With nine entries in the Asia 50 Best Bars List for 2016 – including the top spot – there’s little doubt that Singapore is a driving force for the fast-rising cocktail scene in the region. Given the staggering number of bars that have popped up over the recent years, however, we thought you might need a handy guide to know where to go.
Here are five of our favourite hangouts..
28 Hong Kong Street
Top of the list has to be 28 Hong Kong Street, which claimed top place on Asia 50 Best Bars List for 2016, and deservedly so. Since it was opened in 2011 by San Franciscan Michael Callahan, 28HKS has raised the standards of the cocktail scene by creating a charm that’s all at once unassuming yet exclusive: behind the unmarked Chinatown shop entrance lies a cocktail lounge that comfortably seats 60, with a cordoned off area called “The Office” that has its own sound system and access to bar staff.
What to order: World’s Fair (Bourbon, Popcorn, Fino Sherry, Lemon), which encapsulates the free-spirited fun of San Francisco in one glass.
Location: 28 Hongkong Street, Singapore
Following a series of cryptic signs leads you to the underground bar known as Operation Dagger. Here, head bartender Luke Whearty has created an intimate joint that focuses on creativity with a scientist’s approach and precision – a vsision made obvious through the Reagent bottles of sodium alginate, gelatin and malt dextrose that adorn the shelves.
What to order: Go for the Omakase set (SGD 150), which offers up to six different cocktails. If you want to try just one, take The Egg (salted egg yolk, star anise, cinnamon and hay smoke), which encapsulates the bar’s boldness and ability to surprise you in many ways.
Location: 7 Ann Siang Hill, Singapore
Anti:Dote shows you that hotel bars need not be sterile environments for business suits. Besides its top-notch drinks, the bar is also known for its innovative dishes, evidenced by being the winner of the Best Culinary Experience award at The Singapore Bar Awards 2016. The tea and tapas menu that features Asian-influenced European dishes like black truffle bao with braised veal cheek, Hokkaido scallop tartare, and beef bone marrow with wild rice.
What to order: The Tragedy of Tom Dooley (egg white, lavender syrup, lime juice, aperol, tequila) and Spice Road (Singleton 12 whisky, dry vermouth, honey syrup, black bitters, and mint)
Location: Level 1, 2 Stamford Rd, Fairmont Singapore, Singapore
Smoke & Mirrors
Being tucked away on the 6th floor of the National Gallery, this bar may take some effort to find but you’ll be glad when you finally arrive. A welcome contrast to the small and closed-off spaces that populate Keong Saik Road, Smoke & Mirrors has plenty of room to maneuver around (at least when not fully packed), with an open balcony to admire the view of Marina Bay Sands and the surrounding district.
What to order: Milo Haze (Milo tincture, Barbados 5 Year Rum, Italian Vermouth, Spanish Sherry) that’s served with a bit of theatre worthy of the bar’s name.
Location: #06-01 National Gallery 1 St., St Andrew’s Rd, Singapore
Jigger & Pony
Jigger & Pony is where you go to when all you want is a good drink in a warm and inviting space – which aren’t bywords for a boring uncle pub. Located in a former art gallery on Amoy Street, Jigger & Pony immediately relaxes you with its deep reds and yellows, rustic wood furniture and comfortable seats to sink into while you drink deep into your Martinis or New York Sours.
What to order: Little Red Dot (Tanqueray No. 10, lychee liqueur, Indian rosewater, raspberries and grapefruit juice), which was created to represent the diverse spirit of modern Singapore. (
Location: 101 Amoy Street, Singapore