When it comes to cocktail bars in Singapore, one can be spoilt for choice. The vibrant city knows how to turn it on for visitors and locals alike and impress on a world scale with two entries in the World’s 50 Best Bars for 2015.
Bartender and Drinks Consultant, Quynh Nguyen has spent time working in Singapore. We caught up with him to get for his recommendations for where to drink in Singapore including the best bars. From classic hotel cocktail bars to rooftop bars and al fresco imbibing, here is the ultimate guide to Singapore’s cool bars and cocktail scene.
Best Singapore Bars
Ah Sam Cold Drink Stall – an intimate bar in Boat Quay by bartender Sam Wong, formerly of Jigger & Pony. The bar serves classic and bespoke cocktails. Some drinks are built on Thai food flavours such as taking the essence of a Pad Thai and turning it into a cocktail.
Address: 60 Boat Quay, Singapore
28 Hongkong Street – you won’t find any signage at this American style cocktail bar in the heart of Singapore’s Chinatown. Currently sitting at no 7 in World’s Best Bars for 2015, 28HKS is a destination bar for some of the best drinks with a side of theatrics and American whiskey. And an industry bar for bartenders.
Address: 28 Hong Kong St, Singapore
Anti:dote at Fairmont – contemporary and sophisticated, this classic cocktail bar with an award winning team of bartenders is more about bespoke cocktails than specific spirit pours. Another perfect industry bar. You’ll find it within the Fairmont Hotel.
Address: Level 1, Fairmont Hotel, 2 Stamford Rd, Singapore
Bitters & Love – in the heart of Singapore’s CBD lies this hipster cocktail bar, with quirky drinks and a side of gimmickry. Their signature Kaya Toast Cocktail comes on a jar and a serving of the toast on top. A good time bar with loud music and lots of fun to be had.
Address: 118 Telok Ayer Street, Singapore
The Cufflink Club – a Singaporean institution started by Joel Fraser (ex Der Raum in Melbourne), one of the older cocktail bars with cheeky named drinks such as Jiak The Ripper with Barbie doll heads in ice cubes. Another good time cocktail bar where the fun rolls off to the streets.
Address: 6 Jiak Chuan Rd, Singapore
Drinks & Co – Drink & Co is a bottle shop with an impressive liquor collection where you’re invited to buy a bottle of spirits and mixers – cups and ice will be provided – and you can drink on the premises. The epitome of al fresco drinking with patrons spilling on to the street which is closed off on some days.
Address: 44 Club Street Singapore –
Employees Only Singapore – the Singapore branch of New York’s Employees Only, attributed to the revival of the craft cocktail movement.
Address: 112 Amoy St, Singapore
The Flagship – from the same group as Jigger & Pony, Sugarhall and Gibson, The Flagship is a whisky dive bar with over 100 expressions of whisky and a rotating cocktail list.
Address: 20 Bukit Pasoh Rd Singapore
Fresh! – a ’90s inspired bar in the Arab Street area serving Tiki cocktails and situated on the second floor of The Sultan hotel. Rumour has it that the bar was the Sultan’s harem with a staircase led to his bedroom.
Address: #02-01 The Sultan, 101 Jalan Sultan, Singapore
Gibson – another bar by the same group behind Jigger & Pony and Sugarhall, this cocktail bar has a focus on Martinis and naturally, the Gibson which is served with a side of pickled onion, smoked radish and quail’s egg.
Address: Level 2, 20 Bukit Pasoh Road, Singapore
Jigger and Pony – a classic cocktail bar whose name pays homage to the 19th-century, when cocktail recipes were listed in jiggers (45 ml) and ponies (30ml). Choose from spirit flights or cocktails listed under three columns, Classic, Vintage and Signature.
Address: 101 Amoy Street, Singapore
La Maison du Whisky Singapore – located near Jigger and Pony and Sugarhall, the Singaporean cousin of the French specialist of rare whiskies and spirits store has up to 750 whiskies and an intimate, Japanese speakeasy style bar for tasting.
Address: 80 Mohamed Sultan Road, #01-10 The Pier, Singapore
Long Bar at Raffles Hotel – home of the Singapore Sling, this is where the cocktail was created in 1915 by bartender Ngiam Tong Boon. Go there to enjoy the iconic drink, if you are a tourist, or for the sake of nostalgia.
Address: Raffles Hotel, 1 Beach Rd, Singapore
Loof – Singapore’s rooftop bar near Raffles offers Southeast Asian inspired cocktails and local flavours along with classics and bottled cocktails that include the Singapore Sling.
Address: 331 North Bridge Road, #03-07 Odeon Towers Extension Rooftop, Singapore
Lucha Loco – a Mexican bar/cantina offering good Mexican food, margaritas and a range of agave spirits and cocktails.
Address: 15 Duxton Hill, Singapore
Manhattan Bar – classic cocktail bar in the Regent Hotel (pictured above) with full table service and an entire room dedicated to barrel aged cocktails. Currently sits at no 35 in World’s Best Bars for 2015.
Address:Regent Hotel, Level 2, 1 Cuscaden Road, Singapore
Operation Dagger – created by Australian born Luke Whearty, this underground speakeasy is based on Prohibition style bars with no brands or labels on the bottles. This is the place to go for experimental cocktails. Often you won’t be told what spirit you’re having but it’s all about the flavour and the experience.
Address: 7 Ann Siang Hill, Singapore
Website: operationdagger.com www.facebook.com/operationdagger
The Rabbit Hole – located within the White Rabbit Restaurant, the Rabbit Hole is a specialty gin bar set in a lush garden setting with a focus on gin tonica.
Address: 39C Harding Rd, Singapore
Smoke and Mirrors – a rooftop bar located in the National Gallery in Singapore with sweeping view of the Padang and Marina Bay Sands. Cocktails are listed under Provenance, inspired by SE Asia, Collection, taking cue from art exhibits and Classics with a house touch.
Address: #06-01 National Gallery 1 St., St Andrew’s Rd, Singapore
The Spiffy Dapper – cafe by day and cocktail bar at night, the impressive line of up of spirits includes a large gin collection. Go for a chilled vibe and good drinks including the signature Sheik on the Level served in a silver cup.
Address: 2nd Floor, 73 Amoy St, Singapore
Sugarhall – as its name implies, Sugarhall is a rum bar with an extensive rum collection serving rum cocktails and punch bowls. Cocktails are split into Clear Spirits, Dark Spirits and Tropical, each listed with a flavour profile. Sugarhall has its own barrelled rum and bottling which also features on the cocktail list.
Address: 102 Amoy St, Singapore
Tanjong Beach Club – Sundays are an institution here at this Beach Club in Sentosa Island. Pina coladas, margaritas, beer buckets, DJ at sunset, beer pong and infinity pool. For a day bed, book at least 2 weeks in advance.
Address: 120 Tanjong Beach Walk, Sentosa Island
Tess Bar and Kitchen – located across the road from Raffles, the cocktail bar by award-winning bartender, Steve Leong offers modern classics along with bespoke cocktails well worth your visit.
Address: 38 Seah St, Singapore
Tippling Club – it’s about experimentation and presenting an experience with cocktails. The list is charted in profiles from sweet to bitter, dry to fruity and sour to smoky, and makes use of creative ingredients that are complementary to the dining room.
Address: 38 Tanjong Pagar Rd, Singapore
— This article will be updated when new bars are added.
Photo Credit: Supplied