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Published on : Saturday, July 1, 2017
Bar experts, historians and cocktail lovers agree that while tradition holds that Europe and the Americas gave birth to the modern drinking experience, today Asia is where it’s at when it comes to innovation, ambiance and style.
Ranked by the near-200 globetrotting members of the Asia’s 50 Best Bars Academy, including top bartenders, bar consultants, brand ambassadors, drinks journalists and well-travelled drinkers, Asia’s 50 Best Bars celebrates their considered opinions in choosing their favourites, then compiles them into a definitive bucket list for cocktail aficionados.
This year, three of the finest Four Seasons bars have been honoured among Asia’s 50 Best Bars, including Manhattan Bar at #1, the sophisticated Charles H. at #27, and the spectacular AER joining the list for the first time at #37.
Each of these drinking experiences is entirely unique, reflecting both their local settings and the tastes of their international clientele. Behind each bar is a team of visionary craftspeople who have perfected traditional recipes and are inventing tomorrow’s classic cocktails. Accompanied by creative bites, cool beats and chic surroundings, guests at these three establishments and more than 100 other unique bars and lounges at Four Seasons hotels and resorts around the world enjoy an experience marked by an unwavering obsession with quality, and unparalleled Four Seasons service.
#1 Best Bar in Asia: Manhattan Bar at Regent Singapore, A Four Seasons Hotel
Since opening in 2014, Manhattan Bar has been at the vanguard of cocktail culture not only in Asia, but on a global scale. Nestled inside Regent Singapore, A Four Seasons Hotel, Manhattan Bar has received worldwide acclaim and accolades for its first-in-a-hotel rickhouse for barrel-ageing spirits and cocktails, as well as its Friends of Manhattan collaborations with international industry partners, guests distillers and bartenders, all under the leadership of Bar Manager Philip Bischoff. Insiders know about The Rockefeller Room, where private events for up to 30 take place behind a secret door.
Asia’s 50 Best Bars also recommends Manhattan Bar’s Adults-Only Sunday Cocktail Brunch: “The room is a suitably grand space mixing dark wood, marble and leather, which seems even more decadent on Sundays when an adults only brunch is served with unlimited craft cocktails.”
#27 Best Bar in Asia: Charles H. at Four Seasons Hotel Seoul
Inspired by legendary American traveller, cocktail writer and bon vivant Charles H. Baker, Charles H. at Four Seasons Hotel Seoul is a tribute to his philosophy that behind every good drink is an unforgettable story. Hidden away in the depths of the Hotel, this sophisticated version of a speakeasy is now helmed by Head Bartender Lorenzo Antinori, recently arrived from London with his well-worn copy of Baker’s The Gentleman’s Companion in hand. Charles H. also offers a private room for up to ten guests.
Ranked among the world’s best as soon as it opened just two years ago, Charles H. is known for a cocktail list that is as forward as the city where it resides, according to Asia’s 50 Best Bars: “The drinks are equally adventurous, ranging from a flight of three different Manhattans to a spicy blend of bourbon, Armagnac and tea, served hot.”