One of the highlights of previous editions of Singapore Cocktail Week was the number of star bartenders from the region and around the world visiting our part of the woods, many of whom take up guest bartending shifts in some of the best bars in town. Its successor Singapore Cocktail Festival, which takes place later this week, looks to continue that trend.

We look at some of the key guest bartending shifts happening during Singapore Cocktail Festival around Singapore that we highly recommend you check out:

Wednesday 15 March

HONEY NIGHT by Monkey 47 | Arijit Bose | Jigger & Pony

Get an early start to Singapore Cocktail Festival with Monkey 47 gin as brand ambassador Arijit Bose unveils its exclusive Distiller’s Cut gin from raw honey harvested at the German distillery.

THE PONTIAC PARKS AT 28HKS | The Pontiac | 28 Hong Kong Street | From 8pm

The girls from The Pontiac Hong Kong will be driving up to speakeasy bar 28 Hong Kong Street where they will run a guest shift.

Thursday 16 March

BACKSTAGE AT SOI 43 | Neung Ronnaporn, Anakin Wongsala | Crackerjack | 9pm to 12mn

The boys of Backstage Bar in Bangkok, Neung “Porn Star” Ronnaporn and Anakin “Ton” Wongsala will be shaking things up with their Thai flair, complete with Muay Thai moves that aims to hurt only your liver.

FROM GINZA TO SHINJUKU | Hiroyasu Kayama, Mari Nakano | Gibson

Two of Tokyo’s greatest bartenders, Hiroyasu Kayama of Bar Benfiddich in Shinjuku (#21 on Asia’s 50 Best Bars 2016) and Mari Nakano of Ginza’s The Peninsula, is Gibson’s double bill this night who will dazzle with class, cocktail wizardry and classic Japanese hospitality.

TAIWAN’S GODFATHER | Aki Wang | Flagship

Aki Wang - Indulge

Veteran Taiwanese bartending legend Aki Wang, dubbed “The Cocktail Godfather” in the Chinese-speaking world, proudly showcases Taiwan’s unique bartending style and Chinese culture.

ANANAS ALCHEMY | Faye Chen | Jigger & Pony

Former bar manager of Shanghai’s Speak Low, Faye Chen – she’s leaving to pursue a new project in New York City – will helm the sticks at Jigger & Pony as she throws up some glamour and tropical fun.

HONG KONG’S YOUNG & DANGEROUS | Jackie Lo, Leo Chung | Sugarhall

Alibi Bar‘s Leo Chung joins fellow Hong Konger bar consultant Jackie Lo at rum bar Sugarhall to showcase some cocktail chops worthy of a Hong Kong mafia drama. Drop by to say hi to Jackie, especially if you remember her from her days at Sugarhall some time back.

FROM THAILAND WITH LOVE | Dheeradon Dissara | Tess Bar & Kitchen | From 9pm

2016 La Maison Cointreau Thailand champion Dheeradon Dissara from Bangkok’s The Never Ending Summer guest bartends at bar bistro Tess Bar & Kitchen and will be slinging out cocktails like Gold and Purple, made with Mount Gay rum.

BATTLE OF JAPAN | Ryu Fujii, Tsuyoshi Miyazaki, Hidetsugu Ueno | Nutmeg & Clove | 8pm to 12mn

bar high five

Japanese master bartender Hidetsugu Ueno of Ginza’s acclaimed Bar High Five will oversee young punks Ryu Fujii and Tsuyoshi Miyazaki – 2016  and 2013 Diageo World Class Japan champions respectively – as they showcase their creative twists to some classic cocktails.

PEG LEG HOBBLES INTO THE OTHER ROOM | Jose Manuel Alvarez | The Other Room | 9pm to 12mn

Shiver me timbers! Rakish cocktail ruffian Jose Manuel Alvarez of pirate-themed bar Peg Leg in Sydney will hobble into the hidden bar The Other Room of Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza to serve a selection of his yummy Cachaça and Cognac-based cocktails. Parrot not included.

IT’S THE BOMBANA | Davender Sehgal | The Other Room | 11.55pm to 2am

Coming from Hong Kong’s 8-1/2 Otto e Mezzo Bombana is Davender Sehgal, who’ll take over guest bartending duties straight after Jose Manuel Alvarez of Sydney’s Peg Leg is done.

APPRECIATE MONTI | Shawn Chong | MONTI | 9pm to 11pm

Kuala Lumpur’s Omakase + Appreciate brings its own unique speakeasy style as Shawn Chong guest shifts at one of Singapore’s latest waterfront dining destinations.

Friday 17 March

TANQUERAY GREEN ROOM | Lauren Mote | Gibson

Gibson will be transformed for one-night only into a lush green room of botanic wonders as it hosts Lauren Mote, co-founder of Bittered Sling, a successful line of bitters and small-batch bottled cocktails.

FAYE-D INTO THE OTHER ROOM | Faye Chen | The Other Room | 11.55pm to 2am

Former bar manager of Shanghai’s Speak Low, Faye Chen – she’s leaving to pursue a new project in New York City – goes behind the bar to show us some Chinese cocktail-making flair. What a way to spend a break, Faye.

HAPPINESS FORGETS POP-UP (NIGHT 1) | Happiness Forgets | Flagship

Rhys Wilson and Alastair Burgess - Happiness Forgets

Happiness Forgets from London – also known as #10 on World’s 50 Best Bars 2016 – will do a pop-up and bar takeover at casual American dive bar Flagship. Expect “great cocktails, no wallies”, whatever that means.

BLUECOAT GIN | Stuart Danker | Cin Cin | 7pm till late

Drinksfellas portfolio manager Stuart Danker – formerly head bartender at Sugarhall – will take up a guest shift at gin bar Cin Cin as he and Cin Cin head bartender Fadly turns Bluecoat Gin from Philadelphia Distilling based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, into four different gin and tea-based cocktails.

LA MAISON COINTREAU TAKEOVER | Josh O’Brien, Dheeradon Dissara | Skinny’s Lounge | 11pm

Singapore’s industry bar favourite Skinny’s Lounge will host 2016 La Maison Cointreau Australia winner Josh O’Brien of The Bowery in Brisbane and 2016 La Maison Cointreau Thailand champion Dheeradon Dissara of Bangkok’s The Never Ending Summer featuring cocktails made with Cointreau and Mount Gay rum.

JAKARTA TAKES OVER | Mirwan ‘Bule’ Syach, Kiki Moka | Sugarhall

If you’ve been to Jakarta you’d know that bar bistro Loewy and its bar, bakery, and brasserie sibling Union are places to be. Be transported to one night in Jakarta coupled with high-octane tipples – minus the traffic jams – as Loewy’s Mirwan and Union’s Kiki take centrestage here.

A BAMBOO WALL | Ann Pinsuda | The Wall | 7pm to 11pm

ann pinsuda

Ann Pinsuda Pongprom of The Bamboo Bar at Mandarin Oriental in Bangkok will be showcasing her award-winning flair and cocktail making skills during this guest shift at The Wall.

A STUDY OF LIQUEURS | Alex Kratena | The Library | 9pm to 11pm 

Head bartender Alex Kratena of Artesian at the Langham Hotel in central London knows a thing or two about liqueurs and cocktails. He uses various concoctions from Slovakia’s Bentianna and Onder de Boompjes from the Netherlands to create some magical cocktails for his guest shift at The Library.

APERITIKI | Daniele Pirotta | Lime House | 7pm to 10pm

Gruppo Campari brand ambassador Daniele Pirotta will be present for a special one-night only guest bartending shift at Lime House where he will showcase a unique blend of Jamaica and Italy with a twist of Tiki, transporting drinkers to the tropics through three different cocktails as he takes your favourite Italian aperitifs and marries them with one the world’s most loved Caribbean rums, Appleton Estate.

THE BOTANIST AND THE FORAGER | Hiroyasu Kayama | NATIVE | 8pm to 10pm

What happens when a mad botanist and a crazy forager team up for an insane night of cocktail experiments? Find out by joining NATIVE‘s Vijay Mudaliar and guest bartender Hiroyasu Kayama of Tokyo’s Bar Benfiddich – the latter’s family actually owns part of a mountain where they forage for herbs  – as they put together some of the most exotic cocktails you’ll find on this planet.

Saturday 18 March

SPRINGTIME IN TOKYO | Takuo & Sumire Myanohara | Gibson

Sumire and Takuo Miyanohara - Bar Orchard - from DrinkPlanet

Ginza, Tokyo’s bartending power couple Takuo and Sumire Miyanohara of Bar Orchard brings springtime in Japan to Singapore in the cosy space of Gibson as they showcase various seasonal cocktails made using unorthodox mixology techniques.

SATURDAY IRISH FEVER | Agung Prabowo | Jigger & Pony

Jigger & Pony shows there’s nothing more Irish than Agung Prabowo from Hong Kong’s Mandarin Oriental; after all he did become synonymous with Irish whiskey during his time at Lobster Bar (#4 at Asia’s Best 50 Bars in 2015).

GETTING HIGH ON BITTERS | Lauren Mote | Highball | 7pm to 11pm

Named the 2015 ‘Bartender of the Year’ by both the Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards and Diageo World Class Canada Lauren Mote will helm a guest shift at the all-women run Highball. The co-founder of Bittered Sling, also the first Canadian woman inducted into the “Dames Hall of Fame” at Tales of the Cocktail, should fit very well there.

ONCE UPON A TIME AT BAR TERMINI | Gregory Camillò and Robin Kolek | Tippling Club | 7pm


Gregory Camillò and Robin Kolek, Bar Termini

London’s Bar Termini is best known for its negronis, and Tippling Club will hosts Bar Termini’s Gregory Camillò and Robin Kolek for a one-night only takeover where they will showcase five different Negronis paired with inspired Italian fare by Tippling Club’s Chef Ayo Adeyemi. Reservations required.

THE OWL PERCHES ON THE WALL | Suchada Sopajaree | The Wall | 7pm to 11pm

suchada soparajee

Suchada “Fahbeer” Sopajaree, the genius behind the bar at The Owl Society Whiskey Saloon in Bangkok was one of 12 finalists for 2016 Diageo World Class Thailand, and she will take to The Wall to introduce various whiskies or whisky-based cocktails such as the Manhattan.

ARTESIAN-AL | Jamie Rhind, Andrea Gualdi | The Other Room | 11.55pm to 2am

Artesian alumni Jamie Rhind of The Bamboo Bar at the Mandarin Oriental in Bangkok and Andrea Gualdi from Maybe Frank in Sydney will take over The Other Room, and ensure good libations for all.

HAPPINESS FORGETS POP-UP (NIGHT 2) | Happiness Forgets | Flagship

London’s Happiness Forgets continues its pop-up and bar takeover at casual American dive bar Flagship, because one night of British debauchery is never enough.

HIPSTER TOKYO | Soran Nomura | Sugarhall

fuglen tokyo

Soran Nomura from Tokyo cult favourite hipster hangout Fuglen partners up with Singapore third wave coffee pioneer Papa Palheta to celebrate the amazing intersection between cocktails and coffee.

TAIWAN CRACKS US UP | Aki Wang | Crackerjack | From 9pm

Founder of Indulge Life Hospitality Group and seasoned Taiwanese bartending legend Aki Wang will take over the helm at Crackerjack for one night only.

PEG + PATRIOT | Matt Whiley | Smoke & Mirrors | 8pm to 10pm

Matt Whiley of London’s award-winning Peg + Patriot – Matt’s even named London Evening Standard‘s Top 1000 Most Influential Londoners – will join Smoke & Mirrors’ head bartender Yugnes Susela to regale revellers with an exclusive cocktail menu.

A PERSIAN QUEEN IN KINGSTON | Daniele Pirotta | Fat Prince | 8pm to 10pm

Photo: Caroline McCredie
Fat Prince will be hosting Gruppo Campari brand ambassador Daniele Pirotta for a special one-night only guest bartending shift where he will take revellers on a cocktail journey through old world Turkey, Morocco and Persia with a clever and unique blend of Middle Eastern inspired flavours using one of the world’s most celebrated Caribbean rums from Appleton Estate Jamaica. Cocktails include: Turkish Corretto, Kingston Istanbul, (via Milano) Persian Flower Queen and Casablanca Swizzle.


Already an unofficial industry hangout, Skinny’s Lounge will continue that role when bartender Danny Neff – responsible for many lauded New York City bar openings including Extra Fancy, the Bar Room and most recently, reviving the city’s much-loved neo-dive bar, Holiday Cocktail Lounge – gets behind its bar.

BATTLE OF THAILAND | The Rabbit Hole, Backstage Bar | Nutmeg & Clove | 8pm to 12mn

The bartending staff of two of the hottest bars in Bangkok, The Rabbit Hole and Backstage Bar, will pit their mixology skills against each other at Nutmeg & Clove, which will be transformed into an agogo Thai disco for one-night only.

JACK ROSE POP-UP | Callan Green, James Estes | Vasco | 8pm to 11pm

A sneak peek into Jack Rose in Kuala Lumpur, brought to you by owner Callan Green and James Estes of Ocho Tequila. If you love agave, this is one shift you will want to check out.

Sunday 19 March

THE BOTANIST FOREST | Hiroyasu Kayama | Bob’s Bar | 8pm to 10pm

bar benfiddich hiroyasu koyama

Tokyo’s Bar Benfiddich’s Hiroyasu Kayama takes his barhopping seriously – this time he guest shifts at Bob’s Bar in Capella Singapore on Sentosa, and he will showcase his drink The Botanist Forest, made with an assortment of exotic herbs.

RED, WHITE AND BOOZE PARTY | Liam Baer, Ricky Paiva, Gina Marie Kent, Michael Callahan | Skinny’s Lounge | From 8pm

Here’s an Americana party that promises to tear the walls down. Liam Baer of The Screening Room, Bacardi’s Ricky Paiva, Gina Marie Kent of Anti:dote, and Michael Callahan of Employees Only headline this all-American party. Proceeds for the night will go to Red Pencil, a charity that focuses on giving the disadvantaged an outlet through the arts and arts therapy.

SPEAK LOW AT THE OTHER ROOM | Kris Du | The Other Room | 12.55pm to 2am

From Shingo Gokan’s highly-acclaimed Speak Low in Shanghai is Kris Du, a rising star in the Chinese bartending circuit. Du will shake things up since it’s also The Other Room’s crazy disco night. Oh, and he might make some cocktails too.

THE COCKTAIL MAN | Naren Young | Manhattan Bar | 7pm to 11pm

Naren Young of recently opened Dante in New York City will be working a guest shift at Manhattan Bar. Sidle up to the bar and ask him about his 20-year bartending journey. He’ll definitely have stories to tell, such as weirdos sidling up to him at the bar asking of his 20-year bartending journey.

SYDNEY IN MONTI | Quynh Van Nguyen, Sky Huo | MONTI | 7pm to 9pm

Quynh Van Nguyen of Charlie Parker and Sky Huo of Baxter Inn – both of which are based in Sydney – will be at Monti for a double bill bartending stint; each of them will be presenting three cocktails.

Monday 20 March

BANGKOK TAKEOVER | Thananya Samoema, Depp Hirunwathit | The Wall | 7pm to 11pm

Thananya Samoema aka ‘Babybomb’ of Bangkok’s MIKYS Cocktail Bar and Diageo World Class 2017 finalist Depp Hirunwathit of Revolucion Cocktail Bangkok will be presenting their signature cocktails at The Wall, paired with the bar’s signature sumiyaki.

BANGKOK’S BEST TAKES OVER | Supawit Muttarattana, Attapon De-Silva | Jigger & Pony

Bangkok has one of the region’s most burgeoning cocktail scenes, and Supawit Muttarattana of European bistro bar Vesper and Attapon De-Silva of speakeasy Q&A team up to prove it at Jigger & Pony.

CHARLIE PARKER POP-UP | Sam Egerton, Quynh Van Nguyen | Flagship

One of the Sydney’s latest bars under the Merivale F&B group, Charlie Parker’s culinary approach to cocktails will feature at Flagship as Sam Egerton and Quynh Van Nguyen displays their skills here.

LIKE MINDED CREATURES | Alex Kratena, Matt Whiley | Operation Dagger | From 6pm

Because three heads are better than one, London-based Alex Kratena of Artesian at the Langham Hotel and Matt Whiley of Peg + Patriot will join Luke Whearty at Operation Dagger for night of no good. Which, of course, means you should be there.

Tuesday 21 March

THE BAR WITH NO NAME | Giovanni Graziadei | Gibson

Giovanni Graziadei - 69 Colebrooke Row

Multiple award-winning London cult classic 69 Colebrooke Row may not have a proper honorific, but it’s made its name in cocktail circles around the world.

TO THE BITTER END | Daniele Pirotta | Flagship | 9pm to 12mn

In true Italian fashion Gruppo Campari brand ambassador Daniele Pirotta will showcase one of his favourite drinks to reflect his love for everything bitter and aperitivo; the Campari Shakerato may be a one-ingredient cocktail, but Pirotta will use agitation, oxygenation, temperature shock and dilution to transform the bitter aperitivo into an airily-fresh and deliciously delicate drink.

JAMAICA JIVE | Stuart Danker | Red Tail | 7pm to 9pm

Drinksfellas portfolio manager Stuart Danker – and former principal bartender at rum bar Sugarhall – will help close off SGCF proceedings with a Jamaican twist at Red Tail; his Java Daiquiri, Jamaican Manhattan and Brazilian Samba – featuring Appleton Estate Rum and Sagatiba Cachaca – sounds like refreshingly exotic cocktails.


THE BARBER SHOP POP-UP | Mike Enright, David Nguyen-Luu | Jigger & Pony

Mike Enright and David Nguyen Luu - The Barber Shop

If you fancy a shave while sipping your cocktail, Sydney’s gin palace The Barber Shop got you covered – uncovered? – as it takes over Jigger & Pony on the final night of Singapore Cocktail Festival.

IT’S MORE FUN IN THE PHILIPPINES SUGARHALL | Lester Ligon, David Ong | Sugarhall

Manila represent! Lester Ligon of ABV (#14 on Asia’s 50 Best Bars 2016) and David Ong of The Curator (#16 on Asia’s 50 Best Bars 2016) will be let loose in Sugarhall on the last night of Singapore Cocktail Festival.

DIVINE G’VINE | Vincent Yong, Benedict Gerard | El Tardeo | 7pm to 9pm

Vincent Yong of Birds of a Feather joins El Tardeo’s Benedict Gerard as they put out G’Vine gin based cocktails.

BATTLE OF TAIWAN |  Angus Zou, Kae Yin, Mark Huang, Nick Wu | Nutmeg & Clove | 8pm to 12mn

The Four Heavenly Kings of Taiwan’s cocktail industry – Angus Zou, Kae Yin, Mark Huang, and Nick Wu, all of them Diageo World Class Taiwan alumni – go head-to-head at Nutmeg & Clove in the same shift to help end a most epic Singapore Cocktail Festival.


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