Masquerading as an innocuous salad bar in the day, it sheds its virtuous vestments to transform into a dangerously seductive cocktail bar after 5pm in anticipation of the arrival of white-collar workers looking to let off some steam. It has a fine selection of American craft spirits and choosing a different cocktail each time you visit will not be a problem in this hole-in-the-wall bar.
10 Collyer Quay, #B1-08 Ocean Financial Centre; www.thesecretmermaid.com
With a nondescript entrance and a name that sounds like code for a covert operation by the secret service, this cocktail bar deserves all the accolades it has received, including Best New Bar at the Singapore Bar Awards 2015. There’s no sign to this door (so you can pretend you’re in a spy movie while you’re looking for it) and you’re led to the bar via a dark corridor. But, once you get in, you’re pretty much in cocktail heaven. There’s no such thing as regular cocktails here though; instead, you’ll get drinks with ingredients such as bee pollen rye and salted egg yolk liqueur.
7 Ann Siang Hill; operationdagger.com
Drawing inspiration from the Prohibition Period, you’ll feel like you’re doing something you really shouldn’t be doing when you have a drink here (but go ahead and do it anyway). The cocktail list in split into categories such as Pre Prohibition, Prohibition and Post Prohibition, or if you’re not so brave, pick a drink or three from The Other Classics list, which boasts some pretty darn good versions of some timeless concoctions. The bar is open till late (3am from Monday to Thursday and 4am from Friday to Sunday) so park yourself here for a long, erm, ‘forbidden’ night.
320 Orchard Road, Marriott Singapore Tang Plaza; www.singaporemarriott.com/restaurant/the-other-room/
Sequestered away behind a door by the entrance of a ramen eatery (Uma Uma Ramen) and separated by a flight of stairs in an unassuming family-friendly mall, this basement bar is worth hunting down. There’s a Zen feel to the interior and watching the bartender mix cocktails should add to that nice, hypnotic kick from your tipple. Go for one of the classic cocktails or try something new – there’s lots of options to choose from. There’s a tempting and pretty extensive selection of bar snacks too if you’re peckish, and you can even order ramen from the main shop.
583 Orchard Road, Forum The Shopping Mall (enter through Uma Uma Ramen at #01-41); horsesmouthbar.com
This bar is tucked away at the back of IZY Dining & Bar, so it’s easy to miss it. On the drinks front, expect Japanese-style cocktails, whilst the decor is industrial chic at its finest. This is one supremely cosy (not to mention Instagrammable) spot that will win you over after just one visit.
27 Club Street; cache.com.sg
If you’ve ever been to New York City, you must know about this famous cocktail bar, and will be pleased to know that the folks behind that establishment has set one up in Singapore too. The entrance is just a pink neon sign that says ‘Psychic’ and, once you enter, you’ll be transported to the Prohibition days of old in America. There’s a reason why the original concept space was lauded all over the world and you can get a taste (and sip) of that here.
112 Amoy Street; employeesonlysg.com
It was named best bar in last year’s inaugural Asia’s 50 Best Bars Awards and is often cited as one of the best places to sip cocktails in Singapore. But you’ll have to find it first (before actually enjoying it), as it has a deliberately discreet entrance. Once you’re in, it’s New York all round, and the drinks come with a touch of class too.
28 HongKong Street; www.28hks.com
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The novelty of this cocktail bar’s password-only entry can get old pretty quickly, but thankfully one doesn’t require all that much effort to get hold of it, as said password is revealed every Monday on its Facebook and Instagram accounts. If you’re a fan of traditional Chinese herbs, you’ll be pleased to know that the bar has partnered with Eu Yan Sang to incorporate a selection of them in five new drinks, albeit for a limited time only. There’s also a Eu Yan Sang pop-up store (until May 31, 2017), where you can complete a simple test to see which drink best suits your personality.
47-49 Keong Saik Road; www.facebook.com/thelibrary47
It should come as no surprise that this bar is, well, above another unit – Vietnamese eatery Pho Stop, in this case. The bar has an extensive menu with a wide range of cocktails and good happy hour deals on beers and martinis. Adjourn to the rooftop balcony with your drink in hand and you’ll have a nice, dreamy night under the stars.
Level 2, 72 Tanjong Pagar Road; www.facebook.com/thebarabove/
Located in the basement of The Club hotel, this secluded bar is perfect for a sophisticated night out. It has a mandatory dress code (‘dressy’), specialises in whiskies – with more than 200 different Scottish Single Malts for your perusal – and hosts live jazz performances on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. If whisky is not your drink of choice, fret not as there’s also a menu of classic cocktails, craft beers and other spirits.
Basement, No 28 Ann Siang Road; theclub.com.sg/restaurant-bars/b28#