The World's Best Bars

Each year we like to do a quick rundown of the Best Bars in the World—accolades bestowed by the website TheWorld' It's always interesting to see, not only where these bars are located, but also what they are serving.
Because bars are so integral to what we do, we also like to take an opportunity to celebrate their important role in the beverage industry and to highlight (and salute) what are considered to be some of the best bars in business these days.

A quick survey of the 50 bars included on the Best List also provides a glimpse of which cities are on the front lines of cocktail innovation. This year, New York City is overshadowed by London and Barcelona. NYC has 3 bars on the list, but London has a total of 5 bars in the Top 50 (2 in the Top 10) and Barcelona has 2 bars in the Top 5. Mexico City makes a nice showing with 4 bars, and Buenos Aires rivals the Big Apple with a total of 3. Conspicuously absent from the list? That would be Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Diego. As a SoCal company, we collectively hang our heads in shame for that one.

Of particular note is #10 on the list: Himkok in Oslo, Norway. It seems they have captured the world's attention by using aquavit in a myriad of exciting and novel ways. Called "Norway’s Most Experimental Bar" by Punch magazine, the sustainable-focused bar has made it their mission to bring the flavors of Norway to the high-concept culinary and cocktail scene.

Here's a quick roundup of the Top 10 Best Bars on the list:

1. Sips (Barcelona)
Also named Best Bar in Europe, Sips has been lauded for its serious dedication to cocktail creativity. The Primordial is a blend of 12-year Scotch, Ruby Port, and pera nashi (Asian pear) that's served in a metal cast of two cupped hands instead of a traditional glass. Their Daiquiri Heliodora is produced by hand-cranked machine that delivers grapefruit shaved ice that's flavored with sherry, rum, and lime.
2. Double Chicken Please (New York City)
In addition to being ranked #2 on Best Bars in the World, Double Chicken Please also snagged the highly coveted Best Bar in North America designation. Their cocktail menu is named by numbers, with #4 (Shochu, lemongrass, gentian, plum green tea) and #7 (gin, seaweed, kaffir lime, elderflower) as creative standouts.
3. Handshake Speakeasy (Mexico City)
The bar director at Handshake is a big fan of molecular mixology who loves to create cocktails that appear classic but reveal unexpected flavors, aromas, and textures. His Matcha Yuzu cocktail resembles a highball, but the first sip delivers a surprisingly enticing blend of whiskey, matcha, yuzu, vanilla, and whey.
4. Paradiso (Barcelona)
Voted Best Bar in the World in 2022, Paradiso remains in the top echelon of great cocktail establishments. Impeccable design and some fun, novel touches (patrons enter through a pastrami shop refrigerator) make Paradiso truly unique. Also cutting edge are the cocktails themselves; Their drink called On Fire is one of their entries in a series called Evolution of Humankind. It's a milk punch featuring bourbon, oloroso sherry, tahini, sweet potato, and smoked milk that employs a laser that creates a flame, which in turn smokes the Jerez sherry.
5. Connaught Bar (London)
The city of London has a long tradition of hosting great bars in great hotels, and Connaught is now part of that tradition. Focusing on elevated cocktails and elegant hospitality, Connaught features lux serving vessels and beautifully designed decor to deliver its innovative menu. One standout drink, called Icebreaker, is a blend of rum, pisco, sherry, peanut butter, fermented banana, verjus, and bitters.
6. Little Red Door (Paris)
This bar is all about sustainable bar practices and farm-to-glass cocktails. Farmers and producers are given center stage here, and the cocktails–Melon, Apple, Holy Basil and Olive–are meant to highlight simple, straightforward ingredients. 
7. Licoreria Limatour (Mexico City)
Widely credited for igniting the contemporary cocktail scene in Mexico City when it opened in 2011, Licoreria Limatour is still a major force in the city's beverage identity. Famous for their Fluffy Paloma (aerated citrus) and Margarita Al Pastor (a blend of pineapple, lime, tequila, and serrano-infused agave that mimics the flavors of a street taco), this bar also utilizes native Oaxacan ingredients in many of its offerings.
8. Tayer + Elementary (London)
This bar made the list for its innovation and unique preparation techniques, which continue to influence the younger generation of bartenders in the U.K. They feature somewhat classic cocktails, such as a martini, but utilize seasonal and lesser-known ingredients to make them exceptional.
9. Alquimico (Cartagena)
The folks at 50 Best Bars characterize this Colombian jewel as a bar with a "highly progressive cocktail list that showcases Colombia's biodiversity." Situated in a renovated Colonial mansion in the capital city, Alquimico calls itself a farm-to-bar concept that casts the spotlight on many regional and native ingredients, local distillers and indigenous spirits, and unique mixers, such as pine extract and numerous citrus cordial varieties.
10. Himkok (Oslo)
Here's our choice for Best Bar in the World. Why? They produce and feature their own housemade aquavit. In fact, Himkok means "homecooked" and also "moonshine," and so nearly everything at this bar is made on site. They even make and cut their own ice. They have aquavit on tap, with barrels of aquavit maturing at the bar. And their cocktail menu, which features aquavit more than most other bars, also incorporates local ingredients such as cloudberries, sea buckthorn, and birch sap. Himkok has also garnered a reputation for cutting edge aquavit creations, such as cocktails infused with a Norwegian brown cheese simple syrup and one with truffle seaweed.
We'll do our rundown of the Top 50 Best Bars in North America in an upcoming newsletter. Meanwhile, if you plan to be in any of the cities listed here, make sure you leave an evening open for a visit to one of these incredible establishments.