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Why you should head to London for a drink

According to the World’s Best Bars list, the city took the top two spots  on the list this year.

The best bars list is compiled from the votes of 600 participants around the world, including drinks writers, bartenders, and cocktail aficionados
The best bars list is compiled from the votes of 600 participants around the world, including drinks writers, bartenders, and cocktail aficionados (Unsplash (Representational Image))

For the second year in a row, the best saloon on the planet is the one at the Connaught Hotel, according to the World's 50 Best Bars list, compiled by William Reed Business Media. The London bar is renowned for its high-styled drinks, like the signature martini, served on a black lacquer trolly with engraved crystal glasses.

It's an excellent year to drink in London: the second on the World's Best list is Tayēr Elementary, the two-part bar which offers a space for casual cocktails on tap, as well as an experimental bar for ambitious drinkers. 

Glasses are also clinking in Mexico City—the members-only boîte Hanky Panky scored the highest-ranking new entry, coming in at No. 12 while the city's buzzy Licorería Limantour is No. 6.

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Singapore has the most entries in the top 50—six, including the No. 9 ranked Jigger & Pony. 

New York City did not fare as well. The highest-ranking entry was the engaging Katana Kitten, specialising in high balls; it came in at No. 10. Dante, No. 2 last year and the World's best bar in 2019, came in at 30 this year.

The 2021 list features bars from 17 countries, including 18 new entries, in the top 50. "There's a good number of new entries from new countries and lots of new faces at the top end," said Mark Sansom, content editor for the World's 50 Best Bars, in a video interview. "If anyone's using our list to book their bar-focused travel, there's going to be lots of inspiration for them."

Still, the list echoes this year's World's 50 Best restaurant list, which also saw a familiar face, Noma, named to the top spot again.

The list of bars ranked 51 through 100 was announced on December 2, and it includes bars from 34 cities across 26 countries, with 28 new entries on the list. Of those 50, 13 are located in Europe and seven in the U.S.

The Altos Bartenders' Bartender Award was also announced last week and was given to Lynette Marrero, bar manager at the Peruvian restaurant Llama Inn in New York; the award was voted on by the bartenders who make up this year's Top 1-50 winners. Marrero is also the co-founder of Speed Rack, the 10-year-old bartending competition that raised over $1.25 million for women 's-based charities. "A peer-voted award feels especially meaningful," says Marrero. "It's rewarding to know that work like Speed Rack resonates."

Also announced in advance was the Michter's Art of Hospitality award. That went to Salmon Guru in Madrid, from mixologist Diego Cabrera.

The World's 50 Best Bars is owned and organised by William Reed Business Media, which also oversees the World's Best Restaurants. The global restaurant awards have been postponed until 2021 after stirring opprobrium for having released Asia's 50 Best Restaurants regional awards in March, as Covid-19 was spreading globally.

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The best bars list is compiled from the votes of 600 participants around the World, including drinks writers, bartenders, and cocktail aficionados. It is based on visits made from March 2020 through September 2021. The voting guidelines and requirements were re-evaluated to reflect the time period’s limited travel opportunities due to the pandemic. For instance, this year, there was no requirement to cast international votes, whereas at least three of a voter's period's seven named bars were supposed to be international in prior periods.


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