. Choose a customised cocktail mixed by Kanateka himself, or have a tasting flight of the broad range of sherry and Armagnac. Chefs Andre Chiang and Takeshi Nagashima have held food pairing events here. Dbespoke.sg
Nutmeg & Clove
The interior of Nutmeg & Clove is inspired by the traditional Chinese medical halls, with dark wood panelling and a feature wall of gunny sacks and 60s posters on the second floor and a modern take on the historic English mansions. The cocktails are infused with a local twist, such as the King & Queen, which features mangosteen, pandan, coffee beans and durian, together with Mount Gay Black Barrel, lemon and clarified milk. For lavish celebrations, try a bottle of Dom Perignon or Krug Grande Cuvee. nutmegandclove.com.sg ◼
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