A basin full of booze. A ladle for your drinks. A big group of tipsy revellers. The punch bowl is a symbol of a rowdy evening, and these eight bars in Singapore serve some of the country’s best examples.
The large-format cocktail has some history. It was originally an ancient Indian drink with five ingredients – spirit, spices, fruit juices, sweetener and water – that was brought back to England during colonial days. There, it was served out of ornately decorated metal or glass bowls before spreading to the rest of the world.
Today, bars in Singapore have updated the recipe with better alcohol, a wealth of flavours and plenty of bubbles. Some have stuck to the traditional serving vessel, while others present them in a flamingo. See below for more.
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8 bars in Singapore for the best boozy punch bowls
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Caffe Fernet is an Italian-American bar at heart, but it’s France that inspires their large-format cocktail. The Champagne Punch Bowl (S$300++) brings together French gin and absinthe with lemon juice and cucumber, before a full bottle of Louis Roederer Champagne tops off the celebratory drink.
Mondays to Thursdays, 5pm to 11pm
Fridays and Saturdays, 12pm to midnight
Sundays, 12pm to 11pm
Punch bowls are inherently social drinks, and Gibson’s Flamingo Bowl presents it in one of the most social animals. It’s a party of vodka, Aperol, passionfruit and grapefruit, then joined by prosecco for an even livelier time. Alternatively, there’s the gin- and rum-based Blueberry Tea Punch, and the Koedo Punch with sake, gin and sherry. All punch bowls are S$180++ each.
Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, 6pm to midnight
Fridays and Saurdays, 6pm to 2am
Sundays, 6pm to midnight
Like the character, Jekyll & Hyde’s punch bowls (S$240++ each) are two contrasting sides of the same coin. Jekyll’s Ethos is a floral, fruity mixture of gin, elderflower, mint and sauvignon blanc, while Hyde’s Suicide takes a dark, brooding turn with whisky, Fernet Branca and cabernet sauvignon.
Mondays to Saturdays, 6pm to 1am
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The crown in Jigger & Pony’s arsenal of five punch bowls is the Chatham Artillery (S$330++). A classic recipe from the US state of Georgia and said to be inspired by George Washington, it contains yuzu-infused bourbon, rum, cognac and a whole bottle of champagne, which you can customise with essences from bergamot to cacao nibs.
Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays, 6pm to midnight
Fridays and Saturdays, 6pm to 2am
It’s a garden party at One-Ninety, which serves punch bowls on their lush patio. Maracuya adds vodka, apricot brandy, clarified peach milk punch and prosecco to passionfruit, while Kalliste turns to gin, apple and shiso-mint syrup. Veracruz is a snappy drink of tequila, grapefruit and agave-oolong sweetener.
Daily, 8am to 10.30pm
The Republic Bar’s punch bowls come with pedigree. The Ritz-Carlton hotel bar worked with cocktail authority David Wondrich to come up with three examples (S$250++ each) that are based on the region’s history. Paul Jones Punch, for instance, is a rye whiskey tipple named after a ship that brought the first American ice to Singapore, while Straits Gin Cup is a gin sling enjoyed at the Singapore Cricket Club in 1913.
Mondays to Thursdays, 2.30pm to midnight
Fridays and Saturdays, 2.30pm to 1am
Sundays, 12pm to 10pm
Sugarhall’s One Punch Rum might leave you sprawled on the floor. The punch bowl is filled with two bottles of rum, one of them 75.5 percent ABV, which they set on fire. For something with a slightly softer touch, there’s the gin, fino sherry and cider combination in Southside, while Billionaire brings together bourbon and absinthe. All punch bowls are S$250++ each.
Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays, 5.30pm to midnight
Fridays and Saturdays, 5.30pm to 2am
TXA Gastrobar lets you play punch bowl creator with their DIY large-format sangria. You pick the number of people it’s for, select either red or white wine, then rum or brandy, followed by your choice of fruits, and how you want it to drink: either dry, sweet or refreshing. Want it even stronger? There’s an option for that too.
Tuesdays to Sundays, 5pm to midnight