The World’s 50 Best Bars in Singapore – City-state Well-poised As World’s Cocktail Capital
Highest density of award-winning bars, well-disposed and collaborative cocktail scene as well as bartenders with international exposure have all together placed Singapore as a capital of cocktails.
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The World’s 50 Best Bars unveiled the eponymous top 50 bars list recently in Barcelona, Spain. The award ceremony was held outside of London for the first time. A week prior to the ceremony, the annual list presented its top 51 to 100 featuring bars across 26 cities and voted by over 650 experts from around the world. All in all, the annual list is touted as definitive of the world’s finest drinking establishments.
ANALYSIS OF SINGAPORE IN THE WORLD’S 50 BEST BARS 2022 LIST
Singapore remains prolific on the global cocktail bar scene. The city-state has a total of 10 cocktail bars in the top 100 of World’s 50 Best Bar list, ahead of New York. The number of bars from Singapore in the top 50 list has dipped to two nevertheless, placing it in fifth place together with Bangkok, Hong Kong and Sydney.
“Over the last couple of years, the traditional strongholds of UK, US and Singapore have shrunk in the top 50. These places have largely been taken over by Europe and Americas (ex US). The US decline happened over the Trump years and may be showing signs of a small recovery now,” shares Mr. Matthew Fergusson-Stewart, Managing Director, Spun Spirits.
“Some of the greatest growth in the list this year has been from Mexico and Argentina. The EU growth is supported strongly by Barcelona, it will be interesting to see if that is a ‘one off’ bump as the host city or if it will continue to trend next year.”
Closer to home, Matthew believes that Asia overall has shrunk as Singapore has shrunk, but the other parts of Asia have not taken up those spots.
Singapore’s decline may be a factor of longer and more aggressive COVID-19 lockdowns and resultant bar restrictions during which the UK, Europe and Americas have liberalised social activities. This coupled with labour crunch in the city-state may have discounted bar experiences and suppressed the international exchange of bartenders in guest shifts.
Looking back, Singapore has six bars in World 50 Best Bars list in 2021, four in 2020, six again in 2019, and five in 2018.
RANKING OF SINGAPORE BARS IN THE WORLD’S 50 BEST BARS OVER THE YEARS
|Jigger & Pony (12)||Jigger & Pony (9)||Atlas (4)||Atlas (8)||Manhattan (3)|
|Manhattan (33)||Manhattan (15)||Jigger & Pony (9)||Manhattan (11)||Atlas (8)|
|Sago House (51)||Atlas (16)||Manhattan (14)||Native (12)||Native (13)|
|28 HKS (55)||No Sleep Club (26)||Native (18)||Jigger & Pony (29)||Operation Dagger (23)|
|MO Bar (57)||MO Bar (36)||No Sleep Club (53)||Operation Dagger (30)||28 HKS (34)|
|Analogue (65)||Tippling Club (43)||The Old Man (58)||The Old Man (38)||Tippling Club (58)|
|Atlas (67)||Sago House (63)||Tippling Club (64)||28 HKS (61)||Gibson (76)|
|No Sleep Club (69)||28HKS (71)||28 HKS (86)||Nutmeg & Clove (90)||The Other Room (93)|
|Nutmeg & Clove (74)||Barbary Coast (81)||Gibson (92)|
|Republic Bar (90)|
This year, only two Singaporean bars – Jigger & Pony and Manhattan, made it to the World’s 50 Best Bars list. Although neither made it to the top 10 for reasons such as but not limited COVID-19 bar restrictions and labour crunch, Singapore has made its mark as a cocktail capital with previous entries and the ten bars listed in the top 100 list of the World’s Best Bars 2022, the biggest number of entries yet.
COMPLETE GUIDE OF THE TOP 100 OF THE WORLD’S 50 BEST BARS IN SINGAPORE
No city comes close to Singapore in terms of density and proximity of bars. The average distance between Singaporean bars in the coveted World’s 50 Best Bars top 100 annual list is not more than 1.5km apart with most bars within short walking distance from one another. Here’s what to expect from the bars, and the recommended routes.
TOP 100 OF THE WORLD’S 50 BEST BARS IN SINGAPORE
Jigger & Pony is named Best Bar in Asia, the highest-ranking bar in Asia. It has moved 3 spots down from previous year, and clinched 12th position in the World’s 50 Best Bar list. As a stalwart of the Singapore cocktail scene, Jigger & Pony continues to reinvent and provide elevated cocktail classics.
165 Tanjong Pagar Rd, Amara Hotel, Singapore 088539
Another regular on the list, Manhattan takes 33rd spot in the World’s 50 Best Bars list. The OG of finest Asian hotel bar, Manhattan has previously held the title of Best Bar in Asia on two occasions. The Manhattan trolley and barrel-aged cocktails are a must try on Sundays.
1 Cuscaden Rd, Level 2 Regent Singapore, Singapore 249715
Believe it or not, Sago House’s menu changes every week! Featuring six classic styles of cocktails, the menu depends on the season and ingredients available in local markets. If that’s not amazing enough, the interior was constructed by hand with upcycled materials.
40B Sago St, Singapore 059029
28HKS is not just a bar, it is a cocktail institution to look up to. It is the recipient of the first Best Bar in Asia award back in 2016. Despite its speakeasy no signage approach, 28HKS has continued to impress thanks to its stellar cocktails and team.
A very well-appointed bar with a view to boast, MO Bar bears the spirit of an indie cocktail lab coursing through its veins. Recipient of Michter’s Art of Hospitality Award in 2021, the bar explores regions and flavours with guests, and uses state-of-the-art equipment such as sonic infusers and a water bath, to bring the best out of the ingredients and experience.
5 Raffles Avenue, Downtown Core, Singapore 039797
The future is Analogue. Sustainability and inclusivity are front and centre of what the bar does. The team considers and cleverly uses ingredients to reduce carbon footprint. The centrepiece of the venue is an undulating 3D plastic-printed counter made from 1600kg of recycled bottles. It is lower on one end to welcome guests in wheelchairs.
30 Victoria St, #01-31 Chijmes, Singapore 187996
One of the best and most beautiful bars in the world, Atlas is famous for the art-deco design and the sprawling room with a three-storey all Atlas Gin Tower that houses the world’s largest gin collection of 1,400 labels.
600 North Bridge Road, Downtown Core, Singapore 188778
What started as small pop-up has become one of the most up and coming bars to look out for. Coffee by day (and all day), and bar by night, the venue nicked the Campari One To Watch Award in 2020, followed by the Disaronno Highest New Entry Award in 2021.
20 Keong Saik Road, Singapore 089127
A truly Singapore bar, Nutmeg & Clove is proud of the country’s heritage. Through its progressive cocktails, the bar retells stories of history and culture, and reinvents flavours of Asia and Singapore (which was a fishing village on the southern-most part of Malaysia not so long ago).
8 Purvis St, Singapore 188587
RECOMMENDED BAR HOPPING ROUTE IN SINGAPORE
Route 1 – 4 Bars, Total distance 2.3km , Total 29-minute walk
Jigger & Pony, No Sleep Club, Sago House and 28HKS are within 10-minute walk from one to another in and about Chinatown.
Jigger & Pony -> No Sleep Club – 0.75km, 10 mins walk
No Sleep Club -> Sago House – 0.50km, 6 mins walk
Sago House -> 28 HKS – 1.00km, 13 mins walk
Route 2 – 3 Bars, Total distance 1.3km, 16-minute walk
Atlas, Nutmeg & Clove and Analogue are located close to one another in City Hall / Bugis area. They are about 8-minute walk apart.
Atlas –> Nutmeg & Clove – 0.7km, 9 mins walk
Nutmeg & Close –> Analogue – 0.6km, 8 mins walk
Route 3 – 2 Bars, Total 0.45km, 8-minute walk (through the mall)
MO Bar and Republic Bar are just one block across each other along Raffles Avenue in Marina Bay.
MO Bar – Republic Bar – 0.45km, 8 mins walk
Manhattan & Other Bars
Manhattan is located at the quieter side of Orchard Road which is also not short of bars and the finest restaurants. Generally, all the bars are within 10 to 15 minutes train ride, and are mostly within walking distance from Singapore’s well-connected MRT network.