Hit up these best drinking places in Singapore that serve bespoke cocktails, martinis, highballs, Old Fashioned and other alcoholic concoctions in town
If your typical order at a bar is a martini, gin and tonic, or a negroni, then you’ve come to the right place. Singapore is (almost) bursting at the seams with cocktail bars that mix drinks, but here, we’ve narrowed it down to only the best — in our humble opinion, of course. From martini-focused drinking holes to speakeasy bars, you’ll find the perfect place for your drinking needs within this curated list. Cheers!
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, 19 Cecil Street, Singapore 049704. See website for more details.
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, p. 8869 6520. Open Tue-Sun 6pm-12am.
Based on a fictional, salacious protagonist from 1960s New York, Lulu’s Lounge is the latest 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 the venue’s cocktail selections too; try the creamy and milky Big Coconuts, or the Whiskey Pucker Up – Lulu Lounge’s take on a whisky sour – that’s even garnished with a garish lipstick motif.
Lulu’s Lounge, Pan Pacific Hotel, Singapore, 7 Raffles Boulevard, Singapore 039595, p. 6336 8111. Lulu’s Lounge will be open on Wednesday through Saturday from 9pm to 6am.
There was a lot to take in when we first heard of this new 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. p. 6291 0695. Open daily 11.30am-11pm.
Nothing brings out the hipster in us like sussing out new hidden bars. The newest of which, Lucky Bar, has just opened on the rooftop of Full of Luck Club. Like the main restaurant, the bar will serve authentic Cantonese cuisine along with cocktails that blend Eastern and Western flavours. The bar is only accessible from a secluded alleyway behind Full of Luck Club. Oh, and we just love its whole Wong Kar Wai-esque feel.
Lucky Bar, 243 Holland Avenue (Entrance behind Full of Luck Club via the back alley), Singapore 278977. p. 6208 6845. Open Fri-Sat 6pm-1am. Closed on Mon.
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, p. 6385 2604.
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!
ATLAS, Parkview Square, 600 North Bridge Road, Singapore 188778. Open daily 11am-8pm.
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, Marriott Hotel Singapore. Open Tue-Sun 6pm ’til late. Closed on Mon.
Eastern and Western influences come together in meticulously crafted cocktails in this buzzy new addition to Amoy Street’s bustling bar scene. Head bartender, Sugar Ray Ruban (check out our interview with this charming man), works his magic behind the bar, creating popular classics as well as unique concoctions like the cheekily named Sake My Cucumber. 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. p. 6221 6065. Open Mon-Sat 11.30am-3pm, 6pm-12am. Closed on Sun.
Employees Only Singapore
You’ve probably heard all the hype by now, and you must be well-acquainted with these revolutionary New Yorkers after our interview feature; all the way from the Big Apple, Employees Only is finally open in 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
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 like the savoury Duck’s Fat Hope (using Peking Duck jus) and the sweet 12am Misery (topped off with edible pumpkin leaf garnishes). See our full review here.
Smoke & Mirrors, #06-01 National Gallery Singapore, 1 St. Andrew’s Road, Singapore 178957, p. 9234 8122. Open Sun-Thu 12pm-12.30am, Fri-Sat 12pm-2am.
Bago at Lime House
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 Keong Saik’s Lime House. Honouring the traditions of Tobago – hence, its name – Bago 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 (that we visited recently) 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.
Bago at Lime House, Level 2, 2 Jiak Chuan Road, Singapore 089260, p. 6222 3130.
Hopscotch (Temporarily closed)
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. Don’t believe it? Check out our review.
Local bartender, Kino Soh, has been on our rader for some time now, thanks to her stint at FRESH! and for co-founding the playful, local-influenced Hopscotch. Yet the Diageo World Class finalist of 2016 has not rested on her laurels, having recently founded another cocktail bar that specialises in (no surprise here) highballs. Think affordable gin & tonics and Cuba Libres – daily happy hours during 4pm-8pm get you $10 a glass – mixed proficiently by an all-female bartending crew! How’s that for girl power?
Highball, #01-01, 79 Kampong Bahru Road, Singapore 169377, p. 6222 0179. Open Mon-Sat 4pm-12am, closed Sun.
While the gold-accented interior may insinuate upmarket, a tipsy trip to Gibson is far from a formal, stuffy bar experience. 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. Read our review on Gibson to find out more.
Gibson Bar, Level 2, 20 Bukit Pasoh Road, Singapore 089832, p. 9114 8385. Open Mon-Sat, 5pm – 12am, closed on Sun.
Not everyone is a fan of fancy-schmancy bars, so if you’ve got a date who’ll picked 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 upped the ante by launching its rooftop bar earlier this year. 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. p. 6438 3984.
Jigger & Pony
Skilful, attentive, and extremely creative, the bartenders at Jigger & Pony concoct some of the best bespoke cocktails in town. Pop by from 6pm to 8pm and enjoy six of Jigger and Pony’s lip-smacking concoctions – Elderflower Spritz, Flamingo, Savoy Cooler, Felix Potion, Uncle Pepe, and the Old Fashioned – for only $14.
Jigger & Pony, 101 Amoy Street, Singapore 069921. p. 6223 9101.
Opened by the owners of neighbouring bespoke cocktail bar Jigger & Pony, Sugarhall promises to be a more fun, laid-back dining and drinks space. A great place for a round of drinks; Sugarhall is the first-ever rum destination in Singapore to showcase over 50 types of cane spirits under one roof. Have a toast over an unorthodox playlist of vintage Latin, old-school ska, and Jamaican reggae that revs through the night.
Sugarhall, 102 Amoy Street, Singapore 069922, p. 9732 5607.
Jekyll & Hyde
Jekyll & Hyde’s a bespoke bar, so yes, you can order whatever you want. But give the classic (slightly smoky) whisky sour a go here, because it really does pack a punch. Prices range from $25 to $30, depending on your choice of whisky.
Jekyll & Hyde, 49 Tras Street, Singapore 078988, p. 6222 3349.
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, B1-07, Ann Siang Hill, Singapore 069791, p. 9296 4704.
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, p. 6294 0078.
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, p. 6533 2001.
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, p. 6222 3623.
Bitters & Love
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, p. 6438 1836.
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, p.6431 5315.
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. Bar Stories only uses fresh produce without any artificial flavours.
Bar Stories, 55/57A Haji Lane, Singapore, Singapore 189248, p. 6298 0838.
Mezza9 Martini Bar
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, p. 6732 1234.
The Cufflink Club
Drinks here are cheeky, witty, and completely addictive. If you need a stiff drink, get the Walking Dead (a twist on the zombie) with 13 types of rum, pineapple, apricot, passionfruit and lime and garnished with a bubblegum eyeball. For something – ahem – milder, try the Coke-Cane with a mix of five rums, a homemade cola reduction, fresh lime juice, and a sugar cane swizzle stick.
The Cufflink Club, 6 Jiak Chuan Road, Singapore 089262.
Shin Gi Tai
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, 9 Haji Lane, Singapore 189202.
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, p. 6337 7335.
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, p. 6423 9885.
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, if you’re savvy with your bar buzz, you’ll also know that Manhattan was voted the 11th best bar in the world.
Manhattan, Regent Hotel, 2nd Floor, 1 Cuscaden Rd, Singapore 249715, p. 6725 3242.
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, p. 6535 0838.
Vasco is Singapore’s first ever Latin-America cocktail bar. Owned by the brains behind The Cufflink Club, the drinking saloon celebrates the Latinos’ vibrant and cheeky outlook on life. Sway to a lively mix of Latin beats as you hit back a glass (or two) of killer cocktails like The Old Man & The Sea, and Girl From Ipanema; they also do bespoke cocktails if you prefer. Don’t expect a shot of Russian vodka or Japanese whisky though; Vasco is true to its theme and only serves South American spirits.
Vasco, 42 HongKong Street, Singapore 059681, p. 8799 7085.
The Secret Mermaid
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.