The World’s 50 Best Bars 2021 List Is Revealed

The 13th list of The World’s 50 Best Bars, sponsored by Perrier, was announced at  a live awards ceremony on Tuesday 7th December 2021 in London, UK. After extensive consultation  with  industry  figures,  its  Academy  Chairs,  bartenders,  bar  owners  and  its  partners,  the  50  Best  organisation received overwhelming feedback that the awards should go ahead and be celebrated in  person this year following a virtual announcement in 2020 due to the pandemic. The awards recognise  the  hard  work  from  the  entire  bar  sector  over  the  past  year  and  aim  to  inspire  and  encourage  hospitality venues in the next crucial stage of recovery.

The 2021 edition of the annual ranking features bars from 17 countries and sees London’s Connaught Bar take the No.1 spot, picking up The World’s Best Bar and The Best Bar in Europe titles.  Under the masterful leadership of Agostino Perrone, the venue’s Director of Mixology, Connaught Bar  stays  true  to  its  principles  of  presenting  artful,  modern  drinks  with  graceful  service  in  an  elegant  setting.  Designed  by  the  late  David  Collins,  the  Cubist-inspired  bar  is  known  for  its  unique  Martini trolley, where bartenders give a personalised drinks experience to guests. Perrone has developed a  strong  and  dedicated  leadership  team  including  Head  Mixologist  Giorgio  Bargiani  and  Bar  Manager  Maura Milia, who embody hospitality and drinks craft, as well as providing inspiration to a talented  ensemble of junior bartenders who aspire to follow in their footsteps.  

Mark Sansom, Content Editor for The World’s 50 Best Bars, says: “Connaught Bar, we salute you – to  be named The World’s Best Bar for two consecutive years is a feat that previously only two bars have  achieved  in  the awards’  13-year  history.  It’s a testament to Ago Perrone  and  his  team’s continued pursuit  of  excellence,  which  is  encapsulated  in  the  way  they  have  developed  and  modernised  the Martini cocktail. We also want to send all the venues on the 2021 list of The World’s 50 Best Bars huge  congratulations. It’s been another  incredibly  tough year for hospitality and the industry’s resilience  and togetherness through these challenges is humbling. We hope that the positive stories around the  bars’ success in the awards will help to drive vital business in the weeks and months to come.” 

Elisa Gregori, Perrier International Business Unit Director, says: “On behalf of Perrier –  and  as  the  leading partner of The World’s 50 Best Bars since 2014 – we feel proud of the strong collaboration and  solidarity  we  share  with  the  international  bar  community.  Similar  to  last  year,  we  are  particularly  proud to show our appreciation to all the bars that have made the list during these ongoing hard and  uncertain times. Even though the pandemic continues to impact the hospitality industry, in the past  months the industry has shown incredible resilience and has learned to adapt to local constraints. We  look forward to overcoming these turbulent times and we will always remain with you to ensure the  international bar community will become stronger than ever.”

London stays on top but Spain leads Europe 

London  takes the  top  two spots  with  Connaught  Bar placing  at  No.1  and  receiving  The  Best  Bar in  Europe for the second year in a row, with Tayēr + Elementary at No.2. The city’s third bar in the list is  Kwānt at No.31. Spain leads Europe with four bars on the list, with Barcelona’s Paradiso claiming No.3  position, followed by Two Schmucks, which climbed 15 places to No.11. Salmon Guru, Madrid, is at  No.24  and  is  the  winner  of  Michter’s Art of Hospitality  Award.  Sips,  Barcelona,  is  a  new  entry  for  Spain at No.37. 

Greece  claims  two  spots  on  the  list  with  Athens  bars  The  Clumsies  and  Baba  au  Rum  at  No.4  and  No.14 respectively. Italy has three bars on the list as Milan’s new entry Camparino in Galleria at No.27  joins fellow Milanese bar 1930 (No.20) and Rome’s Drink Kong (No.19).

Sweden and Russia also have two bars each on the list, with Stockholm’s Tjoget at No.40 and Lucy’s  Flower Shop coming in as a new entry at No.35. St Petersburg’s El Copitas has climbed 19 positions to  No.8, and new entry Insider Bar, Moscow, is at No.13, winning the London Essence Best New Opening  in the process. France’s Little Red Door in Paris again claims a spot on the list at No.29. 

Mexico takes North America by storm 

Mexico City’s Licorería Limantour is The Best Bar in North America, sponsored by Naked Malt, at No.6  on the list, and is joined by three other new entries from Mexico City: Hanky Panky at No.12, which is  also the  Disaronno Highest New Entry for 2021; Handshake Speakeasy at No.25; and Baltra Bar  at  No.38.  

New  York  boasts  three  bars  on  the  global  ranking  with  Katana  Kitten  climbing  six  spots  to  No.10,  Dante at No.30 and Attaboy at No.34, the latter also clinching the Rémy Martin Legend of The List  for its continued success in the ranking. Miami re-joins the line-up this year with Café La Trova, a new  entry at No.28. 

Florería Atlántico, Buenos Aires, is The Best Bar in South America, sponsored by Tia Maria, and claims  the No.5 spot.  Also representing Buenos Aires  is  Presidente at No.21, which also collects the  Nikka  Highest Climber after rising 29 places this year, and Tres Monos, a new entry at No.33. 

Singapore leads the world and India returns 

For the first time since 2010, an Indian bar returns to the ranking with Sidecar, New Delhi coming in at No.47. 
Hong Kong’s Coa  has  climbed  to  No.7  and  is  The  Best  Bar  in  Asia,  sponsored  by  Torres  Brandy. However, Singapore has the most Asian representatives and more than any city in the world, with six bars  on  the  list.  Jigger  &  Pony  is  at  No.9,  Manhattan  at  No.15  and  Atlas  at  No.16.  There  are two Singaporean  new  entries  with  No  Sleep  Club  at  No.26  and  MO  Bar  at  No.36,  and  Tippling  Club, Singapore is a re-entry at No.43. 

Hong Kong is represented by three bars this year, with Darkside a new entry at No.49 and Quinary re-entering the ranking at No.50, alongside the award-winning Coa. In Mainland China, Shanghai’s Sober Company is at No.39, while Epic and Union Trading Company are both new entries at No.41 and No.48 respectively.

Japan claims two spots with Tokyo bars SG Club at No.18 and Bar Benfiddich at No.32, while South  Korea’s Seoul bar Charles H climbs seven places to No.42. 

Australia stays strong and the Middle East makes a splash 

Sydney has three bars on the list, with Maybe Sammy at No.22 picking up the title for The Best Bar in  Australasia, sponsored by Asahi Super Dry. Cantina OK! is at No.23 and there is a new entry in Re at  No.46,  which  also  collects  the  Ketel  One  Sustainable  Bar  Award  after an audit by 50 Best’s  sustainability  partner,  Food  Made  Good  Global.  Another  new  entry  for  Australia  is  Above  Board,  Melbourne, at No.44. 

From  the  UAE, Dubai’s Zuma  is  once  again  crowned  The  Best  Bar  in  the  Middle  East  and  Africa, sponsored by BelliNo, and is ranked No.17. Dubai also has a new entry this year with Galaxy Bar at No.45, which completes ascension to the list after being named Campari One To Watch last year.  

Special Awards 

To kick off the ceremony Thunderbolt, Los Angeles, was named the winner of Campari One To Watch, which is given to a bar outside the main list that the 50 Best team believes has the ability to break into the ranking in future editions.  
Cardiff’s Lab 22 is the inaugural winner of the Siete Misterios Best Cocktail Menu. Any bar in the world was eligible to enter this award, which is graded by 50 Best’s panel of 28 global Academy Chairs. 

French-born Remy Savage is named the Roku Industry Icon. For this award all 600 members of the voting Academy are asked to name the person who has done more for the progress of the bar industry than  any  other  individual.  Savage  is  well  regarded  among  drinks  connoisseurs  for  his  extensive cocktails  and  spirits  knowledge.  He  is  world-renowned  for  his  craft,  creativity  and  unique  way  of approaching the bar experience. 

Hanky Panky in Mexico City secures the Disaronno Highest New Entry, as the bar which enters the list in the highest position at No.12. With a team led by Bar Manager Roberto Ponce and comprising leading  bartenders  in  Mexico  City,  Hanky  Panky  provides  a  curated  international  experience,  with influences from all over the world.   

Moscow’s Insider Bar wins London Essence Best New Opening at No.13, as the bar which enters the list in the highest position of any that have opened during the voting period. Founded by Galaktion and Elina Tabidze, the Insider Bar and Lab were inspired by the bars of London, Paris and New York. 

The bar itself operates within the guest space, as well as the Insider Lab, which is a first for Russia.  Presidente in Buenos Aires claims the Nikka Highest Climber title, having risen 29 spots from No.50 in 2020 to No.21 on The World’s 50 Best Bars 2021 list. Located in a stunning period building in the cosmopolitan streets of the Recoleta neighbourhood, Presidente is the glamour-spot cocktail bar of Buenos Aires – but one that matches its style with substance.  

Attaboy, New York, is named Rémy Martin Legend of The List, an award which is given to a bar that has performed most consistently in the list since its inception and can only be won once.  Attaboy is an everyman cocktail bar from Sam Ross and Michael McIlroy, which is now run by Haley Traub on the site of New York’s legendary Milk & Honey.  

Re, Sydney, secures the  Ketel  One Sustainable Bar Award.  Opened in early 2021 by UK expat Matt Whiley,  Re  provides  a  sustainable  drinking  experience  where  every  part of  the bar  is  influenced by reducing waste and creating a closed-loop service.  

Other special award winners announced in the run-up to the event on 7th December include Salmon Guru, Madrid, which was named the winner of the Michter’s Art of Hospitality Award and Lynnette Marrero of Llama Inn, New York, winner of the Altos Bartenders’ Bartender Award.  

The Voting Process 

For 2021, The World’s 50 Best Bars made a variety of changes to adapt to the impacts the pandemic  has had on bars around the world. Due to limited travel opportunities throughout much of 2020 and  2021, the voting guidelines and voting requirements were re-evaluated to reflect this. The list is based  on members of The World’s 50 Best Bars Academy’s bar experiences across a voting period between  March 2020 to September 2021 inclusive. For this year there was no requirement for The World's 50 Best Bars Academy to cast international votes, although if members had been fortunate enough to travel internationally, they were encouraged to allow these experiences to inform their voting choices, and  they  were  asked  to  vote  for  7  bars  in  order  of  preference.  Voting  remained  anonymous  and secure, and the voting process and results are independently adjudicated by Deloitte.