BEST COCKTAIL BARS IN SINGAPORE
If you love gin and the opulence of Art Deco, you’ll like Atlas. Currently 23th on the World’s 50 Best Bars list, Atlas is where the world’s largest gin collection resides (this goes as far as gins from Brazil and Peru); behind a three-story-tall gin tower of carved wooden columns.
Transport back to the 20th century with Atlas’s Simple Pleasures Menu with four classic cocktails : Champagne Cocktail, Martini, Sour and Old Fashioned. Hope on the Horizon, a flowery non-alcoholic Champagne cocktail flavoured with kombucha and yuzu to simulate its flavours. Montgomery is a martini variation with mint tea-infused vodka, dry vermouth, and absinthe, served with olive oil caviar. Yana, the head bartender, suggests drinking the martini without the caviar first to experience the texture difference. Try the creamy and dulcet Sour, Ode to Odyssey, which was formed with Australian shiraz gin, clarified milk, toasted raisin-cinnamon syrup, and AER, that leaves a distinct mouthfeel. Get The Valley of Ashes for a strong and stiff drink with a chocolate tuile garnish for sweetness. So, peruse the illustrated menu of “Simple Pleasures,” and enjoy your drinking experience.
600 North Bridge Road
Tel: +65 6396 4466
From the team behind Sago House, Low Tide and Ghostwriter, we have Underdog Inn, a New York-style tavern with comfy banquettes and eclectic art. Tucked away in the back alley of Amoy Street, it is every city slicker’s dark, warm bunker that delights in delicious cocktails, nose-to-tail fire-only feasting and counterculture, which is encapsulated best by the drinks menu. It reads like a comic book and illustrates the rise of hip hop in New York—a fun distraction if a date is running late—but what’s more fun is its host of imaginative cocktails, even if they come on tap.
115 Amoy St,
Tel: +65 9699 4829
Republic Bar at The Ritz may have cruelly taken away their famous Irish coffee (it was a riff but it was still very good), but consider them redeemed with their latest selection of cocktails. The bar’s Volume 2 menu draws inspiration from influential hallmarks of ’60s pop culture, art, cinema, fashion and music. Georgette, a delicious gin-based clarified soy milk punch with notes of lychee, is an ode to Georgette Chen, a local modern artist best known for her oil paintings and contributions to art education. Mondrian, on the other hand, is a fashionably abstract shaken cocktail of gin, apple, cinnamon and egg white—it harks back to Yves Saint Laurent’s haute couture dress—though if you much prefer the idea of trench coats and tuxedos, get the Smoking Suit. Made with vodka, Lapsang Souchong and Islay whisky (for obvious reasons), it is headier and hopefully as smokin’ as you in a tux.
7 Raffles Avenue,
Tel: +65 6434 5289
Las Palmas Rooftop Bar
Las Palmas may be the Novena neighbourhood’s best bar for a solid cocktail and great views. Out of the 22 drinks, there’s always something worthwhile, and strong, at that. The Silver Piña adds a real kick of yellow chartreuse and nutmeg to the classic piña colada, while the LA Confidential is what you want if you love Venezuelan rum, sherry and chocolate. Even if you want something off the menu, don’t be afraid to ask. The bartender’s prowess will be a nice surprise, though much less can be said of the food, at least for now. So come here on a padded stomach and be prepared to leave intoxicated, not just by the drinks, but also by the views.
99 Irrawaddy Road,
Level 33 Courtyard Marriott Singapore,
Tel: +65 6378 0303
Anyone who loves a good, understated speakeasy should experience D.Bespoke. Settle into one of the large, stylish armchairs lined along a long bar, and revel in the attention to detail of Daiki Kanetaka, the owner-head bartender who will make you the perfect cocktail. That’s as long as you enjoy a true classic with few riffs and the hushed reverence of the space. Done in similar fashion to the speakeasies of Ginza, there is no menu, and your taste preferences will be discussed with an apprentice before being handed off to Kanetaka. The bar also specialises in sherry, Armagnac and rare rums, so if you’d like to enjoy a spirit on its own, there will be plenty to pick from.
2 Bukit Pasoh Road
Tel: +65 8141 5741
The risqué world of Barood is a gripping one. Set in the moorish period of 1960s Paris, this Japanese-Indian izakaya sets the perfect stage for a raspy night out. With sensual beats, intimate mood lights and deep shades of plum saturating the room, Barood’s convivial atmosphere compels you to unwind with a date or with friends without inhibitions.
Barood’s menu of exotically innovative tapas more than holds their own when pitted against their spirit collection of over 200 labels. Look forward to Mini Duck Pancakes with a piquant tomato chutney, and The Balls of Barood, chicken meatballs coated in a sweet-spicy Manchurian sauce. Without doubt, however, one of the most delightful items on the menu is the Lobster Taco laced with smoked chillies and lime crema. It creates a first bite that’s quite frankly something else.
Your visit won’t be complete without having a gander at one of their signature cocktails. The mixologists settled behind Barood’s black-clad bar will always have a rotating selection of carefully thought through concoctions like the tangy Tropical Skin or the inventive Sweet Assassin made by blending spices like saron, dried fruit, herbs, nuts and seeds with clarified butter, milk and sugar before they are distilled into a spirit.
56A Tras Street
Fun and dance are the order of the day at Lil’ Tiger, a hidden gem tucked away at Robertson Walk. One of the best bars in the area, revellers are swept into the spirit of the ‘70s, an era that unleashed the magic of disco and the jubilance and freedom that came along with it. Sip playful cocktails under a disco ball in good company. While you can’t go wrong with a classic espresso martini or negroni, we recommend ordering from the disco-inspired menu instead. The Ring My Bell is easy to like if you love gin, amaro, Suze and egg white, and the boozy Last Dance (whisky, cherry liqueur, vermouth and absinthe) is perfect especially if you’ve had a long, hard day. Equally delicious is the food, which reflects the easy-going nature of the bar. Think juicy grilled Corn Elote topped with Mexican cotija cheese, Shrimp Tacos and the fail-safe Classic Cheeseburger, made with Black Angus, caramelised onion and marmite mayonnaise.
Robb Tip: Enjoy happy hour from 4pm to 7pm, when martinis and select cocktails go for S$9. Stay on and if you’re lucky, DJs like Hookstyle and KFC could make an appearance.
11 Unity St
Tel: +65 8884 6445
With freedom in the air again (three cheers to Singapore lifting most of its pandemic restrictions), our nights now mostly end in a disorienting experience of fumbling and stumbling, for obvious reasons. So make it count. Find a good bar worthy of your time and drink to your heart’s content, such as Sugarhall. Resurfacing from its good old days at Amoy Street is everyone’s favourite rum room, a safe haven of fairy lights, upbeat funk, comforting pub fare and unique cocktails. People come here to get buzzed as early as 5.30pm on Davide Boncimino’s creations, like the popular Dark & Stormy, which is available upsized as the Mega Stormy, and the One Punch Rum, a S$250 bowl featuring Gosling’s 151 Proof Rum, passionfruit, coconut water, lime, cinnamon, and an entire bottle of Havana Club 7 Year Old for the extra… punch. Do also look forward to Sugarhall’s Rum of the Month if you’re keen to explore anything special, but above all, pad the stomach—preferably with the Fried Chicken or Chicken Liver Toast. The Wagyu Cheeseburger is decent, too, but not mind-blowing, if we are being honest.
19 Cecil Street
Tel: +65 9815 0246
The Tippling Terrace S$130 pairing menu features a flight of three Telmont Champagnes and five snacks by Ryan Clift
Innovation is king at Tippling Club, where the big-spenders go to impress and be impressed. Tucked inside three shophouse units with an ultra-luxe speakeasy vibe, chef-owner Ryan Clift’s progressive fine dining comes paired with Andrew Loudon’s roster of modern cocktails. A couple highlights include Poker Game, a heady blend of bourbon, frankincense, beeswax and hyogo smoked acid, and Dollar Sign, which for what it’s worth (S$125 to be exact), comes with Champagne and Louis XIII. And if you love your sparkling wines, request for a table at Tippling Terrace, its new al fresco space kitted out with the good folks at Telmont Champagne (fun fact: it’s an organic and sustainable brand that Leonardo DiCaprio advocates). For S$130, you will enjoy a flight of three Telmont wines and five different snacks by Clift. Think a Smoked Eel Beignet with beetroot and freeze-dried raspberry, A5 Wagyu Tartare served with rakkyo zuke and confit egg yolk, and Roasted Corn Chawanmushi with crab, ikura and preserved truffle.
Robb Tip: At Tippling Terrace, you’ll enjoy wines like the Telmont Réseve Brut, which earned itself a gold medal at The Champagne Masters 2022. Order a box of six for S$546 here at Millesima.
38 Tanjong Pagar Road
Tel: +65 6475 2217
While Manhatten’s beguiling speakeasy vibe—add a splash of Great Gasby-esque opulence, with its dramatic ensemble of Chesterfield sofas, herringbone floors, and velvet armchairs and drapes—has longed held a seductive charm, it’s the superior libations that keep us coming back for more. No surprise there, given that each drink is mixed with barrel-aged spirits from the bar’s very own rickhouse.
Staying true to its namesake, the bar has unveiled an expanded collection of drinks paying homage to six iconic Manhattanites: Andy Warhol, Whoopi Goldberg, Irving Berlin, Yoko Ono, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Lin-Manuel Miranda. Peas and Love, for instance—a herbaceous tipple infusing Tatsumi gin with cucumber cordial, basil and green peas—recalls the time Yoko Ono led a Pea Piece movement; while the Notorious R.B.G encapsulates the late justice’s fiery spirit with a strong Westland peated whisky-based concoction. This being the second iteration of Manhattan’s New York Personified menu, those who wish to relive past memorable creations can do so at the ‘Hall of Fame’ section, which wisely immortalises the best of the first edition.
21 Cuscaden Road
Tel: +65 6725 3377
Nutmeg & Clove
Colin Chia must be proud to be Singaporean. His bar, which left Ann Siang Hill for Purvis Street in January, is committed to take guests down Singapore’s memory lane, peddling its different bits of history through food and drink. Enjoy creative local dishes such as the SG Scotch Egg (minced kurobuta and Chinese sausage), or play it safe with the Otak Otak. Power through Singapore’s past and present with cocktails by Shelley Tai, a 2019 Diageo World Class HK & Macau Bartender of the Year. Order the K-Tea-V, a whisky- and matcha-based cocktail that’s a major upgrade from the karaoke goer’s green tea and whisky; and don’t miss out on Can Bubble Gum?, a reminder of what the country has against fun. It comes with mezcal, strawberry, distilled Tabasco and bubble gum foam, and it is delicious.
Nutmeg & Clove
8 Purvis Street
Tel: +65 9389 9301
Inside the Mandarin Oriental is one of the city’s most underrated cocktail bars, and it’s a wonder why so. Mo Bar, a beautiful bar with sleek interiors, promises you five-star service, expansive views of the Marina Bay and a well-priced food and drink menu (currently their fourth edition) to boot. Order the tequila and apple-spiked Sonamu to start the night off, and never leave without the Formosan, an Irish coffee-inspired cocktail made with coconut cream. Throw in some Truffle Cheese Naan and the Tandoori platter, and your night is all set.
5 Raffles Avenue
Tel: +65 6885 3500
Jigger & Pony
Named after the double-coned measuring device that bartenders use, Jigger & Pony is all about paying homage to the 19th century, when cocktail recipes were listed as ‘Jiggers’ and ‘Ponies’. With an immersive atmosphere, welcoming service and classic drinks, Jigger & Pony is the place to be for a laid-back aperitif. We highly recommend the Espresso Martini, which fills you up like a warm hug on a winter day, and the Corn Colada, if you love sweet rum, butter and egg white.
Jigger & Pony
165 Tanjong Pagar Road
Tel: +65 96211074
During Blue Hour, enjoy your drink with a free-flow assortment of cold cuts, cheeses and Mediterranean snacks
There is absolutely no shame in day drinking and there’s no more pleasant a venue to do it than at the One-Ninety Bar by Four Seasons, a day-to-night bar destination with an alfresco terrace set among the hotel’s lush tropical gardens. Run by bar manager Gabriel Carlos (formerly of Manhattan), signature cocktails include the Wild Flower, which comes with gin, elderflower liquor, lemon, lavender bitters and prosecco.
Four Seasons Hotel Singapore
190 Orchard Boulevard
Tel: +65 6831 7250
The bar, which derives its name from the ‘remedy’ concept of mixology, boasts solid cocktails featuring fresh herbs, fruit and vegetables grown organically in the Fairmont’s own edible roof garden. Favourites include the English Garden, an easy butterfly pea and lavender G&T, and the Bread and Butter, which sees burnt butter-washed Monkey Shoulder mixed with vanilla, raisin and chocolate bitters. Bar bites and a proper food menu are available, too. You won’t go wrong with the A:D Fish & Chips or the beer-battered Crisp Chicken that comes served with a citrus mayonnaise.
2 Stamford Road
Tel: +65 6431 5315
Barbary Coast: Deadfall and The Ballroom
Run by industry veterans Celia Schoonraad and Michael Callahan (the very chatty founding bartender of 28 HongKong Street), it is inspired by the chaos and excitement of its namesake: mid-1800s Barbary Coast of San Francisco, a district born amid the frenetic 1849 California Gold Rush. It is also home to two kinds of watering holes. Deadfall, a recreation of the gritty dive bars of the time, welcomes you with honest pours at honest prices (S$10 draft beers and S$21 cocktails, for instance) and greasy grub like Jalapeño Poppers, tater tot sandos and House Nachos with bottomless queso.
For something intimate and a lot more lavish, head on upstairs to the Ballroom. Decorated with upcycled furniture, plush chandeliers and vintage wallpaper, the space is centred around lounges, couches and private booths, which offer Billecart Champagne-on-demand, at just a push of a button. But the cocktails are what you really want. Highlights include the potent Pea-Ness, made from Navy Strength gin, lacto-fermented apple, pea water and lemon – Schoonraad’s background lies in food science, so you know where the R&D comes from – and goes exceptionally well with the signature Cheese & Charcuterie board.
16 North Canal Road
Tel: +65 8869 4798
Junior The Pocket Bar
Tucked away inside a shophouse, with its plush red interiors, high ceilings and heritage touches, Junior The Pocket Bar feels like a world of its own and one of Singapore’s best-kept secrets. But it’s a secret that’s worth sharing. Formerly a part of The Proof Collective, Junior The Pocket Bar is now independently owned by Joe Alessandroni, and has relocated to a more spacious, but no less intimate, space on Ann Siang Hill. The menu now includes the Lacto Lime Soda that comes with or without tequila (we obviously recommend the latter) and other cool tipple like Black Galao, a concoction of Cognac, coffee liqueur, more coffee, milk and soda.
Junior The Pocket Bar
6 Ann Siang Hill
Tel: +65 8121 1462
If you want the feel of a prim and proper Japanese bar, but with none of that stiff pretentiousness, go to Live Twice. Succeeding Flagship (Jigger & Pony’s failed attempt at a dive bar) as an understated, post-war Ginza bar, Live Twice feels like a little clandestine world of its own, far removed from reality. Work your way through the 14 spirit-forward cocktails – the Vesper is a signature that features Tempus Fugit Kina L’Aero D’Or, vodka and navy strength gin – go simple with natural wine or Cognac, and do not leave without finishing a Wagyu Beef or Ebi and Corn Katsu Sando.
20 Bukit Pasoh Road
Tel: +65 9011 8304
One of the world’s best bars (12th, to be exact), Native takes inspiration from all around us and forages for authentic ingredients locally. Sustainability is the name of the game at Native. Founded by Vijay Mudaliar, Native is committed to using local and regional produce and supporting local and regional craftsmen. The cocktail menu here is unique as well, utilising unorthodox ingredients such as pulverised grasshoppers and obscure spirits. If the thought of having insects in your drink bugs you, their Pineapple Arrack should get your night going.
52A Amoy Street
Tel: +65 8869 6520
The Other Room
Prohibition-era inspired in decor, cocktails and spirit, The Other Room at Marriott Tang Plaza harkens back to the free-wheeling 1920s when drinks were strong and men made their own moonshine. Multi award-winning master bartender Dario Knox’s dominion lies in this intimate drinking house behind the velvet curtain and he personally ages and casks each liquor – rum, whisky, moonshine and more – himself. And for your reading pleasure, each drink in the extensive menu will be accompanied by its history, ingredients, strength and flavour profile.
The Other Room
320 Orchard Road
01-05, Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel
Tel: +65 8300 6085
The Old Man Singapore
Inspired by a literature classic, Ernest Hemingway’s Old Man and the Sea, The Old Man was initially incepted in Hong Kong and launched in Singapore in May 2019. The cocktail menu comprises of 16 libations named after Hemingway’s classic novels and short stories – each a reflection of Hemingway’s best work, with a distinct Asian touch and complexity of fat-washing, sous vide and rotary evaporation. Favourites include the #1952, a murderous concoction of casa elemental, sous-vide capsicum distillate and cointreau, and the #1899, where rum, soy milk kefir, rotovap pandan distillate, gomme, orange phosphate and fermented textured vegetable protein are shaken together. The sous-vide coffee vinegar and cacao rum-based #1921 is also recommended.
Robb Tip: Got a sweet tooth? Olivia Restaurant & Lounge next door offers a delicious Warm Chocolate Foam Temptation – made from bitter chocolate foam, hazelnut praline, fresh passionfruit, cookies, olive oil and cocoa nibs nougatine. Order that and skip the so-called famous Creamy Homemade Cheesecake. It’s never consistent.
The Old Man Singapore
55 Keong Saik Rd
Tel: +65 6909 5505
When only hand-carved ice made from the purest of water will do, it’s time to have one of the luxe cocktails made by head bartender and owner at D.Bespoke, Daiki Kanetaka. Seating just 28 guests, this cosy Ginza-style bar ensures each client gets Kanetaka’s full attention. Kanetaka’s 16 years of experience in the highly strict Ginza bar system and stints in the whisky distilleries of Scotland ensure that you are in good hands. In fact, he will almost always insist on mixing your first drink, taking into account length, aroma, body and strength as well as taste when doing so.
2 Bukit Pasoh Rd
Tel: +65 8141 5741