Temple Cellars is the cosy liquor store of your hipster dreams, and we do mean it quite sincerely. Its stash is devoted to craft beers, spirits, wines and sakes from small-batch producers – and there's a lot of love for the weird and wonderful. Craft beers and minimal intervention wines are their strongest suits but they also stock local goods such as meads by Rachelle The Rabbit and bottled cocktails by Sunday Punch. Tasting masterclasses happen quite regularly so keep a lookout for events via its Facebook page.
TRY Australian Green Ants Gin ($138.30), made with indigenous Australian botanicals and green ants foraged by aborigines. The ants impart notes of coriander and fresh, lime-like acidity.
This is hands down, every oenophiles' most beloved shrine to natural wines. And you know it’s legit because it’s always buzzing with industry folks. There’s no catalogue at this gastrobar – its 150-or-so labels (from $58) are all on display and constantly changing. If it’s an education you’re after, swing by every day (well, Tue to Sat), because the wines-by-the-glass (one white and one red, from $12) change daily. Plus, the grub is excellent too.
TRY Testalonga 'El Bandito' Skin 2017 ($85). Made from 100 percent Chenin Blanc, it's a fine example of an orange wine with balanced acidity. Expect complex, savoury notes of spice, ripe citrus and stone fruits.
Booze delivery under 60 minutes - that's BottlesXO's promise, no matter if you're calling for emergency supplies for a dinner party or to nudge things along at a romantic picnic. Wines are the main gig – mostly sourced from family-owned vineyards across Europe – for this app-based delivery service, but they've recently expanded into craft beers, including suds from Australia's famous Stockade Brew Co. And with delivery operating till midnight (2am on Fridays and Saturdays), BottlesXO makes a compelling case if you're thirsty after the 10.30pm curfew.
TRY Stockade Puppet Master ThaIPA. A limited edition collab, this one's zesty with lemongrass and kaffir lime and a dash of spiciness.
Bottle shop by day and a lounge by night, La Maison du Whisky houses over 1,000 spirits - whiskies, rums, gins - in its stables. If you're seeking out a rare whisky or rum, La Maison du Whisky is probably your best bet. Notably, the bar offers more than 300 spirit expressions, so there's plenty of opportunities to taste before splashing out on a bottle. Also keep a lookout for the annual Whisky Live, which is one of the biggest spirits showcases in Singapore.
TRY La Maison du Whisky's very own Artist Collection, part of a series of collabs with independent bottler Signatory Vintages.
One of the most comprehensive bottle shops – online and offline – in Singapore, with over 1,000 fine wines and spirits in its inventory. The site is so well-organised you can search by vintage, appellation and grape varietal! Bordeaux vinos are their speciality – the shop's named after the Bordeaux Classification system – but the 1855 plays a strong whisky game too, with an impressive collection of hard-to-find, age-statement Japanese whiskies. Most outlets are retail-only, except Sixth Avenue and i12 Katong which have wine lounges. Look out for their winemaker- and distiller-led masterclasses.
TRY La Croix Ducru-Beaucaillou Cuvee Colbert 2013 ($98(. The wine sat in a vat constructed from the last oak tree of the royal Tronçais Forest that was initially planted to supply raw materials for the French navy.
Affordable drinking made chic, that's the order of the day at Ginett. The list at this Parisian-style bistro/wine bar is solely dedicated to French vinos and prices largely hover between $30 and $80. If you're looking to taste before purchasing, 25 of them are available by the glass, starting at $6 – all day, every day. Ginett runs some excellent promotions too, such as $1 oysters on Thursdays, and a free bottle of house wine with every cheese-and-charcuterie 1 Meter Board ($56) on Sundays.
TRY Pic Saint Loup La Ceremonie Pinot Noir ($8/glass, $40/bottle). Unlike Burgundy pinot noirs – which tend to be sharper, with aggressive acidity – this Southwestern one from Languedoc is more balanced with notes of roasted coffee beans and dark chocolate.
Craft spirits rule the roost – especially agave distillates and American whiskies. Although you can order online, you've got to make a pilgrimage to the store at least once. It's incredibly dapper and Kingsmen-sy. The walk-in closet – lined with beautiful bottles, glassware, bartending books and tools – is the stuff of dreams, and most spirits are available for sampling too. Also, consider the weekly Salon Socials: you'll get to try three or four expressions from a spirit category (plus free-flow prosecco) and your $25 ticket can be offset against bottle purchases.
TRY Any from the Fuenteseca line of aged tequilas (from $271). You'll want to savour these slowly, just like with whiskies.
Boruto may be a modern izakaya with Spanish leanings but their sake collection is nothing to snub your nose up at. They carry about 100 sake labels – including seasonal nama sake (unfiltered sake) – and it sure helps that there's a local sommelier to seek advice from comfortably. Prices start from $32 for 300ml and they also do 10 sakes by the glass. If you're feeling real fancy, there are some real premium slosh that run upwards of $2,000.
TRY The limited edition Gekkeikan Retro Bottle Ginjo Sake ($118 for 720ml), exclusive in Singapore to Boruto. It's of the sweet, deeply aromatic variety and the unique bottle design lets the bottle cap double up as a sake cup.
Duty-free shops used to have a bad rap as soulless places with bland selections. But DFS has been busy tearing up that image with some of its latest initiatives. Case in point: Their snazzy store at the new Terminal 4, which boasts The Craft Collection that showcases small-batch beers and spirits (and three craft beers on tap!), and The Cocktail Bar where you can try cocktail-making and purchase home-bar essentials. Both T4 and T2 also have a Whiskey House, where over 100 whiskies are up for complimentary sampling.
TRY Four Pillar Bloody Shiraz Gin. Think whole Shiraz grapes from the Yarra Valley steeped in the distillery's Rare Dry Gin for eight weeks. Lots of spice, raspberries, and juniper.
Vinomofo makes it their mission to democratise wines – in terms of pricing, and in terms of language. Wines are sold in cases of six or 12 (mixed cases are available) and because they source directly from wineries, discounts are hefty, often hovering between 20 to 40 percent, and sometimes as much as 60. The site gives detailed information (even serving temperature, preservatives used, and type of closure) and pairing recommendations. Its tasting notes are in plainspeak and are downright hilarious.
TRY Winerie Parisienne Rosé, produced by from one of the few urban vineyards in Paris. Floral, light and dry, it's a great match for our searing climate.
Looking through the Gain Brands site, it's very easy to fall down the rabbit hole – poring through story after story about each of the boutique labels they carry. It's the kind of site that makes you feel like you've made a personal connection with each distillery and brewery. Artisanal gins are their proudest category, each and every label is painstakingly sourced and introduced – to that end, Gain Brands frequently holds tasting sessions to give each craft expression proper attention.
TRY Skin Gin ($118) and not just for its perfume bottle-esque good looks. All of its seven botanicals are hand-picked and distilled separately. Expect a modern-style gin, lively with dominant notes of mint and pink grapefruit and coriander freshness.