Home-grown cocktail bar Jigger & Pony at Amara Singapore hotel has clinched the top spot on Asia’s 50 Best Bars list for the first time.
Climbing eight spots from its No. 9 position last year, the bar ousted Hong Kong’s The Old Man, which this year is placed at No. 2. Another Hong Kong bar, Coa, is at No. 3.
The results were announced in a virtual countdown that was live-streamed on Thursday (May 14) after the on-site event – initially set to be held at Capitol Theatre – was cancelled amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
Jigger & Pony, which is part of a group of the same name, was co-founded by husband-and-wife team Indra Kantono and Gan Guoyi, who opened the first version of the bar in Amoy Street in 2012.
After six years, the pioneering bar upgraded to sleek new premises at Amara Singapore in Tanjong Pagar in September 2018, all the while maintaining its dedication to classic cocktails with innovative Asian twists.
Since the move, it also joined the World’s 50 Best Bars list for the first time last year, at No. 29.
Three other Singapore bars placed in the top 10 are Atlas at Parkview Square, maintaining its No. 5 position; Native in Amoy Street, down two spots to No. 6; and Manhattan in Regent Singapore, down six spots to No. 8.
Manhattan, which took the top spot on the list in 2017 and 2018, also took home the Art of Hospitality award, given to the bar with the top hospitality experience.
This year’s list featured bars from 10 countries in Asia, including Japan, South Korea, Thailand and Malaysia.
Greater China, including Hong Kong, led the way with 12 spots.
Singapore was represented by 11 bars, including two newcomers – The Old Man Singapore at No. 22, also named Best New Opening; and MO Bar at No. 46.
Others that made the cut were Tippling Club at No. 17 (previously at No. 11); D.Bespoke at No. 23 (previously at No. 25), Gibson at No. 25 (previously at No. 15); 28Hong Kong Street at No. 30 (previously at No. 21) and Nutmeg & Clove, a re-entry at No. 32. The bar in Ann Siang Hill last appeared on the list in 2018 at No. 33.
Singapore bars also made their mark outside the main list.
Six-month-old No Sleep Club in Keong Saik Road was named the One To Watch – a rising star selected by the Asia’s 50 Best Bars organisers as having the potential to break into the list.
The Asia’s 50 Best Bars list has been published annually by London-based William Reed Business Media since 2016, based on votes from more than 230 industry experts across Asia’s bar scene.
Singapore will once again host the Asia’s 50 Best Bars awards next year.
ASIA’S 50 BEST BARS 2020 TOP 10 LIST
1) Jigger & Pony, Singapore
2) The Old Man, Hong Kong
3) Coa, Hong Kong
4) Indulge Experimental Bistro, Taipei
5) Atlas, Singapore
6) Native, Singapore
7) The Bamboo Bar at Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok
8) Manhattan, Singapore
9) The SG Club, Tokyo
10) Aha Saloon, Taipei
This article was first published in The Straits Times.