The Back Room
Shangri-La at the Fort, Manila, 30th Street, 5th Ave, Manila, Philippines
This new entry to the Asia’s 50 Best Bars list only opened in late 2018, so has mixed some sterling drinks since then to earn its position. Set in a hidden space in the Shangri-La hotel at the Fort, Manila, you’ll find it scurried down a service corridor next to an out-of-place shoe-shine box and even more incongruous gramophone. Speakeasy is the style here, all money green Chesterfields, banquettes and leather walls, with a glistening black marble floor and bar. Prohibition-style drinks hold sway, alongside a range of house-made bottlings and infusions. The list contains only 18 serves, each as delicious and painstakingly curated as the last, and the bar also features a hidden laboratory where the signature gin (Bee's Knees) and other distillates are created. For the Thrill of It is a sharing punch bowl that’s well worth ordering up if you visit as a group.