From hidden speakeasies to an unforgettable space that’ll make you feel like a character in The Great Gatsby, Singapore’s award-winning watering holes certainly raise the bar for cocktail connoisseurs.
Here are 11 establishments that have been featured on Asia’s 50 Best Bars List 2020.
Singapore’s Best Bars— Asia’s 50 Best Bars 2020
Jigger and Pony
2020’s Ranking: 1
Making it to the top of Asia’s 50 Best Bars List is homegrown cocktail bar Jigger and Pony. The establishment’s name pays tribute to the art of concocting cocktails, which employed measuring devices known as “jiggers” or “ponies” back in the day.
Despite its hat tip to tradition, you’ll find plenty of innovation here, including various reinterpretations of classic cocktails. Peruse their beautifully-designed menu (made to look like a lifestyle magazine) to discover subtle new twists on favourites like The Old Fashioned.
Amara Singapore. 165 Tanjong Pagar Road, Singapore 088539. +65 6223 9101.
Mon-Thu 6pm-1am, Fri & Sat, 6pm-3am.
2020’s Ranking: 5
If Jay Gatsby owned a watering hole, it’d probably look like Atlas. Decked out with gold-plated statues and a 15-metre-tall Gin Tower—as high as three storeys—this bar holds the largest number of gins in the world.
With over 1,000 bottles on display and a champagne cellar to boot, visitors are certain to gain a deeper appreciation for the subtleties of alcohol.
Parkview Square. 600 North Bridge Road, Singapore 188778. +65 6396 4466.
Mon–Fri 10am–10.30pm; Sat noon–10.30pm.
2020’s Ranking: 6
Helmed by the inimitable bartender Vijay Mudaliar, Native will take your taste buds on a tour of Asia. Its string of ingenious cocktails are crafted with ingredients and alcohol from the region.
Be sure to sample The Peranakan. Inspired by nonya* cuisine, it’s created with Indian rum and ingredients like laksa leaves, dried pandan (a tropical plant commonly used in Southeast Asian cooking) and gula melaka (palm sugar).
Native. 52A Amoy Street, Singapore 069878. +65 8869 6520.
Mon–Fri 5–10.30pm; Sat & Sun 4-10.30pm.
*Nonya cuisine is also known as Peranakan (meaning "local born") cuisine. The cuisine comes from people of mixed Chinese and Malay/Indonesian heritage.
2020's Ranking: 8
Manhattan is an opulent establishment located on the second floor of the Regent Singapore. The décor hearkens back to 19th-century New York, and its tipples are like time capsules containing storied memories of the past.
The cocktails served here are inspired by significant epochs in New York’s history, and will take you on a gustatory trip back in time. Scarface, for example, is a mezcal-and-fernet-based cocktail that boasts a smoky aftertaste. Its creation was inspired by the gangsters of New York City during the Roaring Twenties.
Regent Singapore. 1 Cuscaden Road Level 2, Singapore 249715. +65 6725 3377.
Tue–Sat 5–10.30pm; Sun noon–3pm.
2020’s Ranking: 17
With hanging bottles and abstract expressionist art adorning its walls, this whimsical space boasts an equally charming menu.
The establishment’s ‘Sensorium’ menu employs uniquely-flavoured gummy bears to enhance your drinking experience. There are 12 flavours altogether and the wildest one is ‘Supercar’—with flavours reminiscent of leather, smoke and ‘petrol’ (don’t worry, it’s perfectly safe to consume). Share the experience with fellow connoisseurs and revel in new connections.
Tippling Club. 38 Tanjong Pagar Road, Singapore 088461. +65 6475 2217.
Tue–Sat 4-10.30pm; Sun noon–9pm.
The Old Man Singapore
2020’s ranking: 22
A bar that pays homage to legendary American writer Ernest Hemingway, The Old Man Singapore pairs warm hospitality with unforgettable cocktails, each named after one of Ernest Hemingway’s works of writing.
You don’t have to be a literary aficionado to appreciate the mastery of craft that goes into each of the bar’s cocktails. Islands in the Stream is a refreshing concoction made with clarified pink grapefruit and salted gin, while Death in the Afternoon pairs absinthe and sparkling wine with yoghurt.
The Old Man Singapore. 55 Keong Saik Road #01-04, Singapore 089158. +65 69909 5505.
2020’s ranking: 23
Offering up customised cocktails and rare whiskies, D.Bespoke beckons guests with their Ginza-style bar seats and sepia-hued leather sofas. The establishment is helmed by Daiki Kanetaka, a bartender who believes that cocktails should be as perfectly tailored to a customer as a Saville Row suit, and whose philosophy infuses the bespoke cocktails served here.
Guests begin their pampering experience with a hot towel and Japanese tea, before being invited to an elaborate performance showcasing how their chosen cocktails are concocted.
D.Bespoke. 2 Bukit Pasoh Road, Singapore 089816. +65 8141 5741.
2020’s ranking: 25
A sophisticated speakeasy housed within a conserved Chinese clan building, Gibson is a great place to have conversations with other alcohol aficionados.
While this establishment takes its name from a classic cocktail, you’ll find plenty of quirkiness on the menu—their signature cocktail is served with a small tray of condiments like pickled onions and a quail egg to enhance its flavour.
Gibson. 20 Bukit Pasoh Road, 2nd Floor, Singapore 089834. +65 9114 8385.
Party in a pioneering cocktail bar
28 HongKong Street
2020’s ranking: 30
One of the first watering holes in Singapore to pioneer the hidden bar concept, 28 HongKong Street remains one of the city’s most-beloved places to grab a tipple.
Visitors to this elusive gem will find unpretentious, American-style bar food, stellar service and amazing cocktails with cheeky, pop culture-inspired names like Fernet About Dre—made with Fernet Branca, rum, cacao and orange bitters—and The Real Slim Shandy, which features ingredients like vodka, grappa and ginger honey. Hunt for this hidden establishment with your friends, and you’re bound to be well rewarded.
28 HongKong Street. 28 Hong Kong Street, Singapore 059667.
Mon–Thu 6pm–2am; Fri & Sat 6pm–3am.
Nutmeg and Clove
2020’s ranking: 32
Housed on the 2nd floor of a traditional Chinese shophouse, Nutmeg and Clove is a charming establishment that will transport you back to yesteryear.
The bar’s interior is decorated with artwork and furniture that hearken to the 1960s, while its drinks are inspired by the Lion City’s ethnic cultures.
Sample the ‘Bloody Crabs’—a riff on the classic Bloody Mary that incorporates the taste of chilli crab—or order the ‘Auntie Sugee’, an Old Fashioned cocktail that evokes the flavours of Eurasian sugee cake with cognac fat-washed in almond butter.
Nutmeg and Clove. 10A Ann Siang Hill, Singapore 069789. +65 9389 9301.
Mon-Thu & Sat 6pm-1am; Fri 6pm-2am.
2020’s ranking: 46
If you’re looking for a tipple with a view of our city’s gorgeous skyline, look no further than MO Bar, Singapore’s latest addition to the Asia’s 50 Best Bars List 2020.
Located on the 4th floor of the Mandarin Oriental, this establishment serves up drinks inspired by the culture of countries around the Pacific Ocean.
Indulge in a glass of ‘Harvest Queen’ – made with Agricole rum, apple and guava – or delight in ‘The Oriental’, created with Pandan whiskey, sweet mango and coconut.
Mandarin Oriental. 5 Raffles Avenue Level 4, Singapore 039797. +65 6885 3500.
Mon-Fri 5-11pm; Sat & Sun noon-11pm.