Manhattan and Atlas bar

SINGAPORE – Bars from Singapore continue to make their mark in the global bar scene, with Atlas and Manhattan taking top prizes for the first time at the Spirited Awards held in New Orleans on July 20.

Atlas, a grand lobby bar at Parkview Square with a gin collection of more than 1,300 bottles, won Best International Cocktail Bar and World’s Best Spirits Selection. Manhattan at the Regent Singapore, modelled after grand hotel bars and inspired by the so-called golden age of cocktails in the 19th century, won Best International Hotel Bar.

The awards were held as part of Tales of the Cocktail — an annual gathering of the worldwide cocktail community of bartenders, writers and cocktail experts.

In a ceremony at the historic Orpheum Theatre in New Orleans that was dominated by winners from the United States and Europe – New York’s Dante was named World’s Best Bar – Atlas and Manhattan were the only winners from Asia.

Manhattan Bar at The Regent Hotel
Manhattan’s rickhouse

In the International Cocktail Bar category, Atlas – which was also nominated last year – beat out fellow Singapore bar Native, as well as Paris’ Le Syndicat and London’s Three Sheets.

Atlas’ head bartender Jesse Vida said in his acceptance speech: “Like everyone in this room, we try to be the best that we can be, every single day, and that (includes) pushing on education, and supporting our staff to be the best they can possibly be… Shout out to Southeast Asia, we’re coming up.”

Atlas’ owner Ms Vicky Hwang told The Straits Times: “To be able to represent Asia and Singapore on such a prestigious international stage is a privilege and an honour. This would not have been possible without the hard work of our fantastic team whose dedication, passion and heart are the backbone of our successes.”

Atlas Singapore
Interior of Atlas.

It was fifth time lucky for Manhattan, which has been a nominee for Best International Hotel Bar every year since 2015. They beat out London’s Artesian Bar and Punch Room, as well as Mexico City’s Fifty Mils.

Manhattan was represented by assistant bar manager Gabriel Carlos and head bartender Sophia Kang. Mr Carlos noted the impact that Asia has been making, saying that it was “a big accomplishment” and the recognition is “a great platform to show everyone what is happening on the other side of the world”.

Manhattan is currently No. 3 on the World’s 50 Best Bars list (Top Bar in Asia) as well as No. 2 on the Asia’s 50 Best Bars list organised by William Reed Business Media.

Atlas is No. 8 on the World’s 50 Best Bars list and No. 5 on the Asia’s 50 Best Bars list.

This article was originally published in The Straits Times.