Hundreds of the world’s most celebrated mixologists and cocktail enthusiasts gathered in London today to find out which bars across the globe have earned the title of best in the business this year — and which one would snag top honors.
Since 2009, the World’s 50 Best Bars list has celebrated the most innovative in the drinks industry with both newcomers and heritage establishments making each list. Hundreds of beverage experts participate in the vetting process for each bar, following a strict set of guidelines. And this year’s list held a few surprises, with 44 bars breaking through to make their first appearance on both the top 50 and the top 100 list.
“There are 26 new entries on the 51-100 list, which is actually a record for us,” said Mark Sansom, content editor for World’s 50 Best Bars. “There are a lot more secondary and tertiary cities on this year’s list and hopefully more in the years to come.”
This year’s event, held at Roundhouse in London’s Camden Town, returned after a 25-month hiatus; Last year’s ceremony was held virtually due to COVID-19. Roughly 650 people turned out to celebrate this year’s winner.
The 600 industry professionals who vote on the results make up the World’s 50 Best Bars Academy. Within the Academy, there are 28 panels for different areas around the world, each headed by a chair with regional expertise. Those panelists are bartenders, spirits writers, and cocktail specialists who vote on the bars that they believe have risen above the rest in terms of quality and hospitality. The voting is managed by William Reed Business Media, the digital media company that also handles the voting process for the World’s 50 Best Restaurants.
Bars in New York City and London have dominated the list since its inception, with Dante (2019), Dead Rabbit (2016), and PDT (2011), all in New York, taking the top spot within the last decade. And London-based bars including The Connaught Bar (2020), the now-closed Dandelyan (2018), The American Bar (2017), Artesian (2012-2015), and Milk & Honey (2009-2010) also earned top honors in their respective years.
And which bar snagged the top spot this year? The Connaught Bar in central London won the title of World’s Best Bar for a second year in a row. The team, headed by director of mixology Ago Perrone, has been a leading force in the industry since opening in 2008. Combining refined hospitality with exceptional drinks, the bar has steadily ranked on the list.
The Academy also recognizes a handful of standout establishments and bartenders for their work with additional awards. Salmon Guru in Madrid received the Michter’s Art of Hospitality Award for their “care and attention to service,” and the bar staff’s “experience and unfailing execution.” Lynnette Marrero of Llama Inn in New York City won Altos Bartenders’ Bartender, as voted on by her peers, for “her work as an activist in the cocktail bar world and philanthropy for global charities.”
See the full list of 2021 winners here.
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