The world’s best bars have officially been announced in Singapore, with Barcelona’s Sips laying claim to the crown in 2023. This year was the first time the acclaimed awards have been held in Asia and what better place to host the Oscars of the hospitality and drinks industry than one of the epicentres of mixology?
Singapore has long held the reputation of Asia’s cocktail capital, boasting a vibrant and innovative cocktail scene, with between five and six bars making it into the Top 50 list year after year. This year Man of Many was lucky enough to attend The World’s 50 Best Bars awards ceremony, held at Singapore’s Pasir Panjang Power Station, which, as the name suggests, was a decommissioned power station that’s been transformed into a stunning entertainment space.
Table of contents
- The World’s Top 5 Best Bars for 2023
- The World’s 50 Best Bars 2023 – Full List
- What is The World’s 50 Best Bar Awards?
- Australia’s Best Bar for 2023
- Barcelona’s Back-to-Back Win
- 51-100: The best of the rest
- How the 50 Best Bars are Judged
The World’s Top 5 Best Bars for 2023
Thousands of industry guests and hopeful bartenders from all around the globe flocked inside the former turbine hall of the power station, fitted with neon-lit drink stalls, setting the scene of a buzzing street market. While the invitation suggested a cocktail dress code, you can certainly trust bartenders to rock up in the most creative and stylish cocktail fits possible.
1. Sips, Barcelona
- Address: C/ de Muntaner, 108, 08036 Barcelona, Spain
- Average price per cocktail: $14
- Open: Evening Tue – Sat
The world’s best bar for 2023 is Sips, the Barcelona cocktail station that has steadily amassed a cult-like following. After finishing third in last year’s ranking, founders Simone Caporale and Marc Alvarez returned to the drawing board, meticulously crafting a new menu and concept that played off the unique setting.
For example, the Heliodora makes use of a vintage Mexican hand-turned machine to deliver grapefruit ‘shaved ice’ as a base, before a gargantuan pipette drops sherry into the glass and finished with rum and lime. On the food side of things, Sips dabbles in high-end flavours, with a Michelin-grade pastry chef dropping off creations at the Sips door every Monday morning.
The win caps off an incredible rise for Sips, which debuted in 2021 in the 37th place before jumping 34 spots into the top three. Boasting a world-class team of bartenders and mixologists serving up a series of unique creations, it’s little wonder Sips has been named the best bar in the world for 2023.
2. Double Chicken Please, New York City
- Address: 115 Allen St, New York, NY 1000, USA
- Average price per cocktail: $15
- Open: Evening Tue – Sun
After taking the title of the best bar in North America, Double Chicken Please was certain to feature prominently in this year’s ranking, and the New York speakeasy didn’t disappoint. A dichotomy of drinks and design, the Allen Street venue is split into two parts. The first is a relaxed, albeit upscale tribute to the Lower East Side neighbourhood’s soda shops found in the initial entrance room. Here, co-founders CN Chan and Faye Chen have Asian-inspired cocktails spurting from antique brass tap systems by the gallon, with the warm setting providing the perfect respite from New York’s harsh concrete jungle.
In the back, a room dubbed The Coop, Double Chicken Please dials up the luxury with a more refined design language. In this section, you’ll find elevated takes on American classics, not to mention some seriously decadent bar snacks.
3. Handshake Speakeasy, Mexico City
- Address: C. Amberes 65, Juárez, Cuauhtémoc, 06600 Mexico City, Mexico
- Average price per cocktail: $14
- Open: Evening Mon – Sun
If you plan on visiting Handshake Speakeasy, you better give yourself some time. True to its name, the Mexico City bar is notoriously difficult to find, but once you make your way through the hefty doors and into the elegant open-plan sitting area, you’ll be treated to a magnificent show.
Bar director Eric van Beek is the man behind the unique cocktail menu, which includes Matcha Yuzu highballs and an assortment of rare spirits, the age of which perfectly matches the mid-century aesthetic. If you love marble, brass and a secret entrance, Handshake Speakeasy is the bar for you.
4. Paradiso, Barcelona
- Address: Carrer de Rera Palau, 4, 08003 Barcelona, Spain
- Average price per cocktail: $10
- Open: Evening Mon – Sun
Last year’s winner for Bst Bar in the World, Paradiso fell to fourth, but the Barcelona stalwart is still among our top picks. Hidden behind an antique refrigerator in the back of an unassuming pastrami shop in Barcelona’s trendy El Born district, you’ll find Paradiso. The quaint little speakeasy is a masterful blend of technique, precision and creativity that arrives with an “unwavering sense of fun”, despite its understated exterior. As soon as you walk through the unassuming entrance, you’re greeted by a majestic front bar that opens to a playful space littered with dramatic glass light fittings and a Gaudi-inspired curved-wood ceiling.
On the menu, Paradiso doesn’t disappoint either. The academy was impressed by the myriad of meticulously crafted cocktails served in outlandish vessels, such as the Supercool Martini which uses ‘supercooled’ gin to build an iceberg in the glass before tailoring the final product tableside for a uniquely personal guest experience. Better still, owners Giacomo Giannotti and Margarita Sader take a uniquely sustainable approach to hospitality, crafting coasters and bar tools from single-use waste and even hosting a Paradiso Sustainability Summit.
“The fact that this is the first time we have crowned a bar outside New York or London as The World’s Best Bar is a testament to the huge achievements of Giacomo, Margarita and their team,” Sansom said back in 2022. “Since being named One To Watch in 2017 a year after opening, Paradiso has been a firm fixture of the 50 Best list, enhancing its ranking year after year.”
5. Connaught Bar, London
- Address: Connaught, Carlos Pl, London W1K 2A, UK
- Average price per cocktail: $20
- Open: All day Mon – Sun
Rarely has a bar so effortlessly captured London luxury than in the case of the Connaught Bar. A staple in the British hospitality scene, the David Collins-designed venue oozes old-world charm, replete with stunning marble and leather accents throughout. Bar leaders Agostino Perrone, Maura Milia and Giorgio Bargiani have crafted an intimate yet elevated cocktail venue that fuses traditional styling with modern mixology.
Even the classic Dry martini, for which Connaught Bar is renowned, has taken on new life. For this cocktail, the team stirs down the bar’s own licor in a bespoke mixing glass, before making it to measure with a choice of homemade bitters designed by Perrone himself. It doesn’t get more classy than that.
The World’s 50 Best Bars 2023 – Full List
|Double Chicken Please
|Little Red Door
|Tayēr + Elementary
|BKK Social Club
|Jigger & Pony
|Mahaniyom Cocktail Bar
|Café La Trova
|Baba au Rum
|Freni e Frizioni
|A Bar with Shapes for a Name
|The SG Club
|The Cambridge Public House
|Panda & Sons
|Jewel of the South
What is The World’s 50 Best Bar Awards?
Now in its 15th annual edition, 2023’s event marks an important milestone for the awards as it continues to recognise the achievements of the past year and celebrate the outstanding accomplishments of the global bar community. Traditionally held in Europe, this is the first time the prestigious awards have been held outside of the continent.
Speaking to Oliver Chong, Executive Director of Singapore Tourism Board Oceania, during the event, he revealed that he absolutely knew that the opportunity to host the 50 Best Bars in Singapore was a no-brainer, labelling it a “landmark moment” for the country. Not only has it brought in cocktail enthusiasts and experts from all around the world in one place, but it’s also placed a well-deserved spotlight on Singapore’s burgeoning bar scene and stamped them as the leaders of bar culture in the region.
It was a sentiment shared by William Drew, director of content at 50 Best, who confirmed that the event’s goal was to shine a light on an even greater cross-section of the most exceptional destinations for cocktail lovers.
“Now, in its seventh year, we are delighted to recognise the remarkable hospitality experiences offered by these establishments across 34 incredible cities,” Drew told us. “As we once again take to the road, leaving Europe for the first time in our history to celebrate the greatest cocktail bars in the world in the iconic city of Singapore, we extend our warmest congratulations to each and every one of the superb teams whose bars have been named on the list.”
Australia’s Best Bar for 2023
While Barcelona, New York, and Mexico continued to firm their place as the world’s premier cocktail destinations, there were a few other cities that managed to make a splash this year. The 2023 edition saw a number of new entrants make the list of the world’s best bars, with two Aussie institutions breaking through.
The best bar in Australia didn’t make the top 10, with our best-placed finish, Sydney’s Maybe Sammy clocking in at number 15, up from 29 in 2022. The beloved Sydney venue also was named the highest-ranking bar in the region, claiming the title of The Best Bar in Australasia.
Melbourne’s Caretaker’s Cottage nabbed a spot in the Top 50 for the first time this year, sitting at 23rd place. We ran into Maybe Group bartender Giorgio Gervasoniat at the awards after-party and he said it “feels amazing” to be recognised as Australia’s best bar. “It’s great to be here, I’m just so grateful. It’s been a crazy few days and I’m just so happy to be here. We’ve been pushing so hard last year, I feel like anything we could’ve done, we did. So I’m very proud of the team, very proud of myself.”
London retains its place as one of the world’s cocktail capitals with five bars on the list, more than any other city, including two in the top 10: Connaught Bar, rising three places to No.5, and Tayēr + Elementary at No.8. They are joined by East London neighbours Satan’s Whiskers at No.28 and A Bar with Shapes for a Name at No.35, with Scarfes Bar coming in at No.41. Edinburgh’s Panda & Sons also returns to the list at No.39. Here is a list of the 50 best bars in the world for 2022.
Barcelona’s Back-to-Back Win
Innovative and technique-led cocktail bar, Sips, in Barcelona is run by two titans of the global bar scene. Marc Alvarez and Simone Caporale took to the stage to claim their trophy, making Caporale the only bartender to have won The World’s 50 Best Bars five times, following wins at Artesian from 2012-2015. According to the World’s Best 50 Bars, Sips is a place “to leave all expectations at the door”, with cocktails like the Primordial – a blend of 12-year-old Scotch, Ruby Port and Pera Nashi – served to visitors in a metal cast of two hands, rather than a glass.
“It is a result of hard work. Sips is only 2.5 years young but Mark and I been dreaming about doing something for the last 5 years. The nature of this business is nothing happens this quick. But the innovation and ideas have double the time.“ Caporale says, moments after his incredible win.
The drinkery beat out fellow Barcelona bar, Paradiso, who was crowned the World’s Best Bar in 2022, but placed fourth in this year’s rankings.
51-100: The best of the rest
|28 HongKong Street
|Nutmeg & Clove
|El Gallo Altanero
|Hope & Sesame
|La Sala de Laura
|Kaito del Valle
|Camparino in Galleria
|Sin + Tax
|Lost & Found
|The Bar in Front of the Bar
How the 50 Best Bars are Judged
An annual rundown of the globe’s top bars, the World’s 50 Best Awards are collated through the combined experiences of 650 drinks experts with 50/50 gender parity, including renowned bartenders and consultants, drinks writers and cocktail specialists from around the world. The globally recognised ranking takes into account a number of factors, however, much like the 50 Best Restaurants list, there is no pre-determined checklist of criteria.
According to the official rating guidelines, the academy of voters is spread across 28 global geographic regions, each of which is headed by an Academy Chair who selects their region’s voters. Each voter casts seven votes based on their best bar experiences of the previous 18 months, although if they have been unable to travel, they are welcome to provide five votes from their home country or SAR.
The Voting Rules
In the interest of complete impartiality, the World’s 50 Best Bars list and awards are organised and compiled by Deloitte, with none of the employees of the organiser, or of any of the sponsors associated with the awards, allowed to partake in the voting academy. The academy is made up of drinks writers and critics, mixologists, restauranteurs and foodies, with each given 7 votes to hand out. The votes are completely confidential and remain anonymous throughout the process.
Disclaimer: The author of this article, John Guanzon was invited to attend the World’s 50 Best Bars in Singapore as a guest of the Singapore Tourism Board for the purposes of this review.
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