The Asia’s 50 Best Bars 2019 ceremony concluded last night in Singapore, and boy, was it an eye-opening shake-up.

Two-time chart topper Manhattan lost its top spot but still triumphed as the best bar in Singapore, while picking up the “Legend of the List” title. This accolade comes along with the establishment placing second on the list — a throne it lost to The Old Man in Hong Kong, a cocktail lounge that pays tribute to Ernest Hemingway. If you want a taste of what The Old Man has to offer, it recently opened its first outpost beyond Sheung Wan in Singapore’s Keong Saik Road.

The Old Man Hong Kong, currently Asia’s Best Bar for 2019.

The highly prestigious Asia’s 50 Best Bars awards ceremony took place yesterday in Singapore’s The Capitol Theatre, with the space overrun by industry insiders from across the region, setting the theatre abuzz for the announcement of bartending’s best in Asia.

Singapore continues to lead as Asia’s principal cocktail city, with 11 bars making it to the list, despite shedding one spot from last year as Nutmeg & Clove did not place. Three KL bars – Coleys, Bar Trigona and Junglebird – placed as well.

Operation Dagger held strong at #22 on the list.

A number of Singaporean bars have dramatically changed spots on the Asia’s 50 Best Bars 2019 list from the previous iteration. For the highs, we had D. Bespoke rapidly ascending seven places up the ladder, to number 25. Jigger & Pony took home the Highest Climber Award, rising 33 places to #9 after its shift to Amara Hotel and following a menu overhaul.

A number of local bars have dipped in placement alongside Manhattan’s fall. Employees Only dropped 18 places to rank at number 41, while Tippling Club exited the top ten to rank at number 11 this time round.

Congratulations to all winners. Here is the full list of winners; asterisks mark new entrants.

ASIA’S 50 BEST BARS 2019

  1. The Old Man, Hong Kong
  2. Manhattan, Singapore
  3. Indulge Experimental Bistro, Taipei
  4. Native, Singapore
  5. Atlas, Singapore
  6. High Five, Tokyo
  7. Speak Low, Shanghai
  8. The Bamboo Bar, Bangkok
  9. Jigger & Pony, Singapore
  10. Quinary, Hong Kong
  11. Tippling Club, Singapore
  12. Coa, Hong Kong
  13. The SG Club, Tokyo*
  14. Charles H, Seoul
  15. Gibson, Singapore
  16. Sober Company, Shanghai
  17. Bar Benfiddich, Tokyo
  18. The Wise King, Hong Kong
  19. Le Chamber, Seoul
  20. Backstage, Bangkok
  21. 28 HongKong Street, Singapore
  22. Operation Dagger, Singapore
  23. Trench, Tokyo
  24. Aha Saloon, Taipei
  25. D.Bespoke, Singapore
  26. Vesper, Bangkok
  27. Coleys, Kuala Lumpur
  28. Bar Orchard Ginza, Tokyo
  29. Alice Cheongdam, Seoul
  30. Union Trading Company, Shanghai
  31. Tropic City, Bangkok*
  32. The Pontiac, Hong Kong
  33. Lobster Bar & Grill, Hong Kong
  34. Rabbit Hole, Bangkok*
  35. Hope & Sesame, Guangzhou*
  36. Stockton, Hong Kong
  37. The Curator, Manila
  38. Otto E Mezzo Bombana, Hong Kong
  39. Union Brasserie, Bakery and Bar, Jakarta
  40. Bar Trigona, Kuala Lumpur*
  41. Employees Only, Singapore
  42. Smalls, Bangkok*
  43. Bar Mood, Taipei*
  44. Junglebird, Kuala Lumpur
  45. Draft Land, Taipei
  46. The Other Room, Singapore
  47. Oto, Manila*
  48. Teens of Thailand, Bangkok
  49. Mixology Salon, Tokyo
  50. The Backroom, Manila*

A version of this article was first published in Lifestyle Asia.

IMAGES: Respective bars; Asia’s 50 Best Bars.

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