Singapore's Jigger & Pony named Asia's top bar as COVID-19 casts shadow on bar industry

Teng Yong Ping
Lifestyle Editor
The team at Singapore's Jigger & Pony, named the top bar in Asia of 2020 by Asia's 50 Best Bars, an industry bar ranking. (Photo: Asia's 50 Best Bars)

SINGAPORE — Asia’s bar industry gave recognition to the top watering holes in the region even as business reeled from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, with Singapore’s Jigger & Pony clinching top spot.

The fifth edition of the annual Asia’s 50 Best Bars ranking was announced yesterday (14 May) in a virtual countdown which was streamed online. The ceremony was originally planned to take place in Singapore at Capitol Theatre, but lockdown prohibitions against large gatherings made organisers change plans.

The 2020 ranking spanned bars from Asian countries including China, South Korea, Japan, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines. See the full list of Asia’s 50 Best Bars below.

Jigger & Pony at Amara Hotel was named the Best Bar in Asia and the Best Bar in Singapore, after being ranked at No. 9 in Asia last year. The bar specialises in thoughtful reimaginations of classic drinks. Innovative cocktails such as Mango Hazelnut Daiquiri and Mineral Vodka Soda feature alongside signatures such as its Ramos Gin Fizz.

Mark Sansom, content editor of Asia’s 50 Best Bars, said, “Today’s announcement was less of a celebration, and rather a form of recognition and an expression of solidarity across the bar-loving world. The coming months may indeed be some of the toughest we’ve experienced, both personally and professionally, as we prepare for an unknown future. But today, we stand with Asia. Stay healthy, stay safe, stay strong, and together, we will overcome this.”

Asia’s 50 Best Bars 2020 list 

1) Jigger & Pony, Singapore 

2) The Old Man, Hong Kong, China 

3) Coa, Hong Kong, China 

4) Indulge Experimental Bistro, Taipei, Taiwan 

5) Atlas, Singapore 

6) Native, Singapore 

7) The Bamboo Bar at Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok, Thailand 

8) Manhattan, Singapore 

9) The SG Club, Tokyo, Japan 

10) Aha Saloon, Taipei, Taiwan 

11) Vesper, Bangkok, Thailand 

12) Sober Company, Shanghai, China 

13) Bar Mood, Taipei, Taiwan 

14) Bar Trigona, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 

15) Bar Benfiddich, Tokyo, Japan 

16) Quinary, Hong Kong, China 

17) Tippling Club, Singapore 

18) The Wise King, Hong Kong, China 

19) Speak Low, Shanghai, China 

20) High Five, Tokyo, Japan 

21) Bee’s Knees, Kyoto, Japan 

22) The Old Man, Singapore 

23) D.Bespoke, Singapore 

24) Tropic City, Bangkok, Thailand 

25) Gibson, Singapore 

26) Draft Land, Taipei, Taiwan 

27) Room by Le Kief, Taipei, Taiwan 

28) 8 1⁄2 Otto e Mezzo Bombana, Hong Kong, China 

29) Charles H, Seoul, South Korea 

30) 28 HongKong Street, Singapore 

31) Rabbit Hole, Bangkok, Thailand 

32) Nutmeg & Clove, Singapore 

33) Backstage Cocktail Bar, Bangkok, Thailand 

34) Caprice Bar, Hong Kong, China 

35) The Pontiac, Hong Kong, China 

36) Hope & Sesame, Guangzhou, China 

37) Junglebird, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 

38) The Odd Couple, Shanghai, China 

39) Bar Trench, Tokyo, Japan 

40) Sidecar, New Delhi, India 

41) Bar Orchard Ginza, Tokyo, Japan 

42) The Curator, Manila, Philippines 

43) Union Brasserie, Bakery & Bar, Jakarta, Indonesia 

44) Lobster Bar & Grill, Hong Kong, China 

45) The Back Room, Manila, Philippines 

46) MO Bar, Singapore 

47) Alice, Seoul, South Korea 

48) Coley, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 

49) Le Chamber, Seoul, South Korea 

50) Bar Cham, Seoul, South Korea