Drinking alone gets an unfair bad rap. Rather than the domain of sad, friendless losers, we think it’s actually a lost art of self-affirmation that should be practised not at home in front of the couch, but in Singapore’s sexiest bars (plus it’s also a great chance to chat up cute bartenders). So if you don’t have a squeeze to celebrate this heavily commercialised day, channel your inner James Bond, Don Draper, Samantha Jones or Holly Golightly and just go to town.
Sure, it’s packed to the gills almost every night of the week, but despite being one of Singapore’s most famous bars, it has an uncanny ability to make solo drinkers feel welcome, thanks in part to the friendly crew, the beautiful crowd and all the informal milling about in-between tables. If drinking alone for you means finding new people to talk to, it will probably happen here. In the meantime, order up one of their potent and inventive signature cocktails, some of their truffle mac n’ cheese balls and survey the room benevolently.
No one will bother you at this hidden, bespoke cocktail bar, tucked away above a convenience store in otherwise raucous Boat Quay. If you come early in the evening, you might even have the place to yourself. Tell the bartender your preferred spirits and flavour profiles, and they’ll whip something up for you. Their classics like Old Fashioneds and Manhattans are tasty and strong, too. Sip them alongside traditional eats like Hokkien mee and char kway teow.
With its dim interiors and dark wooden furniture, this Bukit Pasoh cocktail bar is the perfect retreat if you’re a recluse. So careful and theatrical is the Ginza celeb bartender Daiki Kanetaka’s whole schtick, it’s clear the purpose here isn’t to socialize and chat with your buddies but to watch him as he struts about in white double-breasted suits and deploying surgically precise techniques while underlings hand him towels. If not for the theater, come for the focus on sherry, Armagnac and calvados and the bespoke cocktail service.
Imagine you’re an Asian action movie star brooding over your next big plan at this underground bar (it even comes with a secret entrance through a ramen shop). Whether it’s using sake or other Japanese ingredients, the muted space is a backdrop for inventive concoctions. Even the interiors are subtle and discreet with splashes of color coming from the origami-like cascades by the wall. And if you’re feeling hungry, order a bowl from Uma Uma Ramen upstairs.
Hotel bars were made for drinking alone (thanks, Bill Murray circa Lost in Translation!) and you’ll never look cooler than when you do it at this one: think ambient light fixtures, cosy booth seats, old-school glamour and amicable service. And if you’re feeling chatty, you’ll find good company at the bar—thanks in part to them pushing out consistently strong and good signature drinks—or even with the floor staff who are always dressed to the nines.
If you just want to be left alone, this is the place. Unlike other speakeasies in town, Oxwell and Co.’s hush-hush basement cocktail bar is serious about its secrecy. Their website is decidedly minimalist, and their Facebook page has no pictures or updates. All the more reason to feel extra cool when you’re down at the bare-walled, concrete-floored space, knocking back kooky cocktails and house-fermented fruit wines.
One of the best things about this bar is its hidden, hole-in-the-wall approach. If alone doesn’t have to mean quiet, you’ll like doing your solo drinking among the cosy bustle here. This space is a casual Japanese eatery by day and a liquor retail store and cocktail bar by night. This hidden hangout specialises in rare, small-batch, handcrafted spirits, specifically gin, rum, tequila, vodka and whisky. For cocktails, there are classics like the Spiced Blueberry Mojito, Salted Caramel Old Fashioned or the Sangria Sour.