Annual world's 50 best bar awards announced at ceremony in London
2016 top 50 winners include bars from 27 cities in 20 countries
Drinks in London could be mixed with freshly poured tears this Friday after the city was stripped of its status as the cocktail capital of the world.
Ending four years of dominance by London’s Artesian, New York City’s Dead Rabbit Grocery & Grog was crowned as the world’s best bar at an awards ceremony in London.
“It feels like training to win the Olympic gold, and you win,” says Sean Muldoon, co-owner of Dead Rabbit Grocery & Grog.
“We take everything we do seriously and we strive to do the best that we can…we’ve tried repeatedly to win this award, but it’s good to finally win.”
The Manhattan-based bar has closely trailed Artesian for years, having placed second in 2014 and 2015.
This year, the Artesian didn’t even break into the top 50, compiled by Drinks International magazine, making way for Dead Rabbit to take first place.
What gives on Artesian’s fall from grace?
“This time last year, the two head bartenders that were very influential at [Artesian] created the concept, the menu, the ethos, the philosophy…they quit that night after winning for the fourth time, and they were followed out the bar by another nine bartenders, so the world’s best bar didn’t have a bar team,” says Hamish Smith, World’s 50 Best Bars editor.
“In this industry, it’s about the people, it’s not about the four walls…if you want to be in the world’s 50 best bars, then you have to run a tight ship, and you have to have everything under complete control.”
London and New York have been fierce rivals for cocktail bar domination, often being the only two cities listed in the top five each year.
The 2016 top 50 winners include bars from 27 cities in 20 countries, and were voted in by 450 of the global drink industry’s elite.
Though London’s no longer the reigning cocktail king, it still placed nine bars in the top 50 list, more than any other city. These include the Connaught Bar, Dandelyan and Happiness Forgets, all of which are included in the top 10.
Europe continues to dominate the prestigious list with 11 countries representing the continent, comprising roughly half of the top 50 winners.
Drinking dens from the UK, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Greece, Cyprus, Sweden, Italy and Spain are honored this year.
The Gibson, based in London, is the world’s rookie bar of the year, debuting on the list at sixth place.
The United States is well represented with 14 bars shared between Miami, San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles and Chicago.
New world champion Dead Rabbit Grocery & Grog is joined by seven other New York City bars that made the cut, including top 10 entries Attaboy, Employees Only and NoMad Bar.
Asia’s bar scene profile continues to rise with seven winners on the list, up from last year’s five.
Singapore’s Manhattan Bar and 28 Hong Kong Street took top honors for the region, clocking in at 11th and 14th place, respectively. Other showings were from Tokyo and Shanghai as well as Hong Kong, which has two winners.
Australia, meanwhile, has three bars included – all based in Melbourne and Sydney.
Buenos Aires-based Floreria Atlantico was the lone awardee for South America as the world’s 49th best bar.
Here’s the full list of the 2016 world’s 50 best bars. For more details on the top 20, check out the gallery above.
World’s 50 best bars
1. The Dead Rabbit Grocery & Grog, New York
2. American Bar, London
3. Dandelyan, London
4. Connaught Bar, London
5. Attaboy, New York
6. The Gibson, London
7. Employees Only, New York
8. NoMad Bar, New York
9. The Clumsies, Athens
10. Happiness Forgets, London
11. Manhattan, Singapore
12. The Baxter Inn, Sydney
13. Licoreria Limantour, Mexico City
14. 28 Hongkong Street, Singapore
15. Speak Low, Shanghai
16. The Broken Shaker, Miami
17. Candelaria, Paris
18. Tales & Spirits, Amsterdam
19. Nightjar, London
20. Maison Premiere, New York
21. Operation Dagger, Singapore
22. Black Pearl, Melbourne
23. High Five, Tokyo
24. Little Red Door, Paris
25. Linje Tio, Stockholm
26. Central Station, Beirut
27. Lobster Bar, Hong Kong
28. Mace, New York
29. Smuggler’s Cove, San Francisco
30. Bar Termini, London
31. La Factoria, Old San Juan
32. Oriole, London
33. The Jerry Thomas Project, Rome
34. Dante, New York
35. Trick Dog, San Francisco
36. ABV, San Francisco
37. The Walker Inn, Los Angeles
38. Nottingham Forest, Milan
39. Aviary, Chicago
40. Baba au Rum, Athens
41. Quinary, Hong Kong
42. Himkok, Oslo
43. Lost & Found, Nicosia
44. Ruby, Copenhagen
45. PDT, New York
46. Bulletin Place, Sydney
47. Bramble, Edinburgh
48. Callooh Callay, London
49. Floreria Atlantico, Buenos Aires