When it comes to eating and drinking well in Asia, Singapore probably ranks first among equals. In the last decade or so, this little red dot has become a truly gastronomic city, one festooned with culinary gems at every corner. But while most attention has been concentrated on the booming restaurant scene, one fed by the blitz of celebrity chefs on our shores, we are not doing too badly when it comes to watering holes either.
Many of these have garnered recognition on the international platform, such as Manhattan at Regent Singapore, which is ranked seventh on The World’s 50 Best Bars 2017, and the best in Asia on this year’s Asia’s 50 Best Bars list. Not to be forgotten are 28 Hong Kong Street and Operation Dagger, which follow closely behind at fourth and sixth spots respectively on Asia’s 50 Best Bars list. Then there are Atlas, Tippling Club, The Other Room, Native and more, all doing their part to shake the local bar scene.
This issue, we raise a toast to the happy hour and survey the fantastic melange of cocktails and spirits on offer. Savour the layered, complex nuances of aged cocktails at the likes of The Other Room and Manhattan, two of Singapore’s best bars—better yet, try your hand at ageing your own (p.42). Or take a leaf from Vijay Mudaliar, owner of the award-winning Native Bar, and shake up some inspired concoctions with a Singapore twist (p.50).
Meanwhile, those with a taste for adventure can take a trip with the green fairy. Absinthe, the much-maligned spirit so loved by the bohemians, artists and poets of the 19th century is once again making a comeback (p.60). And what’s happy hour without a whist of whisky (p.56)? Variety may be the spice of life, but the ancients know that whisky is truly the water of life. Take your pick from the myriad choices on the market, from single malt and Scottish to Japanese cask-aged.
As we like to say in Singapore, yum seng!