VICE Asia Partnerships

A Guide to a Singapore Night Out, As Told in Alcohol

From getting lit at pre-drinks, cabbing to the club, and getting late-night food, we paired the trajectory of moods from a night out to alcohol types.
October 30, 2019, 3:45am
clubbing and drinking in singapore guide what to do nightlife
Chi Kinjo bar. Courtesy of Diageo.

Any trip to Singapore will surely have you admiring the futuristic architecture, soaking up the heat and trying the local delicacies. But here's one thing it should never miss out on: some late-night debauchery.

Most frequent travellers would be familiar with lists of the best bars or clubs in Asia which prominently feature spots from the Lion City. What they might not know is how a typical Singaporean night out usually unfolds.

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This walkthrough guides you through the moods of the night with the spirits that set the tone.

9:00 pm: Getting Lit At The Pre-Game

As the primer for a wild night out, pre's (the infamous pre-drinks or pre-game where friends drink at someone’s place before heading out) is crucial in setting the mood… and for saving the wallet. The price of alcohol in Singapore is notoriously high, so cost-effective decisions usually involve drinking at home and duty-free alcohol. There’s no need to start before 9 pm because crowds only head out at a later time.

tanqueray the gin parlour

A Tanqueray cocktail at The Gin Parlour in the Fullerton Bay Hotel.

Once the alcohol is sorted, everyone arrives excited, optimistic and ready to go, and most importantly – still feeling fresh. The ones prepared for a wild night always start with Tanqueray and tonic. Fruity, light and full of hope, it lets you ease into the night with the confidence that you’re going to keep it classy. Remember, you can’t spell. “Let’s get this party going,” without g-i-n.

11:30 pm - The Cab Ride

The relaxing first drinks of the night are always a fleeting moment. Before you know it, you realise you are about to miss the cut-off time for free club entry (every cover charge paid is one less drink to enjoy!). Many clubs in Singapore offer free entry before a certain time as a general rule, or if you are a part of the guest list.

The moment someone remembers this and reminds the group, everyone is in a rush to put their shoes on, touch up their makeup and chug their last drink while simultaneously calling a Grab. And you know you’ve hit the jackpot of car rides when your driver gives you control of the aux cord to hype things up. If one hasn’t been offered to you, ask your driver. In Singapore, if he/she is much older than you, it is respectful to call them “uncle” or “auntie” out of respect for elders.

cab ride to the club

Alternatively, if your group is big enough, you may be in a party bus to your venue because they are relatively cheap for big groups to hire. Warning: the party bus may offer you shots for a small price, but stay away if you have a weak stomach.

Instead, your friends should have sneaked some Copper Dog blended malt whiskey journey juice on board to fuel the ride. It’s pretty historically appropriate too, considering Copper Dog refers to the copper tubing distillery workers would use to hide drinks in their pants. This drink ramps up the energy and smoothes out the edges of the earlier gin binge. The perfect companion for singing at the top of your lungs or processing the tea spilt from that game of “Never Have I Ever” you were just playing.

12:00 am: Turning Up At The Club

Once the limo – I mean cab ride – is over, you get off at your destination and walk in feeling like it’s the Oscars’ red carpet (in reality, you probably look like Lindsey, Britney and Paris at a 2000’s nightclub).

night out in singapore

Don't fret if your entrance is frenetic, it’s still a look, and ordering a Johnnie Walker will give you the street cred to soldier on. If you’re the type to like vodka red bulls, try the Asian version of Whiskey and Green Tea with your Johnnie. And you might as well order a bottle and split it among your friends to make it worth it… remember what I said about alcohol prices on this island?

Johnnie Walker is energetic and hype – perfect for the moment you and your friends unleash the pent-up energy from the week on the dance floor. The blended malt scotch whisky in hand will make you look like a boss who has their shit together.

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Pro tip: toilet and elevator mirrors in Singaporean clubs often have the best set-up for selfies. Something about the decor and lighting just hits right.

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Bitters & Love bar. Courtesy of Diageo

For those who have sworn off clubbing, Singapore also has a lot of great bars where a Johnnie is just as perfect to enjoy. Find the ones that are more discreet. Our favorite areas are Tanjong Pagar and Telok Ayer.

3:30 am: The Survivors' After-party

late night food in singapore

At this point, there might have been a few fallen soldiers you had to leave behind. But congratulations if you have made it to the finale: the after-party. Depending on what you are in the mood for, this can take various routes. You might be starving, or you may want a kick-on. In Singapore, you can have either or both, and order 24-hour food from one of the city's sinfully tasteful Hawker centers, or have a meal delivered to a friend’s place to wrap the night. Wash it all down with Singleton single malt scotch.

night out in singapore nightlife

If your friends can’t host the after-party, there are 24-hour food eateries open across the city. From Roti Prata (this Indian culinary delight is only found in Singapore and makes for exquisite drunk food) to dim sum, you can choose to eat-in or take it away. Take your food to the Bayfront and watch the sunrise over the city’s skyline. Paired with the Singleton in hand, watching the sky is the perfect wind-down to end the night. It will also buy you enough time before Grab price surges drop.

But if there's only one tip you can take away from all this, regardless of where you start or end your night, it's this: make sure to drink responsibly.

This article was written in partnership with Diageo. Find Edoardo on Twitter and Instagram.