Manhattan

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Regent Singapore, 1 Cuscaden Road, Singapore

LOOK AT THIS PICTURE. If there is a sleeker, more seductive bar than Manhattan on this planet, we are yet to come across it. This New York-inspired hotel bar at Regent Singapore is a masterpiece of opulent design. But, unlike other luxury bars that are all form over function, Manhattan delivers.

Frankly it wouldn’t be in this list if it didn’t. Bar manager Philip Bischoff says the venue takes its inspiration from the 19th-century Golden Age of cocktails but the bar also boasts the “world’s first in-hotel rickhouse” (barrel-ageing room). You can just imagine how that went down in the brainstorming meeting ahead of the bar’s 2014 launch. Somehow it came to fruition and so did an Ingredients Room, proving this bar is no hotel owner’s afterthought – it has been meticulously planned and designed to an exacting spec. Manhattan stands alone as a destination, irrespective of its Four Seasons setting.

Here craft bartending is married with top-notch artisanal spirits in a homage to classic and forgotten cocktails. The menu is divided into Manhattan Island’s districts but changes every six months to unearth new, though old, cocktail stories. Soaking up the liquid antiquity are gourmet bar-bites that pick up on New York’s gastronomy and multicultural makeup.

So, a hotel bar that hums with moneyed sophistication and acts as a honey trap to Singapore’s affluent. Bischoff says there are local regulars, hotel guests, businessmen and groups of women celebrating special occasions, making for a really good mix of people.

One thing is clear, this bar draws a discerning crowd.

Drinks International