We love that our little red dot is a haven for partygoers and there are cocktail bars aplenty dotted all over our island. The Singapore Cocktail Festival aims to position Singapore as a leading cocktail city in Asia so the objective of this festival is to celebrate our nightlife city status and spread the news.
From 4-13 May, check out a packed calendar of events that includes bar tours, tasting sessions, workshops, bar pop-ups and meet-the-bartender sessions. Over 15,000 people attended the event last year so don't miss out of the exciting festivities this time round, if you haven't been before (or even if you have). 10 days of cocktails, special offers and unique concoctions...where do we sign up? Here are some highlights to look out for.
#SGCF2018 kicks off at the Festival Village, located at Empress Lawn (in front of Victoria Concert Hall). Open from 4-6 May, you'll get the best of Asia's nightlife under one roof, with bar pop-ups and award-winning bartenders from around the region. There are over 25 participating local bars such as Cin Cin, Mitzo Restaurant & Bar, Nutmeg & Clove, RedTail Bar, and Smoke & Mirrors. Catch award-winning bartenders from regional bars including Jamie Rhind from The Bamboo Bar (Bangkok, Thailand), James Estes from Skullduggery (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia), Paul Chan from Dr. Fern’s Gin Parlour (Hong Kong), and Jamie He from Janes + Hooch (Beijing, China).
Homegrown talents will also be present, as well as a couple of bartenders from slightly further away, namely, Sam Egerton from Merivale (Sydney, Australia), and Elliot Ball from The Cocktail Trading Co. (London, United Kingdom).
Let your inner hipster shine at the Artisanal Spirits Tasting Room, where you can sample handcrafted small-batch spirits, then tell all your friends about them (or just post it on Instagram). You'll also get to meet the makers of these brands. An example of these handcrafted spirits is Black Cow Vodka, which is the world's only pure milk vodka, made entirely from the milk of grass-grazed cows.
Go behind the scenes of how alcohol is made at the Festival Workshops. For example, Kyrö Distillery Company’s Gin Blending Workshop lets connoisseurs into the world of gin-making, sharing secrets about the intricacies involved, plus you'll get to take your unique concoction home too.
And if you're looking for a drink and a show, catch bartending teams from countries such as Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam pit their cocktail-making skills against each other in Asia Bar Battle Presented by City Nomads.
No festival in Singapore is complete without food so make sure you line your tummy before indulging in the cocktails by popping by the Food Street. You'll get a variety of cuisines here, from Chinese to Italian – and (almost) everything else in between.
Move along to the beats provided by the DJs as they spin tunes the likes of house, funk, soul and disco. Names you might recognise include Brendon P, Kenneth F, DJ Passion, Scott Watson and Andrew Tang.
But it's not all about partying, other highlights include beauty and wellness treats, henna painting and tattoo art. Bring your man along and get him to enjoy a free gentleman shave at the pop-up barber booth by We Need A Hero.
Tickets for the Festival Village are priced from $28 for a one-day pass, and this includes an exclusive three-piece SGCF cocktail-shaker set (valued at $50).
Purchase a Cocktail Passport and enjoy exclusive #SGCF2018 cocktails and special deals at bars and restaurants all around the city, from 4-13 May. Participating venues include Artemis Grill, Astor Bar, Bar Stories, Drink, Elixir Bar, Fat Prince, Jim Thompson Restaurant Wine & Bar, Operation Dagger, Origin Grill & Bar, Post Bar, Potato Head Keong Saik, Propeller Bar, The Landing Point, and The Wall. Grab a Cocktail Passport at $15 from the Festival Village; Festival Village ticket holders will receive a free Cocktail Passport.
Get a bunch of friends and go on a fun bar hop together as part of the festival's Bar Tours, from 9-12 May. Each tour explores three or four bars each night (depending on the tour, there are six tours to choose from), and you'll be able to chat with the bartenders and try the special cocktails they've created just for the festival too. Bars include Caffe Fernet, Monte Carlo Boys, and The Horse’s Mouth. Grab your bar tour ticket at $98, which includes a cocktail at each of the four stops.
For more information and to buy tickets, log on to www.singaporecocktailfestival.com