Have You Visited Asia’s Top 5 Bars?

The hottest spots for refined cocktails and other libations, according to Asia’s 50 Best Bars 2017.

Manhattan, Singapore; Photo: The Regent

1. Manhattan, Singapore

It’s no surprise that the signature drink here is the classic Manhattan, crafted by head bartender Philip Bischoff with Michter’s US1 Straight Rye whisky. Apart from this potent cocktail, patrons will also find other libations inspired by American history, including colonial-style punches and bourbon sours. Expect a decadent time when you step into the grand space, which is well-decorated with a mix of dark wood, marble, and leather.

Regent Singapore, 1 Cuscaden Road, Singapore

Speak Low, Shanghai; Photo: Speak Low.

2. Speak Low, Shanghai

Shingo Gokan’s Speak Low may be a speakeasy but its entrance is easily found, thanks to the crowds that flock here. Here, a slide-away bookcase in a cocktail equipment store leads to a funky bar serving fine-tuned signatures and familiar New York staples. Venture upstairs and you’ll discover a refined setting where rarefied spirits with a Japanese sensibility can be found. Go for the Speak Low, made with Bacardi Superior, Bacardi 8, Pedro Ximenez sherry, and matcha; you won’t be disappointed.

579 Fuxing Zhong Lu, Near Ruijin Er Lu, Huangpu District, Shanghai

High Five, Tokyo; Photo: CNN.

3. High Five, Tokyo

High five a buddy or make new friends at the sleek and dimly lit High Five bar by owner Hidetsugu Ueno. Its recent move to larger premises has done little to dampen the fiery spirit of the bartenders, who continue to whip up favorites such as Ueno’s Bellinis, Singapore Slings, and Martinis. Apart from the 200-strong whisky list, signatures such as the Ceremony—which blends J’s whisky with green tea liqueurs and matcha bitters—are as well-loved as ever.

Efflore Ginza 5 Bldg. BF 5-4-15 Ginza Chuo-ward 104-0061 Tokyo, Japan

28 Hong Kong St, Singapore; Photo: Visa.

4. 28 Hong Kong St, Singapore

An enduring favorite among locals and visitors alike, 28 HongKong St has become a landmark destination for its stellar cocktails and laid-back vibe. While it has barely any online presence and no signage, loyal fans peek through its doors nightly. Led by founding bartender Michael Callahan, the atmospheric bar offers a full-fledged menu with highlights such as Planter’s Punch: a botanicals-inspired cocktail made with rum, hibiscus grenadine, Darjeeling tea, citrus, and bitters.

28 HongKong St, Singapore

Indulge Experimental Bistro, Taipei; Photo: Telegraph.

5. Indulge Experimental Bistro, Taipei

Indulge is at the forefront of Taipei’s dynamic cocktail scene, with owner Aki Wang taking international bar trends and giving them a Taiwanese twist. Exciting examples include the signature Mar-Tea-Ni, which incorporates vermouth infused with Taiwanese oolong tea and mandarin orange peel; and the Oriental Beauty (single malt, pear purée, jasmine and apple juice). Aside from its innovative cocktails, the chic bar’s modern European fare is another good reason to visit.

No. 11, Lane 219, Section 1, Fuxing S Rd, Da’an District, Taipei City, Taiwan

 

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