Singapore continues to cement its reputation as a serious Asia cocktail destination with 11 bars securing places on the Asia’s 50 Best Bars 2022 list, headed by Jigger & Pony, MO BAR and Manhattan in the top 10.
This year’s Asia’s 50 Best Bars list was announced in a highly publicised awards ceremony out of Bangkok, with Hong Kong’s Mexican-inspired craft cocktail bar COA continuing its winning ways by again landing in the pole position. Singapore’s highly-lauded Jigger & Pony maintained the No.2 position it garnered last year, heading a pack of 11 Singapore bars to rank on the vaunted list.
The 11 Singapore bars that entered Asia’s 50 Best Bars list this year (vs 2021) are:
- Jigger & Pony (No.2)/(No.2)
- MO BAR (No.8)/(No.45)
- Manhattan Bar (No.9)/(No.6)
- Republic (No.12) – new entry
- No Sleep Club (No.15)/(No.8)
- Atlas Bar (No.23)/(No.7)
- Tippling Club (No.27)/(No.36)
- Sago House (No.31)/(No.49)
- Nutmeg & Clove (No.36)/-
- Analogue (No.37) – new entry
- 28 Hong Kong Street (No.49)/(No.21)
Asia’s 50 Best Bars 2022 proved to be an eye-opening result for Singapore, especially coming off two years of COVID-19 restrictions that crippled most of the Republic’s nightlife scene.
The few standouts? Mandarin Oriental Singapore’s cocktail lounge MO BAR surprised pundits by climbing a jaw-dropping 37 spots from No.45 to land in the top 10 at No.8 – winning the Nikka Highest Climber award in the process – while Ritz Carlton Millennia Singapore’s swanky new cocktail bar Republic and plant-based gastrobar Analogue debuted in the top 50 at No.12 and No.36 respectively.
Likewise, Singapore-themed casual watering hole Nutmeg & Clove burst back into the top 50 list at No.36, having finally settled in their new location on Purvis Street with a quirky tourist-friendly cocktail menu.
You can find the full Asia’s 50 Best Bars list for 2022 here:
But it was not all good news.
Barbary Coast, D.Bespoke and Papa Doble (formerly The Old Man Singapore) fell out of the Top 50 to land at the No.95, No.58, and No.61 spots respectively in the secondary 51-100 list, which was unveiled in an earlier announcement.
A total of nine Singapore bars entered the extended rankings, the second time ever that the 51-100 list have been released. They are D.Bespoke at No.58, Smoke & Mirrors at No.60, Papa Doble Bar at No.61, Live Twice at No.65, Origin Grill & Bar at No.66, Shin Gi Tai at No.75, Employees Only Singapore at No.77, Barbary Coast at No.95, and Junior The Pocket Bar at No.98.
Native, once a darling of Singapore’s cocktail scene, fell out of the list altogether from its lofty position at No.14 in 2021. Similarly, Gibson (No.66 in 2021) and The Other Room (No.79 in 2021) dropped out from the secondary list. Ah Sam Cold Drink Stall, listed at No.71 last year, did not qualify as it pivoted to an online model.
During the official Asia’s 50 Best Bars ceremony, Singapore cocktail industry veteran Colin Chia and co-owner of Nutmeg & Clove was awarded the Roku Industry Icon Award for his contributions to the regional cocktail bar scene. Chia was recognised for tirelessly contributing to the bar sector on a global and regional level, educating bartenders by developing training programmes across the region in his previous roles particularly at Diageo, as well as currently from his two venues Nutmeg & Clove and Last Word.
“The past two years have been challenging, but as an industry, I’m so happy that we toughed it out by working together and supporting each other,” shared Gan Guoyi, co-founder of Jigger & Pony. “We’re so proud of the team at Jigger & Pony, and happy that our peers recognise their hard work and passion. We love what we do, so we’re going to come back tomorrow with as much love to improve by 1% every day!”
“With 11 Singapore bars in the top 50, and more on the extended list, we hope the list will guide more people to visit Singapore and experience our city’s vibrant and flourishing cocktail culture,” added Gan, also the founding president of the Singapore Cocktail Bar Association.
“We are extremely honoured to be acknowledged as one of Asia’s 50 Best Bars for the third consecutive year, and to be awarded the Nikka Highest Climber Award. This marks a huge milestone for all of us as we humbly accept this award in full gratitude towards our community, and we’re excited to celebrate this momentous occasion in person with our industry peers,” said Adrian Besa, Bar Manager of MO BAR.
“We do have to take things with a grain of salt still this year as the votes are based on a period where there was little to no travel still,” Vivian Pei, Senior Academy Chair for World’s 50 Best Bars, Asia, pointed out. “The upside is there will be more of a spotlight on more local bars, which is encouraging for them.”
“But Singapore definitely saw some amazing new bars open in the last year,” said Pei.
“We could not be happier that Asia’s 50 Best Bars returns to a live event format this year and that the community can experience much-needed connection and conviviality once again,” declared Mark Sansom, Content Director for Asia’s 50 Best Bars. “Asia’s bars have shown remarkable resilience and growth in spite of the challenges of the past two years, and we continue to be proud to celebrate the talent and creativity on display in bars all across Asia.”
The Asia’s 50 Best Bars 2022 award ceremony was originally scheduled to be held in Singapore, but was moved to Bangkok as the easing of COVID-19 restrictions in the Republic did not come in time.
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