First of all, during this year’s digital presentation we all discovered that London's and Singapore’s positions as the “capitals” of the bar industry has been proved: these are the locations with higher award-winning bars, presented in the ranking.
As a consequence, the best bar of the world is located in… London and it’s Connaught Bar. The empire of classical chic, this bar has always been a point of attraction for those who drink with style and have a taste, know what they want and appreciate only the best. Connaught Bar is often described as “Excellence of the effortless routine” and Agostino Perrone, their director of mixology, confirms that this place is not only about the excellence and class, but also - a routine of feeling well with a good cocktail in your hand. A routine which you definitely like.
Their favorite libation? The Magnetum, a scotch and sherry mix. (Although you can’t go wrong with one of their signature martinis, which a white-gloved server prepares off a traveling trolley. Or anything with gin—the Connaught distills their own as well as many other digestives.) Here in Connaught it’s not only about the cocktails, but also about the whole experience, as in the best Michelin starred restaurant, but in this case - with impeccable cocktails and service in the cubist-inspired interiors.
Last year’s winner, a New York City bar, Dante, was awarded 2nd place in this edition, and was given the title of Best Bar in America. Known and appreciated for their negronis, spritzes, and many other more classical cocktails, they’ve become a true point of reference in the Big Apple for the “American Aperitif” (yes, not Italian one as their concept is a bit diverse) and set this trend for whole the country of the United States. This summer, they opened a second outpost in West Village as well.
Wondering about the top five names? The Clumsies in Athens, Atlas in Singapore ( critics and experts call it the most ambitious gin bar of the world), Tayēr + Elementary and Kwānt in London (as the best new opening of the year).
New entries on the list? First of all, between “fresh” faces and places comes Tayēr + Elementary. Then, there are also Two Schmucks from Barcelona; Cantina OK! from Sydney; Panda & Sons located in Edinburgh; The Bamboo Bar from Bangkok; Bar Trigona in Kuala Lumpur; Drink Kong from Rome; Room by Le Kief from Taipei; Alquímico from Cartagena; Charles H in Seoul; No Sleep Club from Singapore; AHA Saloon in Taipei; Vesper in Bangkok; Tippling Club from Singapore; Galaxy bar in Dubai; Cafe La Trova in Miami; Baltra Bar in Mexico City; The Everleigh in Melbourne; Pacific Cocktail Haven from San Francisco; Cause Effect Cocktail Kitchen from Cape Town; Rabbit Hole in Bangkok; Byrdi in Melbourne; Bar Mood from Taipei; Kumiko from Chicago; The Wise King in Hong Kong; Above Board in Melbourne; Tres Monos from Buenos Aires; Freni e Frizioni from Rome; Art of Duplicity from Cape Town; Death & Co from New York; Officina Milano in Milan; Sidecar from New Delhi; Gibson in Singapore; Draft Land from Taipei; Gen Yamamoto in Tokyo and Bar Raval from Toronto.
In addition, there are some re-entries on the list as these bars have managed to climb up in the positions and to appear again in ranking. Obviously, there are less names as coming back to the list and in competition is much tougher than to appear there for the first time: double efforts are needed in order to convince the judges that you deserve to be on the list again. But between those who managed to do it are such kinds of names as Zuma from Dubai, Buck & Breck from Berlin; Bulletin Place in Sydney; Bar Benfiddich in Tokyo.
Like this, in the 2020 edition of World’s 50 Best Bars ranking there are so many new names and places, ideas and inspiration, regardless of the world’s uncertain situation and there is the reason why. The ranking wants to give us all the hope that the better days will come and we all travel again, discovering the best bar spots of the globe.
The author Aline Borghese is an international journalist and critic of haute cuisine.
She is a graduate of the culinary schools of the Ritz Escoffier, Ecole de cuisine Alain Ducasse, La Cucina Italiana. Champagne and wine sommelier, cocktail enthusiast, gastronomic consultant and simply Bohémienne Affamée.