November is all about bang for your buck happy hours, Japanese craft beers, all sorts of spirits and even more bottles of wine. Here’s how you can prepare yourself in November before the impending hangover-causing Christmas parties the month after.
A cool new cat appears in Chinatown
Phat Cat Laundry
This laundry-themed bar projects a typical Chinese-owned self-service laundry shop, with elements like detergent boxes on the wall, washing machines on the premises and a drawing of a cute Chinese cat (typically seen in Chinese households) on the entrance door welcoming you. While Phat Cat Laundry does serve Asian-inspired cocktails and Asian fushion grub, you might wanna swing by during their happy hours (5pm-8pm) to enjoy house pours priced according to the hour (i.e. 5pm = $5).
The National Gallery has a pop-up courtyard bar
Cocktail and Poptails at Pop Bar
National Gallery Singapore is already home to some pretty cool bars. Both the lounge at Italian place Aura and the recently turned-one Smoke & Mirrors offer fabulous sunset views over the Padang. But before you think the National Gallery is all uppity, the ground level cafeteria is launching what sounds like a very cool alfresco pop-up bar. The Pop Bar at Gallery & Co., which will only be around from Nov 1-Jan 2, is the new happy hour bar inspired by all things pop—music, culture and art. They’ll be dishing out happy hour promotions like a mini tasting of their poptails, Asahi beers priced according to the hour (similar to Phat Cat Laundry), as well as fuss-free bar bites for a laidback, unapologetic night of fun.
Tapas bar FOC just opened a beach club on Sentosa
Michelin-starred chef Nandu Jubany’s FOC branches out from its space on HongKong Street to the sunny shores of Sentosa with a second outlet that boasts a restaurant and bar-lounge inspired by the beach culture of Barcelona. Nestled on the eastern end of Palawan Beach, FOC Sentosa has a beach-house vibe going on, what with its exposed wooden roofs, beach sunbeds, a pool deck and an alfresco terrace. You can expect the same great Mediterranean fare just like its HongKong Street and their wide cocktail selection.
A Japanese microbrewery takes over a bar on Orchard
Craft Beer Bar Takumi
Ever since Craft Beer Bar Takumi opened at the Mandarin Orchard Hotel opened, we’ve been spoilt for choice when it comes to having some of Japan’s finest brews (shout-out to their sister outlet JiBiru, too). Come Nov 5, Ise Kadoya Microbrewery will be taking over Bar Takumi’s taps, bringing with them four of their best brews, including the Imperial Red Ale on draft.
Another whisky lounge joins the ranks
Situated in the heart of the CBD, Belljar houses a restaurant, a whisky lounge, a cocktail bar and an event space where they hold whisky classes from time to time. The three-storey establishment is reminiscent to a typical speakeasy in London with a vintage atmosphere, thanks to its dim lighting, plush seats and posters of classic rock bands. The bartender at the lounge and bar on the second floor can also take you on a “world tour” with their range of curated whiskey flights, accompanied by bespoke cocktails to your liking.
There’s wine a-plenty
1855 The Bottle Shop’s Wine & Whisky Week
Not everyone shares the same enthusiasm for fine wine and authentic whisky, but if you do, then you have another reason to get excited. 1855 The Bottle Shop’s Wine and Whisky Week is back for a second run from Nov 8-13, offering the same one-stop tasting, shopping and education experience as the first. And yes, it’s a free event. There’ll be more than 500 labels of wines and spirits from different regions to try over the five-day affair. Highlights include cult wines like the ones from Napa Valley (including the Opus One), the popular Grand Cru Bordeaux wines from renowned wineries such as Chateau Pape Clement, rare whiskies like the Yamazaki and Karuizawa 12, and more.
Become an accredited whisky “connoisseur”
…and that person who only drinks whisky neat at house parties and goes on about how it goes better with chocolate. TFS Private Works is holding the world’s first accredited training course on whisky, where you’ll learn about basics of whisky (the history, different production areas in Scotland, production process), glassware and presentation, nosing and tasting and more. At the end of this one-day course, you’ll go through an examination consisting of 30 multiple-choice questions and a blind tasting of four whiskies. Sign up here.
Learn the difference between VSOP and XO cognacs
There’s always so much buzz for wines, beers and whiskies, but not enough love going around for cognac. For one day on Nov 10, ChateauAsia puts the spotlight on this underrated spirit, following the recent 250th anniversary celebrations of Hennessy. Learn more about its origin, history, fascinating methods of preparation and the differences between a VSOP and an XO cognac from special guest (and one of Asia’s top bartenders), Russell Cardoza, who will also be sharing a few cocktails you can prepare yourself at home. Of course you’ll get to taste a variety of cognacs and cocktails, paired with dishes like duck confit, melted brie, baba ghonoush and more.
A day for whisky-everything
Whisky Live 2015
Gather your friends and plan for a whisky-filled weekend on Nov 12-13, as Southeast Asia’s premier whisky and spirits show, Whisky Live Singapore 2016, returns to Capella Hotel Singapore in Sentosa for its seventh edition. This year’s showcase will see about 300 expressions and over 60 whisky and spirit brands for you to try, including The Macallan, which will be making its debut along with three other brands of single malt whisky. Biggies such as whisky writer Dave Broom, rum expert Luca Gargano and master mixologist Rogerio Igarashi Vaz, who co-founded Japan’s famed Bar Tram and Bar Trench, will be dropping by to lead masterclasses and mix up signature cocktails. Rogerio will also be recreating Bar Trench at the event, so expect their signature drinks like the Two Gun Northside and the Coriander Southside.
The return of Asia’s best gin party
East Imperial Gin Jubilee 2015
The fourth edition of the East Imperial Gin Jubilee will hit Singapore from Nov 20-26, bringing a heady dose of gin culture to town after touring four other cities in Asia. The highlight of this year’s event is the Asia’s Best Gin & Tonic competition, which will see 80 bars from the participating cities competing for the title. Other highlights include masterclasses, tasting sessions, pop-ups, live stream distillery visits and the famed Gin Lane closing party
And more G&T variations than you can drink
Conrad Singapore Gin Experience
If your default drink at a bar, club or party is a gin and tonic, then you’ll want to head over to the majestic Lobby Lounge at Conrad Continental Singapore where you can get creative and customize your own gin concoction from now till Nov 27. Dubbed “The Gin Experience“, you’ll be able to choose every single ingredient that goes into your G&T. Pick from a variety of 12 premium gins, seven of the finest craft tonics, a choice of eight unique bitters and 30 different garnishes to top it all off. Priced at $22 a glass (or $12 during happy hours between 5pm-7pm).