Get ready to shake things up at the Singapore Cocktail Festival (SGCF): the ultimate celebration of all things boozy and delicious.
Now in its 9th year, the SGCF is starting things off with a bang.
Located at the Bayfront Event Space, the Festival Village, the heart of the event, is bigger and better than ever before. But that's just the beginning. The festival will last for 17 days and features a spirited (quite literally!) calendar packed with the biggest and brightest stars in the world of cocktails. For a summary of all the hottest bars and events to check out during the festival, check out our 2023 SGCF guide.
I swung by the SGCF's opening night yesterday, and it was lit. I had an absolute blast trying out some of the festival's special cocktails and mingling with fellow cocktail enthusiasts.
Each pass comes with a free welcome drink and a SGCF wristband (more on that later). You can top-up $18 for a tasting card to try artisanal spirits from the Artisanal Spirits showcase.
The Festival Village features a plethora of pop-ups by local bars and international brands. The line-up changes each day. All cocktails go for $15++ a pop, which means you can indulge in these delicious drinks without breaking the bank (responsibly, of course).
I, personally, am a fan of refreshing, fruity flavours in my cocktail, and I absolutely adored the Floral Sudachi I got from Alleybar. Featuring chrysanthemum-infused black tea, fresh passion fruit puree, prosecco, and soda water, this provided me some much-needed respite in the humid weather.
Make sure you don't miss out on the Headliner Bar – it's a unique collaboration between some of our top local bars and talented mixologists from around the world.
There were lots of interesting experiential brand pop-ups, like this one from Suntory Whisky. Take part in some boozy games to win some, well, boozy rewards.
Another highlight is the Artisanal Spirits showcase, which features a range of exhibitors from all over the globe.
I didn’t think I’d walk away from the event with anything in hand, but it was barely fifteen minutes in and I snagged myself a gorgeous bottle of Peanut Butter Rum from Razel’s Rum Treats.
If you’re a big on local flavours, I also spotted gin by local distiller Singapore Distillery, selling gin infused with ingredients such as rose syrup and pandan. Yum!
There was even vodka made from cow's milk! Yes, you heard me right. Don't ask me how they did it—you'll just have to come by and see for yourself.
I'll be honest, I regret not spending more time checking out all the exhibitors, but hey, my wallet is pretty grateful for that.
Don’t forget to check out the Food Street, featuring cuisine ranging from the Asian flavours we know and love, to Spanish, Mexican, and more.
While I didn’t have time to sample any of the food, a friend has conveyed to me that the churros here were simply a delight.
In terms of crowd management, I would say that the event was well-planned. It was crowded but not unpleasant. The area was spacious and tables were aplenty. With drinks and food in hand, look forward to live music throughout the night as well.
While the Festival Village runs until May 7, you can still get your cocktail fill during the City Takeover from May 5-21. You'll get to visit some of the coolest bars in Singapore and sip on some of the most innovative and tasty cocktails around.
If you're planning on hitting up some of these bars, don't forget your wristband. Trust me, you're gonna need it — sip on special SGCF Signature Cocktails at just $18++ (U.P. $25++). You can find the participating list of bars here.
Early bird sales have ended, but you can still get your 1-Day Passes for $50 at the door.
This year’s cocktail festival has just begun, but I already can’t wait to see what SGCF brings forth next year!