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Singapore is renowned as Asia’s cocktail capital; the cosmopolitan city is dense with award-winning bars, local distilleries and elegant speakeasies. World-famous powerhouses like Atlas and Manhattan are regulars on every imaginable best-of list, including Asia’s 50 Best Bars, where this year, 11 of the Lion City’s finest were recognized.
This year has seen a dozen or more new additions to the country’s glittering cocktail scene. Here are the notable newcomers worth raising a glass at.
Mondrian Singapore Duxton’s cocktail lounge is a seductive den of sinuous curves, lush monstera leaves and kaleidoscopic artwork, punctuated by a menu of colorful, adventurous drinks.
Head Bartender Adrian Besa, who formerly led the team at Mandarin Oriental’s award-winning MO Bar, was inspired by his formative years in Pampanga, the Philippines’ culinary capital.
The team sources spices and other ingredients from around the region, as well as spirits from across South-East Asia.
Some of the tipples might look wild on paper (Nightshade combines awamori sake with banana leaf, wax apple, mirin and mugwort), but everything is carefully calibrated in the mixology laboratory behind the bar.
With instruments this precise, even bespoke orders are a walk in the park.
A love letter to agave and rice spirits, this secret bar purrs from behind an empty upscale cafe on Duxton Road.
To find it, you’ll have to peer closely; the cat is only out of the bag if you spy the neon-lit Cheshire grin that’s hardly noticeable from the street. Behind the curtain, it’s a warm, intimate industrial-style space presided over by Founders Jesse Vida and Gabriel Lowe.
They’ve designed the menu to showcase the spirits equally; for every Cat Bite Margarita (Codigo 1530 Blanco Tequila, Siete Misterios Espadin Mezcal), there’s a Soju Sprint (Tokki soju and absinthe) – very different, but equally tasty.
The adventurous can opt for a sampling flight to discover from an impressive shelf with more than 100 agave spirits, rice spirits, and gin, rum and whiskey curations.
The name of the game at this disco-hued gastro bar is wine.
The latest by The Proper Concepts Collective, Mish Mash is the city’s first wine–cocktail bar. Its seven-drink cocktail menu is concise, covering the bases from sparkling to fortified wine, with no bellinis or sangrias in sight.
We recommend the savory Adam & Eve, a unique union of Junmai Daiginjo sake, tomato essence and Seedlip Garden 108 served with a traditional masu cup.
Bites are just as well-executed. The Japanese-inspired cherrywood smoked engawa is sensational, and the hefty, beautifully charred Kurobuta pork chop with Louisiana dirty rice is a dish to remember.
If you’re more classically minded about pairings, there is, of course, a wine list.
It’s tea time. Master mixologist Shuzo Nagumo’s celebrated craft cocktail bar has arrived at Singapore’s lively Robertson Quay – the Tokyo bar’s first international outpost.
Renowned for its signature ‘tea-tails’, a fusion of premium Japanese green tea leaves such as gyokuro, oolong and hojicha in expertly made cocktails, guests are invited to savor the delicate, nuanced flavors within the intimate, refined 17-seater.
For those fresh to the concept, get acquainted with a tasting menu like the Gyokuro Cocktails Course, where Shuzo’s protege Kaoru Takii guides guests through three distinct infusions of gyokuro – a luxurious, shade-grown Japanese green tea.
Expect to experience different flavor intensities and, as a finale, the tea leaves are served with a delicate smoked oyster soy sauce. Beautiful.
High above the throng of glitzy Orchard Road sits Pan Pacific Orchard’s sophisticated new Champagne and oyster bar.
Located on the Garden Terrace of the newly refreshed biophilic hotel, Florette serves up botanical-inspired cocktails alongside top-shelf seafood and a rotating bubbly menu.
Start with the herbaceous Chicory, which melds Monkey Shoulder with Averna, honey and acid. To complement Executive Chef Pedro Samper’s gourmet bites, try the more delicate Lavender – Plantation 3 Stars rum, El Dorado 12 tequila, Velvet Falernum and citrus.
In warm days, the immaculate lawn outside beckons you to while the day away with a chilled bottle of Louis Roederer.
This historic triplex shophouse along the Singapore River now houses Compendium Spirits’ first flagship bar and brand house.
The upper floors are reserved for the local distiller’s private members’ lounge and climate-controlled barrel cellar, and respectively, the ground floor is a cosy rattan-and-wood-filled bar and restaurant.
Here, you’ll be served craft cocktails, innovative fusion plates and sparkling fermented wines created from South-East Asian ingredients.
Signature drinks include the twist-on-a-classic Teh-groni, which substitutes gin for a Compendium-made tea liqueur, giving it a greater bittersweet profile than the average Negroni.
If you only have room for one, make it the Rojaktini, which adds pink peppercorn infusion and torch ginger flower shavings to the brand’s flagship Rojak gin for a real bite.
Founded by Stay Gold Flamingo’s JiaWei Bai, this mixology multiverse combines different cocktail experiences in one four-floor shophouse.
The odyssey begins with level one’s Dessert, a playful ice cream parlor that serves alcoholic flavors on housemade juniper-flavored cones alongside low-alcohol tea cocktails.
Head upstairs to the Cocktail, where Hermès scarves adorn the cushioned walls for a sharp dose of glamor and sophistication. You’ll find imaginative, theatrical libations such as Savi Galloping, made with Codigo Blanco tequila, paprika, lime, fire water and smoked chips.
Chef Hosni, formerly of Employees Only, dishes up contemporary fusion nosh like tagliatelle tossed with spiced bebek ragu and winged bean to pair.
No prizes for guessing what third-floor Event is designed for, whereas the similarly imaginatively named Rooftop is a breezier, less buttoned-up space serving more affordable draft beers and draft cocktails.