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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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KRG Makes First Addition to Team for 2023

KRG Hospitality Makes First Addition to Team for 2023

KRG Hospitality Licensing Program logo

Jared Boller joins the KRG Hospitality team, serving as the agency’s in-house beverage educator, trainer, and menu developer.

TORONTO, ONTARIO—Today, KRG Hospitality is delighted to announce a new addition to their team. Jared Boller, a professional mixologist with two decades of experience, will be available to the agency’s clients for beverage menu development and training. He’ll serve as KRG’s master mixologist for North America.

Boller’s creativity, passion, and humility as a professional mixologist have led him on a journey around the globe. He has established himself as an industry leader, developing award-winning beverage programs in restaurants, bars, hotels, and casinos in several markets, including Denver, New York, Florida, Toronto. Throughout his career, Boller has won several cocktail competitions, educated teams for brands and industry organizations, and appeared in numerous publications.

“Restaurants, bars, hotels, and hospitality are in dire need of not only great employees but educated employees who can execute an owner’s vision,” says Boller. “I look forward to the next stage of my hospitality career with KRG, helping to inspire the future generations in everything related to beverage. My life’s journey has led me to the perfect opportunity with the team at KRG to collectively build future and existing brands.”

Additionally, he was the featured guest on episode 12 of the Bar Hacks podcast. People curious to learn more about Boller can listen to his Bar Hacks episode on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and Google Podcasts.

With a growing list of accolades and numerous publications to his name, Boller most recently spent three years as the national whiskey ambassador for Proximo spirits. He prides himself on educating consumers and future bartenders on artistry behind the bar and providing history lessons to everyone that will listen. Boller is eager to share his extensive knowledge of spirits, cocktails, menu development, beverage innovation, and service.

“It’s an exciting time for KRG Hospitality, adding to the team just days into 2023,” says David Klemt, director of business development at KRG. “With Jared on the team our beverage programming, menu development and curation, training, and consulting will be even stronger. I know we’re all looking forward to our clients having the opportunity to work with Jared.”

About KRG Hospitality

KRG Hospitality is a storied and respected agency with proven success over the past decade, delivering exceptional and award-winning concepts throughout a variety of markets found within Canada, the United States, and abroad since 2009. Specializing in startups, KRG is known for originality and innovation, rejecting cookie-cutter approaches to client projects. The agency provides clients with a clear framework tailored to their specific projects, helping to realize their vision for a scalable, sustainable, profitable, memorable, and consistent business. Learn more at KRGHospitality.com. Connect with KRG Hospitality and the Bar Hacks podcast on social: KRG Twitter, Bar Hacks Twitter, KRG Media Twitter, KRG LinkedIn.

Image: KRG Hospitality

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

7 Days Until Old Fashioned Week!

7 Days Until Elijah Craig Old Fashioned Week!

by David Klemt

Old Fashioned cocktail on table

In just seven days operators, their front-of-house teams and guests will have the opportunity to participate in Elijah Craig Old Fashioned Week.

Those who choose to join in on the fun will help generate funds for crucial cause. Further, participation means joining forces with some revered heavy hitters in the industry.

For example, Broken Shaker’s Chicago and Miami locations are taking part, as is Cure in New Orleans. Birdie G’s in Los Angeles, the Denver outpost of Death & Co., and Houston’s Julep are also participating. And then there’s LA Jackson from Nashville, the legendary Leyenda in Brooklyn, DC’s Silver Lyan, and Philly’s R&D all joining the cause.

A Great Cause

As stated, this is more than a cocktail promotion. Elijah Craig Old Fashioned Week supports an important cause and fantastic organization.

The cause is providing F&B professionals who are struggling with financial assistance, and the aide comes from the Southern Smoke Foundation.

Since 2015, Southern Smoke has been dedicated to raising funds to help individuals in the F&B space. The non-profit organization strives to help our industry peers in need persevere through crises.

From raising funds for the MS Society, establishing the Emergency Relief Fund, and providing free mental healthcare, Southern Smoke consistently proves themselves a trustworthy industry partner. By 2021, Southern Smoke had donated more than $5 million in financial aid to industry workers affected by Covid-19.

Take Part

Elijah Craig, the storied small-batch bourbon and rye producer in the Heaven Hill Distillery portfolio, makes participating simple and fun.

Unsurprisingly, we at KRG Hospitality love an activation and promotion that’s easy to execute and fun for everyone in the building. This year, Elijah Craig Old Fashioned Week takes place from October 14 through October 23.

To help raise money for Southern Smoke’s crisis management mission, encourage your bar team and guests to post pictures of their Old Fashioneds to social media. All one has to do is include tag @ElijahCraig and the hashtag #OldFashioned Week. Elijah Craig will take it from there, donating $5 for every post up to $100,000.

I’m confident that over the course of ten days we can all come together and flood social media with 20,000 images of delicious, well-crafted Old Fashioneds.

To learn more about last year’s Old Fashioned week, listen to Bar Hacks episode 52. Our very special guest on this episode is Lynn House, the 2022 Best US Brand Ambassador Spirited Award winner.

Get Creative

Now, I’d normally include the particular drink recipe here but I think—I believe—we all know how to make an Old Fashioned by now. So, I’m going to encourage all participating operators and their bar teams to create a small, signature Old Fashioned LTO menu or Elijah Craig Old Fashioned Week.

Also, to get those creative juices flowing, here’s the recipe for the Elijah Craig Rosemary Old Fashioned:

  • Craft rosemary cinnamon syrup by combining 1 cup of water with 2 cinnamon sticks, 2 rosemary sprigs, and 1 medium navel orange in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, add one cup of Demerara sugar and stir until it dissolves. Strain into a clean, sanitized bottle.
  • Combine 2.5 oz. of Elijah Craig Small Batch Bourbon, a half-ounce of housemade rosemary cinnamon syrup, and three dashes of orange bitters in a mixing glass with ice.
  • Stir and strain into rocks glass over a large ice cube, then garnish with a Maraschino cherry on a rosemary-sprig skewer. If you so choose, light the sprig on fire for a moment to generate some rosemary smoke.

Image: CHUTTERSNAP on Unsplash

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

2022 World’s 50 Best Bars: 51-100

2022 World’s 50 Best Bars: 51-100

by David Klemt

Closeup of bartender's hand pouring shot

As we approach the ceremony to announce the 2022 World’s 50 Best Bars we now know which bars across the globe are on the 51 to 100 list.

It’s crucial to keep in mind that these are 50 of the most impressive bars not just in the US, not just in Canada, and not just in North America. Rather, these are among the absolute best bars in the world.

Of particular note, Singapore continues to prove itself as a dominant cocktail destination. There are eight bars on the 2022 51 to 100 list, and I predict that at least three more from Singapore will appear on the 1 to 50 list.

Also, the UK and Cape Town each claim four spots among the best 51 to 100 bars, and Paris boasts three. Operators, bar professionals, and tourists should keep their eyes on Cape Town as it continues to transform into a cocktail hot spot.

Among the 51 to 100 list, four are from the US and, sadly, none are in Canada. Overall, 15 bars on this list are new entries, as are five of the cities represented.

1 to 50: One Week Away

Of course, this leaves us all with a few important questions.

When will we find out about bars 1 through 50? Which bars are on that list? And which bar will be number one this year?

Well, I can answer one of those questions for you. A week from now, October 4, the World’s 50 Best Bars will announce the top 50 bars in the world during a ceremony in Barcelona, Spain.

To learn more about the World’s 50 Best Bars and this year’s ceremony, listen to Bar Hacks episode 82 with Mark Sansom. Also, make sure you’re following the World’s 50 Best Bars on Twitter and Instagram.

For now, scroll down to check out bars 51 to 100. Congratulations to the bars below!

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

  1. Sin + Tax (Johannesburg)
  2. Tesouro (Goa)
  3. Zapote Bar (Playa del Carmen)
  4. Tag (Kraków)
  5. The Dead Rabbit (New York)
  6. The Bamboo Bar (Bangkok)
  7. Sweet Liberty (Miami)
  8. Mace (New York)
  9. The House of Machines (Cape Town)
  10. Antique American Bar (Bratislava)
  11. Republic (Singapore)
  12. Donovan Bar (London)
  13. Art of Duplicity (Cape Town)
  14. Re (Sydney)
  15. Freni e Frizioni (Rome)
  16. Danico (Paris)
  17. Le Syndicat (Paris)
  18. Bar Goto (New York)
  19. Indulge Experimental Bistro (Taipei)
  20. Lost & Found (Nicosia)
  21. Dead End Paradise (Beirut)
  22. Vesper (Bangkok)
  23. Röda Huset (Stockholm)
  24. The Court (Rome)
  25. Candelaria (Paris)
  26. Side Hustle (London)
  27. Nutmeg & Clove (Singapore)
  28. Camparino in Galleria (Milan)
  29. Three Sheets (London)
  30. Tjoget (Stockholm)
  31. La Sala de Laura (Bogotá)
  32. No Sleep Club (Singapore)
  33. Hero Bar (Nairobi)
  34. Atlas (Singapore)
  35. El Barón (Cartagena)
  36. Analogue (Singapore)
  37. Brujas (Mexico City)
  38. The SG Club (Tokyo)
  39. Tan Tan (São Paulo)
  40. Presidente (Buenos Aires)
  41. Caretaker’s Cottage (Melbourne)
  42. Schofield’s (Manchester)
  43. Mimi Kakushi (Dubai)
  44.  MO Bar (Singapore)
  45. Quinary (Hong Kong)
  46. 28 HongKong Street (Singapore)
  47. La Factoría (Old San Juan)
  48. Cause Effect Cocktail Kitchen (Cape Town)
  49. Barro Negro (Athens)
  50. Sago House (Singapore)

Image: Louis Hansel on Unsplash

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

7 Awesome Whiskey Podcasts

7 Awesome Whiskey Podcasts

by David Klemt

Gold microphone and headphones

Our National Bourbon Heritage Month celebration and inspiration continues with a roundup of seven of the best whiskey podcasts.

Of course we want you to listen to Bar Hacks for education, inspiration, and entertainment. However, we know it isn’t the only podcast you listen to.

Below you’ll find several whiskey-centric podcasts. These are absolutely some of the best podcasts out there if you’re seeking bourbon and whiskey knowledge.

So, after you catch up to your Bar Hacks listening, work the shows below into your rotation.

Cheers!

Whiskey Lore

As regular KRG Hospitality readers and newsletter subscribers know, we love diving into history and myths. When we’re researching a spirit, cocktail, or other beverage, we tend to find more fiction than fact. Of course, the facts are also just as interesting to us, so it’s a win-win for us and you.

So, it makes sense then that we’re kicking things off with Whiskey Lore. We love the rich and compelling stories that weave the intricate story of our industry. As it turns out, so does the Whiskey Lore podcast. Currently, the podcast is digging into the history and lore of Irish whiskey.

Latest episode: Irish Whiskey Pt. 5: The Lore of the River Boyne; Marrowbone Lane; Finding Old Irish Pure Pot Still

Bourbon & Banter

Honestly, I don’t know that I can describe the Bourbon & Banter podcast any better than the minds behind the show:

“Are you seeking a bourbon podcast that will educate and entertain you without the extra bloat associated with kissing a brand’s ass in search of advertising revenue or free samples? If so, welcome home my friend… In all seriousness though, give us a listen and you’ll find that we’re honest to a fault. You won’t find us pulling any punches when it comes to new bourbon reviews or when we explore the latest industry news and consumer trends.”

Latest episode: The Doctor is In – Bourbon & Banter Podcast Special Episode

The Fred Minnick Show

If you’re a whiskey lover and don’t know the name Fred Minnick, I would find that shocking. While not always a straight-up whiskey-only podcast, the Fred Minnick Show format is compelling. Rather than focus solely on reviewing whiskey, whiskey news, and interviews with industry experts, Fred also chats with guests about a wide range of topics.

Latest episode: What’s Up With Tom Brady? NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo Returns to Talk Quarterbacks | Russell’s Reserve 6 Year

WhiskyCast

The WhiskyCast podcast has been going strong since 2005. That makes this the world’s longest-running whiskey podcast. With 17 years’ worth of podcast goodness to listen to, you’ll never be without something whisky-focused to listen to and learn from. Their most current episoide is number 966, which is just staggeringly impressive.

Latest episode: Brother’s Bond: A Bourbon “Bromance”

Bourbon Lens

With nearly 200 episodes available, Bourbon Lens is delving deep into everything bourbon. However, they also discuss other types of whiskey through conversations with founders, blenders, and other industry experts. This is a must-listen podcast for whiskey lovers.

Latest episode: Off Hours with Bourbon Lens Episode 10: Sam Montgomery from Bardstown Bourbon Co.

Bourbon Pursuit

According to the show itself, Bourbon Pursuit is “the official podcast of bourbon.” With episodes going live every few days you’ll never be without something to listen to with this podcast. Bourbon news, bourbon reviews, bourbon interviews… Bourbon Pursuit may truly be the official pod of bourbon.

Latest episode: TWiB: Kentucky Bourbon Benefit Raises $1.4M, Little Book Series Launches “To The Finish”, Four Roses 2022 Limited Edition Small Batch

Dads Drinking Bourbon

The hosts of Dads Drinking Bourbon want you to #rethinkhowyoudrink. With this podcast you’ll get to hear blind tastings, side-by-side reviews, and interviews with people in the industry. While the hosts don’t claim to be experts, they do an excellent job providing listeners with useful information. As they say themselves, “At the end of the day, we know you just want to know if the whiskey is worth spending any money on.” Also, congratulations to the Dads Drinking Bourbon team on their 400th episode!

Latest episode: Review: IT’S OUR 400TH EPISODE! And we drink Barrell Batch 33

Image: Andrzej Nowak from Pixabay

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

3 Bar Hacks Episodes for Sober October

3 Bar Hacks Episodes for Sober October

by David Klemt

Bartender straining cocktail

We’re just two weeks away from Sober October so here are three Bar Hacks podcast episodes to get you ready for this important month.

Over the course of 100-plus episodes we’ve spoken with a handful of non-alcohol brands. These, along with other alcohol-free brands, should be on your radar.

In fact, they deserve spots on your backbar and placement on your menus. The latest estimate is that around 40 percent of Americans don’t consume alcohol. In Canada that number is roughly 33 percent.

However, those numbers don’t paint a complete picture. Over the past few years there has been increasing interest in “sober curiosity.” In this movement, people abstain from drinking alcohol from time to time rather than abstaining permanently.

Now, we tend to associate the month of January with sobriety, either permanent or temporary. Clearly, however, October is also a month where people choose to not imbibe.

The Sober Guest Experience

The following should go without saying but let’s cover it anyway. Some sober people do, in fact, spend time in bars and nightclubs.

Just as that should go without saying, so should this: Your sober guests deserve every bit as great an experience as guests who are drinking alcohol.

Moreover, sober guests deserve a guest experience free of discomfort or isolation. In short, you should seamlessly provide the same level of service at the bar to sober guests as those who enjoy alcohol.

No, it’s not enough to menu water, sugary sodas, lemonade, and tea. Sober guests should be comfortable coming to your bar. Like guests who consume alcohol, sober guests should be able to order a drink that doesn’t make them feel different or singled out.

So, put quality non-alcohol beers on your menu. Create a number of signature zero-proof cocktails. Serve both with the same attention to detail as presentation as their full-alcohol counterparts.

“I’m a professional, I want to create,” says Paul Mathew, founder of alcohol-free aperitif brand Everleaf and Bar Hacks guest. “I want to do something I’m proud of.”

Approach your alcohol-free program the same way as Mathew, a bartender and operator himself. Be professional, be creative, and be mindful of your sober guests’ experience.

Episode 28 with Tim Rita

Lyre’s Spirits crafts alcohol-free spirits that masterfully mimic their full-proof counterparts. Host David Klemt sits down with Lyre’s brand ambassador, bartender, and buddy Tim Rita to chat about the brand. In this episode you’ll learn about one of the fastest-growing brands in one of the fastest-growing beverage categories. For the alcohol-free Mai Tai mentioned on the podcast, click here.

Listen now.

Episode 31 with Ted Fleming

Ted Fleming, entrepreneur and CEO and founder of Partake Brewing, stops by the Bar Hacks podcast to talk with host David Klemt. The two discuss the founding of Partake Brewing and the importance and growth of the non-alcohol beer category. Also, how operators can succeed with non-alc, advice for entrepreneurs, and more. Visit the Partake Brewing website to learn more. Connect with Partake on InstagramTwitter and Facebook.

Click here to listen.

Episode 81 with Paul Mathew

Paul Mathew, bartender, bar owner, and founder of Everleaf, sits down with Bar Hacks podcast co-host David Klemt. In this fun and informative episode, Paul shares his journey through bartending and bar ownership, and his entry into the drinks business. Non-alcoholic aperitif brand Everleaf is the culmination of Paul’s many years as a conservationist botanist, knowledge of plants, and nearly 30 years in the bar business.

The Everleaf portfolio consists of three unique expressions and a new RTD line. Shortly, Everleaf will begin distribution throughout the United States, and there are plans for Canada and Australia in the future. To learn more, vist the Everleaf website and follow Everleaf on Instagram and Facebook.

Listen to this episode here.

Image: Jia Jia Shum on Unsplash

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

6 Bar Hacks Bourbon Episodes

6 Bar Hacks Bourbon Episodes

by David Klemt

Gold microphone and laptop

We have the honor of speaking with some of the best and most engaging people in the hospitality, foodservice, and drinks industries on the Bar Hacks podcast.

Several of our amazing guests have come on to talk about one of our favorite spirits: bourbon. To celebrate National Bourbon Heritage Month we’ve rounded up most bourbon-focused Bar Hacks episodes.

Cheers!

Episode 25

One of our favorite people in the industry—and in life in general—popped by to speak with Bar Hacks. Megan Breier is one of the most engaging, entertaining and knowledgeable educators in the hospitality and spirits industries.

In this episode, Megan explains what sets Maker’s Mark apart from other bourbons, some of the amazing activations she’s executed, Private Selection, Maker’s 101, Margie Samuels’ contributions to the brand and industry, and more. Listen now!

Episode 28

Lyre’s Spirits crafts alcohol-free spirits that masterfully mimic their full-proof counterparts. Bar Hacks co-host David Klemt sits down with Lyre’s brand ambassador, bartender and buddy Tim Rita to chat about the brand.

On episode 28 you’ll learn about one of the fastest-growing brands in one of the fastest-growing beverage categories. How is an alcohol-free brand relevant on World Whisky Day? Lyre’s makes American Malt, a zero-proof take on bourbon.

Episode 32

One of the most iconic bourbon producers is undoubtedly Woodford Reserve. So, when we were given the opportunity to speak with Woodford Reserve brand ambassador Michael Toscano we leapt at the chance.

Michael stops by to talk about the Kentucky Derby, crafting the perfect Mint Julep, maximizing the operator-brand-rep relationship, and more. Check it out now!

Episode 39

Anthony “Terry” Bohlinger, national brand ambassador for new William Grant & Sons whiskey brand Fistful of Bourbon, drops by Bar Hacks. Terry talks about launching a brand during a pandemic, representing an irreverent brand that doesn’t take itself too seriously, the hilarious videos Fistful of Bourbon created to introduce the brand, lessons learned during his journey in hospitality, and more. Listen here!

Episode 52

Lynn House, national spirits specialist and portfolio mixologist for Heaven Hill, drops by Bar Hacks to speak with host David Klemt about the second annual Old Fashioned Week.

Lynn and David also discuss bourbon, rye, hospitality, building balanced cocktails, and how trust plays a role in educating guests so you and your team can introduce them to new drinks and experiences. Listen now!

Episode 59

Whiskey expert, spirits judge, and sommelier Theo Rutherford stops by the Bar Hacks podcast to talk about Bib & Tucker Small Batch Bourbon, a prominent addition to the Deutsch Family of wine and spirits. Rutherford shares the Bib & Tucker brand story, what sets the brand apart from other bourbons, and why the 6 Year expression appeals to all categories of whiskey drinkers. He also shares tips for tasting bourbon, including how easily Bib & Tucker wins over non-whiskey drinkers.

Listen now to learn why Theo wants you to smell everything and stop swirling your whiskey at tastings.

Image: Seej Nguyen on Pexels

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

Discover the World’s 50 Best

Discover the World’s 50 Best with this Helpful Tool

by David Klemt

Red neon hand sign over a cocktail

You may be familiar with the World’s 50 Best Bars and the World’s 50 Best Restaurants rankings, but do you know about their Discovery tool?

On episode 82 of the Bar Hacks podcast, Mark Sansom mentions this powerful and helpful tool. Sansom, for those who have yet to listen to the episode, is the content director for the World’s 50 Best Bars.

Put plainly, the World’s 50 Best rankings are powerful and influential. As Sansom says, when the organization shouts, people listen. Making the 100 to 51 or 50 to one list can change a restaurant or bar’s business. Exposure, traffic, revenue, status, longevity… The restaurant and bar lists are game changers for those who work hard enough to earn a spot.

However, the World’s 50 Best, as the name suggests, ranks just a few hundred restaurants and bars:

So, the organization put their heads together. What if they could increase the chances that thousands of venues could find themselves on the radar of millions of people across the world? What could that do for a much larger swathe of deserving restaurants and bars?

50 Best Discovery

Enter, the 50 Best Discovery database.

“That’s the more egalitarian face of 50 Best, and that’s where we’re really excited about moving in the future,” says Sansom.

According to Sansom, there are more than 2,500 restaurants and bars just waiting for, well, discovery. It is, as he says, “the world’s most authoritative database on restaurants and bars anywhere.”

Compellingly, this is more than just a lonely input field chilling out on a webpage. Rather, there’s also a slideshow of 50 Best editor’s picks to scroll through. In using the tool for this article I discovered the following venues without even scrolling:

  • Franklin Barbecue in Austin, Texas
  • Cal Pep in Barcelona, Spain
  • Amass in Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Fyn Restaurant in Cape Town, South Africa

In other words, this tool is aptly named: The mission is discovery, and I’d say that mission is well on its way to achievement.

North America Results

Given the potential of the 50 Best Discovery database, I of course took it for a spin. You can do the same by clicking here.

Below, my results. In the interest of full transparency, it appears some cities in North America could use some work.

However, I feel confident that the 50 Best Discovery database will improve over time. After all, this is a new tool. Remember, the North America 50 Best Bars list is also brand new. As the organization recognizes more regions and venues, they’ll develop their database further.

Calgary, Alberta, Canada

  • Proof

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

  • Bar Raval
  • BarChef
  • The Shameful Tiki Room

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

  • Botanist
  • Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar
  • The Keefer Bar

Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

  • Greene St. Kitchen
  • Herbs & Rye
  • Wing Lei

Nashville, Tennessee, USA

  • Bastion
  • The Catbird Seat
  • Pearl Diver

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

  • Vedge
  • Zahav

Image: Marcus Loke on Unsplash

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

Summer 2022 is the Summer of Mezcal

Summer 2022 is the Summer of Mezcal

by David Klemt

Código 1530 Mezcal bottle

Move over tequila, rum and gin, because this year the drink of the summer is something different.

Summer 2022 is the Summer of Mezcal.

Traditionally, sure, we’re led to believe that lighter spirits (white rum, gin) are best for the hotter months. Of course, dark rum is another route people often take during the summer.

However, mezcal is on fire at the moment. In fact, it has been for the past few years now. So, why not feature it on your summer drink menu?

Mezcal adds depth and complexity to classic cocktails, engaging guests by offering new flavors. And, of course, mezcal is also a fantastic starting point for modern drinks.

Below you’ll find six summer mezcal recipes from Collin De Laval, company mixologist for Código 1530. He turned his attention to Código 1530 Mezcal Artesanal for the Summer of Mezcal.

To learn more about Código 1530 and De Laval, check out Bar Hacks episode 57. Cheers!

Código 1530 La Palomita

La Palomita

  • 1.5 oz Código 1530 Mezcal Artesanal
  • 0.75 oz Lime juice (fresh, of course)
  • 0.25 oz Aperol
  • 4 oz Yuzu-lime soda
  • 0.25 oz Simple syrup
  • Lime wheel or wedge to garnish

Prepare a cocktail glass with fresh ice. In a shaker, combine Código 1530 Mezcal, lime, Aperol and simple syrup. Shake well, pour into cocktail glass, top with yuzu-lime soda, and garnish with lime wheel or wedge.

Código 1530 Tropicana

Tropicana

Combine all ingredients in a shaker and prepare a cocktail glass with fresh ice. Shake vigorously, pour, and garnish with a pineapple wedge.

Código 1530 Mezcal Margarita

Mezcal Margarita

Prepare a cocktail or Margarita glass with fresh ice, then combine all ingredients in a shaker (also with ice). Shake, pour, and garnish with a lime.

Código 1530 Mezcal Ranch Water

Mezcal Ranch Water

Combine Código 1530 Mezcal, lime juice, and agave nectar in a cocktail or highball glass with ice, top with soda water, and stir.

Código 1530 Mango Mezcal Paloma

Mango Mezcal Paloma

In a shaker with ice, combine Código 1530 Mezcal and all three juices. Shake vigorously, strain into a highball glass with fresh ice, top with soda water, and garnish with grapefruit peel.

Código 1530 Mezcal Espresso Martini

Mezcal Espresso Martini

If you own, operate or are on the leadership team at a bar—or if you’re a bartender or server—you know the Espresso Martini has once again found itself having a moment. So, while you’re building out your summer mezcal menu, don’t forget this trendy drink.

Add all the liquid ingredients to a shaker with ice. Shake vigorously until well chilled. Pour into a Martini glass (consider preparing by chilling if you don’t already) and garnish with coffee beans.

Images courtesy of Código 1530

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

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