Singapore is home to more world class cocktail bars per square mile than any city in the world. The city boasts half a dozen of the world’s top 100 bars, and the city’s dynamic, competitive cocktail and restaurant scene ensures new bars are constantly shaking things up. While the city takes some cues from major cocktail hubs like New York City and London, we noticed Singapore has a greater emphasis on novel concepts, lower proof cocktails, and unique ingredients. Like Tokyo, bars are lower volume and more personal, drinks take longer to prepare, and are generally less alcoholic. Bartenders at Singapore’s greatest bars are also generally very knowledgeable and creative.
Also, we like cocktail bars, not hip, rooftop, danceclub, free body shot blah blah blah bullshit. It was hard to whittle the list of our favorite spots down to 3, but here goes.
1. Manhattan Singapore
Manhattan sits on the second floor of the Regent Hotel, an imposing entrance of thick doors and lacquered black walls leads into the dimly lit, very modern whisky lounge. Black leather sofas and marbled tables line the walls, and light emanates from the glowing bar along the far wall. Slim young female waitstaff flicker around the black leather sofas, setting down complimentary cups of BBQ popcorn and taking orders.
The menu itself is an homage to New York City. Historical eras are separated out, starting from the pilgrim age and advancing to the modern age, and a list of drinks inspired by the era. Drinks lean toward the spirituous whisky side.
Hours: 12:00-24:00 Daily
Address: 1 Cuscaden Rd, Level 2 Regent Singapore, Singapore 249715
Tel: +65 6725 3377
2. Tippling Club
Cocktails are “out there” and quirky, with a clear molecular gastronomy bent, although some tastes can be jarring. Creative garnish and little pretense make for a unique bar. The layout is also open and airy, and feels inviting to walk in off the street.
Hours: 12:00-24:00 Monday to Friday, 18:00 to 24:00 Saturday
Address: 38 Tg Pagar Rd, Singapore 088461
Tel: +65 6396 4466
3. Atlas Singapore
That belongs in a museum!Indiana Jones, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
Indiana’s quote reverberated through my head during our trip to Atlas Singapore. It’s without a doubt the most beautiful bar we’d ever visited. They have a museum of 1,400 gins, but it feels a bit like drinking in a library.
We ordered the namesake Atlas martini much more “approachable” than most martinis I’ve tried, but not ridiculously sweet. The price for admission is steep, we found gins that retail for ~$30 per bottle were priced at between $18-20 USD per pour. There are some good deals on local gins, and the Singaporean Paper Lantern Gin is wonderful and different than anything we’d tried before.
Hours: 10:00-1:00 Monday to Thursday, Friday 10:00-2:00, Saturday 15:00-2AM, Closed Sunday
Address: 600 North Bridge Rd, Parkview Square, Singapore 188778
Tel: +65 6396 4466