Singapore Tatler

Shaking it Up

The first thing you see is an 8m-tall gilded tower whose brightly lit shelves are neatly lined with seemingly hundreds of liquor bottles. Below, bartenders in crisp white blazers shake and stir with equal parts poise and bravado. You order a gin martini, which arrives in a custom etched coupe glass with one of those thin, rounded lemon peel twists floating in it. But even before you take a sip, you’ve already forgotten where (and when) you’re standing.

You’d be reasonably forgiven for losing yourself in Atlas, the legendary gin-centric bar that opened in Singapore in 2017 yet feels like New York City circa 1920. After all, the 7,400sqft bar is set in the lobby of Parkview Square, one of the city-state’s iconic art deco skyscrapers whose grandiose bronze facade and stunning geometric designs were meant to mirror the style of Prohibition-era Gotham. Equally attention-grabbing is that soaring pillar of spirits. It’s holding 1,000 or so gins, whiskies and wines—all meticulously catalogued by producer, origin, type of still and so on.

Sitting at No. 8 in the annual World’s 50 Best Bars ranking, Atlas is Asia’s top performer on the list. Last year, Manhattan, another Singapore bar, came in third overall—beating out all of its competition in the US. Suffice to say, as far as international regard is concerned, Asia’s finest bars would hold their own if they were picked up and dropped down in any of the world’s cocktail capitals.

Now, with the undivided attention of the drinks world, however, Asia is pioneering a new and exciting

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