Despite being a world-class cocktail nation, there had historically only been a couple of bars treating Asian ingredients seriously in mixology. That started changing over the past year or two, and now over a half dozen cocktail bars have made it their calling card, resulting in better, more creative tipples for us, as well as more than a passing nod to the history and stories behind them. Most also come with Asian-fusion bar bites—a big plus.
This bar is great with classics like the Old Fashioned and the Manhattan, but they truly shine when bringing Asian flavors into their concoctions, some even served in teacups. Sip them alongside local eats like Hokkien mee and char kway teow. 60A Boat Quay
Naz Arjuna whips up some locally inspired cocktails such as Ancient Orchard, made with small batch geranium gin, Tio Pepe cordial and Peychaud’s bitters. Get their addictive truffle chips. 118 Telok Ayer St.
Full of Luck Club has added a secret little rooftop bar. Concocted by Darren Lim, drinks include the curious Dragon’s Breath, a blend of High West Campfire whisky and mezcal, with goji and wintermelon syrup. Also get the braised pork belly bao from downstairs. 243 Holland Ave.
Famed for its signature cocktail involving ants, Native is a cool bar with a focus not on exhaustive spirits lists, but rather individually sourced sakes, whiskies, gins and arracks from around Asia. This includes lots of locally foraged ingredients and some inventive mixology. 52A Amoy St.
A pioneer in the Asian cocktail thing, Nutmeg & Clove’s menu channels five eras of Singapore’s history. Order up the Barrel Aged SG Sling (gin, sandalwood infusion, orange liquor, DOM, cherry liquor, hibiscus, pineapple and bitters). 10A Ann Siang Hill.
Fashioned after a Chinese laundry shop, it has detergent boxes on the wall, washing machines and a drawing of a cute cat. Cocktails include the Teh Botol, spiked with red tea rum, and the purple, ginbased Andy Lau. Try the prawn egg rolls. 4 Jiak Chuan Rd.
The drinks list at Zouk’s cocktail bar is divided by the names of Asian hoods like Lan Kwai Fong in Hong Kong and KL’s The Row, most with subtle tropical touches that go great with fusion bar bites like Scotch century eggs. 3C River Valley Rd.
Easily the sexiest hotel lobby bar in town, the one at The Warehouse pays tribute to the storied history of the building (a godown, an illegal distillery, a club) in its signature cocktail menu. Try the Singapore Sazerac, with raisin-infused bourbon and pandan bitters. 320 Havelock Rd.