Singapore's best bars: Cocktails that will shake and stir you

How to make an award-winning 'Singapura Nacional'
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    How to make an award-winning 'Singapura Nacional'

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How to make an award-winning 'Singapura Nacional' 01:12

Story highlights

  • Some of the city's best bars recommend their signature cocktails
  • Singapore's bar scene has become increasingly sophisticated in recent years

This article was originally published in October 2015.

(CNN)For a city of just over 5 million people, Singapore punches above its weight when it comes to swanky cocktail bars.

Its top entry on the list of the world's 50 best bars came in at No. 7, behind classic cocktail cities London and New York (and an American-style drinking den in Sydney).
Singapore's sleek, modern lines are the perfect setting for appreciating the precision of the city-state's top bartenders.
We asked the best shakers and stirrers in town to recommend a cocktail and a mocktail for those who prefer something less intoxicating.

Manhattan Bar

At the Regent's Manhattan Bar, Ashish Sharma showed us how to make the Singapura Nacional, the winning cocktail in the Singapore Hotel Association's "Toast to the Nation" competition.
The competition was held to find a drink that best reflected the city as it celebrates its 50th anniversary.
The winning entry blends two "iconic cocktails" -- the Hotel Nacional Special and the Singapore Sling.

Manhattan Bar, 1 Cuscaden Road, Singapore 249715 Singapore;

28 HongKong Street

28 HongKong Street was the bar that came in at seven on this year's top 50 list, and was crowned best bar in Asia.
"We're not the most high concept bar on the block, or the fanciest -- but I think it's that personal touch that gets recognized and really resonates with our friends from around the globe," said Joe Alessandroni, the bar's creative director.
When asked what to drink, he nominated the Bird Machine, described as a "new aged remix of a Whiskey Smash."

28 Hong Kong Street, 28 Hong Kong Street, Singapore Singapore;

Operation Dagger

If you look hard enough you'll find the entrance to Operation Dagger where, under a staggering number of light bulbs, creative director Luke Whearty is hard at work inventing creative cocktails, including the Bee Pollen.
It contains dark chocolate. Enough said.

Operation Dagger, 7 Ann Siang Hill, Singapore 069689 Singapore;

Nutmeg & Clove

Not far away is Nutmeg & Clove, which looks to the past with its dark wood interior and rows of drawers that evoke an old Chinese medicine dispensary.
Head bartender Sam Wong says the recommended drink "definitely has to be the Golden Elixir," which was "concocted to help ease the discomfort from the haze situation" in Singapore.
It's unclear whether it's the gin or the chrysanthemum syrup that offers the most relief.

Nutmeg & Clove, 17 Ann Siang Road, Singapore 069697 Singapore;

Gibson

This bar's namesake is an enticing mix of gin and vermouth, and comes recommended by bar program director Aki Eguchi.
The Gibson "is stirred, not shaken, and served with a trio of condiments that include a smoked tsukemono, smoked quail's egg and a pearl onion pickled in-house."
The bar's non-alcoholic take on the Lazy Morning Fizz includes cereal milk and is served in a milk bottle.
Gibson, Level 2, 20 Bukit Pasoh Road, Singapore 089832

Tess Bar & Kitchen

At Tess Bar & Kitchen, head bartender Steve Leong recommends their signature cocktail -- Longan Cup -- a rum-based concoction that includes homemade longan syrup.
Recently named Diageo World Class Champion 2015 for South East Asia and Singapore, this local barman is said to be known to the locals as "Uncle Leong."

Tess Bar & Kitchen, 38 Seah Street, Singapore 188394 Singapore;