Singapore has come a long way since its iconic sling was mixed by bartender Ngiam Tong Boon at the grand Raffles Hotel Singapore in 1915. Fast forward to 2018, and five Singapore bars were named on the World’s 50 Best Bars list. With a cocktail scene that is renowned for its use of regional and often unusual ingredients, innovative culinary techniques and world’s best spirit collections, it’s safe to say that Singapore is a new hub for mixologists from around the globe. Here are our top spots in the city to experience the thriving bar scene, with a delicious cocktail (or two) in hand.

atlasbar.sg

ATLAS Bar

600 North Bridge Rd, Parkview Square, Singapore 188778

Gin dreams come true at ATLAS Bar – in over 1,000 varieties. You will find the world’s largest collection of the spirit housed in an extravagant three storey gin tower that takes pride of place behind the bar of this opulent 1920s inspired establishment. In the Champagne room, safely secured behind a fingerprint scanner is a bottle of 1907 Charles Heidsieck and Co, one of 2,000 bottles that were salvaged from the shipwreck of a Swedish freighter and preserved for almost 100 years by freezing ocean waters. Take a step back in time and experience the grandeur of the art deco era beneath triple vaulted ceilings with a signature ATLAS Martini in hand. Not to be missed is the lavish afternoon tea that comes on a rose gold stand stocked with sweet and savoury delicacies like yabbies with marie rose, 5J Iberico Jamon and irresistible truffle bon bons – best enjoyed with a glass (or two) of Piper-Heidsieck “Cuvée Essentiel ATLAS” Extra Brut Champagne.

Tippling Club

38 Tanjong Pagar Road, Singapore 088461

Bottles of pink and blue prescription pills might look out of place on the Insta feed of one of Singapore’s coolest cocktail bars. But don’t be discouraged – it’s just dessert, reimagined by the Tippling Club kitchen as strawberry cheesecake and white chocolate virility pills. Innovating since 2008, this gastronomic experience occupies three shophouse units complete with a testing lab and kitchen in the Singapore CBD. At Tippling Club, ordering is a sensory experience – one whose current menu asks you to choose your cocktail by scent. Like a perfumery, scent cards are handed out at the bar. And when cocktails with names like Blush of Rose and Sandalwood do arrive, they come served with a small bottle of the matching fragrance.

tribenative.com

Native

52a Amoy St, Singapore 069878

If you’re not afraid of a fermented grasshopper at the bottom of your drink then a visit to number 13 on the 2018 World’s 50 Best Bars list should be at the top of every Singapore itinerary. At Native the key concept is local. So local in fact, that the signature Antz cocktail is topped with a sprinkling of locally foraged weaver ants. Regional spirits like Sri Lankan arrack and Thai rum feature on the spirit menu along with Singapore distillers like Tanglin Gin, Japanese brand Wapirits’ Tumugi, and local craft brewers Rye & Pint. As well as these distinctly regional flavours and ingredients, at the heart of the Native concept is sustainability. Straws are lotus stems discarded by a local florist, coasters are made from dried and pressed lotus leaves that are composted in the garden after use, and the bar is entirely solar powered.

Smoke & Mirrors

1 St. Andrew's Road, #06-01 National Gallery Singapore, Singapore 178957

Illusions and trickery are at the heart of this progressive cocktail bar occupying the rooftop of the National Gallery Singapore. Here, with sweeping views of the Padang and Marina Bay, edibles compliment the drinking experience. The last cocktail menu, The Playful Eye, was launched in late 2017 after seven months of research and development, and the bar are set to launch an entirely new menu early this year. From behind a curved silver bar reminiscent of Anish Kapoor’s Cloud Gate, bartenders serve up masterful culinary creations. Mighty Duck, a savoury cocktail made with drops of Peking Duck jus mixed with jackfruit-infused rum and five-spiced honey is presented in a bird’s nest enclosed in an edible eggshell; M.C – N.L a sweet, cacao-infused vodka based drink, shaken and served in the style of a potted plant with edible soil; and the namesake tequila and aperol cocktail Smoke & Mirrors comes surrounded by a garden of pistachios and cacao powder.

smokeandmirrors.com.sg
operationdagger.com

Operation Dagger

7 Ann Siang Hill, #B1-01, Singapore 069791

Everyone’s had one of those nights that makes you swear off tequila for good. With a cocktail menu that lists flavours, not ingredients, Operation Dagger strives to give spirits with preconceptions a second chance. Hidden underground, this sleek industrial bar has been on the World’s 50 Best Bars list for three consecutive years and currently sits at number 23. Inside, the shelves are stocked with unbranded apothecary bottles containing house-infused spirits and labelled only by symbols. Known for their innovative research lab and unusual ingredients, the cocktail menu rotates every few months. Their most recent concoctions offer an evocative list of flavours like potato skin, salt fingers, roast pork belly and creamed soda. Try if you dare.

Manhattan

Regent Singapore, 1 Cuscaden Rd, Level 2, Singapore 249715

For a taste of old New York glamour head to number three on the 2018 World’s 50 Best Bars list. At home in the five-star Regent Hotel, the sophisticated cocktail menu at Manhattan takes its drinkers on a journey from the New World settlers of the 1520s; through to the roaring Prohibition, and into the period of postwar prosperity and free love of 1970s. House-made punches are served tableside and topped with a full bottle of Champagne; barrel aged cocktails come from the hotel’s own rickhouse; and during Violet Hour (5pm-7pm on weekdays) every cocktail comes with a complimentary gourmet sandwich. Not to be missed is the adults only cocktail brunch every Sunday where a menu of classic American eats is served with free-flow beers, cocktails and wines.

For the best of Singapore’s thriving nightlife and bar scene, check out our latest video Singapore for Socialisers.

Can’t wait to go to Singapore?

Experience the bar scene in the comfort of your very own home by whipping up an authentic
ATLAS Martini:

INGREDIENTS:
– 60ml Ford’s Gin
– 15ml Mancino Bianco Vermouth
– 5 dashes of Champagne Vinegar
– 2 dashes of Scrappy’s Orange Bitters

METHOD:
– Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass, add ice and stir until ice cold
– Strain into chilled Martini glass, perfume the drink with pomelo zest
– Garnish with a lemon twist and serve