(L-R) Bess from MO Bar, Yugnes from The Elephant Room, and Ronalie from Barbary Coast
We have to admit: it was rather disheartening to know that the biggest event on Singapore’s cocktail calendar, the Singapore Cocktail Festival, will once again not be holding a physical festival village – arguably the best part of the annual SGCF – for this year’s edition.
It’s understandable of course, what with Covid-19 still raging on in the city-state, and the recent announcement of the extension of the so-called Stabilisation Phase till late November.
But what is heartening to know is the fact that Singapore Cocktail Festival 2021 will still be going on, from Nov 12-Dec12, and even though there will be no festival village, the organisers have packed the month with such an exciting lineup, we can’t wait to check out all the various happenings in town.
First on our to-do list is to pull up a seat at some of our favourite haunts taking part in the main event, the City Takeover. This year, 36 bars all around Singapore will be involved, each creating a cocktail according to this year’s theme: music.
It’s a cheeky stab at the current restrictions disallowing music to be played at all F&B outlets. From MO Bar’s Roaring City, a pineapple-based gin cocktail inspired by Sarah Kang’s Summer Is For Falling In Love, to Ah Sam Cold Drink Stall’s Rick Roll, a fizzy bourbon-based concoction that promises not to bait and switch, there’ll definitely be a drink to satisfy your taste (in music).
These 36 special creations cost only S$18 each, and are available to SGCF 2021 wristband holders only, which are in turn free to get, but require you to register for one. So be sure to snag one online before it runs out.
On the weekends however, we’re reserving our stomach (and liver) space for a SGCF Cocktail Brunch. Combining the pleasures of sipping on cocktails with the joy of feasting, we simply can’t ask for something more indulgent.
Check out the individual venue pages for details – some offer free-flowing cocktails while some have two inclusive, for instance, and the cuisine type differs greatly too. Most importantly, mark down the dates, as each cocktail brunch happens for only one day on one of the weekends.
Then there are the SGCF Bar Crawls. And this is where, for the first time, a collaboration is taking place with London Cocktail Week. The twin cocktail capitals of Singapore and London are teaming up, resulting in pairs such as The Elephant Room X Coupette, one of many pairings that are part of a three-bar journey in Singapore to have a taste of London.
This Taste of London Bar Crawl is taking place on 1 and 2 Dec only, with each S$100 ticket inclusive of one cocktail per bar stop. Or discover hidden local gems and go on the SGCF Discovery Bar Crawl instead.
Happening on 17 and 18 Nov, expect bars like Barbary Coast, Sago House, The Old Man Singapore, and more to be on the three-venue itinerary. Each S$70 ticket nets you three drinks, one at each stop.
What’s also cool about the London Cocktail Week tieup is that there’s something for Londoners too. An exclusive Taste of Singapore (£19.50) home bar gift set will be made available on www.thedrinksdrop.com for those in the UK to enjoy.
Each package consists of two ready-to-drink cocktail pouches, produced using Singapore’s own Brass Lion Singapore Dry Gin with recipes by bartenders from Club 5 at Parkroyal Beach Road.
So in some small way, even though travel remains restricted, tipplers from both sides can still have a taste of each city’s top concoctions. That’s something we can definitely cheers to.
Head on over to www.singaporecocktailfestival.com for updates as they come, and for more details on participating bars at Singapore Cocktail Festival 2021.