The Best Places To Drink Cocktails in Singapore

Singapore’s obsession with all things edible, combined with imported talent and a wealth of local ingredients, has sparked a growth in the tiny island’s cocktail culture. Where once only manufactured Singapore Slings languished in hotel lounges, now avant-garde versions abound and serious arguments are had over where to find the best Daiquiri (the answer is Sugarhall) or Old-Fashioned (Jigger & Pony). Casual, ever-shifting and increasingly inspired by local ingredients and rituals, Singapore’s bar scene has developed a character all its own. —Echo Thomas

  • 1

    28 Hong Kong Street

    Just around the corner from Clarke Quay, one of Singapore’s busiest nightlife districts, 28 Hong Kong Street’s discreet entrance belies the theatrics inside. The place is stacked with accolades, and famous for its technique-heavy drinks (think flambéed garnishes and elaborate punch bowls) with a menu that pays homage to international bartenders alongside its own oddball fusion of tiki and Singapore spectacle.

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    KNOWN FOR

    • craft cocktails
    • bar food
    • tiki
    • beer
  • 2

    Ah Sam Cold Drink Stall

    Tucked amongst the rowdy, generic sports bars on Boat Quay, Ah Sam’s tiny, spare space and balanced offerings are a relief from the throngs outside. Owner Sam Wong, previously of Jigger & Pony champions classic drinks, local drunk food (like salty Hokkien noodles), and other bartenders, frequently hosting guest bartending nights.

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    KNOWN FOR

    • craft cocktails
    • bar food
    • singles scene
  • 3

    Anti:dote

    Anti:dote is leading the new wave of hotel bar programs devoted to modern craft cocktails. One of the city’s sexiest bars, the ultra-sleek space is hung with an impressive space-age chandelier and dotted with tangerine-colored furniture. The cocktails—which are often savory or laden with umami flavor—are garnished with meticulous orange spirals, bright herbs and native flower sprigs. Housemade liqueurs and bitters are also used liberally, and nearly all the herbs are sourced from the bar’s own garden.

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    KNOWN FOR

    • craft cocktails
    • singles scene
    • hotel bar
  • 4

    Bar Stories

    Located on the second floor of a cozy shophouse on Haji Lane, Bar Stories' bartenders mix bespoke cocktails for guests seeking an adventurous tour of Singapore’s native ingredients. Tropical elements like gula melaka (palm sugar), red date syrup and ginger frequently appear alongside local flowers and berries. Free of both menus and pretense, Bar Stories exudes the warmth and intimacy that is usually lacking from Singapore’s shinier watering holes.

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    KNOWN FOR

    • craft cocktails
    • day drinking
  • 5

    Jigger & Pony

    Classic and progressive cocktails coexist harmoniously at this friendly spot. Helmed by Aki Eguchi, the bar exudes professionalism—polite bartenders in creased shirtsleeves who take inspiration from the Japanese style of bartending—and consistently delivers the most balanced cocktails in Singapore. Equally suitable for large groups as it is for dates, the warm, wood-paneled room always invites another round of Old-Fashioneds.

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    KNOWN FOR

    • craft cocktails
    • bar food
    • lots of whiskey
    • lots of rum
    • lots of tequila
  • 6

    Horse's Mouth

    Hidden beneath a ramen joint inside of a shopping mall, the Horse’s Mouth—once discovered—is relatively straightforward. Drinks served at the long, narrow wooden bar are simple, usually fruit-focused, packed with crushed ice and often pay homage to tiki. This downstairs destination fashions itself as a nouveau izakaya, with moody lighting, several quiet nooks and bar snacks that focus on tempura and seafood.

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    KNOWN FOR

    • craft cocktails
    • full menu
    • bar food
  • 7

    Nutmeg & Clove

    Once the headquarters for a Cantonese clan association, Nutmeg & Clove’s tiled Chinatown storefront maintains the original signage. Inside, vintage apothecary décor mingles with a modern bar whose drinks offer a gateway to regional flavors, calling on ingredients like osmanthus flower and hawthorn buds. Kitschy touches (rickshaw cup holders and stenciled citrus garnishes) blend with the Singapore history-themed menu. In keeping with its ode to the island, Nutmeg & Clove executes a delightful riff on the Singapore Sling with hibiscus-infused gin, Cherry Heering, DOM, goji and red date syrup.

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    KNOWN FOR

    • craft cocktails
    • bar food
    • singles scene
    • outdoors / patio
  • 8

    Sugarhall

    From the same team behind the speakeasy-style Jigger & Pony next door, Sugarhall is a more casual, beach bum cousin of sorts. Between the palm sugar-laced house Daiquiri and the flame garnished Mai Tai, there are excellent grilled meats and flights of rum to wash them down. And while the drinks are heavily adorned with fruits and fire, they remain well-balanced.

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    KNOWN FOR

    • full menu
    • lots of rum
    • craft cocktails

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