The pandemic has left us craving post-work drinks more than ever, but Singapore’s nightlife has unfortunately been dialled down a notch due to the restrictions.
Bars and clubs have had to scramble to diversify their businesses to stay afloat, so don’t be surprised if you now see them serving food that’s a bit more elaborate than their usual bar snacks.
Wearing of masks is still mandatory when not seated, and mingling with other patrons from other tables is a big no-no as you might get the operator in trouble. There have been cases of bars being forced to close for breaching the rules, so please don’t make the nightlife industry suffer more than it already has.
It’s going to be a while before things return to normal, but in the meantime, lift your spirits with a bit of alcohol at these cool bars that have recently opened or reopened for business.
Jigger & Pony
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To celebrate Jigger & Pony as Asia’s Best Bar 2020 back in May, we launched a limited-edition bottled cocktail named ‘The Tree Does Not Grow Straight’ which was available for a very limited period of time. Crafted with a very special Mizunara-aged Monkey 47 Gin, this soft, elegant dry gin brought out refined notes of sandalwood and a touch of coconut. This special gin is a Monkey 47 distiller’s cut 2020 that was aged in Mizunara barrels, hence The Tree Does Not Grow Straight is inspired by Mizunara oak, a variant of Quercus mongolica; translated literally mizu and nara means “water oak”. A Mizunara oak is a tree that’s rare and highly prized, but difficult to use because it does not grow straight up. Just like how the path up and towards recovery in the future is not straight, The Tree Does Not Grow Straight is a celebratory cocktail that we created to deliver happiness to consumers.
Jigger and Pony has been lauded as one of the best bars in Singapore. In fact, the bar clinched the top spot on the list of Asia’s 50 Best Bars 2020.
They reopened on September 9, to the relief of their well-heeled clientele. The interior looks pretty serious when you step in, but don’t be fooled — they specialise in serving up unexpected spins on classic cocktails. Classic cocktails like the Old Fashioned, Margarita or Negroni cost about $23.
In order to adapt to the pandemic, they now deliver punch bowls, cocktail pouches and bottled cocktails so you can enjoy your tipple at home. They also take corporate orders so you can imbibe with colleagues.
Where: 165 Tanjong Pagar Road, Amara Singapore, Singapore 088539
Step into Atlas and get teleported to 1920s New York. The space is reminiscent of a Great Gatsby-esque art deco hotel lobby, housed in an imposing building that stands out in the Bugis area.
The bar is #5 on Asia’s 50 Best Bars 2020 list, and their speciality is gin, with a wide selection of gin-based cocktails on the menu, from classics to new innovations. Expect to pay about $23 to $28 for creations such as Mr Schulze’s Sour, consisting of gin, wine, almond, absinthe and citrus, and Great Amun, which mixes Spanish gin, dry vermouth, French herbal liqueur and fino sherry.
They also have a decent dining menu consisting of cold and hot bar bites, as well as main courses such as Iberico pork ribeye and pan-roasted Chilean sea bass.
Like many bars, they have turned to making deliveries during the pandemic, so you can order cocktails, home cocktail sets, bottles and snacks to indulge in at home.
Where: 600 North Bridge Road, Parkview Square, Singapore 188788
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Strange times right now, but trust us when we say we’re gonna make the most out of it anyway. We’ve joined @StrangerAndSons for their first collection of bottled cocktails – Strange Times. Bengal Sling’s a robust blend of #StrangerAndSons Gin with sweet Jamun and zesty Gondhoraj distillate made from the King of Limes. To the mix, we added a splash of wildflower honey for an added layer aromatic sweetness. Head to the bar for a glass, or get a bottle to go – link in bio. #TribeNative #NativeBar
Here’s yet another bar on Asia’s 50 Best Bars 2020 list. Clocking in at #6 is Native, a cocktail bar that focuses on using local and regional produce, a rarity in “everything-is-imported” Singapore.
You’ll see lots of tropical fruits and South-east Asian spices incarnated in creations such as the Peranakan, which contains jackfruit rum, laksa leaves, goat’s milk, candlenut and gula melaka. Meanwhile, Pineapple Arrack is a mix of Ceylon Arrack, old coconuts, pineapple skin and Sri Lankan spice. Budget about $23++ for a cocktail.
In the spirit of the pandemic, they’ve started selling bottled concoctions and cocktail gift sets online. Check out what’s on offer.
Where: 52A Amoy Street Singapore 069878
The Public Eight
This new Japanese-themed cocktail bar at the National Gallery is more suited for a romantic date than a raucous bender.
The interior’s soft lighting and dark wood offer an intimate setting in which to sample cocktails such as the Historical Gimlet, made of Suntory roku gin, citrus cordial and Japanese organic lemon zest, or the Bartender’s “Lemon-Hi”, made of shochu, citrus cordial, Japanese organic lemon and soda. Budget $28 for one of their eight signature cocktails, and $15++ for Suntory premium malt beer on tap.
Bar snacks are suitably on-theme and include izakaya favourites like edamame, tori kara-age and sashimi moriawase.
In order to respect crowding restrictions, you have to make a reservation. Check its daily updates on available spots.
Where: 1 Saint Andrew’s Road #01-02/03 National Gallery Singapore 178957
This award-winning Italian restaurant isn’t just known for its authentic Italian fare, but also as a cool place to chill out at its rooftop bar, lounge and pier with an awesome view of the Marina Bay skyline.
Monti recently closed its pop-up patio, but its popular Rosé-a-go-go highlight of free-flow rosé wines, prosecco spritzers and beer over 3 hours for $78 nett continues to run at its floating pier. Only 2 time slots (4.30pm to 7.30pm and 7.30pm to 10.30pm) are available on each day from Friday to Sunday.
While other places have Happy Hour, Monti has “Social Hours” that runs daily from 5pm to 8pm. Prices for house pours are $15 for beers and wines, and $12 for spirits.
Where: 1 Fullerton Road #01-01 One Fullerton Singapore 049213
This new Italian bistro and cocktail bar offers the classic Italian aperitivo in a classic and cosy ambiance. Their drinks menu focuses on spritzes made with Italian spirits, wines and vermouths.
Classics at Bar Milano includes Cipriani Bellini and Barrel-aged Negroni, as well as spritz specialties like Cocchi Spritz, which is made of cocchi americano rosa, prosecco and Sicilian soda. Budget $19 to $23 per drink.
In between drinks, tuck into Italian antipasti like eggplant parmigiana and classic Napolitano pizza or opt for a main like lamb and rosemary lasagna.
Where: 55 Keong Saik Road #01-02 Kesa House Singapore 089158
Heart of Darkness
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NOW ON TAP!! ONE OF OUR FAVOURITES EVER!!! Pitiless Folly Pale Ale… 5.8% ABV… 38 IBU… Our take on the classic British Ale. Beautifully hoppy on the back of both Pale and Crystal malts with a beautiful copper hue and a sweet long finish. Using US Citra hops as the main hop, it features tastes of grapefruit, lime, passion fruit, and lychee. You may even be able to pick out hints of melon and gooseberry. A clean and crisp Pale Ale with a lot of late edition hops and a flavor that will dance on your tongue.
Forget the fancy cocktails. At gastropub Heart of Darkness, quench your thirst with a selection of 25 craft beers on tap, beer-infused cocktails and wine.
It recently moved to a new address on Keong Saik Road and has unveiled a new menu and new drinks. Beer cocktails include Futile Logic, a cucumber-garnished creation with Futile Purpose Cucumber Pilsner as a base, and Director’s Cacao, a soft porter flavoured with dark chocolate.
Of course, no gastropub is complete without a hearty menu, so you’ll find bar bites like Vietnamese banh mi sandwiches, beer-marinated olives and chicken liver mousse. The truly hungry can opt for fish and chip tacos or the black angus tomahawk.
Where: 1 Keong Saik Road Singapore 089109
Finally, you can sip on a quality cocktail without being surrounded by middle aged bankers. Sago House, which opened after the Circuit Breaker, is a refreshing hodgepodge of upcycled furniture and DIY fittings, in contrast with the stuffy surroundings of many cocktail bars here.
Their menu, which changes every week, consists of spins on six classic drinks, including the Daiquiri, Martini and Old Fashioned, costing from $18 to $20.
They also do home delivery of bottled cocktails.
Where: 40B Sago Street Singapore 059029
Gibson Cocktail Bar
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A gorgeous shot of the Blazing Colado. Lord Almighty, I feel my temperature rising – like a burning hot flaming Pina Colado! When you order our Blazing Colado, you’ll get a performance from our bartender before they pour into the glass. Just what you need for that mid-week tipple. Blazing Colado • Mount Gay Black Barrel Rum, coconut water, clarified pineapple juice, lightly peated
Unwind with timeless classic cocktails made with Asian ingredients at the classy Gibson Cocktail Bar, which is #25 on the Asia’s 50 Best Bars 2020 list.
On the menu, you’ll find Sugarcane Daiquiri, made with sugarcane nectar, lime, finger lime jelly and Havana Club 7-year-old rum, as well as Guava Highball, which mixes Malaysian guava, ulam raja and salt with Altos Reposado Tequila. Budget about $23 per cocktail.
They’ve also got a food menu featuring swordfish meatball and scallop ceviche, among others. But many people come just for the oysters, which are $7++ most of the time, but only $3++ during Happy Hour from 4 to 7pm.
Where: 20 Bukit Pasoh Road, 2nd Floor, Singapore 089834
This wine bar in a historic shophouse is brimming with character and an extensive wine list. The focus, as its name Rebel Rebel suggests, is on breaking convention, so the menu features stalwarts in the wine industry who use organic methods to bring out the terroir in their creations. Bottles of sparkling wine start from $40.
The space is quirky and relaxed, so feel free to sink into the couches as you munch on fusion dishes like pig’s head tagliatelle and marinated octopus.
Where: 14 Bukit Pasoh Road Singapore 089828
Which credit cards to bring along?
Make your credit card work for you even as you spend your moolah while bar-hopping. Make sure you charge your drinks and bar snacks to the one that offers the best cash back benefits.
Here are 3 credit cards from Citibank, Standard Chartered and UOB that are great for dining, entertainment and more.
- Cash Back on Eligible Spend
- Min. Spend per month
- Cash Back Cap
Which bars do you wanna check out for a tipple? Share this with your drinking kakis!