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Early birds get the worms at Loof – or the cheap drinks, at least. The drink prices match the time during between 5pm and 8pm weekdays – i.e. $S5 between 5pm and 5:59pm, $S6 between 6pm and 6:50pm and so on – so the earlier you get there, the better the deal. House spirits and wines by the glass are covered by the “beat the clock” offer and on-tap beers are $S10 at the same time.
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It’s not so much happy hour as happy day at The Exchange, a bright Australasian brasserie in the CBD that serves big bowls of pasta, chicken parmigiana and grilled meat alongside its covers-all-bases drinks list. Between 9am and 8pm Monday to Thursday, there are all sorts of sips on the happy hour menu – and on Fridays, the deals last until closing time at 1am. Eleven different bottled beers, including Heineken, Corona and Peroni, and five house-pour spirits (Jim Beam bourbon, Stolichnaya vodka, Gordon’s London dry gin, Bacardi rum and The Famous Grouse whiskey) are $S8.50 each and house wine is $S12.50 per glass. If you’re with a group, a bucket of Asahi or Budweiser beers are $S45 each.
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Happy hour is a little different at Singapore’s top-rated bar on the Asia’s 50 Best Bars List for 2017. Violet hour, every weekday between 5pm and 7pm, isn’t about discounted drinks but free food: for every cocktail order during the two-hour period, you’ll receive a complimentary gourmet sandwich. The fillings are on regular rotation but the pastrami-spiced rectangles are a local favourite. Oh, every guest receives a complimentary welcome cocktail. Not a bad deal for a bar that also ranks seventh on the World’s 50 Best Bars round-up, too. The space itself is indulgent with heavy red-draped walls, low and cosy leather lounges and a mirrored ceiling so that stepping into the Manhattan feels like stepping into old-world Manhattan. Once happy hour is done, it goes without saying you should order a Manhattan, too.
Martini Bar at Mezza 9
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Shaken or stirred isn’t the only martini-related question you need to consider at Martini Bar. Bartenders at the warmly lit space under the glass-domed roof of the Grand Hyatt’s mezzanine level can whiz up nine different signature martinis, including a basil sling martini, a coconut martini and soursop martini (a sour-sweet fruit native that’s variously described as tasting like lettuce, tomatoes or pineapple). And that’s before you get to the rest of the martini list, which includes vodka-based flavours such as rockmelon and strawberry and gin-based options such as apple truffle. During the bar’s happy hour (also known as “mezzatime”), all signature and classic martinis are $S14 ($13.70 plus taxes), as are gin and tonics, wines by the glass and other select house pours.
Potato Head Folk
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Is it a rooftop bar without fairy lights? Twinkling three levels above the busy street below, Potato Head Folk’s 30-person rooftop bar is the place to go for casual cocktails while watching the sky turn indigo all around you. During its “sundown hour” on Tuesday to Friday between 4pm and 8pm, house wines are spirits are $S10 and Pilsner Urquell and Kronenbourg Blanc beers and English Cider are $S9. But can you really order anything other than a cooling cocktail? There are three $S14 specials on the sundown menu: a cognac-based Apricot Cooler, sangria and a vodka, rosewater and tonic Peach Floyd for $S12. On the regular cocktail menu, the concoctions start from $S20.
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Craving a burger? Then pray that the Strait Times Index closes lower come 5.30pm. Counterintuitive, yes, but if it does, the gooey Philly Cheesesteak Sliders at OverEasy Fullerton go for $S1 each until 7pm on weekdays, a finger-licking way to ease the pain. An American-style diner serving up burgers, waffles, fries and corndogs in the heart Singapore, it also offers one-for-one house spirits and wines and draft beers over the same time period.
Oriole Coffee + Bar
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During the day, Oriole Coffee + Bar serves, unsurprisingly, coffee beans, which are sourced from coffee havens such as Brazil, Colombia and Ethiopia and roasted in house. But at night, at the Pan Pacific outlet, it’s all about the drinks. For six hours from 3pm, its happy hour is all about one-for-one for draft beers, house wines, red or white sangria and spirits – and it extends over the weekends, too. The golden hours end at 9pm but beer drinkers can keep the party going with five-for-$S35 beer bucket deals until late in the night.
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Make sure your next Singaporean stay covers a Tuesday night so you can indulge in oyster happy hour at Gibson. All night, four different varieties of Canadian and American oyster are between $S2 and $S3 each – less than half their usual price. Every other night, the oyster deal is on between 6pm and 8pm, which nicely coincides with the drinks happy hour. Spanish rose and French picpoul are $S13 per glass, Brooklyn Brewery Lager is $S13 a bottle and a selection of six cocktails are $S14 each (normally $S23). If you need something strong after a long day at work, the Iberico Negroni combines Jamon Iberico-infused mescal – yes, that’s alcohol infused with cured ham –, Campari, Antica Formula and bitters. The bar can only fit 40 people along its red booths and moss-green chairs so you’re ensured an intimate few hours.
The Black Swan
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Score a drink for less than $S10 at The Black Swan, a chophouse restaurant housed in a resorted colonial building, formerly the headquarters of the Kwangtung Provincial Bank. From 5pm to 8pm weekdays, a selection of house spirits and wines and Stella Artois draught beers are reduced for your drinking pleasure. Peckish? Though sumptuous steaks are the signature at the Art Deco restaurant, you have to order oysters when they’re just $S2 each (limited to half a dozen per drink order) during happy hour.
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In Japan, an izakaya is a relaxed pub you head to with friends after leaving the office for a drink and nibble on snacks. Handy, then, that Five Izakaya’s happy hour lasts all day so no matter what time you clock off, there are $S5 drink specials available. Dotted with bar stools and old wine barrels, its a no-frills post-work haunt in the business district that has live music every night of the week.