The World's 50 Best Bars 2020 revealed, with London's Connaught Bar the overall winner

3 weeks ago 1

When London's renowned Connaught Bar in the opulent Connaught Hotel reopens following England's national lockdown, staff will no doubt be popping a few extra Champagne corks – because it has taken the World's Best Bar Award crown.

The revered Mayfair bar has swapped places with last year's winner, New York's Dante, which takes the No2 spot and The Best Bar in North America title, sponsored by Asahi Super Dry.

The accolades were announced today as part of the Perrier-sponsored World's 50 Best Bars 2020 awards in an online ceremony, with the ranking released partly to bind the drinks industry even closer together and provide some positive news for bars as they enter the next stage of recovery from the pandemic.

London's renowned Connaught Bar (pictured) in the Connaught Hotel has taken the World's Best Bar Award crown for 2020

The awards organisers said of Connaught Bar: 'Under the masterful leadership of Agostino Perrone, the venue's Director of Mixology, Connaught Bar stays true to its principles of presenting artful drinks with graceful service in an elegant setting'

The Connaught Bar celebrated its 10th year in 2018 and is known for its unique martini trolley. Pictured is the exterior of the uber-swanky Connaught Hotel 

The awards organisers said of Connaught Bar: 'Under the masterful leadership of Agostino Perrone, the venue's Director of Mixology, Connaught Bar stays true to its principles of presenting artful drinks with graceful service in an elegant setting.

'Designed by the late David Collins, the Cubist-inspired bar celebrated its 10th year in 2018 and is known for its unique martini trolley, where bartenders give a personalised drinks experience to guests.'

Overall it was a triumphant afternoon for the UK, with Tayer + Elementary on London's Old Street clinching fifth place and the Disaronno Highest New Entry Award, and Kwant, in Mayfair, claiming sixth and the London Essence Best New Opening prize.

The Connaught Bar team celebrate their prestigious prize. It was announced in an online ceremony

New York's Dante, which takes the No2 spot and The Best Bar in North America title, sponsored by Asahi Super Dry

Dante is known for its excellent Negronis (left). And the martinis are top-drawer (pictured right)

The awards organisers said of Tayer + Elementary: 'Co-owned by industry legends Monica Berg and Alex Kratena, the drinks at Tayer + Elementary are approachable but multi-layered with unexpected flavour combinations. Elementary is a casual, easy-going space with floor-to-ceiling windows, serving cocktails on tap, beer, wine, coffee and snacks. Behind the concrete partition is Tayer, a darker, moodier, more serious space, where drinks have no names - rather they are simply displayed as a list of ingredients.'

It's revealed that Kwant, meanwhile, was founded by Erik Lorincz, famed for his work at The Savoy's American Bar.

The organisers said: 'Head through the Moroccan-styled restaurant to an unassuming door, which gives way to striking tropical décor. Perfectly attired bartenders serve up Lorincz's carefully curated drinks list, including the selection of "Japanese Highball", spritzes and classical twists that showcase inventive combinations of flavours using Lorincz's storied collection of vintage spirits.'

Coming in at No.3 globally is The Clumsies, Athens. The bar came sixth last year

Regal: Drinkers at Atlas can quaff away in surroundings that are fit for royalty. The Singapore bar has been ranked as the fourth-best bar in the world

Attaboy came seventh in 2019. This year it snagged twelfth place, ahead of three other New York bars - NoMad, Katana Kitten and Employees Only

America also fared exceptionally well overall thanks to other excellent New York drinking spots, with Attaboy at No.12, NoMad Bar at No.13, Katana Kitten at No.16 and Employees Only at No.38.

Coming in at No.3 globally is The Clumsies, Athens, while Singapore's Atlas lands at No.4 and is The Best Bar in Asia, sponsored by Remy Martin.

The Europe ranking, comprising 21 bars, is led by the UK, with nine bars on the list.

Other London bars it includes are The Savoy Hotel's American Bar at No.20, Lyaness at No.29, Swift at No.33, Three Sheets at No.34 and Artesian at No.41.

Floreria Atlantico in Buenos Aires places No.7 and is named The Best Bar in South America, sponsored by iichiko Saiten

Floreria Atlantico claimed the No3 spot in 2019. Pictured are two of its concoctions

WORLD'S BEST BAR AWARDS 2020 - THE HIGHLIGHTS 

Connaught Bar, London, ranks No.1 in The World’s 50 Best Bars 2020 and is also The Best Bar in Europe, sponsored by PerrierThe 2020 list features bars from 23 countries, with 11 new entries spread across Australia, Colombia, Greater China, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, South Korea, Spain, Thailand and the UKDrinks sector activist and educator Ashtin Berry is named the Roku Industry IconAlquímico, Cartagena, clinches Ketel One Sustainable Bar AwardTayēr + Elementary, London, secures Disaronno Highest New Entry AwardCoa in Hong Kong takes Nikka Highest Climber AwardHigh Five, Tokyo, is named Heering Legend of The ListKwānt, London, is awarded London Essence Best New Opening AwardDante, New York, is The Best Bar in North America, sponsored by Asahi Super DryAtlas, Singapore, is The Best Bar in Asia, sponsored by Rémy MartinMaybe Sammy, Sydney, is The Best Bar in Australasia, sponsored by Torres BrandyZuma, Dubai, is The Best Bar in the Middle East and Africa, sponsored by MatusalemFlorería Atlántico, Buenos Aires, is The Best Bar in South America, sponsored by iichiko Saiten

Edinburgh's Panda & Sons (a new entry) completes the UK's showing at No.32.

Spain takes three spots with Barcelona's Paradiso at No.19 and Two Schmucks (a new entry) at No.26, as well as Madrid's Salmon Guru at No.22.

Italy boasts two bars, with Milan's 1930 at No.25 and Rome's Drink Kong (a new entry and last year's Campari One To Watch) at No.45.

France, Russia, Norway, Sweden and Germany each have one bar on the list, with Paris's Little Red Door at No.24, St Petersburg's El Copitas at No.27, Oslo's Himkok at No.30, Stockholm's Tjoget at No.36, and Berlin's Buck & Breck at No.37.

In the North and South America list, which comprises 10 bars, Floreria Atlantico in Buenos Aires places No.7 and is named The Best Bar in South America, sponsored by iichiko Saiten. This is followed by Mexico City's Licorería Limantour at No.17, Lima's Carnaval at No.21, Cartegena's Alquimico (a new entry and the Ketel One Sustainable Bar Award winner) at No.47 and Buenos Aires' Presidente at No.50.

Australia, meanwhile, places three bars from Sydney, with Maybe Sammy taking The Best Bar in Australasia, sponsored by Torres Brandy, at No.11; Cantina OK! (new entry) at No.28, and Bulletin Place at No.39.

THE WORLD'S 50 BEST BARS 2020 

1. Connaught Bar, London

2. Dante, New York

3. The Clumsies, Athens

4. Atlas, Singapore

5. Tayer + Elementary, London

6. Kwant, London

7. Floreria Atlantico, Buenos Aires

8. Coa, Hong Kong

9. Jigger & Pony, Singapore

10. The SG Club, Tokyo

11. Maybe Sammy, Sydney

12. Attaboy, New York

13. NoMad Bar, New York

14. Manhattan, Singapore

15. The Old Man, Hong Kong

16. Katana Kitten, New York

17. Licorería Limantour, Mexico City

18. Native, Singapore

19. Paradisco, Barcelona

20. American Bar, London

21. Carnaval, Lima

22. Salmon Guru, Madrid

23. Zuma, Dubai

24. Little Red Door, Paris 

25. 1930, Milan 

26. Two Schmucks, Barcelona

27. El Copitas, St Petersburg

28. Cantina OK!, Sydney

29. Lyaness, London

30. Himkok, Oslo

31. Baba au Rum, Athens

32. Panda & Sons, Edinburgh

33. Swift, London

34. Three Sheets, London

35. The Bamboo Bar, Bangkok

36. Tjoget, Stockholm

37. Buck & Breck, Berlin

38. Employees Only, New York

39. Bulletin Place, Sydney

40. Bar Benfiddich, Tokyo

41. Artesian, London

42. Sober Company, Shanghai

43. Indulge Experimental Bistro, Taipei

44. Bar Trigona, Kuala Lumpur

45. Drink Kong, Rome

46. Room by Le Kief, Taipei

47. Alquimico, Cartagena

48. High Five, Tokyo

49. Charles H, Seoul

50. Presidente, Buenos Aires 

The staff at American Bar (No.20 in the 2020 Best Bar ranking) pose proudly in front of the bar

The Savoy Hotel's American Bar (pictured) is said to be one of the most historically important bars open today

NoMad Bar is at No.13 in the 2020 World's Best Bar list. It's one of several NYC top-performers

THE TRAVEL EDITOR'S VERDICT ON THE CONNAUGHT BAR 

The Connaught Bar's best bar accolade doesn't surprise me in the least. It's sheer class.

I took my partner there for birthday drinks and was hugely impressed. The service purred - as we sat down a lovely orchid was placed on the table - and I had a fine glass of Champagne, a Jacquesson Cuvee Nr.739. When the lockdown ends, treat yourself.

Ted Thornhill 

From the United Arab Emirates, Dubai's Zuma is The Best Bar in the Middle East and Africa, sponsored by Matusalem, at No.23.

In the 15-strong Asia list, Singapore's Jigger & Pony places No.9, while Manhattan and Native take No.14 and No.18 spots respectively.

China has several bars on the list, including Hong Kong's Coa at No.8 (Nikka Highest Climber Award) and The Old Man at No.15.

Shanghai's Sober Company is placed at No.42, and from Taipei, Indulge Experimental Bistro is at No.43, while Room by Le Kief (a new entry) enters the list at No.46.

Japan sees three bars from Tokyo on the list, including The SG Club at No.10, Bar Benfiddich (a new entry) at No.40 and High Five at No.48. Thailand, Malaysia and South Korea host one new bar each on the list, namely Bangkok's The Bamboo Bar (new entry) at No.35, Kuala Lumpur's Bar Trigona (new entry) at No.44 and Seoul's Charles H (new entry) at No.49.

Mark Sansom, Content Editor for The World's 50 Best Bars, said: 'We want to extend our heartfelt congratulations to all the venues on the 2020 list of The World's 50 Best Bars. We are continually heartened by the industry's resilience and positivity as countries continue to operate in varying degrees of recovery. Hats off to Connaught Bar, undoubtedly one of the finest cocktail bars of our time. The institution has earned a place on the list every year since 2010 and it has gradually grown in stature to become the world-beating bar it is today. Ago Perrone and his team are dedicated to excellence and look at every element of the guest experience to choreograph a faultless service. The Martinis aren't bad, either.'

Elisa Gregori, Perrier International Business Unit Director, said: 'On behalf of Perrier – and as the leading partner of The World's 50 Best Bars and 50 Best for Recovery – we feel proud of the strong collaboration, solidarity and funds we have raised together helping the heart of international bar community. This year, we are particularly proud to show our appreciation to all the bars that have made the list during such a hard time. The pandemic has heavily impacted the entire hospitality industry and the situation remains shaped by uncertainty, yet the industry is adapting quickly and we believe it will return stronger after these difficult times.'

For more information visit www.worlds50bestbars.com

WHO DECIDES WHICH BARS MAKE THE WORLD'S BEST BARS LIST? 

For 2020, 50 Best made a number of changes to its Academy structure, which now includes more than 540 anonymous industry experts who cast the votes to create the list of The World’s 50 Best Bars. The Academy is 50/50 gender-balanced; there are 20 Academy Chairs in 20 new geographic regions, and the voting process and results are independently adjudicated by Deloitte. For this year, the voting period ran from January 2019 to March 2020, when the majority of bars were forced to close due to the pandemic. 

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