This monochromatic bar is your best bet if you’re looking for a crash course on wine. Praelum stocks about 350 labels in its walk-in cellar that you can order in tasting pours and half-portions. Or leave it to the knowledgeable somm, Gerald Lu, to recommend reds, whites, rosés, dessert and sparkling wines – an even mix of both classic and modern producers, refreshed every week – to suit your fancy.
Paying tribute to the 19th century, when cocktail recipes were listed in ‘jiggers’ and ‘ponies’, this cocktail bar brings back the art of classic cocktails, made from precise ratios of spirits. While the drinks like its negroni and Old Fashioned don't stray too far from the conventional, the bar bites are anything but ordinary. Order the salmon dip and steak tartare, the latter of which is made from dry-aged John Stone grass-fed beef and served with spiced strawberry ketchup.
This legendary import from New York City is always crazy packed – even if the empty psychic booth lit by a neon sign doesn't give any indication of the madness that lies within. Jostle through the crowd of diehard regulars and industry types who jockey for the attentions of the chef-coat–clad barkeeps. There's more peace at the back of the room where you can enjoy plates from its mordern American menu and a boozy beverage of choice.
This gorgeously hip bar is worth a visit just for its jungle of overhanging bottles and quirky gummy bear menu alone. You're given a pack of them, each flavoured like the cocktail they correspond to as a teaser of what's to come. The red one represents Lust ($24), a smooth champagne cocktail of peach, tonka bean and vanilla. And if you dare, the purple gummy bear and accompanying cocktail, Supercar ($24) mixes white wine and gin with notes of citrus, butter and petrol...
Remember the cool kid at school who was indifferent to instruction but kept scoring top marks? That’s 28 HongKong Street. Calling the ground floor of an old shophouse home, it's one of Singapore's OG cocktail bars – and is still going strong despite its lack of marketing and social media presence. Instead it relies on a seamless blend of urban swag and American-styled libations: expect only hip-hop classics to cascade from those speakers and cocktails named after rappers like Fernet About Dre ($23), The Real Slim Shandy ($23) and Yeesuze ($23).
Skinny's is as divey as it gets. Its pool table out front, graffiti-laced walls, private karaoke room and stiff AF drinks are all a part of its charm. The effortlessly cool bar is where all the industry folks hang out after hours. Its Fast and Cheap menu has drinks like the Americano and Paloma priced at $15 while the Make it Nice option allows more discerning drinkers to upgrade other classics ($18) with artisanal spirits at just a $3 top-up.
Brightly lit with a minimalist aesthetic, Fancy is not your usual den shrouded in shrouded leather and mahogany. The relaxed vibe and affable service from Sin Kim Shin and Jayden Ong make this bar approachable even for those new to drinking. The drinks menu named Pollen features 12 cocktails named after a flower. Start with the Rose ($22), a simple blend of peach and floral gin spiked with ginger to tingle the tongue. Or try the Hops ($22), a take on a pisco sour shaken with hops-infused mezcal, dill, lemon and egg white ’til silky smooth.
Come for the Happy Hour negroni, stay for the view and the hearty Italian food – we're looking at you, veal meatballs. Jigger and Pony, one of Singapore's main bar groups, teams up with chef David Tang, formerly of Cut by Wolfgang Puck in New York, to present modern Italian fare and drinks that hits the spot. Happy hour from 5pm to 7.30pm is the best time to visit. There are frosés at $12, spritzes for $13 and specialty cocktails going at $15 – a real steal for those looking for a sundowner poised against an unbeatable backdrop.
Anti:dote is what you get when you cross a utilitarian hotel bar with the whimsical imaginations of husband and wife team, Tryson Quek and Bannie Kang. Kang helms the bar, offering a solid menu of nine mixed drinks of reinvented classics alongside an impressive list of spirits available in 45ml or 60ml pours. The Rabbit Hole ($23) is a refreshing one to start with – a mix of carrot juice spiked with Hendrick's Gin, Mancino Bianco and elderflower liqueur – best paired with chicken liver parfait from Quek's progressive European-meets-Asian tapas menu.
In skyscraper-dense Singapore, rooftop bars are no rarity. But when one's perched on the Old Supreme Court Building, where the National Gallery currently stands, you know it's pretty special. Local head bartender, Yugnes Susela, previously of Tippling Club, enchants with cocktail chemistry that fuses Asian flavours with riffs on the classics. Perhaps its the setting, but the drinks have an aesthetic appeal too to compete with the unbeatable view and collection of art.