Pacific Standard Bar
Complementing the beautiful sunset views, drinks such as Sunset Swizzle and Fat White Russian make this vintage-Hollywood-inspired bar a standout. Perched on Level 41 of Alila Bangsar hotel, Pacific Standard Bar has become a hot hangout for pre- and post-dinner drinks. It’s all about homegrown goodness, from Mai Tais with housemade pineapple syrup to Sunday Sessions where you can build your own Bloody Mary using fresh herb and vegetable garnishes. The delicious bar bites prepared by rustic French restaurant Entier next door are not too shabby either.
Located in Four Seasons KL, this bar literally dazzles with its heritage-inspired bar counter lighting. Its creative cocktails are given a local twist with sustainably-sourced ingredients such as wild turmeric from Pahang, organic fruits from Selangor and subtle yet tangy Trigona honey.
Its name means ‘bitter’ in Bahasa Malaysia, but this gin-focused bar is anything but with its old-world shophouse charm and gins infused with local ingredients such as the fruit-flavoured G&T series and signature Gin Pahit, which comes with house-made falernum syrup.
Finding the entrance to this hidden speakeasy near Chinatown is a bit of an adventure (clue: it’s opposite a mural of two birds along Lorong Panggong), but the hunt is worthwhile. Sip potent herb-laced cocktails, like the elaborately served Smoked Ginseng Osmanthus Old Fashioned, and the heady Longan Basil Seed Sour.
Three X Co
The well-stocked bar located in Bangsar Shopping Centre serves unique crafted spirits. But it’s the bespoke cocktails using ingredients commonly found in a typical Malaysian household that steal the limelight. Case in point: the Eastern Poem, a mix of chrysanthemum-infused gin, herbal cough syrup Pei Pa Koa, yuzu tonic water and small ginseng roots served in a Chinese ceramic mug.
Ranked No. 46 on the Asia’s 50 Best Bars list, Coley is run by well-known bartender CK Kho, who’s also behind gin specialist bar Pahit. Expect the unexpected in this sleek pad’s creative ‘koktels’ using ingredients such as assam boi, home-brewed barley water and air mata kuching (dried longan drink).
Junglebird is the capital’s first bar with a focus on rum – more than 200 varieties at last count – and carries a tropical vibe in its botanical themed space. (It also happens to rank first in Malaysia on the Asia’s 50 Best Bars list.) Cocktails are brimming with local ingredients and regionally inspired flavours. The signature Jungle Bird swirls with freshly juiced Sarawak pineapples and local limes while the UB40 uses carmenère that has been reduced and simmered with local gula merah (brown sugar from sugarcane) before adding pomegranate vinegar.