Some people say "If you can't be happy, you can at least be drunk."
But it's no coincidence how happy hours get their moniker, since they always bring a smile to our face. Singapore is rife with early bird drinks promotions, so it's just knowing where and when.
From affordable cocktails to dirt cheap beer buckets, here's our islandwide round-up of the best bars and restaurants for happy hour debauchery.
CITY CENTRE, CBD & CLARKE QUAY
COURT MARTIAL BAR
Round the troops and gather your reinforcements, because it's time to drink on a dime with Court Martial Bar's boozy offerings. Weekdays see Tiger Beer, house pour spirits, wines and Prosecco going for a very attractive $10++.
But to really taste the best they can offer, how about a selection of speciality Barrel Aged Cocktails at 20 per cent off? Thursdays are even more fun with 2 choices of pizza for $30++, and a resident DJ spinning live house and nu-disco beats.
Happy Hour: Mon-Fri, 5pm to 10pm (11pm on Thursdays)
Court Martial Bar is located at L1, 30 Beach Rd, JW Marriott Hotel Singapore South Beach, Singapore 189763, p. +65 6818 1916. Open Mon-Thu 5pm - 12am, Fri 5pm - 1am. Closed weekends.
GRAFFITI SKY BAR
Like its name suggests, the rooftop Graffiti Sky Bar is where you're greeted by unique vistas of the harbour coastline, and it only gets better as the evening fades.
During happy hour, get a glass of house wine for just S$11++. Light drinkers can opt for ice cold buckets of five bottles for only $60++, or another bucket of five Crossroads bottles (a craft beer proudly brewed for Singapore) at $50++!
We recommend trying their unique bar snacks, particularly the Smoked Steak Beef Cubes with Roquefort Cheese and Salted Egg Cauliflower Poppers.
Happy Hour: 3pm to 8pm daily
Graffiti Sky Bar is located at Carlton City Hotel Singapore, 1 Gopeng St, Singapore 078862, p. +65 6632 8929. Open Sun-Tue 3pm - 12am, Wed-Sat 3pm - 1am.
REDTAIL BAR BY ZOUK
Singapore's most popular nightclub Zouk's social gaming bar, RedTail, is proving to be a banger.
Happy hour pretty much runs all night long, with a Liquid Buffet ($38++) consisting of all-you-can-drink beers, gin, cognac, and vodka from 7pm to 10pm. Following that, DBS/POSB cardmembers get exclusive 1-for-1 housepour specials from 10pm to 2am on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
What's more, enjoy complimentary entry to Zouk, Phuture, and Capital with every $80 spent at RedTail.
Happy Hour: 7pm to 10pm daily.
RedTail Bar is located at #01-04 3C River Valley Road, Singapore 179022, p. +65 6738 2988. Open Sun-Tue & Thu 6pm - 11pm, Wed & Fri 7pm - 3am, Eve of PH & Sat 7pm - 4am.
Located right at the edge of Esplanade, Mischief is the brainchild of Mediacorp stars Cynthia Koh and Michelle Chong, as well as the owners of TAB and The Rookery.
Get a variety of eye-opening alcohol deals at this establishment, with 25 per cent off all alcoholic drinks by the glass except draft beers on tap every evening!
Happy Hour: 5pm to 8pm daily
Mischief is located at 8 Raffles Ave, Esplanade Mall #01-12, Singapore 039802, p. +65 6532 0106. Open Mon 5pm - 11pm, Tue-Thu 5pm - 1am, Fri-Sat 5pm - 3am and Sun 5pm - 12am.
Boasting an elaborate yakuza-inspired backstory, this relatively new sushi den is perfect for secret rendezvousing, corporate meetings, or just your usual gathering of friends.
Chi Kinjo has an elaborate highball menu with things like Sweet Pear & Rosemary and Gin & Ginger, so the $5++ whisky highballs (along with housepour wines and spirits) paired with their Salmon Sashimi (5 pieces for $5++) during happy hour is bound to cheer you up after a long day.
Chi Kinjo's Asahi Super Dry and Asahi Black also starts at $8/$10 from 5pm, and it increases by a dollar every hour, so you'll want to be there early to snatch the deal. Of course, you can't go wrong with their $5++ mini Chirashi and Negitoro Dons either.
Happy Hour: 5pm to 8pm daily
Chi Kinjo is located at 29 Stanley St, Singapore 068738, p. +65 6260 5284. Open Mon-Fri 11.30am - 2.30pm, 5pm - 1am, Sat 6pm - 1am. Closed Sun.
THE BLACK SWAN
Looking for somewhere classy to spend the evening? Head over to the posh grounds of The Black Swan, a snazzy restaurant and bar located in the heart of the CBD.
As your heart retreats in the lavishness of the beautiful 1920's styled interior, treat yourself to their indulgent happy hour special of $9 for house pour wines, spirits, and draught beer, as well as S$3 oysters.
Happy Hour: Mon-Fri, 5pm to 8pm
The Black Swan is located at 19 Cecil St, Singapore 049704, p. +65 6438 3757. Open Mon-Fri 11.30am - 11.30pm and Sat 5pm - 11.30pm. Closed Sun & PH.
Launched by the same people behind A Poke Theory, think of Alter Ego as the poke shop's more laid back and sinful self, where craft cocktails with distinct local twists get you through the week.
Happy hour reigns all night as G&Ts, vodka mixes, and bottled beers go for just $5, draft pints at $9.90, as well as seven different sangria jugs at $35 each.
For the heavyweights, Alter Ego's liquid buffet on Wednesdays and Thursdays is an all-you-can-drink extravaganza of gin, whiskey, vodka, tequila, rum, and lager for only $29.90.
Happy Hour: 12pm to 11pm daily
Alter Ego is located at #01-13D, Esplanade Mall, 8 Raffles Ave, Singapore 039802, p. +65 6327 9301. Open Mon-Fri 12pm - 11pm, Sat-Sun 11am - 11pm.
We get that the early bird catches the worm. In this case, the early bird might end up a tad bit drunk.
From 5pm to 8pm, house pour spirit and wine prices are matched with the corresponding time, and prices will raise accordingly with the hour, while beers and Prosecco stays constant at $10++. Plus, Loof is one of the most dope rooftop spots in the city with tasty grub inspired by Southeast Asian flavours to match.
Happy hour: Mon-Sat, 5pm to 8pm
Loof is located at 331 North Bridge Rd, #03-07 Odeon Towers Extension Rooftop, Singapore 188720, p. +65 6337 9416. Open Sun-Thu 5pm - 1am and Fri-Sat 5pm - 2am.
Sip on your favourite martinis at Wooloomooloo Steakhouse with their amazing weekday Mootini deals. With both originals like their own Wooloomooloo Signature Martini ($20++) and classics like the Lychee Martini ($22++) going at 1-for-1, slide into the stylish lounge early or after work to unwind.
Happy Hour: Mon-Fri, 5pm to 8pm
Wooloomooloo Steakhouse is located at 2 Stamford Rd, Level 3 Swissotel The Stamford, Singapore 178882, p. +65 6338 0261. Lounge open daily 12pm - 11pm.
MORTON'S THE STEAKHOUSE
Pair your steaks at Morton's with their signature Mortinis for just $15.95 during happy hour. Crowd favourites include the Classic Mortini, Appletini and Lycheetini. Bar bites such as the Mini Crab Cake BLT's, Tuna Tacos and Three Prime Cheeseburgers are also specially priced at the same time, so leave some space for those too.
Happy Hour: 5pm to 7pm daily
Morton's Steakhouse is located at 5 Raffles Ave, L4 Mandarin Oriental Singapore, Singapore 039797, p. +65 6339 3740. Bar open Mon-Sat 5pm - 11pm, Sun 12pm - 9pm.
PARK BENCH DELI
Park Bench Deli whips up arguably the best sandwiches in town, but what good is that if there isn't some good booze to wash it all down. Happening every single evening, your wallet will thank you for $2 off draft beers, $8 bottled beers, and $18 1-for-1 whiskies and gins.
Happy Hour: 5pm to 8pm daily
Park Bench Deli is located at 179 Telok Ayer St, Singapore 068627, p. +65 6815 4600. Open Mon-Fri 7.30am - 9pm, Sat-Sun 9am - 3pm.
Caffe Fernet does happy hour the Italian way with your favourite Italian-inspired cocktails and wines, set against the spectacular Marina Bay skyline, no less.
A Watermelon or Strawberry Frose goes at $12++, an Amalfi Spritz for $13++, and a potent King Cole Old Fashioned for just $15++.
Happy Hour: 3pm to 7.30pm daily
Caffe Fernet is located at Customs House #01-05, 70 Collyer Qy, Singapore 049323, p. +65 9178 1105. Open Mon-Thu 12pm - 12am, Fri-Sat 12pm - 1am, Sun 11am - 5pm.
Corporate types working in the CBD will know The Exchange, the casual Australian brasserie and bar that's more popular for their amazing happy hour offers than anything else.
Enjoy happy hour deals such as $7++ bottled beers and house pour spirits, or go all out and get a bottle of Shiraz or Sauvignon Blanc for just $39++.
Happy Hour: Mon-Fri, 4pm to 7pm
The Exchange is located at Asia Square Tower 1, 8 Marina View, Singapore 018960, p. +65 6636 1200. Open Mon-Tue 8.30am - 10pm, Wed 8.30am - 2am, Thu 8.30am - 12am, Fri 8.30am - 1am. Closed weekends.
THE CHUPITOS BAR
A tiny bar located on the outskirts of party district Clarke Quay, Chupitos serves up a gamut of fascinating alcohol shots, ranging from the pleasantly sweet Milo Godzilla to the devilishly dangerous Black Absinthe Bohemian. From 6.30pm to 9pm, go crazy on selected shots, bottled beers, and house pours at $6 each.
Happy Hour: 6.30pm to 9pm daily
The Chupitos Bar is located at 3B River Valley Rd, Clarke Quay #01-05, Singapore 179021. Open Sun-Tue, Thu 5.30pm - 1.30am, Wed, Fri-Sat, & Eve of PH 6.30pm - 3.30am.
A popular haunt for music lovers and one of the oldest bars in Clarke Quay, Crazy Elephant has a range of happy hour promotions that are well, simple quite loco.
Get a load of half pint draft beers (Stella Artois, San Miguel, Hoegaarden) and house pour liquors from $10.50 and $8 respectively.
Happy Hour: Mon-Thu 6pm to 9pm, Fri-Sun 5pm to 9pm
Crazy Elephant is located at 3E River Valley Rd, #01-03/04 Clarke Quay, Singapore 179024, p. +65 6337 7859. Open Sun, Tue-Thu 5pm - 2am, Mon 5pm-1am and Fri-Sat 5pm - 3am.
Happy hour gets classy at The Flagship, the trusty bar headed by the people behind esteemed watering holes such as Jigger and Pony, Gibson, and Humpback.
Sip on $14++ cocktails and wine by the glass while savouring either the cheese or charcuterie platter for just $20++.
Happy Hour: 6pm to 8pm daily
The Flagship is located at 20 Bukit Pasoh Rd, Singapore 089834, p. +65 9011 8304. Open Mon-Thu 6pm - 1am, Fri-Sat 6pm - 2am. Closed Sun.
ACID & HEJ
It's a case of two in one here. Tucked in a row of shophouses along Peranakan Place at Orchard Road, Acid Bar is reputedly Singapore's top destination for local musicians to jam at for its vibrant and energetic ambience.
Its newly renovated interiors are inspired by the canal houses of Amsterdam, and is linked to its alfresco counterpart Hej Kitchen & Bar. Happy hour is a daily affair here, where drinks go for $6++ (house spirits), $8++ (wines), or $10++ (draught beers, including Guinness) depending on your pick.
Happy Hour: 5pm to 9pm daily
NO 5 EMERALD HILL COCKTAIL BAR
The stunning No 5 Emerald Hill has a great number of cost-effective drinking options, and it's conveniently located near Orchard Road too.
Happy hour starts as early as 12pm nearly every day, where premium house pours (45ml instead of the usual 30ml) and half-pint draught beers start from an incredible $6 nett.
Feeling famished? Check out their famous har cheong gai, or prawn-paste chicken, which rivals even those from longtime zi char stalls.
Happy Hour: 12pm to 5.15pm daily (from 2pm on Sundays)
No 5 Emerald Hill Cocktail Bar is located at 5 Emerald Hill Rd, Singapore 229289, p. +65 6732 0818. Open Mon-Thu 12pm - 2am, Fri-Sat 12pm - 3am, Sun 2pm - 2am.
MARTINI BAR AT MEZZA9
If you love martinis, there's no better place to go than the martini bar at mezza9. Drinks such as the Rockmelon don't come cheap here, but given the quality of the spirits served, they're worth every penny.
Standard prices go up to $29++, though you'll be able to enjoy all signature and classic martinis, handcrafted gin and tonics, and sustainable wines by the glass at just $14++ and $9++ beers from 5pm to 9pm every day. That sounds like an incredibly sweet deal.
Happy Hour: 3pm to 9pm daily
martini bar at mezza 9 is located at 10 Scotts Rd, Grand Hyatt Singapore Hotel, Singapore 228211, p. +65 6738 1234. Open Sun-Thu 3pm - 12am, Fri-Sat 3pm - 1am.
Tanuki Raw's happy hour special includes oysters! With every $12 pint of beer or $10 martini and cocktail ordered, you can get up to six freshly shucked oysters for just $2 each. To add icing to the cake, their sashimi (five pieces for $5, only available at Orchard Central) is a brilliant deal that'll satisfy your munchies, available at both branches.
Happy Hour: 5pm to 8pm daily (all day on weekends for Tanuki Raw at Middle Road)
KPO CAFE BAR
After a rather dramatic makeover of the iconic Killiney Post Office, KPO Cafe Bar is now a swanky drinking spot on the fringes of Orchard Road with an attitude to boot. Working in the vicinity? Take a much-needed break from the office during their 3pm to 8pm happy hour slot, with prices as low as $12 for house spirits and 1-for-1 draft beers.
Happy Hour: 3pm to 8pm daily
KPO Cafe Bar is located at 1 Killiney Rd, Singapore 239518, p. +65 6733 3648. Open Mon-Thu 3pm - 1am, Fri 3pm - 2am and Sat 6pm - 2am. Closed Sun.
THE CHAINS & FRANCHISES
Harry's is pretty much a household name in Singapore. As the country's largest chain of bars with 20 locations scattered throughout the island, there's no reason not to drink and make merry.
Happy hour at most outlets include a two for $22++ special for selected beer pints, wines, and spirits, as well as various other promotions depending on the location.
Happy Hour: 5pm to 8pm daily.
At any FIVE Bar outlet, happy hour is all-day every day. With various $5 drink promotions running from opening to closing time, you can guzzle the likes of gin tonics, Kronenbourg 1664 half pints, sakes, shochus, and wines, all without the worry of burning a hole in your wallet.
Happy Hour: Mon-Fri 12pm to 12am, Sat 6pm to 12am
Click here to see various FIVE Bar locations.
STANDING SUSHI BAR
One of Singapore's most popular sushi bars, Standing Sushi Bar also has a variety of affordable drinking deals for you to enjoy without going broke.
Think Salmon Madness ($3 salmon sashimi, $2 sakes, $5 beers, wines, hot sake and umeshu) on Mondays and Thursdays, and $30 free-flow beers, sakes, shochu, umeshu, and edamame on Fridays. Kanpai!
Happy Hour: Mon, Thu-Fri, 6pm to 9pm
This article was first published in City Nomads.