Bartender Magazine's Annual World's Top 20 Bars
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The PanelGary reGan Celebrated drinks writer and legendary bartender anGus WinChester the walking drinks encyclopaedia
naren younG travelling tender and drinks writer Paul Wootton editor, restaurant magazine, uK
Annual Worlds Top 20 BarsBartender magazines inaugural Worlds Top 20 Bars kicked up a bit of a storm last year in terms of reader response. What exactly does it take for a bar to be considered amongst the worlds best? Who really belongs in the list? Weve decided that it comes down to personal preferences and tastes. What more can we ask our judges to give us? Sticking to this philosophy, Bartender magazine has set no criteria for judges choices. Weve done our best to steer away from bar owners this year in our extended panel of brand ambassadors, magazine editors, drinks authors, consultants and other globetrotting luminaries. Those on the panel that do have a financial interest in a bar have been chosen for their official ambassadorship roles and were not allowed to vote for their own venues. While you will see a few familiar names amongst our Top 20, there are bound to be a few surprises and upsets as we count down to the Worlds Best Bar! Finally, a big thank you to all of our superstar judges for their contributions. It is with great pleasure that we now bring you their Worlds Top 20 Bars.
Ben DaviDson Cocktail Chef and Pernod ricard spirits ambassador Pat nourse Features editor, Gourmet traveller, australia tomas estes tequila ambassador to the uK and europe Charlie ainsBury australian Bartender magazine Bartender of the year 2007 niCK ravenhall new Zealand Bartender magazine Bartender of the year 2007 Grant Collins managing Director of Bar solutions consultancy JaCoB Briars 42 Below vodka Professor and treasurer of the south Gin Club Jason CraWley maxium australias jetsetting mixxologist John GaKuru Global Brand ambassador for sagatiba Cachaa sven almenninG Creator of Behind Bars industry services tom sanDham editor, Class magazine, uK helmut aDam editor, mixology magazine, Germany DaviD sPanton managing Director, spanton media Group
honourable mentionsthefollowing(innoparticularorder)isalistoffantasticbarsaroundtheworldthatdeserveaplug. stillmoreofourjudgesinterestingchoiceswereomitted,forspacereasons. Der Raum, Melbourne438 Church Street, Richmond, Melbourne, Australia +61 3 9428 0055
simon DiFForD Creator of Diffords Guide
Bourbon and Branch, San Francisco501 Jones Street, San Francisco, USA +1 415 346 1735
Merchant Hotel Bar, Belfast35-39 Waring Street, Belfast, Northern Ireland +44 28 9023 4888
5-7 Dover Street, London, England +44 20 7493 9529
marCo Faraone Director of Flavour Bar services
Pegu Club, New York
77 W Houston Street, New York, USA +1 212 473 7348
Colony Room, London Widder Bar, Zrich
The Matterhorn, Wellington106 Cuba Street, Wellington, New Zealand +64 4 384 3359
41 Dean Street, London, England +44 20 7437 9179 Rennweg 7, Zrich, Switzerland +41 44 224 24 11
Level 4, 252 George Street, Sydney, Australia +61 2 9240 3040
Dre masso Co-founder of Worldwide Cocktail Club roBBie BarGh Founder and Director of Gorgeous Group Xavier PaDovani hendricks Gin Global Brand ambassador anDy Gaunt Diageos reserve Brands Group
Dry Martini Bar, BarcelonaC/ Aribau 162, Barcelona, Spain +34 932 175 080
The Lonsdale, London
Black Pearl, Melbourne
48 Lonsdale Road, London, England +44 20 7727 4080
304 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy, Melbourne, Australia +61 3 9417 0455
12 Old Compton Street, Soho, London, England +44 20 7437 7820
Hussongs Cantina , EnsenadaAvenue Ruiz 113, Zona Centro, Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico (unlisted)
The American Bar @ The Savoy, LondonThe Savoy Hotel, The Strand, London, England +44 20 7836 4343
32 Featherstone Street, Shoreditch, London, England +61 20 7490 0121
20. Melbourne Supper Club, MelbourneUpstairs, 161 Spring Street, Melbourne, Australia Phone: +61 3 9654 6300Melbournes iconic late night wine room made last years Top 20 and its a pleasure to see it back again. Its one of the citys must-see venues with its comfy chesterfields, epic wine list and legendary toasted sandwiches. I have seen groups here of all varieties comments one judge, obnoxious brokers, timid geriatrics post-theatre, wobbly post-club muppets yet the staff treat it all as it comes, with a smile. The essence of Melbourne.
twenty.19. Bramble, Edinburgh16a Queen Street, Edinburgh, Scotland +44 131 226 6343Scotland, apart from Scotch, haggis and miserable weather now has something else to boast. Bramble has the honour of being the first Scottish bar in Bartender magazines Top 20. This relaxed Prohibition-styled cocktail bar is representative of a great bartending scene in Scotland. One judge says it has everything I love about a bar; a chilled, friendly crowd, great service, and great drinks. From the first school night outing where I popped in for one and rolled out, hammered, legless and happy, adds another judge, this has been the true north on my alcoholic compass. Cracking tunes and that bartenders bar vibe oh, to be sitting there now
nineteen.18. Trailer Happiness, London177 Portobello Road, Notting Hill, London, England +44 20 7727 2700With top notch service, skilled bartenders, a great rum collection, a mid-20th Century bachelor pad feel and a well thought out music selection, this is no ordinary Tiki bar. For a second year Trailer has made the Top 20. One judge credits the bar with the resurrection of Tiki culture in the UK. It has good roots the bar was opened by Jonathan Downey (match Bar group and milk & Honey London) and put together by Angus Winchester and Dale DeGroff. Its just so good! exclaims one judge. Superbly crafted drinks and service that makes you feel youre the blingest in the room.
1 7. M on tgomer y Place, London
31 Kensington Park Road, London, England +44 20 7792 3921A newcomer to the Top 20, this sophisticated cocktail lounge steers away from outlandish cocktail creations to take its clientele back to the golden age of cocktails. As we all know, however, service is key and Montgomery Place has made the Top 20 because it delivers. Ive never had a bad cocktail there. Just the way you want a cocktail bar to be: personal, gemuetlich (congenial), neighbourhood style, comments one judge. Another says the staff are one of the most committed and talented bartender teams in the world.
sixteen.15. Harrys New York Bar, Paris5 Rue Daunou, Paris, France +33 1 42 61 71 14Established in 1911, this is the oldest bar to make our Top 20. Few bars can lay claim to have been responsible for such great classics as the Sidecar, Bloody Mary, White Lady and Blue Lagoon. Harrys backs up its claims in the Harrys ABC of Mixing Cocktails, first published in 1919 and found in the hands of bartenders worldwide. Few bars have been as celebrated and loved by musicians, writers and artists as Harrys. Famous regulars have included the likes of Ernest Hemingway, Scott Fitzgerald and George Gershwin. To top it all off, Harrys is 97 years old and still going strong!
16. Star Bar Ginza, Tokyo1-5-13 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo, Japan +81 3 3535 8005
There has been much talk about the skill of Japanese bartenders, who have elevated classic mixology to an art form according to one judge. One judge explains that Star Bar describes in itself the essence of Japanese-style bartending. Another suggests the Japanese bartending tradition reaches its formal perfection here. Judges describe Star Bar as a smoky, dim den, lined with rare Scotches and Bourbons. Extraordinary training means the service is always formal and respectful, while entertaining. The cocktails are superb enthuses one judge.
13. The Experimental Cocktail Club, Paris37 Rue Saint Sauveur, Paris, FranceThe Experimental Cocktail Club in many ways is still in its infancy at a year old, but that doesnt mean it isnt at the top of its game. With an amazing atmosphere, this truly hidden gem has everything going for it, one judge says. Drinks are good and delivered in an impeccable manner. Another judge praises the team as; utterly devoted to their trade and forever in search of the perfect tipple... they are currently touring the globe seeking new locations for expansion. Watch this space...
14. Tommys Mexican Restaurant & Worlds Best Tequila Bar, San Francisco5929 Geary Boulevard, San Francisco, USA +1 415 387 4747Julio Bermejos bar is no stranger to fame. Opened by Julios parents in 1965, Tommys has seen over 40 years of hard work to get where it is today the worlds premier Tequila venue. This bar serves only the finest 100 per cent agave Tequilas. Judges laud the place and in particular its host: The most impressive selection of quality Tequila and the freshest Margaritas you will ever experience. Make sure you go when Julio Bermejo is working, says one. It is Julio Bermejo that makes this place world class. His giant heart and his selection of Tequilas make this without rival, adds another.
12. La Capilla, TequilaTequila, Jalisco, Mexico (unlisted)Definitely the most off the beaten track of our Top 20. (For us gringos, at least.) La Capilla is the town of Tequilas most famous bar and it is owned by Tequilas most famous bartender, 85 year old Don Javier (pictured). This is a true Mecca for those seeking the spirit of Tequila, explains one judge. Don