Taking the crown from The Old Man Hong Kong

During the first ever virtual edition of the Asia's 50 Best Bars awards ceremony, none other than our very own Jigger & Pony clinched the crown, climbing from 9th place the year before to knock off The Old Man Hong Kong from the top spot, which claimed the number one place in the 2019 edition of the awards.

For the top three spots, The Old Man Hong Kong now occupies the second place in 2020, followed by COA, also a cocktail bar from Hong Kong, in third place.

The next Singapore bar on the list is Atlas, which maintained its place at number five on the list, followed by Native dropping two places to the sixth place this year. The last local bar in the top 10 is Manhattan at number eight, which also claimed the Michter's Art of Hospitality Award 2020. Singapore's Tanjong Pagar stalwart Tippling Club then comes in at the 17th spot.

New to the list is The Old Man Singapore, sister bar to The Old Man Hong Kong, coming in strong at the 22nd place. This is the first time the awards has played host to two different bars of the same/similar concept (The Singapore menu is taken from Hong Kong), proving that they have definitely struck the right chord. Nonetheless, drinks exclusive to Singapore are in the works.

Following close behind is D. Bespoke at 23, then Gibson (also by the Jigger & Pony group) at 25th place. Speakeasy 28 HongKong Street then comes in at number 30, followed by Nutmeg & Clove re-entering the list at the 32nd spot after going missing in 2019. It took the 33rd spot back in 2018.

Another new entry is MO Bar at 46. This up-and-comer at Mandarin Oriental is the last bar to rank among the top 50, and is a much-deserved win for the team there. Last but not least, relatively new Keong Saik bar No Sleep Club was awarded the Campari's One to Watch award, an accolade given to a bar seen as the next rising star in the scene.

Local bars on the list last year but didn't make it into the 2020 edition include Operation Dagger, Employees Only Singapore and The Other Room.

The digital awards ceremony took a more solemn tone this year amid the Covid-19 pandemic, as bars around the world took a big hit in terms of patronage due to lockdown measures happening globally. Bars and restaurants face imminent shutdown, with big name Singapore bars like Jekyll & Hyde announcing their closure due to the crisis.

The organisers of Asia's 50 Best Bars emphasise that this year, the ceremony was held in the spirit of recognition, not celebration, so that perhaps this might give bars the push they need to stay in the fight, even as they face their biggest (probably) challenge yet.

Amidst the crisis, the 50 Best team has launched initiatives to lend aid to bars in terms of funding and resources. While this definitely helps, there's no better guarantee that your favourite bars will be around when lockdown measures end than helping them with actual, direct purchases.

So if you're going to be drinking, make it a toast to our local bars. There's no better time than now to be showing them your support while enjoying the best tipples you can find in Asia right at your doorstep.

See the full Asia's 50 Best Bars list here.