The concept of speakeasy bars was born in the 1920s in the United States, otherwise known as The Prohibition Era – a time when the sale of alcoholic drinks was actually illegal. These bars operated secretly back in the day, with hidden entrances in unassuming locations. Today, the 1920s style lives on with modern speakeasy bars that are of course legal. Here are 10 of the kind you should check out in Singapore!
1) Hopscotch Bar
For a speakeasy with Singaporean sensibilities – head on over to Hopscotch Bar on Maxwell Road, where this cozy nook is tucked away inside the Red Dot Traffic Building. There is a distinctly local touch here, from the original cocktails to the food. On weekends, there’s even a Sushi Bar to enjoy. It truly is the best of East meets West here.
2) The Other Room
If you’re staying at Marriott Hotel, you won’t have to go far – there’s a speakeasy right in the building. In keeping with the tradition of a speakeasy, you’ll have to keep your eyes open to find it. Promising the best bar food and stellar cocktails from an award-winning team, you will surely be in for a night of fun. Try their classics or dare to be different and pick up a unique concoction instead, you’ll be in the safe hands of their talented staff who certainly know their way around a bar.
3) Smoke & Mirrors
No secret hideout here, just head to the rooftop of the National Gallery on St. Andrew’s Road. The environment is inviting and pleasant, the perfect place for after-work soirees or even an intimate gathering. With an extensive list of cocktails to suit anyone’s taste buds, you’ll be spoilt for choice. Pair up your drinks with something from their menu, they’ve got a well-curated selection featuring light bites, platters to share, mains and even some sweet treats.
4) Ah Sam Cold Drink Stall
Don’t get put off by the name – it’s not a roadside stall! In fact, it’s a lovely cocktail bar situated along the Singapore River. Allow their knowledgeable mixologists to dream up a drink or two for you, as you take in the comforting atmosphere around you. As for bar bites, you’ll want to tuck into a plate of Hokkien Noodles or Char Kway Teow for a truly Singaporean speakeasy experience.
For something a little old fashioned, Flagship is here to deliver. Inspired by the Old-Fashioned cocktail itself, you’ll find variations of the drink on their menu, as well as other unique options that are truly original. If you’re going with a big group, get a punch bowl to share! They also have a few options for you to munch on, which are sure to keep your tummies satisfied.
6) Gibson Cocktail Bar
Head to the second floor on Bukit Pasoh Road and you’ll find Gibson Cocktail Bar, which is styled to satisfy all the vintage lovers in Singapore and beyond. Upon stepping in, it will be just like stepping back in time, no time machine required! Kick back and relax with the sweet sound of blues, and down a cocktail or a whiskey. What’s more, fresh oysters are on the menu to add to the decadence of the place.
7) Nutmeg & Clove
Singapore’s influence roars strongly here, as Nutmeg & Clove lovingly incorporates local and historical elements into their menu and cocktail items – all resulting in an experience that is unlike any other. From the classic Singapura Sling, which takes on a new vibe here, to yummy dishes like Assam Pork Ribs which are sure to pair well with the drinks, this is the perfect place to bring someone for a Singaporean experience that’s one of a kind.
8) Bitters & Love
Love is sweet and alcohol can be bitter, but at Bitters & Love you’ll be in good spirits (pun intended!) regardless. This specialty cocktail bar is happy to serve you with your favourite cocktails and some yummy dishes too. Forget grimy and greasy bar snacks, here you’ll get Rangers Valley Wagyu and Triple Cooked Handcut Truffle Potatoes – a class above the rest. Find them at 118 Telok Ayer Street.
9) The Horse’s Mouth
There’s plenty of time for horsing around and even grazing here, it’s practically mandatory! With fresh produce and quality sprits in use, along with a lovely atmosphere and delicious meal options with inspiration from Japanese cuisine, you may never want to leave. Head (or gallop?) over to Orchard Road, where you’ll find this bar located at Forum The Shopping Mall.
10) Operation Dagger
This is another bar that truly lives up to the concept of a Speakeasy – you’ll have to hunt for it somewhere on Ann Siang Road. Lauded for their imaginative take on cocktails, exceptional staff and welcoming atmosphere, it sounds like the perfect place to unwind on a Friday after a long and tiring work week. They’ve put their own spin on the classics, and created some originals that won’t disappoint too.