Cementing their status as Asia’s biggest celebration of cocktails, Singapore Cocktail Festival (SGCF) returns 4-13 May 2018. Having gotten its start as Singapore Cocktail Week in 2015, the usual spirit-driven line-up of events is getting an extended play this year with a whopping 10 days of masterclasses, bar tours, special food pairing menus, and cheap(er) cocktails that don’t compromise on the craft. What’s more, as a prelude to the festivities, Asia’s 50 Best Bars announcing results of the third edition and hosting their inaugural awards ceremony at Capitol Theatre the night before the launch of SGCF 2018.

Read more to find out what’s new, what’s exciting, and which guest bartenders are jetting into town for the occasion:

At The Festival Village

Jamie Rhind and his team at The Bamboo Bar

Moving from the Old Beach Road Police Station, the SGCF Festival Village moves to the centre of Singapore’s Civic District, with iconic landmarks like Marina Bay Sands, Esplanade and Victoria Concert Hall within sight. From 4 to 6 May 2018, the sprawling Empress Lawn will play host to 25 of the best cocktail bars in Singapore and the region. On the local end, festival goers can catch the likes of the established Nutmeg & Clove, the newly opened Caffe Fernet, National Gallery gem Smoke & Mirrors, and gin bar Cin Cin. Guest bartenders expected to jet in include KL-based James Estes (owner of Jack Rose, SEA Brand Ambassador for Ocho Tequila, and Director of Mixology for Malaysia’s Huckleberry Hospitality Group), Jamie Rhind, Bar Manager of The Bamboo Bar (Mandarin Oriental Bangkok), and Raka Ambarawan of The Night Rooster, Locavore’s cocktail bar above the award-winning restaurant in Ubud, Bali.

Team Vietnam at Asia Bar Battle 2017

Festival Village attendees can also look forward to returning highlights; particularly the Artisanal Spirits Tasting Room, which introduces and allows for the sampling of handcrafted small-batch spirits such as Black Cow Vodka from England, Finnish Kyrö rye gin, and Cambodia Samai rum, Maracatu Cachaca, and Cocchi Vermouth, and the Asia Bar Battle, where country-led bartending teams take on flaring, speed and mystery ingredient challenges. There’s also going to be a food street to feed the imbibed, and the beats – both live DJ sets and mixes – will be curated by official festival music partner CÉ LA VI.

Black Cow vodka, Artisanal Spirits Tasting Room

Around The City

For those who plan to indulge in the discounted cocktails, special menus, and other spirited activities offered by SGCF around town from 4 to 13 May, should still make haste to the Festival Village. The festive deals are only available with the Cocktail Passport, which can be purchased at the Festival Village ($15 nett) while Festival Village ticket holders will receive the Cocktail Passport for free. Exact details of the line-up across the city have not been revealed at this time, but we do know that participating venues for the Cocktail Passport include The St. Regis Singapore’s Astor Bar, Haji Lane cocktail institution Bar Stories, the award-winning Operation Dagger, Orchard Road darling The Horse’s MouthPotato Head Folk, Tess Bar & Kitchen, Zouk Singapore’s Red Tail Bar, and whisky bar The Wall.

Singapore Cocktail Festival 2018 is happening 4-13 May 2018; the Festival Village will run 4-6 May 2018 at Empress Lawn, in front of Victoria Concert Hall. Tickets for the Festival Village are priced from $28 for a one-day pass and are available here. For more information, follow Singapore Cocktail Festival on Facebook and Instagram.