Hey cocktail-loving friends, we know you love sniffling out all those exciting waterholes that have popped up around town, but where do you go when you’re feeling a little adventurous? When you want to journey to the realm of bespoke.
In case you’ve been living in the dark, a bespoke cocktail is essentially ordering a drink which is not just ‘off-menu’, but one where the bartender will make a unique creation which is personalised for you based on your preferences. If this sounds too complicated for you, you can read our handy guide on ‘how to (and not to) order a bespoke cocktail’. For those of you that already know what you’re doing, read on…
And seeing that the lovely people and American Express have just sorted out tie-ups with 7 out 10 of our favourite bespoke cocktail bars as part of their newly launched Chillax promotion where Platinum Credit Cardholders and Platinum Reserve members get one complimentary bespoke cocktail with any order at the bar. Yea, that’s what I said. All the bars below with the Chillax logo are taking part.
So without further ado, here are our top 10 bars for bespoke cocktails in Singapore. Booya!
Founded by Ethan Leslie Leong, one of the Godfathers of the Singapore bar scene, Maison Ikkoku is one of the ‘original’ bespoke cocktail bar concepts here in Singapore. No menu per say, just tell Ethan or his team what flavours you like and the expert bartenders will do the rest.
From many, many visits, I would recommend going big, fruity and dessert-like. Whilst the team there does some very decent alternative classics (try their fresh ginger ‘Dark and Stormy’ – possibly the best in Singapore), their big shows are the items involving fresh fruity, ice cream, chocolate and other such ingredients. If you’re eating dinner close by, save room and come here for an alcoholic dessert ;).
Maison Ikkoku is located at 20 Kandahar Street, Singapore 198885 To read out full review, click here.
Manor is a welcome escape from the crowds along Ann Siang and Club Street. Semi-hidden on the second floor above Zui Hong Lou, The Manor Cocktail Room itself offers a kind of ‘old-boy’ feel. Big, comfortable leather sofas and chairs, quirky, semi-vintage fittings, and of course, a great looking bar. A great place for bespoke cocktails, however their ‘girly’ fruity number are definitely the most visually impressive.
The Manor Cocktail Room is located at 8 Ann Siang Hill, Singapore 069788.
Fine Spirits by La Maison du Whisky
Despite having more of a reputation mainly for Whisky and spirits, you’d be incredibly (and pleasantly) surprised to discover that the bar staff behind La Maison are also adept at making some killer cocktails. Being one of the biggest wholesale suppliers of boutique spirits in Singapore, it’s no shocker that their cocktails use high quality ingredients as well. Excellent drinks across the board, i’d have to say that their variations on the classics are the leaders.
Fine Spirits by La Maison du Whisky is located at Robertson Quay, 80 Mohamed Sultan Road, #01-10, Singapore 239013. To read out full review of their bar, click here.
Ah Sam’s Cold Drinks Stall
Good ol’ Ah Sam, Sam Wong’s cocktail outlet is a great little spot hidden along Boat Quay. Located inconspicuously upstairs from the quayside, Sam and his team do not like sticking to the menu. Personally I’ve found that their cocktails have been variations on classics like Manhattans, Old Fashioneds and the like.
Ah Sam’s Cold Drinks Stall is located at 60A Boat Quay, Singapore 049848. To read out full review, click here.
If you’re a lover for everything Japanese, then Horse’s Mouth is a bar you absolutely have to go to. Sharing a space adjacent to the über prestigious Kaiseki Yoshiyuki, the same owners apply the same level of sophistication a la Japanese to the bar. Drinks here certainly aren’t cheap but if you’re after an expertly made classic style cocktail with a Japanese twist, Horse’s Mouth has you covered.
Horse’s Mouth is located at 583 Orchard Road, Singapore 238884. To read out full review, click here.
Another of the ‘original gangsters’, Bar Stories is one of the bar genuinely good cocktail bars in Singapore, occupying the cool and airy second floor of a Haji Lane shophouse, the bar itself still packs a punch even after all these new outfits have opened up. Although their cocktails are decent across the board, I’d have to suggest their refreshing and slightly sour cocktails. PS. They make a wicked Mojitos.
Bar Stories is located at 57A Haji Lane, Singapore 189248. To read out full review, click here.
The Spiffy Dapper
Although the guys at The Spiffy Dapper would never dream of associating themselves with the words ‘bespoke cocktail bar’, the fact remains that the team here are adept at stirring up some great drinks and are more than happy and capable of experimenting on the spot to try something new. Though I have to admit, ‘Brum-Hilda’ is my pick of the bartenders for getting it spot on each time.
The Spiffy Dapper is located at 61 Boat Quay, Singapore 049849. To read out full review, click here.
Opening in early 2014, L’Aiglon has been making waves across the cocktail scene in Singapore. A luxurious feeling bar, the shophouse setting has a very dim and intimate setting making for a great place for a quite cocktail with a friend or date. It should be said that service here is topnotch. Not only to head barman Louis Tan and his team make superb drinks, there’s good banter and a personal experience to be had; something very important in our view. The bar staff and experts overall, but for one of their signature special, ask for their variation on a Bloody Mary ;).
L’Aiglon is located at 69 Neil Road, Singapore, 088899. To read out full review, click here.
Bitters & Love
Very much in the heart of the unofficial cocktail district of Singapore, Bitters & Love has built up quite a reputation for being incredibly creative in its attempts at the bespoke. With a simple menu to guide you, the bartenders here are adept at creating unique drinks to suit your taste. Just be sure to offer some guidance on your tastes preferences as the drinks do tend to veer to the sour and sweet side otherwise.
Bitters & Love is located at 36 North Canal Street, Singapore 059292. To read out full review, click here.
Unknowingly to most, ORGO is actually one of the first cocktail bar to offer bespoke options in Singapore. Since its opening many years ago, it sometimes gets lost in the noise with all these new bars opening up, but it still remains that their bespoke martinis are of a very good quality. And you can’t really beat that view overlooking Marina Bay from on top of the Esplanade after all.
ORGO is located at 8 Raffles Avenue, #04-01, Roof Terrace, Esplanade Theatre on the Bay, Singapore 039802.
The American Express promotion run from now until 14th October 2015. If you don’t already have an American Express Platinum Reserve or Platinum Credit Card , you can apply for one online here.
In conjunction with its new Chillax benefits, American Express launches its first Bar Hopping Bus in Singapore. On two Saturdays, 25 October to 8 November, Platinum Reserve and Platinum Credit Card holders can hop on and off the bus to visit its partner bars. Click here to find out how to take part.
Other bars that also have offers with American Express during the same time period are: The Secret Mermaid, Quaich Bar, GEM Bar, The Merry Men, The Pecking Order, :Pluck, The Mad Men Attic Bar, The Men’s Room * Zui Hong Lou. For more information, please visit http://promotions.americanexpress.com.sg/platcc/#nightlife_offers
Written by Alex Linton
Article sponsored by American Express