The Singapore Cocktail Festival has come up with a novel idea to bring back the fun for its second edition. Using ‘music’ as the theme for cocktail innovation, its 36 participating venues have turned to famous music icons and legendary lyrics for inspiration and have each created a unique drink for the month-long celebration.
However, this year’s Singapore takeover features more than just signature cocktails. Rather, there is plenty of cocktail-centric events taking place including bottomless cocktail brunches, sophisticated bar crawls and an inaugural collaboration with London Cocktail Week.
”By initiating a collaboration between the cocktail cohort in London, one of the oldest cocktail cities in the world; and Singapore, crowning cocktail capital of Asia, we wanted to show how we can remain resilient so long as we stay together,” says Ivy Woo, Co-Founder of Singapore Cocktail Festival.
Take a look at what they’ve got going on this month and book yourself a seat at one of the following free-flowing brunches, a four-course feast, or a ticket to bar hop.
When you don’t know what you want to eat, Dim Sum is a superior choice. And there isn’t much better than a two-hour Dim Sum feast, which includes cold appetisers, vegetarian bites, steamed and fried options, congee, soups, seafood, meat and poultry snacks among its offering, that begins with a welcome cocktail—To Be Frank, made with Chivas Regal and inspired by the Sinatra’s choice tipple.
The drinks don’t stop there as you’ll get five bottomless cocktail options as well as free-flowing beer and wine for the duration of your boozy brunch.
When: 1:30-3:30pm, Sunday 21 November
Cost: $320 (price for two)
Dinner is better light than heavy and Anti:Dote is dishing up exactly that with your choice of four tapas from the set menu which includes crab cake, braised pork belly, crisp chicken and cod croquette.
You’ll also get two Chita Suntory whisky cocktails to enjoy. Summer Beauty is the first and is a lovely blend of sweet and acidic while the Golden Highball introduces Umeboshi bitters and a vanilla bourbon tea drambuie for an unexpected flavour.
When: 7-9:30pm, Thursday 25 November
Cost: $210 (price for two)
For a lighter brunch, Ju Hua Tai has put together a simpler offering but one that still packs a punch. You’ll be greeted with a Chrysanthemum Secret, the century-old vermouth forward drink. Then, you’ll also get to taste Ju Hua Tai’s SGCF creation Follow Your Heart which is followed by a Moutai Baijiu Special.
Oh, and for food, you’ll get your choice of crispy chicken bao or pork belly bao accompanied by Sze Chuan cucumbers and power crispy pork.
When: 12-2pm, Saturday 27 November
Cost: $200 (price for two)
Rockstars go on tour and they criss-cross the world getting to party, drink and eat all over the place. Well, Stay Gold Flamingo has taken that as inspiration for a four-course feast that is paired with cocktails throughout.
The first flight is from Taiwan to France, where you’ll grab a bite of not-so-stinky tofu which comes with a glass of Sazerac.
Then, it’s time for a stop-over in Mexico, where fish tacos are the day’s catch and Peach Paloma is what your taste of the tropical. Next, it’s a flight from Japan to Germany, which will see you treated to a steak and smokey Chawanmushi that’s paired with a blackforest bramble.
And the last leg will see you go from the Philippines to Cuba with Longganisa sliders and a daitini before the encore is called and a secret dessert is revealed.
When: 5:30-8pm, Saturday 27 November
Cost: $340 (price for two)
There are few more romantic dining destinations than SKAI in Singapore. Perched up on the 70th storey of the Swissotel, the restaurant is up in the clouds and its views make for wonderful sights on nights out. But this Singapore Cocktail Festival they’re taking it up a level with a three-course set menu paired with Bombay Sapphire cocktails crafted by Head Bartender Abelta Ricardo.
Diners will have a choice of two dishes for each course, with the mains being Scarlet Prawn served with glass noodles, tamarind, shiitake mushrooms and soft shell crab or free-range chicken served with parsnip, black garlic, leek and truffle. These are paired with a Sakura Gimlet made with aromatized Sakura Sake and Mikan.
When: 7-10pm, Tuesday 30 November
Cost: $370 (price for two)
Your first stop will be at Manhattan, voted in at number 6 in Asia’s top bars, for a collab with Artesian, which came in at number 41 in the world. They’re doing a Grapes and Croissant cocktail which sounds fabulous.
Then you’ll be whisked away to Haji Lane for a Bar Stories and Eve Bar collaboration—Forbidden Stories—before it’s time for you to mosey on over to the third and final stop where it’s another collab. This time it’s Ah Sam @ Good Luck Prohibition Noodle Bar teaming up with Behind This Wall for a Jerry’s Slinger.
When: 7-9pm, Wednesday 1 December
Cost: $110 (price per person)
Republic Bar pays homage to the era of sophisticated cocktails and its SGCF brunch does the same with two elegant tipples. The Sunday Spritz made with Lilet Blanc, Chartreuse Yellow and London Essence Peach and Jasmine soda is the first of the pair while the Satisfaction, concocted with Jameson Caskmates Stout Edition, an Irish stout reduction and brewed coffee will perk you right up.
Brunch is a three-course menu with your choice of three appetizers that include foie gras terrine and a British prawn cocktail to begin. The main meal follows and again you get to choose from a sumptuous selection—for example, braised beef short rib, Hainanese Korobuta pork chop, or eggs benedict—before tucking into one of the desserts.
When: 12-3pm, Saturday 4 December
Cost: $250 (price for two)
You might be seeing double when you leave the bar named after the famous literary character because for SGCF you’ll be getting two hours of free-flowing Jekyll and Hyde cocktails.
To help keep you level-headed, the kitchen will be serving up two courses—first, a small plate of Omni dumplings, chilli crab nachos or chicken tikka to snack on before your main meal of Indo Goreng 101, Sakura Beef Char Kuay Teow, or a red wine Japanese pork curry.
When: 12-2pm, Saturday 5 December
Cost: $260 (price for two)
On the final weekend, Origin Bar is brunching big time with a four-course menu paired with four cocktails. The SGCF signature cocktail at Origin Bar is the Mulata #3 made with Havana Club 3 and seven-year-old rum, and can be paired with avo toast, quiche Lorraine or tomato bruschetta.
Then, it’s time for tequila to make an appearance with your choice of a classic: bangers and mash, or fish and chips. Your choice of main (steak, fried chicken, or impossible patty) will be paired with a Jameson whiskey cocktail or a Martell VSOP cognac. Dessert treats sweet tooths with another tasty rum and their choice of a Pecan walnut sticky bun or an inverted pineapple cake.
When: 12-2:30pm, Saturday 11 December
Cost: $260 (price for two)
Last but not least, Tippling Club is doing a three-course brunch plus dessert to say goodbye to the Singapore Cocktail Festival. First course is a leek and potato Vichyssoise followed by a confit ocean trout served with wild mushroom, followed by a chicken kiev.
Drinks come in the form of the SGCF special as well as a Prohibition Gin cocktail.
When: 1-3pm, Saturday 11 December
Cost: $320 (price for two)
When: 12 November – 12 December
Where: Singapore’s best bars and restaurants
Quench your thirst, let your heart sing and support Singapore’s bar and restaurant industry by tasting some of the best cocktails in the city. It’s the Singapore Cocktail Festival and the party is only just getting started.