Industry awards

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

2023 Reveal: The World’s 50 Best Hotels

2023 Reveal: The World’s 50 Best Hotels

by David Klemt

Waves crashing on beach

The World’s 50 Best Hotels launches this year, completing the hospitality puzzle as it joins the World’s 50 Best Bars and the World’s 50 Best Restaurants.

Mark Sansom, content director for the World’s 50 Best Bars, shares details of the new list on episode 90 of the Bar Hacks podcast. To learn more about Mark and the World’s 50 Best Bars, you can also listen to episode 82 of Bar Hacks.

This is huge news for the hospitality, travel, and accommodation sectors. Sansom and the team go to great lengths when it comes to every detail of the World’s 50 Best Bars. Indeed, the awards ceremony is truly the Oscars of the bar world. Just take a look at the video below:

In fact, it’s likely a bit more fun than the Oscars. A room full of the best bar teams and industry professionals? You know it’s a nonstop party.

I say to say this: I expect the Oscars of the hotel world for the inaugural 50 Best Hotels ceremony. And I’m confident the team will deliver on that expectation.

To see the World’s 50 Best Bars for 2022, click here. For the World’s 50 Best Restaurants of 2022, follow this link.

Who Decides?

You’re probably wondering how all of this “works.” Just who decides, among all the hotels throughout the world, which are the 50 best?

As Sansom explains on the Bar Hacks podcast, hundreds of people decide.

For 2023, the World’s 50 Best Hotels is split into nine regions. That’s likely to grow (50 Best Bars and Restaurants each have 28 regions) but for now, that’s the breakdown.

Each of those regions is headed by an Academy Chair. The global Academy Chairs hand select voters. In this case, a mix of 580 travel journalists, educators, hospitality professionals, hoteliers, and luxury travelers. The voters are tasked with highlighting their top seven hotel experiences from the past two years.

A small board of directors isn’t deciding which hotels will make the list. There’s no small group choosing the ranking. Instead, hundreds of industry pros and hotel guests will determine the best of the best.

How do They Decide?

This is one of my favorite details. When it comes to criteria…there isn’t any.

I like this for several reasons, one of which is that nothing arbitrary is limiting these awards. Don’t have a pool? That’s fine. No steam shower in the en suite? Okay.

By eschewing criteria, no concept is left out—no property is excluded. As Sansom says on episode 90 of Bar Hacks, imposing criteria means people could miss out on experiencing stunning twelve-room boutique hotel.

Therefore, this list isn’t the exclusive domain of multi-unit, multi-concept hotel groups. Certainly there will be chain properties up for consideration. However, they’ll be mixing it up with boutique and solo, independent hotels.

Sansom also reveals what’s driving them to launch the World’s 50 Best Hotels. Far from a vanity project, this list is about helping the industry.

Like hospitality, travel and accommodation are recovering from a global pandemic. Highlighting the best hotels in the world should inspire people to get back to leisure travel.

The list will be revealed in September of this year. Make sure to watch this space and connect with the World’s 50 Best Hotels for more details, including the awards ceremony host city.

Follow the 50 Best Hotels on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. To learn more, visit their website.

Image: Shifaaz shamoon on Unsplash

KRG Hospitality Boutique Hotels, 2023 icon

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These are the World’s 50 Best Bars in 2022

These are the World’s 50 Best Bars in 2022

by David Klemt

Map of France and Spain

The long wait is over and we finally know which venues across the world are numbers one through 50 on the 2022 World’s 50 Best Bars list.

Congratulations to the World’s 50 Best Bars, class of 2022!

Regardless of people’s opinions of industry awards, these bars deserve recognition. Moreover, they’re successful examples from which other operators can learn. Iron, as they say, sharpens iron.

To review the World’s Best Bars, numbers 51 through 100, click here. As you’ll see, Singapore dominates that particular list.

If you want to learn more about the World’s 50 Best Bars, listen to episode 82 of the Bar Hacks podcast.

The 50 Best

As you’ll see when you scroll down, history was made today. For the first time since the inception of the World’s 50 Best Bars, neither a bar from London nor New York takes the number one spot.

However, New York did just fine this year. The city claims six of eight American bars on this year’s top 50 list. In fact, two bars in New York are among the top ten.

Bars in Chicago and Miami claim two spots as well. Las Vegas, sadly, doesn’t find itself with a bar in the top 50 or the expanded 51 to 100 list.

Unfortunately, the same holds true for the entirety of Canada.

However, Mexico City crushes it for North America with not only four winners but one bar representing the Best Bar in North America and taking the Rémy Martin Legend of the List award.

Athens, Dubai, Buenos Aires, and Barcelona each claim three spots, with the latter city’s winners all in the top ten. London boasts five bars on the top 50 list.

And as I predicted, two bars in Singapore earned placement this year. The Southeast Asian city-state didn’t crack this year’s top ten. However, when combined with bars 51 through 100, ten percent of the bars are in Singapore.

Individual Awards

Of course, the World’s 50 Best Bars does more than simply judge and rank bars.

Now in his fourteenth year at the helm of the Connaught Bar in London, England, Agostino Perrone scores the Roku Industry Icon Award. Jean Trinh of Alquímico in Cartagena, Colombia, is the 2022 Altos Bartender’s Bartender.

Röda Huset, number 78 on the World’s 50 Best Bars, numbers 51 to 100, is the Campari One to Watch. This particular award means this bar has been judged as the one most likely to find itself ranked somewhere among the top fifty. Further, Hanky Panky in Mexico City takes the Michter’s Art of Hospitality Award this year.

Regional and other individual awards are listed next to the bars below.

Congratulations to the bars and their dedicated teams!

The World’s 50 Best Bars 2022: 50 to 1

  1. Bulgari Bar (Dubai)
  2. Lucy’s Flower Shop (Stockholm)
  3. Bar Benfiddich (Tokyo)
  4. Employees Only (New York)
  5. L’Antiquario (Naples)
  6. Galaxy Bar (Dubai)
  7. Carnaval (Lima)
  8. Himkok (Oslo)
  9. CoChinChina (Buenos Aires)
  10. Cantina OK! (Sydney)
  11. Red Frog (Lisbon)
  12. Locale Firenze (Florence)
  13. Zuma (Dubai)(The Best Bar in the Middle East and Africa sponsored by Paragon Cordials)
  14. 🔶🟥🔵 A Bar with Shapes for a Name (London)
  15. Dante (New York)
  16. 1930 (Milan)
  17. Overstory (New York)
  18. Manhattan (Singapore)
  19. Baltra Bar (Mexico City)
  20. Line (Athens)
  21. Swift (London)
  22. Maybe Sammy (Sydney)(The Best Bar in Australia sponsored by Torres Brandy)
  23. Argo (Hong Kong)
  24. Tres Monos (Buenos Aires)
  25. Sidecar (New Delhi)
  26. Kumiko (Chicago)
  27. Tropic City (Bangkok)
  28. Satan’s Whiskers (London)
  29. Attaboy (New York)
  30. Café La Trova (Miami)
  31. Baba au Rum (Athens)
  32. The Clumsies (Athens)
  33. Florería Atlántico (Buenos Aires)
  34. Coa (Hong Kong)
  35. Drink Kong (Rome)
  36. Salmon Guru (Madrid)
  37. BKK Social Club (Bangkok)(London Essence Best New Opening Award)
  38. Hanky Panky (Mexico City)(Michter’s Art of Hospitality Award)
  39. Jigger & Pony (Singapore)(The Best Bar in Asia sponsored by Naked Pony)
  40. Handshake Speakeasy (Mexico City)
  41. Alquímico (Cartagena)(The Best Bar in South America sponsored by Tia Maria)
  42. Katana Kitten (New York)
  43. Connaught Bar (London)
  44. Two Schmucks (Barcelona)
  45. Double Chicken Please (New York)(Disaronno Highest New Entry Award)
  46. Little Red Door (Paris)(Ketel One Sustainable Bar Award)
  47. Licorería Limantour (Mexico City)(The Best Bar in North America sponsored by Rémy Martin)(Rémy Martin Legend of the List)
  48. Sips (Barcelona)(Nikka Highest Climber sponsored by Nikka Whisky)
  49. Tayēr + Elementary (London)
  50. Paradiso (Barcelona)(The Best Bar in Europe sponsored by Perrier)

Image: Ian on Unsplash

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

Tales Reveals 2022 Spirited Awards Winners

Tales of the Cocktail Reveals 2022 Spirited Awards Winners

2022 Spirited Award winner Lynn House

2022 Spirited Award winner Lynn House

Congratulations to the 2022 Spirited Awards winners, revealed last week during the 20th anniversary of Tales of the Cocktail.

First opening their doors in 2018, NYC’s Katana Kitten took home two awards. The dream team trio of Masahiro Urushido, Greg Boehm, and James Tune won Best US Cocktail Bar and best US Bar team.

Another American venue that won two Spirited Awards is Jewel of the South in New Orleans. Opened in 2019, Jewel of the South was crowned Best US Restaurant Bar. Additionally, the US Bartender of the Year is Chris Hannah, co-owner of the NOLA dining and drinking destination.

We also want to extend a special congratulations to Bar Hacks guest Lynn House. To learn more about House, this year’s Best US Brand Ambassador, check out episode 52 of Bar Hacks.

Internationally, two bars also took home multiple awards. 🔶🟥🔵 A Bar with Shapes for a Name and Lyaness at Sea Containers London, both in London, won two Spirited Awards. The former is this year’s Best New International Cocktail Bar. Plus, it’s the home of Remy Savage, the 2022 International Bartender of the Year.

Lyaness at Sea Containers London clinched Best International Hotel Bar andWorld’s Best Bar. So, London, New Orleans, and New York showed out at the 2022 Spirited Awards.

To view the finalists in each category, please click here.

US Award Categories

U.S. Bartender of the Year presented by Del Maguey: Chris Hannah (Jewel of the South, New Orleans, LA)

Best U.S. Bar Mentor presented by BarSmarts: Sean Kenyon

Best U.S. Brand Ambassador presented by Libbey: Lynn House (Heaven Hill)

Best U.S. Bar Team presented by William Grant & Sons: Katana Kitten (New York, NY)

Best U.S. Cocktail Bar presented by Absolut Vodka: Katana Kitten (New York, NY)

Best U.S. Hotel Bar presented by Grey Goose: Silver Lyan at the Riggs (Washington, DC)

Best U.S. Restaurant Bar presented by Maison Ferrand: Jewel of the South (New Orleans, LA)

Best New U.S. Cocktail Bar presented by Aviation Gin: Happy Accidents (Albuquerque, NM)

International Award Categories

International Bartender of the Year presented by Patrón Tequila: Remy Savage (🔶🟥🔵 A Bar with Shapes for a Name, London, UK)

Best International Bar Mentor presented by Lyre’s Non-Alcoholic: Lauren Mote

Best International Brand Ambassador presented by Lyre’s Non-Alcoholic: Martin Hudak (Mr. Black Spirits)

Best International Bar Team presented by House of Angostura: MAYBE SAMMY (Sydney, Australia)

Best International Cocktail Bar presented by Tequila Fortaleza: Tayēr + Elementary (London, UK)

Best International Hotel Bar presented by Perrier: Lyaness at Sea Containers London (London, UK)

Best International Restaurant Bar presented by Amaro Montenegro and Select Aperitivo: Sexy Fish (London, UK)

Best New International Cocktail Bar presented by Stranger & Sons: 🔶🟥🔵 A Bar with Shapes for a Name (London, UK)

Global Award Categories

Best New Spirit or Cocktail Ingredient presented by Tales of the Cocktail Foundation: Lyre’s Non-Alcoholic Italian Orange

World’s Best Cocktail Menu presented by Diageo Bar Academy: Little Red Door (Paris, France)

World’s Best Spirits Selection presented by Beam Suntory: Jack Rose Dining Saloon (Washington, DC)

Pioneer Award Presented by The Blend: Amanda Gunderson (CEO and co-founder, Another Round Another Rally)

Timeless International Award presented by Jägermeister: Harry’s New York Bar (Paris, France)

Timeless U.S. Award presented by Johnnie Walker: Bemelmans Bar at The Carlyle, A Rosewood Hotel (New York, NY)

Helen David Lifetime Achievement Award presented by William Grant & Sons: Julie Reiner (Co-founder Clover Club, Leyenda, Social Hour Cocktails, Mixtress Consulting)

World’s Best Bar presented by Tales of the Cocktail Foundation: Lyaness at Sea Containers London (London, UK)

Writing and Media Award Categories

Best Cocktail & Spirits Publication presented by Diageo Bar Academy: VinePair

Best Broadcast, Podcast, or Online Video Series presented by Diageo Bar Academy: The Cocktail Lovers

Best Cocktail & Spirits Writing presented by Diageo Bar Academy: “Get Real: The bar world looks beyond feel-good measures on sustainability and climate change” by Max Falkowitz for Imbibe Magazine

Best New Cocktail or Bartending Book presented by Lyre’s Non-Alcoholic: The Japanese Art of the Cocktail by Masahiro Urushido and Michael Anstendig

Best New Book on Drinks Culture, History, or Spirits presented by Diageo Bar Academy: The Oxford Companion to Spirits & Cocktails edited by David Wondrich with Noah Rothbaum

Image: Cory Fontenot

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

2022 World’s 50 Best Restaurants: 51-100

’22 World’s 50 Best Restaurants: 51-100

by David Klemt

High-end plate of food

Just a week away from their big 2022 reveal, numbers 51 through 100 of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants is now available.

As one expects, these restaurants represent the pinnacle of dining. The 2022 list also represents a number of changes in comparison to 2021.

For example, a number of restaurants in the Middle East are among this year’s 51 to 100 rankings. Notably, these restaurants were not included on last year’s list. In fact, nearly half of the restaurants are new entries on the 51 to 100 list.

Additionally, the 2022 list represents six continents. This year, four “new” countries and a sovereign island city-state make the 51 to 100 rankings:

  • Argentina
  • China
  • Germany
  • Singapore
  • UAE

The regional breakdown is as follows:

  • Asia: 14 restaurants
  • Europe: 13 venues
  • North America: 11 concepts
  • Middle East: 2 restaurants
  • Africa: 2 concepts
  • Oceania: 1 venue
  • South America: 7 restaurants

Just six American restaurants are on the list. Three are in New York, two in San Francisco, and one is in Chicago. Disappointingly, zero Canadian restaurants are among the 51 to 100 rankings.

Restaurants one through 50 will be revealed on Monday, July 18. Numbers 51 to 100 of the World’s 50 Best Bars will be revealed Tuesday, September 27.

The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2022: 51 to 100

  1. Alcalde (Guadalajara, Jalisco, México)
  2. Sud 777 (Ciudad de México, México)
  3. D.O.M. (São Paulo, SP, Brazil)
  4. Lyle’s (London, England)
  5. Azurmendi (Larrabetzu, Biscay, Spain)
  6. La Colombe (Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa)
  7. Trèsind Studio (Dubai, UAE)
  8. Alléno Paris au Pavillon Ledoyen (Paris, France)
  9. Sazenka (Tokyo, Japan)
  10. Rosetta (Ciudad de México, México)
  11. La Grenouillère (La Madelaine-sous-Montreuil, France)
  12. Ernst (Berlin, Germany)
  13. Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare (New York, NY, USA)
  14. Fu He Hui (Shanghai, People’s Republic of China)
  15. Le Du (Bangkok, Thailand)
  16. Sühring (Bangkok, Thailand)
  17. Evvai (São Paulo, SP, Brazil)
  18. Kjolle (Barranco, Lima, Perú)
  19. Cosme (New York, NY, USA)
  20. Zén (Singapore)
  21. Mingles (Seoul, South Korea)
  22. Atelier Crenn (San Francisco, CA, USA)
  23. Kol (London, England)
  24. Blue Hill at Stone Barns (Pocantico Hills, Mount Pleasant, NY, USA)
  25. Samrub Samrub (Bangkok, Thailand)
  26. Neighborhood (Hong Kong)
  27. Table by Bruno Verjus (Paris, France)
  28. Lasai (Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil)
  29. Estela (New York, NY, USA)
  30. AM par Alexandre Mazzia (Marseille, France)
  31. Brat (London, England)
  32. Sézanne (Tokyo, Japan)
  33. El Chato (Bogotá, DC, Colombia)
  34. Gimlet at Cavendish House (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia)
  35. Raan Jay Fai (Bangkok, Thailand)
  36. Mikla (Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Turkey)
  37. Orfali Bros Bistro (Dubai, UAE)
  38. Mishiguene (Buenos Aires, Argentina)
  39. Máximo Bistrot (Ciudad de México, México)
  40. Wolfgat (Paternoster, Western Cape, South Africa)
  41. Oriole (Chicago, IL, USA)
  42. Indian Accent (New Delhi, Delhi, India)
  43. Hertog Jan at Botanic Sanctuary (Antwerp, Belgium)
  44. Burnt Ends (Singapore)
  45. Meta (Singapore)
  46. Maní (São Paulo, SP, Brazil)
  47. Benu, San Francisco, CA, USA)
  48. Tantris (München, Germany)
  49. Flocons de Sel (Megève, France)
  50. Wing (Hong Kong)

*Bold denotes new entry

Image: Delightin Dee on Unsplash

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

Tales Announces Top Four Awards Finalists

Tales Announces Top Four Spirited Awards Finalists

by David Klemt

The number four inside a circle

It’s official: The Tales of the Cocktail Foundation announces the top four finalists in each of the 2022 Spirited Awards categories.

I don’t envy the judges who have to narrow down the top ten nominees to the top four finalists. Equally as daunting: deciding on the winner of each award in each category.

We’ll know who’s taking home each Spirited Award in just over a month. The ceremony will take place on Thursday, July 28 at the Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans. For those attending the 20th anniversary Tales of the Cocktail, the Ritz-Carlton is this year’s headquarters hotel.

Purchase Spirited Awards tickets here, and check out the digital playbill here.

See you at Tales, y’all! Cheers.

US Categories

US Bartender of the Year presented by Del Maguey

  • Josh Davis (16th Street Bar, Chicago, IL)
  • Chris Hannah (Jewel of the South, New Orleans, LA)
  • Masahiro “Masa” Urushido (Katana Kitten, New York, NY)
  • Christine Wiseman (BarLab Hospitality Group, Miami, FL)

Best US Bar Mentor presented by BarSmarts

  • Meaghan Dorman
  • Sean Kenyon
  • Nectaly Mendoza
  • Jeffrey Morgenthaler

Best US Brand Ambassador presented by Libbey Glass

  • Chris Cabrera (Bacardí USA)
  • Tad Carducci (Gruppo Montenegro)
  • Vance Henderson (Hendrick’s Gin)
  • Lynn House (Heaven Hill)

Best US Bar Team presented by William Grant & Sons

  • Half Step (Austin, TX)
  • Jewel of the South (New Orleans, LA)
  • Katana Kitten (New York, NY)
  • The Roosevelt Room (Austin, TX)

Best US Cocktail Bar presented by Absolut Vodka

  • Bar Goto (New York, NY)
  • Katana Kitten (New York, NY)
  • The Roosevelt Room (Austin, TX)
  • Thunderbolt (Los Angeles, CA)

Best US Hotel Bar presented by Grey Goose

  • Dear Irving on Hudson at the Aliz Hotel (New York, NY)
  • Hey Love at The Jupiter (Portland, OR)
  • Little Rituals at the Residence Inn/Courtyard by Marriott (Phoenix, AZ)
  • Silver Lyan at the Riggs Washington DC (Washington, DC)

Best US Restaurant Bar presented by Maison Ferrand

  • Café La Trova (Miami, FL)
  • Cleaver: Butchered Meats, Seafood & Classic Cocktails (Las Vegas, NV)
  • Jewel of the South (New Orleans, LA)
  • Kumiko (Chicago, IL)

Best New US Cocktail Bar presented by Aviation Gin

  • Double Chicken Please (New York, NY)
  • Happy Accidents (Albuquerque, NM)
  • Temple Bar (New York, NY)
  • Yacht Club (Denver, CO)

International Categories

International Bartender of the Year presented by Patrón

  • Lorenzo Antinori (ARGO / Four Seasons Hotel & Resorts, Hong Kong, China)
  • Keith Motsi (Charles H. Seoul at the Four Seasons Hotel, Seoul, South Korea)
  • Rémy Savage (🔶🟥🔵 A Bar with Shapes for a Name, London, UK)
  • Matt Whiley (RE, Sydney, Australia)

Best International Bar Mentor presented by Lyre’s Non-Alcoholic

  • Monica Berg
  • Renato “Tato” Giovannoni
  • Lauren Mote
  • Agostino Perrone

Best International Brand Ambassador presented by Lyre’s Non-Alcoholic

  • Martin Hudák (Mr. Black Spirits)
  • Daniyel Jones (House of Angostura)
  • Ricardo Nava (Bacardí Latin America)
  • Nicola Riske (The Macallan)

Best International Bar Team presented by House of Angostura

  • ALQUÍMICO (Cartagena, Colombia)
  • MAYBE SAMMY (Sydney, Australia)
  • The Clumsies (Athens, Greece)
  • Two Schmucks (Barcelona, Spain)

Best International Cocktail Bar presented by Tequila Fortaleza

  • MAYBE SAMMY (Sydney, Australia)
  • Satan’s Whiskers (London, UK)
  • Tayēr + Elementary (London, UK)
  • Two Schmucks (Barcelona, Spain)

Best International Hotel Bar presented by Perrier

  • Charles H. Seoul at the Four Seasons Hotel (Seoul, South Korea)
  • Fifty Mils at the Four Seasons Hotel (Mexico City, Mexico)
  • Lyaness at Sea Containers London (London, UK)
  • The American Bar at The Stafford London (London, UK)

Best International Restaurant Bar presented by Tales of the Cocktail Foundation

  • Danico (Paris, France)
  • Le Mary Celeste (Paris, France)
  • Pujol (Mexico City, Mexico)
  • Sexy Fish (London, UK)

Best New International Cocktail Bar presented by Stranger & Sons

  • 🔶🟥🔵 A Bar with Shapes for a Name (London, UK)
  • ARGO (Hong Kong, China)
  • Schofield’s Bar (Manchester, UK)
  • SIPS (Barcelona, Spain)

Global Categories

Best New Spirit or Cocktail Ingredient presented by Tales of the Cocktail Foundation

  • Abasolo Ancestral Corn Whisky
  • Citadelle Gin Jardin d’été
  • Lyre’s Non-Alcoholic – Italian Orange
  • Nixta Licor de Elote

World’s Best Cocktail Menu presented by Diageo Bar Academy

  • Little Red Door (Paris, France)
  • Lyaness at Sea Containers London (London, UK)
  • Swift Soho (London, UK)
  • Tayēr + Elementary (London, UK)

World’s Best Spirits Selection presented by Beam Suntory

  • In-Situ Mezcaleria (Oaxaca City, Mexico)
  • Jack Rose Dining Saloon (Washington, DC)
  • Sexy Fish (London, UK)
  • Swift Soho (London, UK)

Writing and Media Categories

Best Cocktail & Spirits Publication presented by Diageo Bar Academy

  • CLASS magazine
  • Discard the Zine
  • VinePair
  • Whisky Magazine

Best Broadcast, Podcast, or Online Video Series presented by Diageo Bar Academy

  • Radio Imbibe
  • Shōshin Art Club
  • The Cocktail Lovers Podcast
  • The Speakeasy Podcast

Best Cocktail & Spirits Writing presented by Diageo Bar Academy

  • “Get Real: The bar world looks beyond feel-good measures on sustainability and climate change” by Max Falkowitz, for Imbibe Magazine
  • “Has the Coronavirus Pandemic Destroyed American Bar Culture?” by Jeffrey Morgenthaler, for Daily Beast
  • “Meet the Eco-Packaging Innovations Transforming the Drinks Industry” by Betsy Andrews, for SevenFifty Daily
  • “The Greatest Drinking Contest in History” by David Wondrich, for Daily Beast

Best New Cocktail or Bartending Book presented by Lyre’s Non-Alcoholic

  • Death & Co: Welcome Home by Alex Day, Nick Fauchald, and David Kaplan
  • The Cocktail Seminars by Brian D. Hoefling
  • The Japanese Art of the Cocktail by Masahiro Urushido and Michael Anstendig
  • The Way of the Cocktail: Japanese Traditions, Techniques, and Recipes by Julia Momosé with Emma Janzen

Best New Book on Drinks Culture, History, or Spirits presented by Diageo Bar Academy

  • Bourbon: The Story of Kentucky Whiskey by Clay Risen
  • Drunk: How We Sipped, Danced, and Stumbled Our Way to Civilization by Edward Slingerland
  • Girly Drinks: A World History of Women and Alcohol by Mallory O’Meara
  • The Oxford Companion to Spirits and Cocktails edited by David Wondrich with Noah Rothbaum

Image: Tim Hüfner on Unsplash

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

2022 50 Best Bars: North America

2022 50 Best Bars: North America

by David Klemt

Door with number 50 address

Probably a speakeasy.

The World’s 50 Best Bars ranking for North America is official and the bars are, of course, extraordinary.

Unsurprisingly, much of the list consists of “household” names in our industry. Now, where some people may see a list of the “cool kids,” I see something different.

In a word, consistency. Sure, the more cynical among us roll their eyes at rankings and awards.

However, I see approaches to operations, service, menu and design innovation, and guest experiences to learn from and emulate.

Would I like to see bars in markets outside of the usual suspects on these lists? Absolutely. As so-called secondary and tertiary markets develop their scenes that may start to happen more often.

So, congratulations to this year’s 50 Best Bars in North America! Cheers!

Canada

This year, the second-largest country in the world claims eight of North America’s 50 best bars. One bar is in the top ten.

As Ontario’s capital and Canada’s most-populous city, it should come as no surprise that Toronto takes four spots. Bar Mordecai is number 47, Bar Raval is 41, number 38 is Mother, and Civil Liberties is tenth.

It’s a bit surprising to see just one bar from Vancouver—number 25, The Keefer Bar—but Montréal has two venues on the list. The Cloakroom Bar is number 45 and 29 is El Pequeño Bar.

Bar Kismet, in Halifax, Nova Scotia, is sitting in the 49th spot on the 2022 North American list.

America

Impressively, the US boasts 30 of North America’s 50 Best Bars, six of which are in the top ten. Intriguingly, ten of the bars on this list were ranked on the World’s 50 Best Bars last year.

As one would assume, New York City dominates the 2022 rankings. Eleven bars are on the list, with the number one spot going to Attaboy. Congratulations to Michael McIlroy and Sam Ross, their teams, and their partners. Katana Kitten is number four, and Dante earns the eighth spot on the list.

Moving to the south, two bars on the list are in Miami: Broken Shaker (32) and Sweet Liberty (14). Heading northwest, Kumiko in Chicago is in the top ten at number five.

On the other side of the country, Los Angeles claims three spots, one in the top ten. Genever holds number 50, Death & Co. is 34, and Thunderbolt is ninth. The Bay Area has two bars on the list. ABV in San Francisco is number 39 and Oakland’s Friends and Family is in the 33 spot.

Somewhat surprisingly, Las Vegas and New Orleans each have just one bar in the rankings. One of my personal favorites, Herbs & Rye, is number 28 on the list. Jewel of the South in NOLA is in the top half of the list, holding number 24.

In San Juan, Puerto Rico, the beloved La Factoría is twelfth on the list.

Mexico

Achieving 11 spots—three in the top ten—Mexico is crushing it this year. Remarkably but not surprisingly, the three bars in the top ten are all in Mexico City.

Baltra Bar earns number nine, and Handshake Speakeasy and Licorería Limantour are second and third, respectively. Overall, Mexico City boasts six bars on this list.

Two spots are in Oaxaca: Selva, which is number 22, and Sabina Sabe, number twenty.

Arca, number 37, is in Tulum. Number 21, El Gallo Altanero, is in Guadalajara. And Zapote Bar in Playa del Carmen almost breaks the top 10, coming in eleventh.

Cuba

The legendary El Floridita grabs Cuba’s only entry on the 2022 list.

Impressively, El Floridita can trace its opening to the early 1800s. Originally, the space was La Piña de Plata. About a century later, a bartender, Constantino “Constante” Ribalaigua Vert, became the owner and changed the name.

Oh, and he just so happens to be the inventor of the frozen Daiquiri. Along with its impressive history, El Floridita also has an awesome statue with its own seat at the bar. Ernest Hemingway is immortalized in bronze.

50 Best Bars: North America

Below, the full list in ascending order.

  1. Genever (Los Angeles, CA)
  2. Bar Kismet (Halifax, Nova Scotia)
  3. Teardrop Lounge (Portland, OR)
  4. Bar Mordecai (Toronto, Ontario)
  5. Julep (Houston, TX)
  6. Cloakroom Bar (Montréal, Québec)
  7. Bitter & Twisted (Phoenix, AZ)
  8. Clover Club in (New York, NY)
  9. Bar Leather Apron (Honolulu, HI)
  10. Bar Raval (Toronto, Ontario)
  11. El Floridita (Havana)
  12. ABV (San Francisco, CA)
  13. Mother (Toronto, Ontario)
  14. Arca (Tulum, Quintana Roo)
  15. Death & Co (Denver, CO)
  16. Mace (New York, NY)
  17. Death & Co (Los Angeles, CA)
  18. Friends and Family (Oakland, CA)
  19. Broken Shaker (Miami, FL)
  20. The Dead Rabbit (New York, NY)
  21. Employees Only (New York, NY)
  22. El Pequeño Bar (Montréal, Québec)
  23. Herbs & Rye (Las Vegas, NV)
  24. Overstory (New York, NY)
  25. Dear Irving (New York, NY)
  26. The Keefer Bar (Vancouver, British Columbia)
  27. Jewel of the South (New Orleans, LA)
  28. Amor y Amargo (New York, NY)
  29. Selva (Oaxaca de Juárez, Oaxaca)
  30. El Gallo Altanero (Guadalajara, Jalisco)
  31. Sabina Sabe (Oaxaca de Juárez, Oaxaca)
  32. Raised by Wolves (San Diego, CA)
  33. Service Bar (Washington, DC)
  34. Double Chicken Please (New York, NY)
  35. Hanky Panky (Ciudad de México)
  36. Café de Nadie (Ciudad de México)
  37. Sweet Liberty (Miami, FL)
  38. Kaito del Valle (Ciudad de México)
  39. La Factoría (San Juan)
  40. Zapote Bar (Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo)
  41. Civil Liberties (Toronto, Ontario)
  42. Thunderbolt (Los Angeles, CA)
  43. Dante (New York, NY)
  44. Baltra Bar (Ciudad de México)
  45. Café La Trova (Miami, FL)
  46. Kumiko (Chicago, IL)
  47. Katana Kitten (New York, NY)
  48. Licorería Limantour (Ciudad de México)
  49. Handshake Speakeasy (Ciudad de México)
  50. Attaboy (New York, NY)

Image: Hello I’m Nik on Unsplash

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

50 Best Announces 2021 Winning Bars

50 Best Announces 2021 Winning Bars

by David Klemt

Old Fashioned cocktail garnished with orange peel and cherry on bar

The world’s best bars have been reviewed and ranked, and were announced by the aptly-named World’s 50 Best Bars on December 7.

In reality, the list is split into two and ranks the 100 best bars in the world.

Now, it may seem strange to some to review and rank bars during a pandemic. However, our industry and the top performers within it deserve recognition.

Interestingly (and somewhat disappointingly), only four of the top 50 are American operations. There are no Canadian bars among the top 100.

When it comes bars 51 through 100, there are seven American bars on the list. That makes a total of 11 American bars appearing on the global list of best bars.

Clearly, the organization needs to pay more attention to Canadian’s provinces and their bar scenes.

American Bars

Below are the American bars that made the cut. Their ranks and locations are included:

  • Katana Kitten, New York City, NY (Rank: 10)
  • Café La Trova, Miami, FL (Rank: 28)
  • Dante, New York City, NY (Rank: 30)
  • Attaboy, New York City, NY (Rank: 34)
  • Double Chicken Please, New York City, NY (Rank: 54)
  • Employees Only, New York City, NY (Rank: 60)
  • Kumiko, Chicago, IL (Rank: 61)
  • Thunderbolt, Los Angeles, CA (Rank: 66)
  • Sweet Liberty, Miami, FL (Rank: 89)
  • Death & Co., Los Angeles, CA (Rank: 99)
  • Leyenda, New York City, NY (Rank: 100)

Does anything jump out at you? Half of the American bars that made the Top 50 and 51-100 lists are in NYC. Miami and Los Angeles are tied for second-most bars on the list, with a single Chicago bar claiming a spot.

The World’s 50 Best Bars

  1. Connaught Bar, London, UK
  2. Tayer + Elementary, UK
  3. Paradiso, Barcelona, Spain
  4. The Clumsies, Athens, Greece
  5. Floreria Atlantico, Buenos Aires, Argentina
  6. Licoreria Limantour, Mexico City, Mexico
  7. Coa, Hong Kong, China
  8. El Copitas, St. Petersburg, Russia
  9. Jigger & Pony, Singapore
  10. Katana Kitten, New York, America
  11. Two Schmucks, Barcelona, Spain
  12. Hanky Panky, Mexico City, Mexico
  13. Insider Bar, Moscow, Russia
  14. Baba Au Rum, Athens, Greece
  15. Manhattan, Singapore
  16. Atlas, Singapore
  17. Zuma, Dubai, UAE
  18. The SG Club, Tokyo, Japan
  19. Drink Kong, Rome, Italy
  20. 1930, Milan, Italy
  21. Presidente, Buenos Aires, Argentina
  22. Maybe Sammy, Sydney, Australia
  23. Catina OK!, Sydney, Australia
  24. Salmon Guru, Madrid, Spain
  25. Handshake Speakeasy, Mexico City, Mexico
  26. No Sleep Club, Singapore
  27. Camparino In Galleria, Milan, Italy
  28. Cafe La Trova, Florida, USA
  29. Little Red Door, Paris, France
  30. Dante, New York, USA
  31. Kwant, London, UK
  32. Bar Benfiddich, Tokyo, Japan
  33. Tres Monos, Buenos Aires, Argentina
  34. Attaboy, New York, USA
  35. Lucy’s Flower Shop, Stockholm, Sweden
  36. MO Bar, Singapore
  37. Sips, Barcelona, Spain
  38. Baltra Bar, Mexico City, Mexico
  39. Sober Company, Shanghai, China
  40. Tjoget, Stockholm, Sweden
  41. Epic, Shanghai, China
  42. Charles H, Seoul, South Korea
  43. Tippling Club, Singapore
  44. Above Board, Melbourne, Australia
  45. Galaxy Bar, Dubai, UAE
  46. Re, Sydney, Australia
  47. Sidecar, New Delhi, India
  48. Union Trading Company, Shanghai, China
  49. Darkside, Hong Kong, China
  50. Quinary, Hong Kong, China

This is the second consecutive year that the Connaught has clinched the number one spot.

Just 16 of the bars that made the top 50 are new to the list. Take from that what you will.

As you can see, there are more bars located in Singapore and China than anywhere else among the top 50. Of the bars in China, they’re split evenly between Hong Kong and Shanghai.

Criteria

The World’s 50 Best Bars is owned and organized by William Reed Business Media. Per the website’s “How the voting works” tab, no employees or sponsors “has any influence over the results.”

Voters are said to all be “bar experts.” According to the website, 50 percent of voters are bar owners and bartenders. A quarter are drinks writers, and another 25 percent are “well-traveled cocktail experts.” Overall, at least 25 percent must be new voters each year.

There are a total of 600 voters (so, 300 are bar owners and bartenders, and so on). Each voter casts seven votes. Their votes are based on the best bar visits they’ve had from the previous 18 months.

Voters must only vote for bars they’ve actually visited; pop-ups cannot receive votes; and voters can’t vote for bars they own or in which they have a financial interest.

Previously, participants had to cast at least two votes for bars located outside of their home countries. However, due to the pandemic, that requirement was tossed out for the 2021 lists.

According to the organization’s website, votes are confidential and voters are anonymous.

Image: Pylyp Sukhenko on Unsplash

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