Aight, it's that time of the year again. Award season for the dens that can best impress with how they inebriate you. Sponsored by Perrier, the event was hosted in Hong Kong and listed bars from 18 cities across Asia, featuring 15 new entries.

A bit about the winner

BAR LEONE

Now, we're gonna dedicate two paragraphs to Bar Leone, not only for topping the list, but because it makes history for being the first time a new entrant does so. Thus also gaining the Disaronno Highest New Entry Award (duh), the one-year-old Central Hong Kong bar is all about "revived classics made with low-intervention, seasonal approach, and is complemented by minimalist garnishes".

Bar Leone is founded by Lorenzo Antinori from Argo and other top bars in Seoul and London not named. The neighbourhood bar carries the Italian ethos ‘cocktail popolari’ or ‘cocktails for the people’, which just means cocktails—besides being inspired by traditional Roman bars—are approachable and the space is fun? I guess? I haven't been there.

Top 5

No.2: Seoul's low-waste bar Zest, therefore The Best Bar in Korea.

No.3: Homegrown Jigger & Pony, The Best Bar in Singapore for five consecutive years.

No.4: Hong Kong's Coa, last year's winner and first ever to achieve top dog thrice.

No.5: Tokyo’s Bar Benfiddich, hence The Best Bar in Japan.

Crush 'em all, Singapore

In true kiasu spirit, Singapore clinches the highest number of spots with 11 bars.

NIGHT HAWK

Other worthy mentions

Despite being second-last on the list, Atlas was honoured the Rémy Martin Legend of the List Award for *consistency* over close to a decade of operations. The signature 15m gin tower of 900 labels and stunning art deco design also earned it the new accolade Bareksten Best Bar Design Award in Asia.

Fura wins the Ketel One Sustainable Bar Award for its commitment to low-carbon footprint cocktails and circular ethos; exclusively using local ingredients in dedication to sustainable and low-waste practices.

Asia's 50 Best 2024 Full List

(in flashing pictures because we virtually have no attention span these days)

For more information, visit Asia's 50 Best.

As Angela Davis aptly puts it, “Palestine is a moral litmus test for the world”. The ongoing suffering of the Palestinians has become a dark stain on the global conscience. As Singaporeans, it's all too easy to feel disconnected and powerless regarding global conflicts, especially those unfolding thousands of kilometres away. Our country is small, and we may feel even smaller as a result. But true power lies in the masses, it always has, and we cannot turn a blind eye to the plight of the oppressed.

Spearheading humanitarian efforts for Singaporeans is Gilbert Goh, the founder of Love Aid SG. Goh has helped raise over a million dollars for various Gaza-related projects. His initiatives include building a Gazan kitchen, which an Israeli airstrike later destroyed and killed nine people he worked closely with. He then constructed solar panels to generate electricity for Kamal Adwan Hospital, but another airstrike decimated that as well. While these setbacks are terrible, they have only strengthened Goh’s resolve to assist Palestinians. He currently remains in Cairo to continue the facilitation of aid into Gaza.

To rally solidarity, Collective Minds is partnering with Mandala Club to organise a music event called Dance for Life. It aims to raise SGD10,000 to support Love Aid SG’s humanitarian efforts in Gaza. With the entire population of Gaza projected to face famine by July, we have an opportunity and moral obligation as citizens of a privileged nation to help prevent that.

The deets

Dance for Life will feature an electrifying lineup of local artists and DJs, including Aurora, Bongomann, and Chris. Other artists include Dean Chew, Toppings, James Selva, Jenn Chunes, Kylie Nicole, and Leland. Also performing are Miss Lil, MZA, Puddle, Sivanesh, and RAAJ.

Tickets are priced at SGD40 and is inclusive of a complimentary drink. For those unable to attend in person, a SGD30 donation option is available. All proceeds from ticket sales, donations, and a percentage of the bar sales will be channelled straight to Love Aid SG.

Dance for Life will take place on 15 June 2024 at the Mandala Club from 12 pm to 11 pm. Buy your tickets or donate here.

New restaurants, bars, and menus perfect for a fancy date night or casual dining with friends …would be how we start this article off with a slew of SEO-keywords, can you tell? Though that’s still an honest description of these establishments, which maybe didn’t quite make the cut for a full feature (sorry?) but are nonetheless very worthy mentions that have earned their spot on this highlight. Or if you have already been eyeing these places, take this as a lowdown of key dishes to try.

Meadesmoore

Wagyu Flat Iron. MEADESMOORE

Previously Fat Belly Social, one of the renowned places in town for a feather blade gets a new menu. And you know the steakhouse turns alternative cuts into exceptional ones when the Wagyu Flat Iron significantly outperforms the 65-day aged Cote De Boeuf. Don’t be mistaken; the latter is no weak contender when Australian grain-fed tender and seared with a caramelised crust. Still, having tried a Flat Iron steak elsewhere, this Wagyu cut with a marble score of 9+ had such undeniable flavour each bite you won’t need the sauces.

Mashed potato fans would appreciate the sinful, velvety Ratte Potato Puree that’s whisked with crap ton of milk and butter (do eat it fast before the gluten hardens). The Roasted Honey Saffron Cauliflower is a lighter side, and the florets are served atop a bed of homemade ricotta that has a lovely citrusy tang. A flavour punch would be the Kuju Kushima Oyster Mornay where the fat piece is quite literally blanketed in a luscious reduced cream, grana padano, and wilted spinach (we know how it sounds, but the combination works).

Vibe: That classic, neutral shophouse restaurant that’s safe to bring anyone

Wallet damage: $$$

Meadesmoore is located at 21A Boon Tat Street, Singapore 069620.

NOU Noodle Bar

Shopfront. NOU
Interior. NOU
Umami Noodles. NOU
Cocktail line up (L), G&T (R). NOU

Why yes, this is the one you saw on Instagram. The one with the progressive menu, ambient lights, intimate seating, and ay, glass block feature. Perhaps expectations were high, but it did seem like drinks outperformed their culinary counterparts. For appetisers, Olives come satisfyingly enhanced with citrus and chilli, though at SGD10 before tax for the fruit (yes, it’s a fruit, we googled) may look hefty. The Trout Carpaccio and Seafood Spinach dumplings can’t be faulted apart from portion size, but we can’t help but wish the Umami Noodle and Chicken Mazemen packed more of a punch (pairing chillis were chefs kiss though).

Here, the Gin & Tonic is a signature and besides using house-made tonic, the unique frothy beetroot topping tells you why. The Pink Frog is another refreshing gin-based starter, especially for lovers of egg white foam on cocktails. Except you’re probably more up to try the unconventional koji rice fermented tomato brine Tomato, Tomato, or the machetazo duck-fat washed salmiana mezcal-centric Ducktini. The savoury two are undeniably subject to personal preferences, but if you want to double down on the pepper, order the Duck Kut Teh Mee Sua to go with the latter.

Vibe: The contemporary casual bar you want to be caught dead in

Wallet damage: $$

NOU Noodle Bar is located at 45 Craig Road, Singapore 089683.

Puffy Bois

Dawn Chorus (L), Box of Stars (R). PUFFY BOIS

Speakeasies are great, better yet if they are unintentional and serve solid slices. Up the subtly-lit stairway and through a shadowed doorway you find the petite nook away from street buzz. Helmed by veterans, the refreshed tipple menu is concise but has sufficient variety. Two are subjectively polarising—the Pillar to Post (think medicinal aperitivo) and the Ok Go (think boozy ice cream soda). On the other hand, Dawn Chorus is easy to nurse for Old Fashioned regulars, thanks to the comfortable balance of sweet from the cornflake-scented Tennessee Whiskey and housemade salted honey whey. Box of Stars steals the show as a Bellini-inspired, Champagne-dosed hit that is truly complex, with a pleasantly distinct aftertaste.

One primed to be completely up your alley is the customisable Sour What What. It’s your genie drink with freedom of spirit and presentation choice; just tell the trusty duo your profile preference. What makes you return though, will probably be the handmade pizzas literally pulled and toasted before your eyes. We thought ourselves strict fans of thin crust until we had a go. Something about the freshly warm, doughy goodness that’s simultaneously airy and crispy… Where were we? Right. Opt for the creative, non-mainstay options and definitely complement them with the housemade lao gan ma-style chilli that’s hardly spicy but so damn addictive.

Vibe: The super-chill post-dinner/early-supper hangout

Wallet damage: $

Puffy Bois is located at 20A Bali Lane, Singapore 189856.

Gourmet Park Kampong Bugis

A bit of everything. GOURMET PARK KAMPONG BUGIS

Taking over Camp Kilo grounds, this pop-up lands a good spot not only because it’s pet-friendly and around till the end of the year, but also has the capacity to offer a nice multi-concept mix. First of the five homegrown brands is of course, The Goodburger, head honcho behind last year’s Gourmet Park RWS. As you devour their signatures, you kinda forget that they’re plant-based, and you get why their food-truck biz is still around today.

Another burger maestro (Chef Adam Penney of Potato Head Folk, Three Buns) makes a teaser appearance here, but with indulgent British breakfast fare Carnaby, which is set to launch at Roberston Quay later this year. Keeping up the backyard soul of the space is Meatsmith, which iconic char needs no introduction. Our biased favourite is Quattro, specifically the Cacio e Pepe amongst an array of Neapolitan-style pizzas and pastas. Finally, dessert is not left out with Backyard Bakers‘ homemade brownies. And fret not, there will be coffee and cocktails. We’re told to expect kitchen takeovers and more collaborations in coming months, so keep an eye out on their socials.

Vibe: The barbeque party you never got invited to in your late teens

Wallet damage: $$

Gourmet Park Kampong Bugis is located at 66 Kampong Bugis Ground Floor Patio, Singapore 338987.

Sora Bar.
(ROSEWOOD PHNOM PENH)

Any modern bar these days has got to have a solid concept, respective motif cocktails, and all the vibes in the world. It’s practically law. Positioned near the peak of the city’s first true skyscraper, Sora Bar seemingly has its work cut out for it from the outset.

The bar scene in Cambodia does not lack its speakeasies and distilleries (it’s home to premium rum distillery Samai and World’s Best Flavoured Gin 2023 MAWSIM craft gin). From an outsider’s perspective, they all share a little rough-edged, charactered attitude inherited from the city.

So when you see Rosewood Phnom Penh sticking out from the skyline like a sore thumb—in a good way—and the bar’s cantilevered terrace sticking out like the sore thumb’s sore thumb, you know you’re in for divergence.

Sora (“sky” in Japanese) Bar is located 37 floors up, so obviously, the view’s great. While the outdoor deck hits the standard look of sky- high rooftop bars, the indoor seating features pockets of semi-intimate spaces, an open row by the almost unassuming counter and under a centrepiece of mirrored orbs.

Drinks perpetuate this school of refined thought. Nuance is the keyword here for the 12 progressive tipples in the new The Book of Yokai. The menu is divided into four chapters highlighting the country’s notable exports: rice, sugar palm, Kampot pepper, and banana, then framed according to Japanese folklore entities.

What usually transgresses the line from thematic to pure schtick is how on the nose you go. Here, classics are still revered and twists are subtle.

The Bow ‘n The Arrow has a complex amalgamation of sake and straight wheat vodka, rice and almond milk, grilled lemon and lemongrass. It ought to read highly peculiar on the tongue, but it is actually one of the smoothest in the lineup.

Another crowd favourite is the Green Leaf Fizz, a gin and white port base with citrus, kaffir leaf, matcha, soda and, of course, sugar palm that lingers quietly in the background. Representing the notorious Kampot pepper is Sora 75 in a refreshing aperitivo-style passionfruit sherbet topped with sparkling sake.

Finally, in a highball ode to the staple fruit, The Crow Collins uses the flower rather than other commonly used parts of a banana. This results in a naturally pink hue, a garnish that cheekily nods to the Pinocchio-like Japanese mountain spirit Tengu, and a slight medicinal note that satisfies a personal preference.

It’s easy to see why the bar has made it on the World’s 50 Best Discovery list. And in true Rosewood style, there’s more to experience. Like the food at neighbouring Iza (do yourself a true favour and order the ramen) and award-winning steakhouse Cuts.

If you want to go hardcore, visit Whisky Library for its wide collection of cigars and single malts in classy lounging. Have them neat or in six concoctions that play on the historical aspects of Japanese Samurais. Like Sora Bar, each establishment housed within the penthouse levels effortlessly exudes gentle confidence and brilliant thoughtfulness.

Sora Bar is located at Vattanac Capital Tower, 66 Monivong Boulevard, Sangkat Wat Phnom, Khan Daun Penh.

Punch Room Singapore

Every EDITION hotel in the world has a Punch Room. As an EDITION staple, each Punch Room has its own identity. Ours is swathed in "Yves Klein blue". The interior hits you like a punch of the whimsy as you stay for the drinks. With a focus on punch (duh), the bar uses spices and teas that are unique to our litte red dot. 

Believed to be the first "modern day cocktail", punch was originally infused with ingredients that were the go-to in 17th century sailors’ trade routes. As a homage, the Punch Room Singapore replicates said ingredients of the Southeast Asian region, which includes starfruit, butterfly pea and betel leaf. 

But aside from alcohol, the bar also offers a unique afternoon tea experience. This tea time offers savoury and sweet delights inspired by the five main ingredients that make up punch—spirits, spices, citrus, teas and sugar. 

The Savouries

Afternoon Tea experience

Upon arrival, guests receive the signature Welcome Punch. Guests will also choose between organic Jing teas or free-flowing punch bowls and Ruinart champagne. Next comes the first course, a savoury marvel of Poached Lobster. Placed atop blackcurrant and hibiscus tea gélee and citrus cream cheese, it is the perfect fusion with the acidic notes of raspberries and vintage balsamic.

Then, the Signature Finger Sandwiches are dished out. They are available in two combinations—roast beef with blueberries and osetra caviar, and smoked salmon with lemon cream cheese and ocean trout roe. The black and white bite-sized sandwiches are accompanied with a hot and fragrant Black Truffle Cheese Donut. Lastly, the savoury courses end off with a Crispy Tart composed of duck foie gras and spiced spirit poached plum. 

The Sweets

Daeng's Punch

Enter the desserts. Firstly, a Frozen Punch is presented, a rendition of Daeng’s Punch from the main menu. It is a great palate cleanser, marking a refreshing transition from the savoury to the sweet courses. Afterwards, we have the Punch Inspired Desserts. These jewel-like pastries comes in the flavours of the various teas and spices found in punch. They include the Chamomile Mascarpone Kochi Yuzu Tart, Piedmont Hazelnut and Milk Chocolate Pleyel, Pink Peppercorn Chocolate Éclair and Matcha Green Tea Namelaka in a hojicha Cone. 

Kusu Island Punch

Following up, Executive Pastry Chef Alex Chong’s Kusu Island Punch Semifreddo is a play on the Kusu Island Punch. No prizes for guessing that this was inspired by the local legend of Kusu Island. Resembling a blue sphere, the dessert is reminiscent of the sculptural blue ceiling pendant in Punch Room.

Finally, the menu ends with an afternoon tea classic, soft buttery scones. Served with house-made strawberry jam and yuzu lemon curd instead of the usual butter or cream, the yuzu's tangy notes gives a satisfying finish to the whole set.

Reserve a table for the Afternoon Tea experience is available from SGD75 per person, from 2pm to 5pm on Fridays and Saturdays.

The move to Sofitel Singapore Sentosa Resort & Spa marked a new milestone for Maduro. Formerly located at Dempsey, the move to the luxury resort on Sentosa Island aligns with Maduro’s vision. Keeping to its goal as a lifestyle destination, providing an unparalleled experience for whisky and music enthusiasts in the region.

The beautiful new venue is filled with globally sourced artwork. Curated by Maduro’s culture-loving founder Peter Ng, the pieces add to its eclectic interior. Guests may spot a Banksy or two when exploring their new space. It is a haven of the arts for patrons looking for a respite from the relentless buzz of city life.

Live Jazz Music

Since its opening, Maduro has managed to build an identity and brand with patrons and the community through the gift of music, cementing itself within the local live music scene. Live music is held on most Friday and Saturday evenings, and it sure does know how to attract a crowd. Music takes precedence at Maduro, whether it's classical music, contemporary, fusion, pop or jazz. Unlike in other bars, when the music starts playing, the crowd goes silent as they listen attentively. No one talks over the music.

Cigars

(Editor: Look, we really wanna to highlight the negative effects of smoking. We don't endorse smoking but you're an adult with excellent reading comprehension so you can make your own decision, natch.)

With a special private room meant for cigar smoking, Maduro provides a wide selection of Cuban, Dominican and Nicaraguan blends. There is a 24-hour temperature and humidity-controlled walk-in humidor, creating a sublime smoking experience. Additionally, a cosy retail corner offers a range of Davidoff accessories including humidors, cases, cutters, and Maduro merch.

Drinks

At the whisky bar, a key highlight is Maduro’s focus in sourcing non-mainstream labels for their bespoke whisky selection, presenting a curated range of premium whiskies from Independent Bottlers (IBs). Regular masterclasses and tasting sessions are organised to unpack these gems, where guests are taken on a sensorial journey of smell, taste and storytelling led by a whisky connoisseur. Unlike mainstream whiskies, IB whiskies are bottled at cask strength, displaying the full flavour of the barrel and elements of the environment they were produced in.

Exclusive bottles include: Cask of Distinction Lagavulin 200th Anniversary Special Collector’s Edition Aged 15 years, Isabella’s Islay Aged 30 years, and Eidolon Port Ellen 1983 Aged 36 years Sherry Butt, to name a few. Besides whisky, Maduro offers a range of other beverages such as rum, cocktails, champagne and wines.

“We are excited to present these new and choice selections and experiences to our clientele, many of whom are our loyal regulars who have grown with us since our early beginnings,” said Ng. “We look forward to welcoming new guests to Maduro and hope that they too will find comfort, inspiration and joy in our space.”

Maduro is located at 2 Bukit Manis Rd, Singapore 099891 Lower Lobby of Sofitel Singapore Sentosa Resort & Spa

Baccarat and MO BAR join forces to create an enchanting celebration for the Year of the Dragon. The partnership, a highlight of Baccarat's Cocktail World Tour, unfolds at MO BAR. Patrons will have an exclusive experience with dragon-inspired cocktails. MO BAR Singapore presents four signature cocktails as part of the "Ripples of Pleasure" collection. Each cocktail is a manifestation of the "joie à vivre," an ode to finding delight in life's little pleasures, symbolised by the elegance of crystal glassware. The cocktails will, of course, be served in Baccarat’s dazzling crystal barware. 

First on the list, the "Blue Manhattan" pays homage to classic New York City vibes, blending Johnnie Walker Blue Label with the oaky finish of Hinoki Bitters.

Next, the "Walker Sour" challenges the line between dessert and cocktail, featuring Johnnie Walker Blue Label, Bourbon Oak Barrel Syrup, and Vanilla Bean Ice Cream in the elegant Baccarat Narcisse Coupe. 

Meanwhile, the "Disaronno Expectations" in Baccarat Harmonie Highball unveils a tropical-meets-smoky fusion with mezcal, Disaronno Amaretto and Verjuice.

Closing the quartet is the "Insomniac" in Baccarat Beluga Tumbler, awakening the senses with Osmanthus Aged Rum, Mr. Black Coffee, and Coconut Water— a cool, sunrise-ready concoction.

Indulge in the artistry of Baccarat's "Ripples of Pleasure" cocktails and savour the harmonious fusion of crystal and creativity at MO BAR. Priced at SGD38++ each, these cocktails will be available until 29 February 2024. The Baccarat collection is also available at its two boutiques, the Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands and Takashimaya Department Store B1.

The façade of The Macallan House Singapore.

After months of renovation, The Macallan House reveals its stunningly transformed space. Housed at Raffles Singapore, the experiential retail space showcases The Macallan Estate in Scotland. Following the success of The Macallan Experience in 2020 and the strong relationships built through the boutique, The Macallan built the concept of "Nature Culture" to exemplify the brand's commune with nature and time through multi-sensory touch points. Designed by renowned architect Jamie Fobert, visitors will traipse through the 3,000 square area and experience nature through "sight, scent, touch and taste".

No detail is too small for the construction of The Macallan House Singapore. Each aspect of the different spaces showcases key elements of our six pillars making up the storied history of the brand and the mastery that plays into every drop of The Macallan. Like the copper walls (represents The Macallan's curiously small stills); the colour red (associated with Alexander Reid, The Macallan's founding father); Albariza stone (celebrates the fertile soil from Jerez la Fronter, Spain, home to the sherry wine cask that The Macallan is aged in); waved walls (illustrates the River Spey and the beauty of the Scottish county) and oak flooring (denotes use of the sherry seasoned casks that gives our whiskies its unique flavour profile and natural colour).

The exquisite design of The Macallan House Singapore brings together unique references from the brand. Embodying the spirit of innovation and creativity, it strengthens the profound connection to nature that defines The Macallan.

Collaborating with Singaporean artists like Nathan Yong and Tiffany Loy adds a local specialness to the occasion. Yong's sculpture "The Estate" and Tiffany Loy's woven fabric mural, "Natural Colour," are inspired by The Macallan’s commitment towards the natural colour of its whiskies and its amber hues. To round up the sensory aspect of the experience, Mimi Xu Studio provides an original ambient score—"The Macallan Ballad" which is a field recording of the surrounding nature sounds from The Macallan Estate.

"The Estate" by Nathan Yong.

Walking through The Macallan House adds on to the chapters in the ongoing story of The Macallan. Be transported to the grounds of Speyside, Scotland. Where you're privy to the rich biodiversity that nature affords in The Macallan's ethos. Via the sight, scents, sound and even touch, experience the four micro-climates of The Macallan Estate: the fields of barley; the River Spey; the woodland and Easter Elchies House.

Private dining by the bar.

The Macallan House will host various seasonal programmes and menus from 13 September. Other offerings like the daily gift wrapping and bottle engraving are available every Saturday. To celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival, from 14-30 September, a complimentary Raffles Singapore signature mooncake will accompany every dram ordered.

Click here for more information and/or to book a guided tour.

"Crafted without compromise. Please savour The Macallan responsibly."

Photo by Getty Images

Sitting at H Bar, in the Post Oak Marriott Hotel in Houston, Texas, my face gradually becoming beet red from the hops in the beer that was slowly, but surely, revealing my Asian body’s inability to effectively process the alcohol, I started to ponder.

Why was I having a beer anyway, knowing full well that I lack the enzyme in my body to properly breakdown the alcohol in this specific class of intoxicant?

It’s not like I very much like the taste of beer, but perhaps I’ve been conditioned to believe the golden elixir is the "proper" inebriant for a "real man." Where a "real man", especially one who drinks, but may not necessarily enjoy beer, fits in the modern context is perhaps an increasingly unclear proposition.

There was a time when a "real man" worked with his hands, his sweaty body requiring the refreshment of a nice-cold beer after a hard day’s work, typically outdoors and exposed to the elements. Today, most men work with their hands still, in anonymous open-plan offices or shared workspaces, hammering away not at nails, but keyboards.

In centuries past, the liberalisation of women could arguably have been the focus, but the past several decades could possibly be seen as the "liberalisation of men". Whereas women were deservedly breaking out of their gender-specific roles, that sea change also afforded men the opportunity to redefine what it means to be a modern man.

For men, giving up their careers to dedicate themselves to domestic roles as the key caretaker of home and offspring is no longer seen as something to be concealed but celebrated. And many of the stereotypical qualities associated with so-called “toxic” masculinity have started to be chipped away at, replaced with more fluid concepts that appear increasingly tolerant of various interpretations of what being a man is.

Yet despite the progress made in redefining the modern man in virtually every area of life, one area which appears to remain “Old Fashioned” is at the bar—there’s even a drink named after it!

Disagree? Attempt a first date by ordering a lychee martini for yourself from the mixologist and look out for the noticeable flinch from your date. That tropical cocktail with the little umbrella? You might not be looking at a second date.

As much as it ought not be the case, we can’t help but at least form an impression of each other by what we wear, do for a living, and of course, order at the bar.

Scotch and soda? Safe, staid, if not a little bit boring.

Blue Curacao? A Pandora’s box.

The same way a man in the eighties and nineties could have been judged for ordering a salad on a first date, similarly, would a date not judge a man based on what he orders from the bartender today?

To be sure, change is afoot, as evidenced in the advertising of the liquor companies, with a subtle shift towards more “friendly” beverages, many of them mixed. But one can’t help recognising the predominant message is of a certain brand of masculinity when it comes to most male-targeted spirits. Backdrops of hunting and the Scottish countryside certainly seem to suggest the beverage was intended to be imbibed by men, sans mixers of any sort.

Yet there seems one representation of a man who is partial to a cocktail—Ian Fleming’s creation of James Bond. While Bond may have preferred white spirits, his cocktail of choice, a vodka martini, shaken, not stirred wasn’t always served in the most “manly looking” stemware. Which brings us down to the question of glassware—does the vessel imbue its beverage with so-called “manliness” or lack thereof? In a lineup of various glasses to serve drinks, would one argue that a whiskey glass is decidedly more manly than say, a martini glass?

A wine glass possesses more machismo than say a champagne flute? But if so, who became the judge of what manly glassware is?

Yet somehow, and at least this is something I know I am certainly guilty of, in the back of our minds, there is an unwritten hierarchy to glassware for drinks and a beer mug must certainly rank quite high on the testosterone scale. And if it’s not the glassware that matters, surely the colour of the cocktail makes a difference too?

Is a blue curacao necessarily less manly than a whiskey sour? I would think there are more than a few who would believe so.

A Midori cocktail, more effeminate than a vodka tonic?

Unwittingly, there are so many of us, myself included, who pull up to a bar and especially if we’re getting a drink alone, would scarcely dare to order some cocktail in a neon green or blue hue.

If we as a society are to break gender stereotypes wherever they exist, then this must surely extend to the cocktail bar as well.

So as my mind drifted to these thoughts at the H Bar that summer afternoon, I gulped down what remained of my beer and motioned for the barkeep, not for the bill, but to whisper, somewhat conspiratorially, “I’ll have a mai tai please, and oh, if it’s not too much trouble, could you put an umbrella in it?”

Baby steps.

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