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The 50 Best Bars in the World

I chose and polled most of the judges for this list of the 50 best bars in the world. It's the cover story for Drinks International, an industry magazine based in the UK. 

Drinks International Best Bars Cover Nov 2012

The rules were that the judges had to have visited the bar within the past two years and couldn't have a financial stake in them (so, no voting for your own bar). Each judge chose their top three bars and we averaged them together.  

I think when you see the list of judges (not online yet) you'll agree that it's a very fair poll. For the most part the judges are people who travel extensively (so there are a lot of brand ambassadors), and we made an effort to include people in far flung places. These are people who have been to a lot of bars.

I have visited 29 of these bars, which is really good but still makes me feel inadequate. All of my top three picks made the list.  

Now it's your turn: If you were the judge in this contest what would be your top three bars in the world? 


The 2011 World’s 50 Best Bars list has been published, in partnership with sponsor Stolichnaya. This year, New York speakeasy PDT (Please Don’t Tell) took the top spot, with London hotel bars The Connaught and the Artesian in second and third place. 
Back to New York for number 4 with Death & Co. A full list of the Top 50 can be seen below.

The poll was conducted by World’s 50 Best Bars editor Lucy Britner and US drinks writer Camper English. The pair canvassed around 100 bar professionals including the Playboy Club’s Salvatore Calabrese, King Cocktail Dale DeGroff, Esquire US’s David Wondrich and diamond ice-carver Hidetsugu Ueno. We believe this is the first time that the top names in the industry have come together to vote for their favourite bars – making it our most authoritative list to date.

These votes were coupled with global votes from 100 bars polled or featured in the 2010 list. Votes were received from every continent and bars in 16 countries made the top 50.

Lucy Britner said: “This year, voters have walked through phone booths and wardrobes, rung bells on unmarked doors and called to book appointments in order to file their nominations for the World’s 50 Best Bars. The list seems to pay homage to the speakeasy- style bar, which goes hand-in-hand with knowing how to create the classics, unearth old recipes and recreate forgotten ingredients.

“At the same time, voters are romanced by exquisitely decorated hotel bars that serve beautifully prepared drinks, made by immaculately turned-out bartenders.
The wealth of diversity and expertise in the bar scene makes this one of the most exciting lists to date.”

1. PDT, New York
2 Connaught, London
3 Artesian, London
4 Death & Co, New York
5 Milk & Honey, London
6 American Bar at the Savoy, London
7 69 Colebrooke Row, London
8 Drink, Boston US
9 Harry’s New York Bar, Paris
10 Black Pearl, Melbourne, Australia
11 Pegu Club, NY
12 Dry Martini Bar, Barcelona
13 Eau De Vie, Sydney
14 Bramble, Edinburgh
15 Employees Only, New York
16 La Capilla Bar, Mexico
17 Merchant Hotel, Belfast
18 Nightjar, London
19 Smuggler’s Cove, San Francisco
20 Buddha Bar, Paris
21 Skyview Bar, Dubai
22 The Varnish, Los Angeles
23 Tippling Club, Singapore
24 Milk & Honey, New York
25 878 Bar, Buenos Aires
26 Der Raum, Melbourne
27 Callooh Callay, London
28 Clover Club, New York
29 Door74, Amsterdam
30 Tommy’s, San Francisco
31 Floridita, Havana
32 City Space, Moscow
33 Matterhorn, Wellington, NZ
34 High Five Bar, Tokyo
35 Le Lion, Hamburg
36 LAB, London
37 Boadas, Barcelona
38 Dutch Kills, New York
39 Worship St Whistling Shop, London
40 BarAgricole, San Francisco
41 Papa Doble, Montpellier
42 Quo Vadis, London
43 Lounge Bohemia, London
44 Mayahuel, New York
45 Mutis, Barcelona
46 Ruby, Copenhagen
47 Rules, London
48 Hemingway Bar, Paris
49 Zuma, Dubai
50 Star Bar, Tokyo

Camper's Book: Tonic Water AKA G&T WTF is now available for sale.

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