Asia’s 50 Best Bars 2022: the list in pictures

50 Best Editorial - 28/04/2022

The list of Asia’s 50 Best Bars, sponsored by Perrier, was revealed on Thursday 28th April, marking the seventh edition of the regional ranking. Gathered at an awards ceremony in the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Bangkok for the first time in three years, the bar community celebrated the unveiling of the new edition, which was also broadcasted worldwide on Facebook and YouTube.

Featuring 14 new entries, with venues located in 16 cities across the continent, the ranking provides the ultimate bucket list for the drinks-savvy traveller. Explore the bars from No.50 to No.1 with the latest list in pictures

No.50 Speak Low, Shanghai
The secret entrance to Shingo Gokan's standout bar might no longer be a secret, but its mystique still reigns supreme. A slide-away bookcase in a cocktail equipment shop leads to a funky space mimicking downtown Manhattan and serving fine-tuned New York-inspired signatures. 

No.49 28 HongKong Street, Singapore
This atmospheric speakeasy plays its cards close to its chest with no signage above the non-descript door. Nevertheless, it has become a landmark destination thanks to the fun, laid-back vibe and stellar cocktails from head bartender Elliot Pascoe.

No.48 Zest, Seoul – NEW ENTRY

The venue is a culmination of all things Korean, from ingredients to the minimalist decor that features a bar with no bottles on display, but a prep lab for the cocktail curious to observe. Minimal waste is the name of the game and Demie Kim uses each ingredient to the nth degree.

No.47 Bee's Knees, Kyoto
The theme is prohibition-era speakeasy. Behind a hidden door, bartenders Toru Ariyoshi and Tatsunari Namatame serve playful renditions of 1920s favourites like the namesake classic, but with yuzu in place of lemon, or their Manhattan with PB&J.

No.46 The Bamboo Bar, Bangkok
The Mandarin Oriental hotel's superlative and historic bar has been a sanctuary for music lovers in Bangkok ever since it opened in 1953, with live jazz still a prominent part of the experience today. Head bartender Kirill Samoilenko's latest menu focusses on the landscapes of Thailand: rainforest, city, mountain, island and river.

No.45 Union Trading Company, Shanghai

This pumping neighbourhood bar, helmed by Texan cocktail king Yao Lu, is the kind of place you can pop in for one, or prop up the long, wooden bar all night. Decor is warm and unfussy, with exposed bricks and a mismatched mosaic of framed photos displaying its international bar family.

No.44 Copitas, Bengaluru – NEW ENTRY

Offering sprawling views of Bengaluru city by night, Copitas is the city’s cocktail mecca. Sarath Nair runs a tight ship but it’s surprisingly easy going for a hotel bar, with Asian-inspired bar nibbles and a cigar selection perfectly punctuating the sophisticated cocktails and wines.

No.43 Asia Today, Bangkok – NEW ENTRY
Helmed by powerhouse Niks Anuman-Rajadhonm, the bar offers playful decor but serious cocktails, which are created using foraged ingredients or items grown in-house. The bar’s signature, Eastern Honey Bee, is served in a mug made from beeswax and features gin, wild Apis cerana honey, lime and wild honey foam.

No.42 Smoke & Bitters, Hiriketiya – NEW ENTRY

Smoke & Bitters is a tropical paradise that is popular with Sri Lankan locals and tourists alike for its easy-going vibe and great food and drinks. Gilshan De Mel has created a drinks programme committed to championing the region, using house-made syrups and tinctures across the menu.

No.41 Memento Mori, Tokyo – NEW ENTRY
Memento Mori is all about the window between life and decomposition. Shuzo Nagumo – a pioneering mixologist who specialises shochu cocktails – has set out to capture the essence of fruits, herbs, flowers and seeds just before they perish.

No.40 Alice, Seoul

In this trendy spot inspired by the classic Lewis Caroll tale, debonair owner Terry Kim and joint head bartenders Mason Park and Leo Kim concoct suitably imaginative seasonally varied creations such as D.O.K and Bamboo Forest in Winter.

No.39 Le Chamber, Seoul

Owner-bartender Louis Eom now has a mini-empire of cocktail establishments across Seoul, but this original, open since 2014, remains unsurpassed. Step into Le Chamber’s library, push the magical book, and a hidden door slides open to reveal a handsome illuminated bar with sunken lounge chairs beneath glowing chandeliers.

No.38 The Aubrey, Hong Kong – NEW ENTRY
The Aubrey is an eccentric Japanese izakaya housed atop the Mandarin Oriental hotel and boasting expansive views of Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour. The bar, led by the inimitable Devender Seghal, is easy on the eye, punctuated with plush vintage furniture, quirky knick-knacks and beautiful lamps.

No.37 Analogue, Singapore – NEW ENTRY
At Analogue, Vijay Mudaliar pushes the limits with similar principles as his first bar, the multi-award-winning Native. Sustainability is at the forefront, from the massive undulating aquamarine bar counter to completely unique recycled coasters.

No.36 Nutmeg & Clove, Singapore – RE-ENTRY

The DNA of this bar is Singapore in essence; it’s as simple as that. The team, helmed by bar manager Shelley Tai and head bartender Joshua Pang, is proud of the country's heritage and history and strives to reinterpret Singaporean and Asian flavours into progressive cocktails.

No.35 Junglebird, Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur’s revered rum bar, which relocated in 2021, remains a roaring success. Co-founder Joshua Ivanovic’s signatures including the Brazilian Quentao – cachaça, cider reduction, ginger and citrus – and the local Cendol Colada, featuring rum, pandan and homemade coconut cream.

No.34 The Wise King, Hong Kong

The Wise King is now firmly established as a Hong Kong favourite. The name pays tribute to Alfonso X of Castile, a Spanish monarch who allegedly contributed to the creation of tapas. Try the signature cocktail named El Sabio or The Wise, featuring spiced dried fruit and red wine reduction with Cava.

No.33 The Pontiac, Hong Kong

The Pontiac is truly one-of-a-kind as an inclusive, progressive, rock and roll dive bar. This Hong Kong stalwart has built a safe, non-judgemental space for all, with open arms from the all-female team led by bar manager Jen Queen and co-founder Beckaly Franks.

No.32 The Cocktail Club, Jakarta – NEW ENTRY
The Cocktail Club burst onto Jakarta’s vibrant cocktail scene in 2021 and is already making waves as this year’s Best Bar in Indonesia. Try the Sopi Susu, the latest signature from head bartender Mirwansyah 'Bule', mixing fortified marshmallow, gin and cacao cream. 

No.31 Sago House, Singapore

Born during the 2020 lockdown in Singapore, Sago House was set up by three industry veterans, Desiree Jane Silva, Jay Gray and George Abishek, as a true labour of love. The interior was built almost entirely by hand, with 80% formed out of upcycled materials.

No.30 Home, New Delhi – NEW ENTRY
Previously a members’ club, Home recently opened its doors to the discerning cocktail lovers of New Delhi. The bar team, led by Santanu Chanda, is relentless in their efforts to showcase regional Indian ingredients, with a penchant for finding the best seasonal produce to work their magic with.

No.29 Bar Trigona, Kuala Lumpur
With a menu named ‘Herb Garden in Your Glass’ that earned it the Siete Misterios Best Cocktail Menu Award, Bar Trigona speaks to its setting beyond the gilded walls of the Four Seasons Hotel Kuala Lumpur. Head bartender Shadrach ‘Shawn’ Shan focusses on four common herbs that are used in kitchens across the country – pandan, lemongrass, pegaga and bunga kantan.

No.28 Bar Cham, Seoul
Tucked away in one of the oldest neighbourhoods in Seoul, Bar Cham is set in a hanok, or a traditional Korean house, which hints at what is to come. Helmed by Lim Byung-jin, it offers cocktails based on Korean spirits, melding local flavours with modern techniques.

No.27 Tippling Club, Singapore

Playful. Progressive. Palate-pleasing. These adjectives describe both the kitchen and bar of this stalwart of the Singapore scene. Started in 2008, this self-proclaimed ‘gastro-cocktail destination’ is intimate and gives a guest close access to head bartender Andy Loudon’s knowledgeable team.

No.26 Hoots', New Delhi – NEW ENTRY
Tucked away behind a secret entrance below Perch Wine Bar is Hoots’ – a cocktail room like no other in the city of New Delhi. Within the dark and brooding venue, a selection of cigars and cheese platters complement a layered and complex menu of 25 cocktails, which consist of iterations of five classics and some signatures.

No.25 Bar Trench, Tokyo
Bar Trench – a sliver of a space in Tokyo’s grown-up nightlife district of Ebisu – only exists thanks to a last-minute change of heart by its owners, who decided against the intended office space in favour of a bar. Brazilian polyglot Igarashi Vaz is still at the helm, now with right-hand-man Shoshi Wagai. 

No.24 Aha Saloon, Taipei
This music-themed hostelry, led by established Taiwan ‘tender Kae Lin, houses stacks of old vinyl records and vintage cassettes alongside beakers containing spices, berries and seeds from around the world.

No.23 Atlas, Singapore
Enter Atlas to find a sprawling room with triple-height ceilings and one of the largest gin libraries in the world. Since it opened, the bar has made waves with its specialist gin collection, with more than 1,300 labels on offer. Head bartender Jesse Vida creates cocktails in keeping with the grand location.

No.22 Penicillin, Hong Kong
Agung Prabowo leads Hong Kong’s original ‘closed-loop’ cocktail bar, which aims to respect its environment in everything it does. Expect lots of local and upcycled ingredients, as well as a range of organic ferments from the bar’s in-house climate-controlled fermentation room (aka ‘The Stinky Room’).

No.21 The SG Club, Tokyo
This is superstar bartender Shingo Gokan’s first solo project on his home turf. Emphasising a fusion of Japanese and American bartending styles, The SG Club, which stands for ‘Sip’ and ‘Guzzle’, claims two floors, with slightly different drinking experiences offered on each.

No.20 Lamp Bar, Nara – RE-ENTRY

Lamp Bar is the biggest name in Nara, with international champion bartender Michito Kaneko at the helm. Kaneko makes his own vermouth, from sake, with the help of a nearby brewery, while all drinks are served in one of three sumptuous, antique-furnished rooms, each with a different motif.

No.19 Vesper, Bangkok
European-inspired Vesper is serious about cocktails, and its ‘Contrast’ menu presents juxtaposed ideas and unifies them in cocktail form. More playful iterations come from Italian bar manager Federico Balzarini, whose Pizza/Pineapple concoction is inspired by the controversial pizza topping.

No.18 Hope & Sesame, Guangzhou

Among a grandmother’s parlour of eccentric collectibles lies this hidden speakeasy. Opening in 2016 as the first speakeasy in Guangzhou, it brings far-reaching technique (centrifugal clarification, sous vide infusions and dry ice distillation) to a bar scene that previously stuck to the traditional. 

No.17 Tropic City, Bangkok
Founded by hirsute bar-sector veterans Sebastian De La Cruz and Philip Stefanescu, Tropic City is a neon-lit oasis within Bangkok’s up-and-coming Charoenkrung neighbourhood. Even though the decor feels footloose and fancy-free, the drinks are taken seriously by rising-star bartender Arron Grendon.

No.16 Quinary, Hong Kong
Hometown hero Antonio Lai launched Quinary in 2012 and since then the hyper-modern bar has collected countless accolades. The latest menu takes inspiration from the food markets of HK and further afield. But don’t miss the bar’s signature: the Earl Grey Caviar Martini.

No.15 No Sleep Club, Singapore

Top-notch drinks, great food, cool vibes, a stellar team – No Sleep Club has it all. Its success is hardly surprising when you consider that it’s owned by Juan Yi Jun, who ran the show at Operation Dagger, and Jessica ‘Hutch’ Hutchinson, the front-of-house doyenne formerly of 28 HongKong Street.

No.14 Sidecar, New Delhi

Bar legend Yangdup Lama and business partner Minakshi Singh’s Sidecar has become somewhat of a household name in India. Rohan Matmary is at the head of the bar team, constantly reinventing the menu and creating in-house tinctures and syrups, all the while trying to stay sustainable at the core. 

No.13 Darkside, Hong Kong

Housed in the glamorous Rosewood Hong Kong hotel, Darkside takes its name from the colloquial moniker for the Kowloon side of Hong Kong. Classics are the name of the game here, all composed under the watchful eye of beverage director Arcadius Rybak and bar manager Simone Rossi. 

No.12 Republic, Singapore – NEW ENTRY

Do you ever wish you were alive during a different time, when legends were born and made? Well, hop on over to Republic at the Ritz Carlton for a journey into the swinging 1960s. During the nine months of the build, the team delved deep into the decade’s history, music and fashion, all manifested in the liquid menu.

No.11 Sober Company, Shanghai

Three experiences make up this Shanghai destination by Shingo Gokan, each as dumbfounding as the last at the intentionally ironically named bar. It's Sober Society on the upper floor that attracts alcohol aficionados thanks to creative cocktails such as the Corpse Reviver and Sixty Forty.

No.10 BKK Social Club, Bangkok – NEW ENTRY

Inspired by the parallels of Buenos Aires and Bangkok, the bar is helmed by industry veteran Philip Bischoff. The focus here is on glitz, glamour and good times, a combination that earned the venue the coveted Michter’s Art of Hospitality Award 2022.

No.9 Manhattan, Singapore
When Manhattan opened in 2014, it set about the task of conjuring up an image of Golden Age of cocktails and combining it with a service ethos that puts the guest experience first. The bar’s heavily researched cocktail list is currently entitled New York Personified, while bar manager Rusty Cerven has made his mark on the menu with unique barrel-aged cocktails.

No.8 MO Bar, Singapore
Boasting impressive views over Singapore’s Marina Bay, this is a hotel bar with the spirit of an indie cocktail lab coursing through its veins. Bar manager Adrian Besa encourages his team to personalise and enhance each guest’s experience as they see fit, and it works – MO Bar is the recipient of the Nikka Highest Climber Award 2022.

No.7 Charles H, Seoul
The outstanding Charles H is helmed by the ever-dapper Keith Motsi, winner of the Altos Bartenders’ Bartender Award 2022. The bar improves year on year under his talented bar stewardship and this year marks the highest position it has ever achieved at No.7, picking up The Best Bar in Korea trophy for the fourth year in a row.

No.6 Indulge Experimental Bistro, Taipei
Aki Wang’s bar, which recently celebrated its 10-year anniversary, has an international feel but the details are an ode to Taiwan’s produce and heritage, viewed through the lens of modern mixology. The cocktails, mixed by head bartender Stanly Yang and his crew, are theatrical and focus on the island’s tea-growing heritage.

Bar Benfiddich, Tokyo

Hiroyasu Kayama isn’t the only bartender in Japan to advertise farm-to-bar cocktails, but he’s the only one with a farm the size of a football pitch to play with. Using produce grown on his land, Kayama combines the fresh ingredients into esoteric cocktails and keeps guests guessing with the lack of a set menu. Thanks to its stellar performance, Bar Benfiddich is recognised with the Rémy Martin Legend of the List Award.

No.4 Tesouro, Colvá – NEW ENTRY

India’s sunshine state of Goa is quickly gaining notoriety as the country’s most exciting destination for food and drink, and Tesouro is testimony to this fact. Well-chosen spirits come as standard, ranging from fine rum, craft gins, and agave spirits, to local heroes like feni (a local spirit made from cashew and coconut). Tesouro picks up the London Essence Best New Opening Award 2022.

No.3 Argo, Hong Kong – NEW ENTRY
Led by the unstoppable trifecta of Four Seasons beverage ambassador Lorenzo Antinori, bar manager Summer Lo and head bartender Yvonne Chan, Argo – winner of the Disaronno Highest New Entry Award – provides a taste of the future of drinking. Each drink takes two forms, exploring its origin and evolution – or alternative ingredients, such as tonka in place of vanilla.

No.2 Jigger & Pony, Singapore

Singapore’s OG homegrown cocktail bar has come a long way from its origins on Amoy Street to sumptuous digs at the Amara Hotel. The team has recently released their fourth menu-magazine that showcases cocktails such as the Korean Boilermaker, of hops and passionfruit-infused soju, and the Black Pepper Sazerac.

No.1 Coa, Hong Kong
When some bars launch, it’s very clear from opening night that they have superstar quality. At Coa, owner-bartender Jay Khan pays homage to mezcal tequila and other agave-based liqueurs in this candle-lit, industrial-style space. The thorough menu also features signature cocktails such as the grapefruit-spiked La Paloma de Oaxaca, which is the only beverage that has been on the list since the bar opened.

In 2022, Coa completes the astounding feat of being only the second bar to top the list of Asia’s 50 Best Bars in consecutive years, matching Manhattan (2017 and 2018) and retaining the title of The Best Bar in Asia, sponsored by Perrier.

Now recap the list by watching the video:

The list of Asia’s 50 Best Bars 2022, sponsored by Perrier, was announced on Thursday, 28th April at a live awards ceremony in Bangkok. To stay up to date with all news and announcements, browse the website and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.