There’s no doubt Asia remains an incubator of fresh ideas and inspiration. Swirling, shaking and slurping its way back into action, the seventh edition of Asia’s 50 Best Bars, was anything but dull.
Held in person for the first time since the pandemic, the event took to the streets of Bangkok for a roaring celebration of the great shoots of recovery the Asian continent has witnessed. If you’re looking for a new drinking den in Asia, here are the top picks this year!
With contenders from 16 cities making it to Asia’s 50 Best Bars 2022 list, Singapore is Asia’s new cocktail capital with a whopping 11 bars making the cut this year. Whilst Hong Kong comes close behind, with eight bars making it to the list.
COA sweeps first place again, maintaining its number one spot as Hong Kong’s Best and Asia’s top bar in 2021. It is the second bar to achieve this back-to-back feat, after Manhattan, Singapore, in 2017 and 2018.
Following its lead, no surprise here, Singapore’s Jigger & Pony secures its No.2 spot once again, thanks to their stellar commitment to over-the-top service and unique curated cocktails. They’ve retained their title as Best Bar in Singapore as well.
With Singapore reopening travel with Hong Kong, the next stop in your travels need to be Argo (No.3), Darkside (No. 13), Quinary (No.16), Penicillin (No.22), The Pontaik (No.33), The Wise King (No.34) and The Aubrey (No.38), doing Hong Kong proud in this inaugural award.
India is also climbing its way up with Tesouro (No.4) scoring the Best Bar in India as well as the London Essense Best New Opening Award. Other inclusions include returning Sidercar, as well as new entries Hoots’ (No. 14), and Home (No.30).
Honourable mentions include the Bar Trigona (No.29) which wins the spot of both Siete Best Cocktail Menu as well as The Best Bar in Malaysia. Whilst Singapore’s Colin Chia snatches away the Roku Industry Icon award, with what seemed like tears of joy. On the other hand, the Nikka Highest Climber Award goes to our little red dot’s MO Bar (No. 8), after rising 37 places up the ranking.
Mitcher’s Art of Hospitality Award this year goes to the flagship bar in Bangkok’s Four Seasons Hotel at Chao Phraya River, BKK Social Club (No.10). The bar is recognised for its mesmerising interior, bespoke cocktails, and the team’s unparalleled attention to detail and willingness to go above and beyond to cater to its customers.
Asia’s 50 Best Bars aims to celebrate the region’s top bars, through rankings created from the votes of Asia’s 50 Best Bars Academy – a group of over 200 industry leaders across Asia. Here’s the full list of Asia’s 50 Best Bars 2021:
- Coa, Hong Kong (Best Bar in Asia & Hong Kong)
- Jigger & Pony, Singapore (Best Bar in Singapore)
- Argo, Hong Kong (Disaronno Highest New Entry Award)
- Tesouro, India (Best Bar in India, London Essense Best New Opening Award)
- Bar Benfiddich, Japan (Best Bar in Japan, Rémy Martin Legend of the List Award)
- Indulge Experimental Bistro, Taiwan (Best Bar in Taiwan)
- Charles H, South Korea (The Best Bar In Korea)
- Mo Bar, Singapore (Nikka Highest Climber Award)
- Manhattan, Singapore
- BKK Social Club, Thailand (The Best Bar in Thailand, Mitcher’s Art of Hospitality Award)
- Sober Company, China (The Best Bar In Mainland China)
- Republic, Singapore
- Darkside, Hong Kong
- Sidecar, New Delhi
- No Sleep Club, Singapore
- Quinary, Hong Kong
- Tropic City, Thailand
- Hope & Sesame, China
- Vesper, Thailand
- Lamp Bar, Japan
- The SG Club, Japan
- Penicillin , Hong Kong
- Atlas, Singapore
- AHA Saloon, Taipei
- Bar Trench, Japan
- Hoots’, India
- Tippling Club, Singapore
- Bar Cham, South Korea
- Bar Trigona, Malaysia (The Best Bar in Malaysia, Siete Best Cocktail Menu)
- Home, India
- Sago House, Singapore
- The Cocktail Club, Indonesia (The Best Bar in Indonesia)
- The Pontiac, Hong Kong
- The Wise King, Hong Kong
- Junglebird, Malaysia
- Nutmeg & Clove, Singapore
- Analogue, Singapore
- The Aubrey, Hong Kong
- Le Chamber, South Korea
- Alice, South Korea
- Memento Mori, Japan
- Smoke & Bitters, Sri Lanka (The Best Bar in Sri Lanka)
- Asia Today, Thailand
- Copitas, Bengaluru
- Union Trading Company, China
- The Bamboo Bar, Thailand
- Bee’s Knees, Japan
- Zest, South Korea
- 28 HongKong Street, Singapore
- Speak Low, China
As countries open up and the region’s bar industry emerges with extraordinary resilience from the pandemic, Asia’s 50 Best Bars has also released a 51-100 list, not forgetting some of the region’s brightest gems that visitors should seek out and experience.
A diverse list spanning 24 different cities across Asia, saw the lead of Japan and Singapore with nine bars each on the list. Though, Taipei’s Room by Le Kief secured the top spot coming in at No.51.
While Singapore’s bar scene is enlightened by Ginza-style speakeasy lounge, D.Bespoke (No.58), destination rooftop cocktail bar Smoke & Mirrors (No.60), Papa Doble Bar (No.61) and fellow Jigger & Pony concept Live Twice (No. 65) jumping ten spots up from last year’s ranking at No. 75.
Other inclusions from Singapore include Origin Grill & Bar (No.66), Shin Gi Tai (No. 75), Employees Only (No. 77), Barbary Coast (No. 95) and Junior The Pocket Bar (No. 98). The list also saw Nepal’s debut with Blackbird (No. 96) in Kathmandu.
This article was first published in City Nomads.