The best cocktail bars in Singapore

From rooftop hotel bars to world class hidden speakeasies, these are the best cocktail bars in Singapore

Words by Dannon Har
May 14, 2024
Making a margarita at Cat Bite Club cocktail bar in Singapore.
Making a margarita at Cat Bite Club. Photo by Benjamin Sim

Diversity is the inimitable calling card of Singapore’s cocktail bar scene. From upmarket hotel bars to hidden speakeasies, fast-paced American-themed spots to loungy Japanese establishments, you’ll find world-class expressions of them all. Add to that myriad multicultural influences and a creative use of autochthonous ingredients from the region, and you’ve got a winning recipe for cocktail bars that boast both quality and novelty in equal measure. Worldly bartenders proud of their creations will be more than happy to chat, too (when they aren’t busy shaking drinks), and can end up being your best guide to a night out in Singapore.

Lounge seating and tables dotted around a low-lit Atlas cocktail bar.
The art deco interiors of Atlas

Atlas

Best for: A swanky martini in the most glamorous bar in town
Location: 600 North Bridge Road, Parkview Square, Singapore 188778
Price: Cocktails from 25 SGD / ~18 USD

You’ll find the awe-inspiring Atlas on almost any bar guide in Singapore – and for good reason. Taking over the entire grand lobby of Parkview Square (known colloquially as Gotham City thanks to the building’s art deco architectural style), its 15-metre-tall gin tower is truly a sight to behold, and houses Singapore’s largest gin collection. While the ornate library-like interiors will draw you in at first, it’s the drinks that will keep you lounging on for hours. Head bartender Lidyanah “Yana” K’s menu changes regularly, and often showcases long-held bartending techniques, playing on concepts such as carbonation, fat-washing and infusions. The perennial favourite pour remains the Atlas Martini, a bracingly satisfying cocktail that stands out thanks to good use of champagne vinegar in the mix.

A Chrysanthemum served at Cat Bite Club, made with dry vermouth and DOM Benedictine. Photo by Benjamin Sim

Cat Bite Club

Best for: A no-frills speakeasy with solid drinks
Location: 75 Duxton Road, Singapore 089534
Price: Cocktails from 24 SGD / ~17 USD

There’s no way you’ll find Cat Bite Club unless you know where to look. Found behind drawn blackout curtains at the back of a retail shop, this clandestine speakeasy only operates come evening when the store closes, meaning unwary passersby will only notice a closed storefront – the only giveaway of a bar existing being a small neon sign of a Cheshire cat smiling at you. Spirits made using agave and rice – such as tequila, mezcal and soju – inform the concept here. Co-founders Gabriel Lowe and Jesse Vida are industry veterans and can make a mean drink with most any ingredients you throw at them. The signature Cat Bite Margarita is a must; fresh and layered with notes of citrus and sherry, it’s a fine example of a classic being properly elevated in the hands of skilled mixologists.

A cabinet filled with jars at The Elephant Room.
A cabinet filled with jars at The Elephant Room

The Elephant Room

Best for: A taste of Singapore-Indian culture in a glass
Location: 33 Tanjong Pagar Road, #01-02, Singapore 088456
Price: Cocktails from 24 SGD / ~17 USD

Flavours you can’t find anywhere else in the world is what sets The Elephant Room apart. Inspired by the rich tapestry that is India, founder and veteran bartender Yugnes “Yugi” Susela puts drinks on the menu that pay homage to a scent, memory or taste of Singapore’s Little India district. The Champa Fizz is a riveting first drink. Its aromatics are meant to remind you of the scent of frangipani flowers that waft in the air in many parts of Little India. Be sure to have the Briyani: named after the mixed rice dish also known as the unofficial representative cuisine of Singapore’s Little India, find atypical homemade ingredients such as ghee sake and basmati makgeolli used with finesse in this potent drink.

Inside Jigger & Pony cocktail bar.
Inside Jigger & Pony

Jigger & Pony

Best for: Experiencing the pinnacle of mixology in Singapore
Location: 165 Tanjong Pagar Road, Amara Hotel, Singapore 088539
Price: All cocktails at 28 SGD / ~20 USD

The poster-child of Singapore’s cocktail bar scene, Jigger & Pony has maintained its position as the top bar in Singapore on the Asia’s 50 Best Bars list for many years now. You’ll find some of the most elegantly complex drinks on its annually refreshed menuzine, but more importantly, stories of the people behind the conceptualisation of the tipples you’re sipping on. Their latest “Smash” menu embraces multiple meanings of the word, inviting guests to enjoy highly smashable drinks, to have a smashing time and hopefully not get too smashed in the process. Don’t leave without having the creamy and bubbly Champagne Ramos Fizz or the team’s take on the classic Lycheetini. Although both simple at first glance, these cocktails overflow with pizzazz once you find out how they are made.

Little Crane served at Live Twice, made with Kyro Juuri Unaged Rye, oloroso sherry and pineapple juice.
Little Crane served at Live Twice, made with Kyro Juuri Unaged Rye, oloroso sherry and pineapple juice

Live Twice

Best for: Top-tier Japanese cocktails without the pageantry
Location: 20 Bukit Pasoh Road, Singapore 089834
Price: All cocktails at 28 SGD / ~20 USD

Sometimes you may want the precision and immaculate attention to detail that Japanese bartending offers, while being in the mood for a more relaxed setting. That’s when Live Twice steps in. There’s no need to understand the craft behind what is being served (if you don’t want to), but the depth is there if you’re so inclined to find out. The Mizuwari, for instance, seems like a simple cocktail made of just two ingredients: whisky and water. But to find out just what makes it taste so amazing is a conversation you should use to break the ice with the amiable bar team here. Never leave without having the Vesper – their famed take on the classic is made to please the most discerning of drinkers.

A red cocktail made with Hendrick's Gin, clarified tomato juice, port, plum syrup and plum bitters and served at Manhattan cocktail bar in Singapore.
Hendrick's Gin, clarified tomato juice, port, plum syrup and plum bitters served at Manhattan

Manhattan

Best for: Luxurious, boundary-pushing tipples
Location: 1 Cuscaden Road, 2F, Conrad Orchard, Singapore 249715
Price: Cocktails from 28 SGD / ~20 USD

It’s hard to imagine it’s been a decade since Manhattan first swung open its doors. One of a handful of venues that has propelled Singapore onto the global cocktail stage, this swanky yet inviting spot continues to be a force to be reckoned with through constant reinvention and unique offerings you won’t find anywhere else – its on-site rickhouse and bar-within-a-bar concept East47 are testament to that. Manhattan’s menu is an ode to Broadway, the heart of New York and drinks designed to razzle and dazzle abound. Head straight to “The Backstage” portion of the menu, where drinks aged in the rickhouse can be found. Eponymous cocktail The Manhattan is a must-have. Aged for eight weeks in American oak and served tableside with a flourish, you’d be hard pressed to find a deeper, richer take on the classic.

A Gigi mocktail made with passionfruit, coconut water and matcha at Mixology Salon Singapore.
A Gigi mocktail made with passionfruit, coconut water and matcha at Mixology Salon Singapore

Mixology Salon Singapore

Best for: The best tea cocktails in Singapore
Location: 1 Nanson Road, #02-07B InterContinental Robertson Quay, Singapore 238909
Price: Cocktails from 24 SGD / ~17 USD

The Singapore outpost of Mixology Salon by master mixologist Shuzo Nagumo in Tokyo delivers the standard of drinks and hospitality you would expect from his highly acclaimed group of bars in Japan. Its first international expansion, Mixology Salon Singapore, stands on its own two feet, with Kaoru Takii, protege of Nagumo, taking the helm of the cosy 17-seater venue. Appreciation of cocktails and tea are of equal importance here, and the bar team is able to wax lyrical about both disciplines. Any of their tea cocktails (or Tea-Tails, as they call them) are splendid. But we’d highly recommend having the Signature Tea Cocktails Course: the three-, four- or five-course cocktail offering provides deeper insight into the craftsmanship and thought processes behind what they do.

Mango lapsing wine served in a lab beaker at Native cocktail bar in Singapore.
Mango lapsing wine served at Native

Native

Best for: Zero-waste, Southeast Asian-inspired cocktails
Location: 52A Amoy Street, Singapore 069878
Price: Cocktails from 26 SGD / ~19 USD

Founder Vijay Mudaliar takes sustainability and commitment to using only regional produce in his drinks seriously. From handcrafted drinking vessels in atypical materials to homemade ferments and the usage of every part of an ingredient within drinks, Native is a conscious drinker’s haven. The Tree of Life is a brilliant showcase of the whole coconut tree, using Ceylon arrack (a spirit made from coconut palm sap), coconut water kefir, coconut nectar and coconut milk to create a well-rounded drink. Then there’s the Peranakan, which uses ingredients commonly found in the titular ethnic group’s cuisines – laksa leaves, candlenut and gula melaka – to form a rum-based tipple full of nuances worth savouring.

A futuristic oblong-shaped window looking into the red-lit interiors of Night Hawk cocktail bar in Singapore.
Looking into Night Hawk

Night Hawk

Best for: Intimate, cosy drinks while chatting with the bartenders
Location: 43 Tanjong Pagar Road, #01-02, Singapore 088464
Price: All cocktails at 25 SGD / ~18 USD

Inspired by Edward Hopper’s famous painting Nighthawks, being at this bar evokes a similar sense of introspection and existential awareness as when peering at the oil-on-canvas masterpiece. So pull up a seat at the bar, order a drink and feel free to chat with the bartenders about the intricacies of life; the intimate space and low-key atmosphere sure encourages you to do so. Cocktails here are creative without overpowering flavour, sophisticated but never grandiose, making for great drinking no matter the kind of drinker you are. There can be no wrong order here; just cocktails you never knew you liked before.

A red cocktail being prepared at Nutmeg & Clove cocktail bar in Singapore.
A cocktail being prepared at Nutmeg & Clove

Nutmeg & Clove

Best for: Uniquely Singaporean cocktails
Location: 8 Purvis Street, Singapore 188587
Price: All cocktails at 25 SGD / ~18 USD

The Singapore Sling may be top-of-mind when it comes to a cocktail in these parts, but at Nutmeg & Clove, drinks full of Singaporean characteristics fill the menu. Progressive tipples with a local slant is the name of the game here – think ingredients like durian, Hainanese chilli and butterfly pea flowers being put to good use. The Agnes’ Requiem, a floral and aromatic gin-based concoction, even uses Singapore’s national flower, the Orchid, in the mix. Or try the Yam Seng (say it with gusto for the colloquial way the Chinese community in Singapore say “cheers”) for a creamy and refreshing drink packing alluring lemongrass and pandan aromatics.

An Old Fashioned with Woodford Reserve bourbon, cherry, and Angostura bitters, served on a blue tabletop at Offtrack cocktail bar.
An Old Fashioned with Woodford Reserve bourbon, cherry, and Angostura bitters, served at Offtrack

Offtrack

Best for: Infectious tunes and good vibes
Location: 34 North Canal Road, #01-01, Singapore 059290
Price: All cocktails at 24 SGD / ~17 USD

Where bartenders go to drink when they’re not drinking for work: Offtrack attracts industry folk and the public alike thanks to how comfortable the place makes you feel. There’s just something about the space, accompanied by contagious grooves from top local DJ collectives like Darker Than Wax and Ice Cream Sundays, that will have you dancing in your seat. Drinks are good for what they’re priced at and the chefs here have made a name for themselves. There’s nothing quite like a plate of their addictive garlic noodles to cap a night of drinking about town, garlic breath be damned.

An arched bar design at Origin cocktail bar, Singapore
An arched bar design at Origin

Origin Bar

Best for: Drinks you never knew could exist
Location: 22 Orange Grove Road, Tower Wing, Shangri-La, Singapore 258350
Price: Cocktails from 25 SGD / ~18 USD

Tucked away in an unassuming corridor at the back of Shangri-La Singapore’s lobby area, locating this gem justifies the effort. You’ll always have a good time at Origin Bar, whether it’s because of its stunning cocktails, affable bar team or upbeat vibe. Drinks menus reflect the lack of limits the bar team has put upon themselves during ideation, best embodied by the Toast & Caviar, where burnt bread distilled vodka sets the base for a drink reminiscent of a Vesper and Breakfast Martini melded together. Or try the Wick & Wick for a tipple made using a base of bourbon washed in beeswax, then stirred down in yuzu, honey and hazelnut for good measure.

A Pop Yeh Yeh made with Brass Lion gin, sour plum, kiwi and apple at Republic cocktail bar in Singapore, with edible flowers garnishing the glass.
A Pop Yeh Yeh made with Brass Lion gin, sour plum, kiwi and apple at Republic

Republic

Best for: Modern mixology and vintage classics under one roof
Location: 7 Raffles Avenue, The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore, Singapore 039799
Price: Cocktails from 26 SGD / ~19 USD

Relative newcomer Republic gets its name from Singapore’s official name, the Republic of Singapore, and its drinks are inspired by the 1960s, the roaring decade in which the country gained its independence. Just like Singapore, Republic rose to greatness at light speed, gaining acclaim for drinks that manage to deliver liquid history while elegantly using crowd-pleasing ingredients like pandan, lychee and peanut butter in the process. Have the Pop Yeh Yeh – named after a musical movement in 1960s Singapore – for a taste of locally distilled Brass Lion Gin mixed with sour plum, kiwi, apple and citrus. Or try the Lion City to find out how well rum, coconut and pandan flavours meld together.

The menu at Sago House, Singaore
The menu at Sago House

Sago House

Best for: Unpretentious vibes and gritty-good drinks
Location: 37 Duxton Hill, Singapore 089615
Price: N/A

Having originally opened on Sago Street in Chinatown during the pandemic, this runaway success of a bar has now moved to a bigger and better locale atop Duxton Hill. It continues to deliver authentic hospitality and a roster of drinks that changes daily; you’ll never know what’s on the menu till you’re there. But it’s what Sago House stands for that truly makes a visit worthwhile: a hand-built space (its owners built the interiors, including the bar counter, themselves) all about community and independence standing tall amidst today’s plethora of multi-million dollar designer bars.

The minimal interiors at Sidedoor, Singapore.
The minimal interiors at Sidedoor

Sidedoor

Best for: Great nosh and that feeling of home
Location: 3 Neil Road, #01-01, Singapore 088805
Price: Cocktails from 25 SGD / ~18 USD

The reason you’ll feel right at home when visiting Sidedoor is because the couple that founded the place first started it in their home as a private dining/bar experience. They’ve now channelled that spirit into this venture, offering drink and food just as they did when they welcomed guests into their personal abode. Tryson Quek helms the kitchen while Bannie Kang takes care of things bar side. It’s nice to see the dynamic duo work their magic in tandem. Similarly harmonious, the crowd-pleasing Double Fried Fries makes for the perfect accompaniment to the whisky-based Non-Fruit Beer. The latter uses Korean barley and Fernet Branca to bring out nuanced malty undertones you’d want in a drink like this.