What are the best bars in the world?
See if your favorite watering hole made this distinctive list.
So, a giant ant made of copper and an elephant made of Legos walk into a bar ...
If you thought this was the beginning of a surrealist joke, or the opening scene of Tim Burton's new movie, you'd be close – but wrong.
These are actually two of the most common objects you'll find at Artesian, a sophisticated, surrealist-themed hotel bar off London's trendy Regent Street that's just been named the World's Best Bar by Drinks International Magazine. It's the fourth consecutive No. 1 showing for the crafty bar, proving it's truly toppling the notion of the "traditional serve" with off-the-cuff presentations and unusual flavor combinations. Each menu item is a representation of the surrealist art form, hence the use of oversized ants as vessels for dipping sauce. It's the kind of bar that would make even Salvador Dali stop and stare.
And it's in distinctive company. Artesian leads a list of 50 top watering holes spanning the globe, from the wildly unique speakeasies to the irresistibly alluring clubs to the comfortably familiar taverns. The top 5 resembles a duel of sorts between the creme de la creme of the New York and London bar scenes (including the critically acclaimed Big Apple institution known as the Dead Rabbit at No. 2). But scroll a bit farther down the list, and you'll stumble upon some brilliant finds in up-and-coming yet still unexpected locales around the world.
Coming in at No. 17 is a standout in the craft cocktail scene, the aptly named Imperial bar inside the Imperial Hotel in Tel Aviv, Israel. Its proprietors pride themselves on providing "something for everyone," with a seemingly endless drink menu that almost guarantees that you will have the best drink of your life at the Imperial.
Gracing the No. 5 spot is a bar that sounds like it's geographically confused: The American Bar in (where else?) London. Proving once again that some of the best bars are inside hotels, the American has made Drinks International's Top 10 for five consecutive years. Its rich history has earned it the right to categorize its cocktail menu by era: How about a bittersweet concoction representing the period of 1889-1913? Or what about the cocktail version of Elvis Presley's favorite sandwich? They've got that, plus hundreds of other varieties that are sure to leave you feeling patriotic (on top of your satisfying buzz).
And then there are the bars that pave the way for an entire country's love affair with the cocktail: 28 Hong Kong Street (No. 7), a spot that needs no name, only an address. Fans say it has singlehandedly revolutionized Singapore's bar scene, with a small, intimate setting and lively, fun atmosphere. There's a similar renaissance taking place in Mexico City (No. 20), with the grassroots success of Licoreria Limantou, an art deco-inspired, multi-level destination bar that has built its own cocktail culture and, in turn, become a world leader in mixology.
Rounding out the top 10 is one of Australia's most influential night spots, the acclaimed Black Pearl in Melbourne. The bar's winning formula is twofold: on one side is the crop of award-winning bartenders who have competed on the international stage, and on the other side is the steady flow of customers who praise said bartenders for their consummate warmth and hospitality. And this year, after 14 years in business, the Black Pearl underwent extensive renovations, giving you one more reason to visit this beloved establishment.
For the full list, click here.
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Related Topics: Drinks