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Top Tipples: 12 Of World’s 50 Best Bars Are Now In Asia – Forbes

Manhattan

Singapore’s Manhattan tops the list of Asian entrants in the World’s 50 Best Bars.

As Asia’s cocktail bar scene continues to take root, there’s been no shortage of innovative spaces that offer up unique drinks, memorable experiences and a great time. The evidence could be seen in this year’s ranking of The World’s 50 Best Bars announced earlier this month. With input from 500 industry experts from 55 countries, the list was released by William Reed Business Media, who also organize The World’s 50 Best Restaurants and Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants lists.

This year, Asia was awarded a handsome 12 places on the list – a significant jump from the 2016 list which only included 7 Asian bars.

Singapore strong

The most notable Asian entry was ATLAS, an art deco-inspired gin bar in Singapore which went through a refresh earlier this year. It made quite the debut by nabbing the 15th spot in the list, and also took the cake for being the highest new entry. Thanks to its inclusion, Singapore now boasts 6 out of 50 bars on the list, making it second only to the U.S. and U.K. for number of entries. 

ATLAS/ EK YAP

The exquisite interiors of ATLAS at Parkview Square.

“We never expected such a tremendous accolade but it really is a testament to the incredible team we have at ATLAS that strives every day to deliver true hospitality with warmth, passion and just a sprinkle of cheekiness,” said Vicky Hwang, Managing Director of Chyau Fwu Development, developers of Parkview Square building where ATLAS is located.

Operation Dagger

Interiors of Operation Dagger (Singapore) with founder, Luke Whearty. 

Also new to the ranking is Singaporean bar, Native (#47 on the list), which concocts innovative cocktails using regional products and ingredients – there’s even a drink aptly named ‘Antz’ that comes with locally-foraged weaver ants to add a little crunch. Other crowd favorites in Singapore such as Operation Dagger (#24 on the list), 28 Hongkong Street (#25 on the list) are included from 2016’s list, despite dropping a few spots from their previous rankings. 

In The Straits Times, William Drew, group editor of the World’s 50 Best Bars, described Singapore as “genuinely one of the most exciting cities in the world now for cocktail lovers and I think any discerning drinker who has visited Singapore in the last couple of years would not be surprised by these results.”

Around Asia

Japan, Hong Kong, China and Taiwan have also taken top spots on the list, showcasing their rising prominence in the cocktail bar scene. Speak Low of Shanghai managed nab 10th place on the list, up from 11 in 2016, while others like High Five in Tokyo (#13 on the list), and Quinary and Lobster Bar both in Hong Kong (#40 and #49 on the list respectively) have continued to appear in the list.

Atsushi Suzuki, manager of Speak Low believes that “Asia is undergoing a growth spurt which is ripe with potential.” While it’s yet to catch up with its American or European counterparts, he believes that the region will follow a similar direction, including focusing on sustainably-minded craft cocktails, dedicated use of local ingredients and collaboration with non-F&B brands and platforms.

Speak Low

Speak Low in Shanghai makes it to top 10 of the World’s 50 Best Bars list.

With an increasing number of new bars popping up every week, Suzuki highlights the importance of each venue operating under a core concept in order to stand out from the crowd. “Nourishing the curiosity and inspiration of the team members and striving to provide the guests with an unforgettable and meaningful experience makes for a bar that cannot be obscured by its competition,” said Suzuki.

For a closer look, here’s the full collection of The World’s 50 Best Bars ranking.

Top Tipples: 12 Of World’s 50 Best Bars Are Now In Asia – Forbes}

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