Singapore Cocktail Festival is again upon us! The annual cocktail-focused extravaganza returns this May for its ninth consecutive edition to regale cocktail aficionados, injecting even more life to a Lion City finally shrugging off the doldrums of the epidemic.
But with a festival calendar absolutely loaded with drinks-related activities that stretches from now till 21 May, it can be a tad challenging on the liver. Aside from the Festival Village – where you can catch many of the visiting guest bartenders flying in from all over the region – there are plenty of guest shift action happening across town during the festival period.
For that reason, we’re putting together recommendations for some of the guest shifts and other activities – such as cocktail brunches – that you should check out this Singapore Cocktail Festival season.
(And if this list is not expansive enough, you may want to check out a similar guide by our friends over at Parched.)
[5-6 May, 7pm to late] Underdog Inn, hosting Hope & Sesame (Guangzhou, China)
Love your tequila-based cocktails? Drop into Underdog Inn, where award-winning Guangzhou cocktail bar Hope & Sesame will be slinging out Código 1530 Tequila cocktails that you can pair with the robust eats from Underdog Inn Executive Chef Pete Smit’s open-fire feasting menu.
[6 May, 8-11pm] The Bar at 15 Stamford, hosting Sora Bar from Rosewood Phnom Penh (Phnom Penh, Cambodia)
The Bar at 15 Stamford in Capitol Kempinski Hotel Singapore plays host to Bob Louison and Udom Chhoun from Rosewood Phnom Penh’s Sora Bar. Louison and Chhoun will serve up a sneak peek of its progressive Japanese-influenced cocktail menu the Book of Yokai, offering four cocktails that spotlight Cambodian ingredients such as rice, palm sugar, and Kampot pepper.
[Sunday 7 May, 8pm to 12am] Smoke & Mirrors, hosting The House Collective
What’s better than a cocktail guest shift featuring one visiting bar? Four of them! As part of SGCF2023 Smoke & Mirrors will be hosting The House Collective by Swire Hotels, featuring four bartenders from its different properties with Gail Lanorias from The Upper House’s Salisterra Bar (Hong Kong), William Zhang from The Temple House’s Jing Bar (Chengdu), Harry Zhang from UNION in The Opposite House (Beijing), and Matthew Hall from Cafe Gray Deluxe in The Middle House (Shanghai). Each will bring a taste of their respective venues to the rooftop bar during this special guest shift.
[Monday 8 May, 7-11pm] Republic Bar, hosting Penicillin (Hong Kong, China)
Hong Kong’s first closed loop bar Penicillin (No.22 on Asia’s 50 Best Bars 2022) will showcase some cleverly-composed cocktails made in a sustainable manner from their Spring-Summer menu at this guest shift in The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore’s beautiful award-winning hotel lounge Republic Bar (No. 12 on the same list). Republic’s own bartenders will also present some of their own unique creations inspired by the Penicillin’s eco-friendly approach.
[Tuesday 9 May, 7-11pm] The Elephant Room, hosting The Bar at House on Sathorn (Bangkok, Thailand)
India-themed cocktail bar The Elephant Room plays host to The Bar at House on Sathorn in this cocktail tie up, where both bars will join forces to bring a unique taste experience of India and Thailand. You’re looking at cocktails that use traditional Indian ingredients sourced from Singapore’s Tekka Market alongside fun and creative Thai-themed creations that will surely excite the palate.
[Tuesday 9 May, 8pm to 12am] Jigger & Pony, hosting The Cocktail Club (Jakarta, Indonesia)
The rock stars of Jakarta’s bar scene The Cocktail Club – ranked No. 32 on Asia’s 50 Best Bars 2022 and named the best bar in Indonesia – will be dropping into Singapore’s leading cocktail bar Jigger & Pony for a stint. The Cocktail Club’s veteran duo Kiki Moka and Aldi Upay will showcase some tantalising spins on classic cocktails that feature flavours of the Indonesian archipelago in new and surprising combinations.
[Thursday 11 May, 8pm to 12am] Live Twice, hosting Vesper (Bangkok, Thailand)
Contemporary Ginza-style bar Live Twice plays host to Tom Hearn and Jakkrit Promchaisit of Bangkok’s award-winning cocktail Vesper, named at No. 19 on Asia’s 50 Best Bars 2022. Here you’ll be among the first to try its new community-driven menu, “People of Vesper”, particularly their delicious Miami Vice Vesper cocktail.
[Thursday 11 May, 8pm to 12am] Gibson, hosting Bar Trigona (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
After Live Twice, head upstairs to Gibson where Kuala Lumpur’s leading cocktail venue Bar Trigona takes over for one night with head bartender Rohan Matmary presenting highlights from their “Foraged Malaysia” menu. You’ll want to drop in and try the rich diversity of Malaysia’s local ingredients reimagined and used in cutting-edge cocktails by this No. 29 on the Asia’s 50 Best Bars 2022 list.
[Saturday 13 May, 12-3pm] The Bar at 15 Stamford Brunch, featuring Dewar’s
The regular Saturday brunch at The Bar at 15 Stamford takes a special SGCF twist! You’re looking at a curated selection of classic cocktails – including the cocktail bar’s signature SGCF cocktail The Way of the Wild – that you pair with a cold seafood platter as well as sharing plates heaped with iberico pork pluma, Angus beef ribeye, roast chicken, and more. S$150 nett per person.
[Sunday 14 May, 11am-2.30pm] Low Tide Brunch, featuring Bacardi
For a brunch of a more local nature, tropical cocktail bar Low Tide is offering an exclusive five-course brunch menu that includes fancy takes on nasi ulam and even Indian fish curry. As for cocktails? You’ll have to try their SGCF signature Return of Dr. Gonzo, along with a few other select Bacardi rum-based creations. S$88++ per person for five courses, S$20++ per cocktail or S$68++ free flow.
[Sunday 14 May, 12-3pm] Luce Brunch, featuring Woodford Reserve
We’ve always loved LUCE by Davide Giacomelli’s expansive Sunday Italian brunches, and this time the contemporary Italian bistro at InterContinental Singapore will be specially adding its signature cocktails Romeo and Juliet – both made with Woodford Reserve bourbon – for this exclusive SGCF2023 brunch. Sip on these tipples while availing yourself to LUCE’s bottomless spread of charcuterie and cheeses, or live stations like roast beef carving and cacio e pepe tossed in a Parmesan wheel. S$138 nett per person.
[Sunday 21 May, 12-4pm] Aniba Brunch, featuring Hendrick’s Gin
Middle Eastern restaurant Aniba will present a special brunch menu featuring its elevated take on Levantine favourites such as a refreshing Aniba Caprese, or robust mains like the Grouper Souvlaki, Olive-Oil Roasted Ocean Trout, and Pappardelle Mediterraneo. And then toast to life with Hendrick’s Gin-laced cocktails such as L’Chaim!, the restaurant’s Middle Eastern twist on the classic Gin Collins. Available at S$138++ for two persons, cocktails at S$18++.
Follow us on Telegram to get updated on events and other spirited announcements!