Asia’s 50 best bars: ‘Shaken or stirred?’

Asia's best bars

Cocktail combinations are endless, but these bars in Asia have the winning formula. Source: Marc Babin / Unsplash

GET your sipping-lips at the ready as Asia’s 50 Best Bars 2018 have just been named. 

The all glitz event was held in Capitol Theatre in Singapore with hundreds of entries and only 50 winners.

The winners were chosen by industry experts, mixologists, and cocktail-connoisseur across the whole of Asia Pacific.

The full list of winners can be viewed at Asia’s 50 Best Bars’ official website.

But we wanted to tempt your taste buds with the top 10 bars in Asia.

These bars won for their outstanding mixology, divine settings, and wonderful staff.

Vibrant imaginations and plays on traditional methods have landed these must-see bars on one of the most prestigious awards lists in Asia.

Manhattan, Singapore

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Holding onto the title for the second year in a row is the magnificent Manhattan bar in Singapore.

From colonial-style punches to bourbon sours and of course the whiskey lover’s favorite, the Manhattan.

The room is a suitably grand space mixing dark wood, marble, and leather.

Indulge Experimental Bistro, Taipei

“Indulge’s owner Aki Wang is at the forefront of Taipei’s dynamic cocktail scene with an approach that takes international bar trends and gives them a Taiwanese twist,” Asia’s 50 Best Bars explained.

“Witness the signature Spring Awakening, inspired by Taiwan’s micro-seasons, with Japanese gin, Cointreau, bergamot, and Yakult. Other highlights at the chic, purple-lit bar include the 1795 Old Fashioned and Ruby Black.”

Speak Low, Shanghai

Asia’s 50 Best Bars describes Speak Low as a “funky bar that wouldn’t look out of place in downtown Manhattan and serves fine-tuned signatures and well-wrought New York staples.”

The two-story bar’s signature drink is the Speak Low cocktail, featuring Bacardi Superior, Bacardi 8, Pedro Ximenez sherry and matcha.

Atlas, Singapore

This super chic bar transports guests back to an era of Great Gatsby-style soirees.

“Gin and Champagne lovers are in for a treat at this grand Art Deco lobby and bar in Singapore’s Bugis neighborhood,” Asia’s 50 Best Bar revealed.

“More than 250 Champagnes and 1,000 gins are available from the towering gilded bar, with the latter put to work in a collection of cocktails inspired by the roaring 30s.”

The Old Man, Hong Kong

Only open since 2017, this latest creation from Agung Prabowo, James Tamang and Roman Ghale pays homage to America’s original boozy literature genius, Ernest Hemmingway.

The menu consists of nine experimental cocktails inspired by the writer’s favorite ingredients and combinations, from butter-fat-washed gin to beeswax-infused bourbon.

“The classics are also covered,” Asia’s 50 Best Bars said. “Ask for a whiskey highball or a Negroni and you might walk out with the inspiration for a book of your own.”

High Five, Japan

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There would certainly have been a few palm slaps around the bar when High Five was recognized as Asia’s sixth-best bar.

“A move to larger premises has done nothing to dampen the bartender’s fire with the same inspired approach to cocktails,” says Asia’s 50 Best Bars.

“Ueno’s Bellinis, Singapore Slings, Martinis and his signature White Lady remain a benchmark, while classics such as Ceremony – J’s whiskey, green tea liqueurs, and matcha bitters – and Bamboo are as popular as ever.”

Tippling Club, Singapore

Tippling Club oozes with cool. The type of bar where you’d think, “Well, this is my new favorite.”

The boundary-pushing bar serves a 12-course avant-garde cocktail menu with specifically scented gummy bears. Yum.

Native, Singapore

Native is the first bar on the list not to hide under the title of a speakeasy bar, but it’s still groovy.

“Native takes its inspiration from the local and regional landscape, serving cocktails with foraged ingredients from jasmine blossom to turmeric leaves,” Asia’s 50 Best Bars added.

The Bamboo Bar at M.O

Combing jazz music, exotic prints, and cozy exclusive club vibes, The Bamboo Bar at M.O has been wooing cocktail lovers since 1953.

“Long-standing libations, such as the Thaijito, are joined by music-inspired creations including Riffin’ The Scotch – Johnny Walker Gold, mushroom, pear and agave – which ‘breaks the barriers,’ much like Billie Holiday did for jazz,” Asia’s 50 Best Bars commented.

Lobster Bar and Grill, Hong Kong

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On the sixth floor of the swanky Shangri-La Hotel in Hong Kong, Lobster Bar and Grill can be found. The restaurant boasts superb service and unwavering dedication to classic cocktails.

“It’s become something of a must-visit destination for the world’s best bartenders, who stop on their travels at the marble bar to sip on expertly made gimlets, negronis, and hurricanes,” Asia’s 50 Best Bars said.

“Among the signatures, try The Smoke Cloud: bourbon, port, raspberry, grapefruit and egg white, finished with ‘a puff of smoke’. Live jazz in the evenings adds to the sophisticated vibe.”