April 20, 2024

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For the first time in its 14-year history, The World’s 50 Best Bars gala left London. And for the first time, a bar outside the British capital and New York, historical capitals of cocktails, has taken first place. This event, which has been gaining relevance in recent years, landed on Tuesday night in Barcelona, ​​where, according to this entity with more than 650 members with the right to vote, this 2022 is the best bar in the world. It is a place located at the back of a so-called pastrami bar, which is accessed by something similar to a fridge. It’s called Paradiso and it’s a cocktail bar that opened seven years ago in the Born neighborhood. Take over at the top of this prestigious list from London bar The Connaught, a fantasy of 20th-century classicism in the heart of Mayfair, one of the wealthiest and most historic neighborhoods in London. Barcelona has placed another 2 venues among the top 10 on the planet: Sips, in third place (climbing 34 places in the ranking), and Two Schmucks, in seventh. Madrid contributes the other Spanish entry on the list, placing Salmon Guru as the 15th best bar in the world.

Around nine o’clock at night, in the dome of the old bullring of the Arenas, the countdown began from the place placed in position 50, the Bulgari Bar in Dubai. The days prior to the event, the bars that have occupied positions from 51 to 100 were revealed. Five new cities and the strong entry of Africa heralded a more global and less Anglo-Saxon approach to this year’s ranking.

This was later confirmed not only with the consecration of the city of Barcelona, ​​but also with the rise of enclaves such as Mexico City. Limantour Liquor Store, in fourth place, became the best bar in North America. Argentina’s Buenos Aires placed three stores, including the already legendary Florería Atlántico, and Lima (Peru) and Cartagena (Colombia), one each city. It was with the appearances at the gala of the managers in charge of these Latin American establishments when the most noise was noticed in the enormous space in which the act took place. The world of the bar, so traditionally Anglo-Saxon, is already global.

The 2022 list includes venues from 26 cities with 14 new entries (in cities such as Florence, Naples or Lisbon) spread between Athens, Bangkok, Buenos Aires, Chicago, Dubai, Hong Kong, London and New York.

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“There were 3 of us, and now we are 40. But the passion is the same”, this is how Margarita Sader, owner of Paradiso together with her husband, Giacomo Giannotti, summed up the journey lived by this local from Barcelona. “The secret is passion and patience,” she finished off during the press conference after the event. “Paradiso offers a truly masterful take on the speakeasy, combining technique, precision and creativity with an unwavering sense of fun. In stark contrast to the understated exterior, the stately front bar welcomes patrons into a surprisingly playful space, complete with dramatic crystal chandeliers and a Gaudí-inspired bentwood ceiling. At the bar, a myriad of cocktails meticulously prepared and served in extravagant glasses are the protagonists”, the jury highlights the premises. In the 2017 edition it was already named as the bar to take into account, just one year after its opening.

Despite the fact that rumors already suggested that a bar not located in London or New York could win for the first time, the fact caught the Anglo-Saxon press on the wrong foot, which went much further with those responsible for Jigger & Pony, located in Singapore, the Asian country that once again led that continent in The World’s 50 Best Bars list. “People keep asking for the usual liquors, whiskey and gin, above all,” they responded to the innocuous question, only to immediately lose a huge opportunity to promote bar tourism. Could anyone visit the island for its mixology scene, in the same way that in other parts of the world one travels mainly attracted by its gastronomy? “Well, in Singapore the weather is good all year long,” they would reply.

In addition to unveiling the list of the 50 best bars, the evening served to honor Agostino Perrone, veteran director of mixology at The Connaught in London, and also to award the Little Red Door bar in Paris with an award for sustainability. The philosophy of the restaurant’s director, Alex Francis, advocates local consumption and working directly with local producers. If in the tourist aspect, the bar is still very far from the restaurant, in the field of sustainability, it seems that both negotiations do go hand in hand.

The Connaught, bar in the Mayfair neighborhood (London).
The Connaught, bar in the Mayfair neighborhood (London). JAMIE MCGREGOR SMITH

The best bars in the world, from 1 to 50

  1. Paradise, Barcelona (Spain)
  2. Tayēr + Elementary, London (UK)
  3. Sips, Barcelona (Spain)
  4. Limantour Liquor Store, Mexico City, Mexico—Rémy Martin Legend of the List Award, an award given to the bar that has had the most consistent performance on the list since its inception and can only be won once—
  5. Little Red Door, Paris (France)
  6. Double Chicken Please, New York (USA) —disaronno Highest New Entry award, entering the list for the first time, and in the top positions—
  7. Two Schmucks, Barcelona (Spain)
  8. Connaught Bar, London (UK)
  9. Katana Kitten, New York (USA)
  10. Alchemist, Cartagena (Colombia)
  11. Handshake Speakeasy, Mexico City (Mexico)
  12. Jigger & Pony, Singapore
  13. Hanky ​​Panky, Mexico City (Mexico)
  14. BKK Social Club, Bangkok (Thailand)
  15. Salmon Guru, Madrid (Spain)
  16. Drink Kong, Rome (Italy)
  17. COA, Hong Kong
  18. Florist Atlántico, Buenos Aires (Argentina)
  19. The Clumsies, Athens (Greece)
  20. Baba au Rum, Athens (Greece)
  21. Café La Trova, Miami (USA)
  22. Attaboy, New York (USA)
  23. Satan’s Whiskers, London (UK)
  24. Tropic City, Bangkok (Thailand)
  25. Kumiko, Chicago (USA)
  26. Sidecar, New Delhi (India)
  27. Three Monkeys, Buenos Aires (Argentina)
  28. Argo, Hong Kong
  29. Maybe Sammy, Sydney (Australia)
  30. Swift, London (UK)
  31. Line, Athens (Greece)
  32. Baltra Bar, Mexico City (Mexico)
  33. Manhattan, Singapore
  34. Overstory, New York (USA)
  35. 1930, Milan (Italy)
  36. Dante, New York (USA)
  37. A Bar with Shapes for a Name, London (UK)
  38. Zuma, Dubai (UAE)
  39. Locale Firenze, Florence (Italy)
  40. Red Frog, Lisbon (Portugal)
  41. Cantina OK!, Sydney (Australia)
  42. CoChinChina, Buenos Aires (Argentina)
  43. Himkok, Oslo (Norway)
  44. Carnival, Lima (Peru)
  45. Galaxy Bar, Dubai (UAE)
  46. L’Antiquario, Naples (Italy)
  47. Employees Only, New York (USA)
  48. Bar Benfiddich, Tokyo (Japan)
  49. Lucy’s Flower Shop, Stockholm (Sweden)
  50. Bulgari Bar, Dubai (UAE)

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