It is the week where the Singaporean bartending industry reaches its pinnacle. This week, we’ve seen Manhattan drop to second place on the annual Asia’s 50 Best Bars list — and while that means we can no longer claim to be first, that’s not going to stop us from tanking up on an entire week of liquid festivities with the Singapore Cocktail Festival.
The festival has become a mainstay to mark how Singapore is a global cocktail capital in its own right. Taking place from 10 to 18 May, the festival will, as usual, be split into two prongs — the Festival Village, running from 10 to 12 May at the Empress Lawn, and fringe events that will occur at over 45 bars across the island.
The Festival Village is the locus for all the buzz that comes with the Singapore Cocktail Festival. You can expect tastings of novel spirits, bartender guest shifts, live performances, and other engaging activities that’ll take place on-site, so that alone is an event not to be missed.
Outside of that, there will be bar crawls happening, alongside limited edition cocktails for the period available at participating bars.
As you ready yourself for all the inevitable drinking that will take place, here are some highlights you ought to participate in during the week-long rush.
Tickets for the Singapore Cocktail Festival 2019 can be purchased here.
It's a rare occasion to have a slew of Asia's most prolific bartenders in Singapore, and it's even more of a rarity when these whizzes go above guest shifts and are given the opportunity to share their knowledge about the bartending scene in the region.
This year's Singapore Cocktail Festival will offer visitors a chance to pick the brains of these libation legends by hosting panels under the 50 Mins with 50 Best Masterclass programme. Topics like upcoming trends in the spirits industry, or an in-depth look at aspects of cocktail culture you never considered will be discussed. If your interest in drinks surpass the mere act of drinking, then sign yourself up for one of these classes.
Masterclasses with world class bartenders
An armada of the finest local and international bartenders will also be hosting guest shifts at the Festival Village, making this your chance to sample the fruit of their craft without having to board a plane.
Some big names include the team from Himkok, the 19th best bar in the world hailing from Oslo, Kazuhisa Arai from Shanghai's Sober Company and more.
Experience the boozy side of Singapore like you've never done by signing up for one of the many themed bar tours that will take place over the week.
There are tours focused on whisky bars, gin bars, establishments new in the scene and more running in the evenings. All tours entitle you to a drink at all bars on the crawl. Be quick to sign up as they're selling out fast.
The Singapore Cocktail Festival comes with promotions at bars around town, and you can gain access to these limited edition drinks at special prices via the Cocktail Passport.
Every promotion you redeem for a cocktail purchase allows you to get that passport "stamped", and after 15 cocktails at different bars, you stand a chance to win prizes, including a 2D1N stay at Grand Park Orchard.
This passport is hosted on the Sluggr application, which you can download from the App Store or Google Play for free.
It's definitely incentive to drink.