2019, you've been good. Raise a glass to the new year at these hot new bars.
It’s our last Hot New Bars roundup for the year! Looking back at our past experiences at exciting new bars, it’s safe to say Singapore’s bar scene is truly one of the best in the world. Before we explore more amazing drinking dens in 2020, here’s one final hurrah.
Hot New Bar: Live Twice
Jigger and Pony has breathed new life to the now-defunct Flagship space with a new-style Japanese bar – Live Twice. The moment you step in, you’ll be transported to another world akin to Wong Kar-wai movies – think dim lighting, wooden interiors and an eclectic mix of music playing in the background.
The moniker of the bar extends to the menu as well with two drink categories: One life for yourself and one for your dreams (inspired by Nancy Sinatra’s “You Only Live Twice”). The former is inspired by classic Japanese cocktails; the latter, a more imaginative and playful mix but don’t expect a deluge of ingredients. By using just four ingredients, it’s definitely an apt nod to the popular minimalist movement in Japan.
The mizuwari ($25++) is a blend of Nikka Coffey Grain Whisky and Nikka Coffey Malt Whisky that is steeped in a pot with Hokkaido soft water for a minimum of three days. The result? A potent drink that goes down smoother than butter on warm toast. The Little Bell ($25++) is for those who want a little zing in their lives. It’s a clean mix of VSOP calvados by Christian Drouin, bell pepper and honey – a spirit-forward cocktail for discerning drinkers. The cocktails we tried were potent, and it fitted in seamlessly with the entire concept. Don’t expect saccharine cocktails that will give you a throbbing headache the day after.
Live Twice, 20 Bukit Pasoh Road, Singapore 089834
– Review by Venkat Gunasellan
Hot New Bar: Bee’s Island Drinkery
Bee’s Island Drinkery is the latest watering hole to pop up at the bustling Telok Ayer Street. The concept is simple: Visit the spot by day for fresh fruit juices and wholesome wraps and by night, you’ll be sipping on potent yet refreshing fruity cocktails. Talk about a balanced diet! We’re also obsessed with the tropical island setting and the whole speakeasy style. Yes, you gotta enter through The Nomads resto. We hear the bar bites are quite the hit too!
Bee’s Island Drinkery, 72 Telok Ayer St, Singapore 048460
Hot New Menu: Operation Dagger
World’s 50 Best Bars contender, Operation Dagger has whipped up a seriously intriguing new menu of six imaginative cocktails and three types of “Hooch” (ferments). One look at the menu and you’ll realise that new Head Bartender and Creative Director, Thomas Girard and his new team have really put their creative juices to play. For a fiery start, try the Golden Mile (named after the complex), a mix of coconut, Thai herbs and chilli droplets that look like a science experiment. Sweet tooths can pick the E-701, a lusciously-red tipple thanks to the beetroot infusion, with a sweet zing that will remind you of a red velvet cake. Finally, the Cheese, No Egg tipple (a smokey concoction of cheddar, honey and cream) looks simply divine.
Operation Dagger, 7 Ann Siang Hill, #B1-01, Singapore 069791
Hot New Menu: Mo Bar
Take a trip across Asia through Mo Bar’s whimsical drinks. The second volume of the menu takes a page off its first “nomadic voyagers” concept, drawing inspiration from overseas collabs and travels taken by Bar Manager Michele Mariotti and his team. 16 new drinks stand tall here including four mocktails. T and T ($22) was inspired by Michele’s guest shift in Hong Kong. He along with Jay Khan of COA concocted this tequila-centric drink with lemon verbena and fig.
Then make your way to Chiang Mai, Thailand with Expedition ($24). A nod to its luscious coffee plantations, this tipple is mixed with green coffee, grapefruit and vermouth. You’ll notice that each drink is served in a handmade ceramic mug specially crafted by the team.
Mo Bar, 5 Raffles Avenue, Marina Square, Singapore 039797
Bonus: Christmas cocktails to fuel up festive style
Count on us to find the booziest Christmas cocktails in town. Bars like Avenue Lounge, Junior and Mitzo are putting fun spins on classic festive cocktails and giving us spirit-forward jingle juice.