If you're serious about your cocktails, you have to try Old Man Singapore | Best cocktail bars in Singapore
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Photography: Old Man Singapore

Iconic cocktails with a local twist, tipples with the craziest ingredients or creations by renowned bartenders – you’ll find ‘em at one of these cocktail bars in Singapore.

Singapore’s dynamic nightlife scene is bursting at the seams with high-voltage nightclubs, numerous ladies night deals – hell, even mocktails to ‘drink when you’re not drinking’. But if you’re borderline snobbish about your martini, G&T, or negroni then you’ve come to the right place. From whiskey watering holes, the most underrated speakeasies and recipients of Asia’s 50 Best Bars, you’ll find the perfect place for your drinking needs within this thorough guide to the best cocktails in Singapore. Cheers to that!

Old Man

Now that the original bar in Hong Kong has topped Asia’s 50 Best Bars list, there’s no excuse to delay your visit. Nine devilishly good cocktails make up the menu at The Old Man Singapore – inspired by Ernest Hemingway’s work, but with an Asian twist. Sip on drinks like The Sun Also Rises – an Asian Negroni concocted with coconut oil fat-washed applejack, curry leaf infused gin, sweet vermouth sous-vide pandan leaves and kaffir lime. Or try The Snows of Kilimanjaro, a boozy take on Yakult spiked with marshmallow gin, lacto-fermented raspberry, citrus, and topped with gruyere cheese. Intrigued? We’ll be back for more – and the fact that all cocktails are priced at just $17++.
The Old Man Singapore, #01-04, 55 Keong Saik Road, Singapore 089158

BeGin

Begin | Hot New Bars February 2019
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This speakeasy takes you on a (gin) journey. Photography: Nicole Nithiyah

Let the drinks (and gin puns) BeGin. Hidden upstairs the English pub Penny Black on Boat Quay, it might be easy to miss BeGin at first glance – a testament to a good speakeasy amirite? Once you do spot it (follow the pink neon light sign that says ‘gin this way’) be transported to an industrial-esque space from Britain’s Industrial Revolution and the gin craze in the 1700s. Expect exposed brick walls, concrete floor, retro high stools and old-school tools used as decor. The drinks menu is filled with British-Indian-inspired tipples, theatrical cocktails and over 50 gins from around the globe. House creations like the spice-heavy Jagmohan to the fragrant Lavender will take you on a multi-sensory ride. If you’re feeling peckish, Samboo-sa pasties (tandoori chicken masala curry puffs) and the Nacho Del Goa (prawns and papadum bites) pack a punch.
BeGin, 27a Boat Quay, The Penny Black Upstairs, Singapore 049817

Tippling Club

We all need a fancy-schmancy night out every now and then – one of the firsts dinner spots that come to mind is Tippling Club. As for the drinks, the progressive cocktail menu is inspired by perfumes. So expect a multi-sensorial experience that engages all your senses. Samples of spiked gummy bears are given to you before you decide on your tipple for the night. How fun!
Tippling Club, 38 Tanjong Pagar Road, Singapore 088461

IB HQ

IB HQ | Singapore's best cocktail bars
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Photography: IB HQ via Instagram

This speakeasy-like situation adds a Southeast Asian twist to the menu, whipping out mind-blowing infusions made in-house. Don’t believe us? Try the Maharaja, made with curry gin (flavour explosion guaranteed!) for yourself. The Painapuru is very much a drinkable dessert with a great combination of matcha gin, chocolate vodka, pineapple, Kochi citrus and Gomme.
IB HQ, 774A North Bridge Road, Singapore 198742

The Powder Room at Black Swan

The Powder Room | Singapore's best cocktail bars in Singapore
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Photography: The Powder Room

If you’re a fan of Black Swan’s Art Deco-styled interior, make haste to its cocktail bar, The Powder Room. The bar will transport you back to the hedonistic days of the 1920s with glitter, gold, slick leather seats and polished marble surfaces, and of course a plethora of snazzy cocktails. Grab a special someone and sip on exquisite cocktails like the Bubble Yum or the Flirty flapper while taking in the romance oozing from the live jazz bands that play here.
The Powder Room, Black Swan 19 Cecil Street, Singapore 049704.  

NATIVE

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Feeling antsy? Photography: NATIVE

Vijay Mudaliar is the audacious fellow behind NATIVE and its creations, all stemming from his focus on foraging from his surroundings. Vijay’s cocktails boast identities close to home – take the Geylang-inspired Red Light District that uses the Southeast Asian medicinal root, tongkat ali; or the Pineapple Arrack that’s derived from coconut flower sap aged in Sri Lankan wood. Oh, did we mention? There’s also a cocktail here with edible ants in it. Brave enough to try it?
NATIVE, 52A Amoy Street, Singapore 069878

Lulu’s Lounge

LuLu's Lounge | Best cocktail bars in Singapore
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Photography: LuLu’s Lounge

Based on a fictional, salacious protagonist from 1960s New York, Lulu’s Lounge is the brainchild of Joshua and Sarissa Schwartz, the power couple behind Employees Only Singapore. The new bar and live music venue boasts an aesthetic that’s part-suave, part-grimy – you’ll spot sleek couches oozing class and charm, as well as raw brick walls tainted by graffiti and ultraviolet scribbles. You’ll definitely be spoilt for choice with bartenders’ Tertius Wharton and Julyan Phillips’ cocktail selections too; try the Cherry Red Lace, Loosen Mai Tai or the Slip of the Tipple that’s even garnished with nipple pasties.
Lulu’s Lounge, Pan Pacific Hotel, Singapore, 7 Raffles Boulevard, Singapore 039595

Flying Monkey

Flying Monkey crafts cocktails with an Indian twist
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Photography: Flying Monkey

There was a lot to take in when we first heard of this bar on Bussorah street. Contemporary Indian? Tapas? Cocktails? There really aren’t many serious Indian restaurants in Singapore with focused bar programs. That’s where Flying Monkey distinguishes itself. The bar menu, put together by Head Bartender Kannan (also known as “The Beard”), features Indian-inflected cocktails like an Old Fashioned with King’s ginger and jaggery syrup. For something more exotic, try the The West Indian. This spicy, refreshing cocktail features a base of coconut water and Plantation 3 Stars White Rum, yellow chartreuse, fresh lemon juice, and ground cardamom.
Flying Monkey, 67 Bussorah Street, Singapore 199480

Bar Stories

Bar Stories is a hole-in-the-wall bar at Haji Lane
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Photography: Bar Stories via Facebook

Bar Stories is one of those blink-and-you’ll-miss-it cocktail bars located at the lively Haji Lane. Shared with Scaled by Ah Hua Kelong – a farm-to-table restaurant that uses produce from local seafood markets – Bar Stories is one of the first bespoke cocktail bars to open in Singapore. There’s no menu here and every drink is specially made for your palette. Also, the bartenders do not skim on presentation! Not sure what to get? Just ask the friendly bartenders and they’ll whip up the perfect tipple for you. Oh, and while you’re there, you have to try the curry mussels from Scaled by Ah Hua Kelong. Tip: order extra mantou!
Bar Stories, 55/57A Haji Lane, Singapore, Singapore 189248
Bar Stories, 55/57A Haji Lane, Singapore, Singapore 189248

Cin Cin

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Signature gin cocktails include the Dr. Earl Potion and the Earlgroni. Photography: Cin Cin

Oasia Hotel Downtown Singapore is already stunning as an architectural wonder, but just wait ’til you hop into its gorgeous ground floor bar! Adorned throughout with debonair emerald hues and gold, metallic accents, Cin Cin evokes a nostalgic trip into the past with its Prohibition Era theme. Gin is this headquarters’ specialty, so arm your appetites for DIY martinis, negronis, and other bespoke cocktails like the DR. Earl Potion. Check out our review, where we toasted “cin cin!” to this ritzy city bar.
Cin Cin, #01-02 Oasia Hotel Downtown Singapore, 100 Peck Seah Street, Singapore 079333

ATLAS

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The gin tower at ATLAS boasts close to a thousand labels of gin. Photography: ATLAS

The Art Deco- and almost Gotham City-esque exterior of Parkview Square makes it one of Singapore’s most spectacular buildings, and its new gin-focused lobby bar is an extension of that theme. Taking inspiration from the Roaring Twenties, Atlas Bar aims to be a luxurious interpretation of the grand European lobby bars of the Art Deco age. The open atrium-style bar offers masterfully crafted cocktails (by its Master of Gin, Jason Williams), as well as what is perhaps Singapore’s largest gin collection – Atlas already features 950 labels of gin, and it’s set to grow… in its magnificent gin tower, no less! If you’re feeling peckish, the refreshed menu serves up one of the best lobster rolls we’ve ever had!
ATLAS, Parkview Square, 600 North Bridge Road, Singapore 188778

The Other Room

Can you find this speakeasy?
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Photography: The Other Room

“Speakeasy” is a description thrown around a lot these days, but The Other Room is probably one of the few bars we’ve found that are really hidden away, with only the scantest online presence. This “drinking house for the discerning” offers expertly crafted cocktails that pay homage to classic drinks while adding contemporary twists. Holding court behind the bar is Master Bartender Dario Knox, previously of FOC; we got to learn more about his craft in our full feature.
The Other Room, 320 Orchard Road, #01-05 Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel, 238865

Le Binchotan

Eastern and Western influences come together in meticulously crafted cocktails in this addition to Amoy Street’s bustling bar scene. Hungry? Not to worry, Le Binchotan also offers izakaya-style dishes that marry Japanese ingredients with French culinary techniques. Find out more.
Le Binchotan, 115 Amoy Street #01-04 (Entrance via Gemmill Lane), Singapore 069935

Employees Only Singapore

In a nutshell, expect a bespoke cocktail experience worthy of the “4th Best Bar In The World” accolade, with an ambience that’s neither stuffy nor exclusive. Split up into apertifs, cocktails and long drinks, the menu uses regional ingredients like pineapple, ginger, pandan, kaffir lime, coconut and five spice. And don’t even get us started on the bites! We have been stoked for this a long time.
Employees Only Singapore, 112 Amoy Street, Singapore 069932

Smoke & Mirrors

Smoke and Mirrors debuts a refreshed cocktail menu with Jorge Conde
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The Dali’s Self Portrait. Photography: Smoke & Mirrors

This bar atop the National Gallery oozes sophistication with its skyline view overlooking The Padang, The Esplanade and the Marina Bay Sands. And just as impressive is its modern decor with warm wood and metal accents. Grab a seat by the balcony, and take in the view while sipping creative, almost magical concoctions by Head Bartender, Jorge Conde, like The Japanese Gang is Still Alive, concocted with fat-washed black sesame and black rice with butter and whisky and topped with a frothy rice vinegar and aquafaba (brine from legumes), and the potent La Fumata Bianca, a twist on the Negroni.
Smoke & Mirrors, #06-01 National Gallery Singapore, 1 St. Andrew’s Road, Singapore 178957

Lime House Caribbean

Bago (via Facebook)
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Photography: Lime House Caribbean via Facebook

Living here, you’re probably well accustomed to island life by now, but how cushy are you with Caribbean culture? Broaden your horizons (and your repertoire of tipple conquests) at this vibrant rum lounge at Lime House Caribbean. Honouring the traditions of Tobago – hence, its name – the place urges you to adopt the spirit of “liming”, the art of doing nothing but having a good time. Sign us up! The colonial-decor lounge appeases with an appetising side of fish goujans and a glass of Rum Old Fashioned, which is a dark mix made with white rum and lime angostura bitters. Or if fruity bubblies are more your thing, the Kingston gives a smooth hint of tangy orange but ends with a heady finish.
Lime House Caribbean, Level 2, 2 Jiak Chuan Road, Singapore 089260

Hopscotch

Hopscotch (via Facebook)
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Hopscotch (via Facebook)

Prefer quirky to classic? Head down to this delightfully kitschy little bar tucked away in the Red Dot Traffic Building – one of our favourite buildings in Singapore. Pick from an incredible variety of absolutely zany Singaporean-inspired cocktail offerings, from bandung shots and boozy takes on Malay kueh, to an alcoholic rendition of chicken soup.
Hopscotch, 45 Malan Road, Singapore 109455

Gibson

Gibson has won accolades for being one of the best bars in Singapore
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Photography: Gibson via Facebook

While the gold-accented interior may insinuate upmarket, a tipsy trip to Gibson is far from a formal, stuffy bar experience. The award-winning Gibson prides itself on its wide selection of potent tipples in its drinks menu, pleasing even the most discerning drinker. Cocktails aside, Gibson also lets you enjoy a modest selection of raw seafood dishes like the scallop crudo.
Gibson Bar, Level 2, 20 Bukit Pasoh Road, Singapore 089832

The Flagship

Happy Hour deals Singapore | The Flagship
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Photography: The Flagship

Not everyone is a fan of fancy-schmancy bars, so if you’ve got a date who’ll pick tattered jeans and a leather jacket over a cocktail dress and heels, here’s a spot that’s sure to impress. While no longer as grungy, the newly revamped Flagship offers a more intimate setting with cushy booth seats while retaining its classic rock, hip-hop and alternative soundtrack. Treat yourself and your date to a fine dram of whisky or, instead, sample some of their whisky cocktails like the Redemption Rye that pairs fresh apple juice with dry rye.
The Flagship, 20 Bukit Pasoh Road, Singapore 089834

Oxwell & Co

A popular gastropub that’s a stalwart of Ann Siang, Oxwell & Co has more than just your Sunday roast. Kick back and enjoy a couple of quirky cocktails at this breezy rooftop bar – it serves refreshing drinks like Bathtime (a sharing tub of tipple) and the Clover Club Street that features botanical elements from the bar’s own herb garden.
Oxwell & Co., 5 Ann Siang Road, Singapore 069688

Jigger & Pony

A deconstructed Negroni? Only at Jigger & Pony
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Photography: Jigger & Pony

Skilful, attentive, and extremely creative, the bartenders at Jigger & Pony concoct some of the best bespoke cocktails in town. With over 25 cocktails on the menu, no two (or three or four) visits are ever the same! Jigger & Pony’s Old Fashioned gives a subtle fruity twist as your swirl the colourful citrus wheel around. Sip on trendy signatures such as the Madame President (pictured above), a deconstructed Negroni with a Campari lollipop. Yum!
Jigger & Pony, Lobby Level, Amara Singapore, 165 Tanjong Pagar Road, Singapore 088539

Jekyll & Hyde

Jekyll & Hyde's refreshed menu is another reason why it's the best cocktail bar in Singapore
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Jekyll & Hyde’s refreshed menu is another reason why it’s the best cocktail bar in Singapore. Photography: Jekyll & Hyde

Jekyll & Hyde is a bespoke bar, so yes, you can order whatever you want. But one look at the refreshed menu and you’d stick to those instead. Try Raisin’ the Bar, a full-bodied tipple mixed with raisin infused bourbon, PX Sherry, Fernet Branca, chocolate bitters and topped with a white chocolate bar. The Popikuru is perfect for yuzu lovers but the star of the show has to go to Mr Bean, served in your usual tau huay bowl but spiked with Frangelico, butterscotch liqueur and vodka. Brownie points to the beautiful presentations – definitely worth spending a few seconds taking a shot for Instagram.
Jekyll & Hyde, 49 Tras Street, Singapore 078988

Operation Dagger

Operation Dagger (via Facebook)
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Photography: Operation Dagger via Facebook

Situated in the basement of an unassuming shophouse (look out for the glass door stamped with a curious rectangle and upside-down crown motif to enter), this cubbyhole of a speakeasy is led by Oxwell & Co’s Luke Whearty and offers a tightly curated menu of experimental concoctions, like the ingenious Man vs. Pig, made with jamon de bellota, rock melon, red wine vinegar, hazelnut. Or if you can’t make up your mind, order the omakase, which comes with six different cocktails and some bar snacks.
Operation Dagger, 7 Ann Siang Hill, #B1-01, Singapore 069791

Maison Ikkoku

Both a café and a cocktail bar, Maison Ikkoku is where you will find all the trendiest peeps. Owned by Ethan Leslie Leong – the creator of Asia’s most expensive cocktail “The Jewel of Pangaea” (it was $35k a glass!) – you can bet your bottom dollar any concoction’s gonna be uh-mazing. Go loco for coco with their impressive chocolate flambé-tini that’s served with toasted marshmallow and cookie roll.
Maison Ikkoku, 20 Kandahar Street, Singapore 198885

28 Hong Kong Street

Sans PR fanfare and signage out front, 28 Hong Kong Street is notorious for snubbing the system in the most radical way when it first opened its doors. The place screams privacy and quiet with the non-descript entrance, but once inside, it’s safe to be social with a group of friends! The best part for tippleholics is the larger standard shot served here (as compared to the usual 30ml). Cocktails are also priced reasonably at $15-22. Reservations are required; tables get snapped up faster than free ice cream – no kidding.
28 Hong Kong Street, 28 Hong Kong Street, Singapore 059667

Neon Pigeon

Neon Pigeon | Singapore's best cocktail bars
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Photography: Neon Pigeon via Facebook

From the graffiti murals on the walls to the quirky ninja cocktail “cups” from the bar and the industrial-style, dark wood-fitted space, everything about this spot’s pretty darn hip. On the menu are Japanese small-plates like edemame hummus, cucumber-goma salar, tuna tartare and baos with bone marrow. In addition to these small dishes, dubbed “birdfeed”, Neon Pigeon also whips up some killer cocktails. Its bar program has been growing dramatically with major bartenders like Symphony Loo and Sam Wong, so don’t be afraid to challenge them to whip you up a unique bespoke cocktail.
Neon Pigeon, #01-03, 1 Keong Saik Street, Singapore 089109

Bitters & Love

Bitters & Love (via Facebook)
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Photography: Bitters & Love via Facebook

You can throw out the menu because the boys at Bitters & Love will concoct something from the drink profile you provide. One drink they do really well is the kaya (coconut jam) toast cocktail, presented with bread and a dollop of kaya on top. Plus, a whimsical food menu makes sure you’re never hungry at this place, ever.
Bitters & Love, 118 Telok Ayer Street, Singapore 068587

Anti:dote

Anti:dote’s selection of cleverly concocted cocktails would appeal to even the most discerning. Combining the artistry of classic cocktail-making with modern mixology, head craftsman, Tom Hogan, uses only premium spirits, house-made bitters and liqueurs, and herbs from the hotel’s very own herb garden.
Anti:dote, Level 1 Fairmont Singapore, 80 Bras Basah Road, Singapore 189560

Martini Bar at Mezza9

Mezza9 (via Facebook)
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Photography: Mezza9 via Facebook

Offering over 50 different signature martinis, this swanky bar never fails to give us a case of decidophobia whenever we’re there – we just end up telling them to surprise us! But if you prefer ordering straight from the menu, we recommend ordering the refreshing Botanical martini – a tantalising blend of Effen Vodka, Domaine de Canton Frence ginger liqueur, zesty lemon juice, fresh cucumber, and rosemary leaves.
Martini Bar, Mezza9, Mezzanine Level, Grand Hyatt Singapore, 10 Scotts Road, Singapore 228211

Shin Gi Tai

Shin Gi Tai (via Facebook)
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Photography: Shin Gi Tai via Facebook

When we heard Jigger and Pony’s ex-bartender was opening Shin Gi Tai, we knew we had to support. Known for his creative concoctions, Anthony Zhong will take taste buds for a ride. The Japanese bar also has a list of unique drinks including a Hot Peanut Butter Rum with brown butter puree.
Shin Gi Tai, 179A Telok Ayer St Singapore 068627

Tess Bar & Kitchen

Over here, you can savour an award-winning bak kut teh-inspired Tanqueray No. 10 cocktail along with other creative concoctions. The bar also aims to be a platform for its team of young Asian mixologists to experiment and hone their craft, so you can expect nothing short of a casual, welcoming, and highly interactive experience.
Tess Bar & Kitchen, 38 Seah Street, Singapore 188394

Nutmeg & Clove

Nutmeg & Clove | Singapore's best cocktail bars
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Photography: Nutmeg & Clove

Oozing old-world Oriental glamour, the bar is adept at revitalising the traditional use of Asian herbs and spices, and introducing fresh flavour pairings to the discerning drinker. One of their most popular drinks, the Golden Dawn, is a Tanqueray gin-based cocktail with Chinese hawthorn and red jujube shrub.
Nutmeg & Clove, 10 Ann Siang Road, Singapore 069697

Manhattan Bar

Manhattan Bar (via Facebook)
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Photography: Manhattan Bar via Facebook

Regent Hotel’s luxurious bar offers up a slice of 19th-century New York. Check out the world’s first in-hotel rickhouse – a workshop space featuring over 100 American oak barrels of imported whisky for experimentation. Manhattan also has a collection of unusual ingredients like wildcherry bark and shisandra berries – and an amazing boozy Sunday brunch. And, if you’re savvy with your bar buzz, you’ll also know that Manhattan was voted the third best bar in the world back in 2018.
Manhattan, Regent Hotel, 2nd Floor, 1 Cuscaden Rd, Singapore 249715

Ah Sam Cold Drink Stall

This is not your regular kopitiam drink stall; it’s a cosy bespoke cocktail bar opened by former Jigger & Pony bartender, Sam Wong. The lack of a menu means you have free reign to order anything you want, although we recommend trying Ah Sam’s unique cocktails that incorporate local flavours like soya bean milk, Milo, and chin chow.
Ah Sam Cold Drink Stall, 60A Boat Quay, Singpaore 049848

The Secret Mermaid

The Secret Mermaid | Cocktail bars in Singapore
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Photography: The Secret Mermaid via Facebook

Operating as Japanese salad bar Shinkansen by day, The Secret Mermaid unveils its tail upon nightfall. It’s easy to miss this speakeasy 16-seater bar, especially with its lack of signage, but keep your ears peeled for groovy beats, chatter, and distinctive clanking of glasses, and you’ll know you’re in the right place. Bar owner Howard Lo (who also owns Standing Sushi Bar and Tanuki Raw) prefers to describe The Secret Mermaid as a tasting room, where guests can savour over 45 spirits in its booze library, most of which comes from small-batch distillery with names almost unheard of. Opt for their tasting flight or signature cocktails like the Schizophrenic Apple and Moonshine My Lo.
The Secret Mermaid (Shinkansen by day), B1-08, Ocean Financial Centre, 10 Collyer Quay, Singapore 049315

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