SINGAPORE’S pretty much cemented itself as a foodie destination and capital – can the same be said for drinks? With the bar and cocktail scene going from strength to strength and high-profile competitions and events (such as the Asia’s 50 Best Bars ceremony) coming to town, it’s definitely on track.
Here’s a pocket calendar for 2019 for you to keep updated with the latest confirmed dates and venues of all the booze-related events this year. This curated list updates as the year progresses and new events surface, so check back often.
Last updated: 04 Mar
Introduction to Whisky Masterclass
7 – 9 pm, Fine Wines SG Tasting Room
Fine Wines SG regularly runs masterclasses (really, they’re crash courses, so don’t be intimidated) that sell out pretty fast. They’re breaking suit by hosting a whisky-oriented class in an otherwise parched March.
This session, led by Benjamin Tan of Whisky Butler, will go over everything a budding whisky enthusiast needs to know; the origins and history of the spirit, the differences between blends and single malts, the distilling process. Tasting and food pairing is inclusive. Tickets and details available here; early bird offers till 12 Mar.
Jim Meehan’s Guest Shift
6pm – 10pm, MO Bar
The founder of popular speakeasy Please Don’t Tell (PDT) in New York City will drop by Singapore to serve up concoctions featuring East Imperial Gin’s new Grapefruit Soda. The sesh is open to the public – just sidle in and be prepared to shell out $24++ a pop for the tasty tipples. We spy mezcal and prosecco in some of the mixes – count us in.
Asia’s 50 Best Bars
The tipple-thirsty will be delighted to know that the second edition of Asia’s 50 Best Bars will again return to Capitol Theatre in Singapore this year, reaffirming the island-nation as quite the destination for bar and nightlife lovers.
If you’re an aficionado of the scene, tune in to the gala awards livestream here. The reveal of the actual list is estimated to start airing at 8.45pm on 9 May 2019 (Thursday). Check out last year’s list of winners here.
Singapore Cocktail Festival – Festival Village
10 – 12 May
One of the most fun (and ambitious) festivals of the year returns for a fifth edition to the green outside Victoria Theatre and the ACM. Let your tastebuds revel in creations by decorated bartenders from around the world, while punctuating the libations with gob-smacking nosh from the pop-up food street.
Expect showings from local, pedigreed bars such as Jigger & Pony and The Tippling Club along with top nosh from COMO Cuisine. Tickets available here; early bird ends 28 Feb 2019.
Singapore Cocktail Festival – All Around the City
10 – 18 May
The festivities rage on as no fewer than 45 participating bars around the island get in on the action. What’s not to like about innovation and bar takeovers, swizzled through with discounts? Be sure to snag a Cocktail Passport from partner app Sluggr (Android | iOS) to unlock more exclusive deals. Check this link for updates on the full list of bars.
24 – 30 June
Every year, Campari challenges bars around the world to devise new Negroni recipes, and shell out at least a dollar for every one of the delicious things sold. As if we needed more reason to knock a few back. (Fact: Perhaps as many as half a million glasses were emptied last year – raising about S$800,000 for charities around the world.)
Mid- to End-August
Guzzle your way through tankards and chow down on the legendary wings. The annual Beerfest Asia is the golden ticket to exploring what’s been going on in the world of hops. Stamina’s key here; each edition brings in over 500 to 600 labels to the 4-day extravaganza.
On top of the F&B, entertainment acts and international DJs are flown in to keep festival-goers grooving. Dates for 2019 haven’t been confirmed yet, but it’s usually held over over a Thursday to Sunday stretch in mid- to end-August.
Singapore Craft Beer Week
Discontinued after 2017
Rest in peace, Singapore Craft Beer Week, we barely knew ya. Maybe try not falling in the same month as the biggest beer event of the year, eh?
On the other hand, you’re now in the clear to declare a personal Craft Beer Week once a month; just sign up for Thirsty Beer Shop’s subscription service. There’s also a chance Craft, which features some homebrews, comes back around.
September – October
Late September – End October
The Bavarian tradition has found a second home in Singapore – we saw no less than 3 major celebrations last year, each with their own vast drinking hall serving up delicious roast and beer towers. There were even Bavarian bands flown in to keep the nights rocking on.
On top of that, a great number of German restaurants in Singapore festoon their premises with traditional decorations and hand out massive discounts for revelers; you’ll know when Oktoberfest is in the air.
Last held at Andaz Singapore, Whisky Live continues to bring thousands of whisky enthusiasts together once a year to meet some 70-odd distilleries and brands from around the world. Watch this space – the masterclasses attract more attendees every year and provide rare learning opportunities through otherwise expensive vertical tastings.
East Imperial Gin Jubilee
Rounding out the spirits-based events cal before Christmas rolls around is the annual Gin Jubilee. Again – do you really need an excuse to put away them easy-to-drink G&Ts?
As with its Negroni counterpart, participating bars across the island whip up fresh variations of the gin and (East Imperial) tonic cocktail. Anyone with an Instagram account can then take part in a voting process that crowns one concoction a winner – and all participants stand a chance to bag an expenses-paid trip to the next iteration or leg of the Gin Jubilee. Nifty.
Even if you don’t win, you’ll be flush with gin from the highlight of the event: Gin Lane (pictured above).
Salon Social Spirit Tasting – Brass Lion Gin
6-8pm, EC Proof Flat
Here’s your chance to get up close and personal with Jamie Koh – founder of the trending, homegrown label Brass Lion Gin – as she walks a small group through the six-year creative process of the distillery’s first expressions. Be among the first to know about the upcoming flavours, and even learn a cocktail recipe or two. Hosted in the intimate and comfy setting of the EC Proof Flat. Tickets available here.
PHOTOS: Respective events.