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Singapore Cocktail Festival 2019: what to look out for

Drink your way through Singapore's biggest cocktail event of the year.

If you didn’t already know: Singapore has got one of the most active, progressive cocktail scenes in the world. Local bars are regular entrants on the World’s 50 Best Bars list with 2018 seeing five bars from Singapore on the list, with Manhattan at no.3 and Native at no.13. For fans of all things shaken, stirred, and boozy, the Singapore Cocktail Festival will be the best place to experience some of the best drinks the region has to offer.

Singapore Cocktail Festival

Cocktails, cocktails, and more cocktails.

The main event will be the Festival Village, a full-blown bonanza happening across three days from 10-12 May, between 4-11pm on Empress Lawn. Expect signature cocktails from acclaimed bartenders all across Asia and beyond, each going at just $12 nett. Names on the list include Giovanni Graziadei from Singapore’s own Jigger & Pony; Kazuhisa Arai of Sober Company, Shanghai; and Maroš Dzurus and Adam Amir Ghalleb from Himkok, Oslo. There’ll also be pop-ups by concepts like the Peaky Blinders-themed The Monarchy Cocktail Bar & Ultra Lounge; and local gin-makers Brass Lion Distillery.

(Related:Best late-night bars in Singapore for chilling)

Get entertained

It’s not all boozing and schmoozing — brands have also set up “experiences”. Go on an expedition at the Monkey 47 Jungle Safari; or test your skills with an iron at the Four Pillars putting green. Music will come courtesy of live acts like Instigator Afrobeat Orchestra, and some of Singapore’s premier DJs like Brendon P and Ollie Des.

Meanwhile, the Barstylez International Bartender Championship will also be held concurrently at the Festival Village. Watch over 60 bartenders from more 25 countries shake, spin, and fling bartending equipment into the air at this flairing and cocktail-making competition.

(Related: At last, more restaurateurs are giving drinks and cocktails equal billing)

Singapore Cocktail Festival 2019

The Festival Grounds of Singapore Cocktail Festival

Get an education

Learn more about what you’re drinking, and how to make drinks at the ‘50 Minutes with 50 Best’ Masterclasses, presented by The World’s 50 Best Bars. Learn about what goes on behind the scenes at some of the best bars in the world with such names as Maxim Schulte from American Bar at The Savoy, London (No.2 on The World’s 50 Best Bars 2018), and Antonio Lai from Quinary, Hong Kong (No.15 on Asia’s 50 Best Bars 2018)

Even more drinks and some food

The Artisanal Spirits Tasting Room also makes a come back this year, with brands like Dancing Sands Distillery gin from New Zealand, and Amrut Distilleries — the first Indian distillery to craft single malts — making an appearance. To pad your stomach, there’s food from some of the island’s most exciting restaurants including COMO cuisine, Neon Pigeon, and Ding Dong.

(Related: Mixologists get artisanal with barrel-aged classic cocktails)

Matt Linklater of Melbourne's Black Pearl bar

Matt Linklater of Melbourne’s Black Pearl bar

Trawl the city for drinks

Beyond the festival grounds, F&B outlets around the island will also be participating in the festival between 10 to 18 May. Join in themed bar tours like the ‘Asia’s 50 Best Bars X Four Pillars Gin Tour’, a gin-journey covering four of Asia’s top bars. Guest bartender shifts also abound — try drinks prepared by some of the best bartenders in the region as they hold court in places like Skai Bar and Nutmeg & Clove — the latter, a stalwart in the craft cocktail scene, will be hosting guest shifts for some of the biggest names in the industry including cult names like Hidetsugu Ueno of Tokyo’s Bar High Five and Matt Linktaker of Melbourne’s  Black Pearl. Meanwhile, another drinks scene stalwart, Jigger & Pony, will also be hosting some of the most forward-thinking bars internationally. Names include the legendary London bar, Nightjar; and Bangkok’s Cha Cha, and Rabbit Hole. 

More info and tickets here: