By Megan Murphy
Oct 7, 2022
SPIRITS WERE HIGH IN Barcelona this week as thousands of the world’s most esteemed mixologists and cocktail enthusiasts gathered to find out which bars around the globe earned a coveted spot on the World’s 50 Best Bars list for 2022. The prestigious ranking honors excellence across the international beverage industry, with 650 anonymous experts — including mixologists and bar owners — casting their votes based on the best overall bar experience.
For the first time in its history, the highly anticipated awards ceremony took place outside of London. “As we come out of the pandemic, we are excited to have the opportunity to shine a spotlight on other great cocktail cities, starting with Barcelona,” Mark Sansom, content director for the World’s 50 Best Bars, said at the 2022 event. “Now, more than ever, we hope that our list inspires liquid-led wanderlust the world over,” Sansom continued.
So which bar took top honors this year? Paradiso in Barcelona won the illustrious title of World’s Best Bar. Owner Giacomo Giannotti and team curate surprises throughout the guest experience with elaborate drinks to match the space’s stunning décor. Cocktail lovers will truly be transported to Paradiso. “This is absolutely amazing. All the hard work we’ve done over the past seven years… I still don’t believe it,” Giannotti shared in an exclusive on-site interview with Travel + Leisure.
Asia showed up to the party with eight bars in the World’s 50 Best 2022, including three new entries: the two in Bangkok are BKK Social Club, winner of the London Essence Best New Opening at No.14, and Tropic City, which placed No. 24; and Hong Kong debuted Argo at No. 28. Also in the newly mostly open Hong Kong is mezcal specialist Coa at No. 17.
In Singapore, Jigger & Pony (No.12) was named The Best Bar in Asia, and legendary Manhattan took No. 33. New Delhi’s Sidecar, which in 2021 was the first Indian entry since 2010, has leapt to No. 26, and up in Tokyo, the farm-to-glass Bar Benfiddich took No. 48.
As in recent years, New York City is well-represented on the newly released World’s 50 Best Bars list, with the West Village’s Employees Only (No. 47), Dante (No. 36), and Katana Kitten (No. 9); Overstory (No. 34) in Manhattan’s Financial District; and the Lower East Side’s Attaboy (No. 22) and Double Chicken Please (No. 6). London also had a strong showing; last year’s winner, the Connaught Bar, came in at No. 8 while Tayēr + Elementary took second place.
Giannotti says he’s incredibly proud to see the awards ceremony hosted in Barcelona for the first time. And in terms of what helped the Paradiso team rise to the top, the bar owner says it’s “our passion, believing in our ideas, and our creativity.”
Paradiso’s brand-new menu showcases several savory ingredients — such as corn and mushrooms — in its cocktails, one of the top emerging cocktail trends of 2022, highlighted at the World’s 50 Best Bars awards ceremony. “At first you may taste sweet, then it can transform to citric and bitter, so you will go ‘wow’ — we want the drink experience to be super interesting,” Giannotti says.
The host city also did well with three establishments in the top 10: Two Schmucks (No. 7), Sips (No. 3), and Paradiso, the newly crowned best bar in the world (and best bar in Europe). It’s the first time in the history of the awards that a city besides New York or London took home top honors.
Additional accolades were presented to several standout bartenders and establishments for their outstanding work. Jean Trinh of Colombia’s Alquímico won Altos Bartenders’ Bartender — the only peer-voted award in the 50 Best program — and Mexico City’s beloved speakeasy, Hanky Panky, earned the Michter’s Art of Hospitality Award.
See the full list of 2022 winners here.
SOURCE: 50 Best (William Reed Limited).