What to drink in Singapore

What to drink in Singapore

Plenty of ways to stay hydrated.

More on Downtown Singapore

With the temperature in Singapore regularly hitting 35°C you’ll want to keep hydrated as you explore the city. When it’s time for a drink, try cooling down with one of these quintessentially Singaporean beverages.

Travelfish says:

Just drink it, la.

Kopi: Singapore-style coffee packs a double punch of caffeine and sugar – by default it’s served with lots of sweetened condensed milk. There’s no such thing as kopi-frappuccino (hmm… business idea!), but if you want it on ice ask for a ‘kopi beng’. Kopi can be found at every hawker centre, foodcourt, and kopitiam and rarely costs more than S$1.20.

Herbal tea: Big metal urns of tea are a common sight outside the traditional medicine shops in Chinatown. The tea is usually quite bitter from the addition of medicinal herbs, but supposed to be good for what ails you. Signage is usually in Mandarin but most shopkeepers will happily explain each tonic tea’s benefits – I was recommended chrysanthemum tea for its cooling properties.

Herbal tonic tea: cheaper than a visit to the doctor.

Barley water: This drink of boiled pearl barley and rock sugar is a traditional Chinese remedy for reducing body heat which makes it a popular drink in Singapore’s hot weather. Since it’s easy to make many Singaporeans brew barley water at home, but you can find it at coffee shops and hawker centres. The taste is mild but the slimy texture definitely takes some getting used to.

Bandung: Look for this bright pink drink at Malay coffee shops like the ones around Arab Street. Bandung may look like Pepto-Bismol, but it’s actually a mixture of milk and rose cordial syrup. Sweet and sticky.

Sugar cane juice: A hand-cranked press turns this tropical grass into a sweet, cheap drink. Sugar cane juice has a very mild flavour and many hawker stalls offer the option of a squeeze of fresh lemon to give it some kick. Fresh-pressed is best and costs S$1–1.50 a cup.

That's how you know it's fresh.

Tiger Beer: An innocuous pale lager with 5% alcohol content, Tiger has been Singapore’s official beer since 1932. Whether you’re paying S$5 at a hawker centre of S$15 at a Clarke Quay bar it’s all the same stuff – brewed at the Asia Pacific Breweries in western Singapore. You can even join a brewery tour.

At S$25, this Singapore Sling costs more than a dorm bed.

Singapore Sling: A ‘girly drink’ if there ever was one, Singapore’s signature cocktail is a mix of gin, cherry brandy, pineapple juice, and bitters, garnished with a pineapple wedge and cherry. Since most bars charge at least S$15 for a Singapore Sling you might as well shell out an extra S$10 to try one at the Long Bar at Raffles Hotel where it was allegedly invented.

Contact details for What to drink in Singapore

Reviewed by

Tanya Procyshyn is a freelance writer and photographer. With a passion for unusual destinations, she has camped alongside Komodo dragons and shook hands with soldiers in North Korea.

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1-Altitude

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328 Famous Katong Laksa

Don't wear white

 

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Best smashed chicken in town

 

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Botak Jones Burger Stalls

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Cafe le Caire

Authentic Middle Eastern fare

 

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Revamped deliciousness

 

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Singapore does have a sense of humour.

 

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Dessert Hut

Singapore is not only savoury

 

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Diandin Leluk

The real Thai deal

 

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A great spot to sample Singaporean dishes

 

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Need not be expensive.

 

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What you need to know before sitting down.

 

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Melbourne-inspired cafe

 

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Upmarket hawker centres...

 

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Fun without spending the earth.

 

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A staple of hawker centres.

 

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Authentic Burmese food.

 

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Time for Guinness.

 

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Good value.

 

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Kway Guan Huat Popiah

Family recipes never change

 

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Just for the gals.

 

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Lau Pa Sat hawker centre

Iconic and delicious

 

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Long Bar at Raffles Hotel

The classic

 

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Chinese cuisine reigns supreme

 

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Start at Casa Latina.

 

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Come for the views, stay for the sake

 

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So much to sample.

 

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Come for a coffee and more.

 

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Newton Food Centre

Ignore the touts

 

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More than just spectacular views.

 

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Pasir Panjang Food Centre

Great seafood.

 

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Prince of Wales

Reliable live music joint

 

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Samy's Curry

A Singapore institution.

 

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Thai food in Chinatown

 

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Some of the best fried noodles out there.

 

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Singapore's national dish?

 

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A quick, cheap breakfast.

 

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Many flavours in one delicious bowl.

 

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Simmered for hours.

 

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Sometimes simple is best.

 

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A love of barbecue.

 

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A steaming bowl of goodness.

 

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Since 1908 - need we say more?

 

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Some of our favourites.

 

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Anything but Tiger!

 

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Our best so far.

 

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A selection of the best

 

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Breakfast of champions.

 

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Perpetually busy

 

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Don’t let your brain turn to mush.

 

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Suriya Restaurant

A tasty bargain

 

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Antiques, tradition and tea

 

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Follow your nose

 

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Traveller hangouts.

 

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Go on, dig in

 

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Skip the bland hotel bars and head here.

 

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Multiple traditional breakfast options.

 

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