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If there was ever a year to drink a little more, 2020 was it. And although many libations establishments had to shut their doors or function on reduced capacity temporarily, they still worked hard to perfect their craft. But one spot outdid the rest. According to The World’s 50 Best Bars, The Connaught Bar in London’s Connaught hotel—an American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts property—topped the list for 2020.
The stunning Mayfair bar beat out last year’s winner Dante (who still took home the Best Bar in North America) thanks to their attention to detail, guest experience, and flawless service under the helm of Ago Perrone. Plus, you can’t miss the David Collins-designed décor. And while all of their drinks are delicious—like a scotch and sherry mix called Magnetum—it’s the dry martini that’s the most famous. They will bring a martini cart to your table to mix the drink right in front of you.
"Every day we strive to be better. And every year we strive to give a better service," said Perrone, Director of Mixology. "We are like the ingredients of a cocktail: service, cocktail, attitude, collaboration with management, and most importantly our guests always feel excited. Every time the [martini] cart goes out, we put in 120%."
Head Mixologist Giorgio Bargiani added, "We are successful because we are never stuck on something. If we like one cocktail trend, it doesn't mean the rest of the world does. If I get stuck on one one trend, at least half of you won't be happy. We always want to make a bespoke experience. Sometimes it's not even a cocktail, it's a chat, it's a smile."
Related: The Best Bars in London for an Artfully Crafted Cocktail
It was the U.K that dominated the list overall this year with nine bars—including Lyaness, Swift, Three Sheets, and Artesian at the Langham—making the list. Not surprisingly, London was dubbed the best city to drink, with eight of those nine bars in the bustling capital. New York, which led the list last year, came in second with five bars.
The World’s 50 Best Bars list uses votes compiled from over 540 worldwide experts to highlight the world’s best drinking venues. It’s been published every year since 2009 and has become the most anticipated ranking system for cocktail lovers and professionals. To date, 43 trendsetting craft bars from 11 cities across the U.S. have made it to the list. Spots like Dante (2019), The Dead Rabbit (2016), and PDT (2011) came in at No. 1 over the years, making some of the most sought-after spots in the world.
Since the original publication date of the list, William Reed Business Media created a list of Asia’s 50 Best Bars, and this year they launched new initiatives. They raised $1.25 million for the hospitality sector through the “50 Best for Recovery” program. It is providing grants to 236 businesses in 53 countries through their fundraising efforts. Plus, a new award was unveiled, Michter’s Art of Hospitality, honoring the bar offering the best hospitality experience.
As far as other top winners, Florería Atlántico in Buenos Aires took home the top spot for The World’s Best Bar South America; Renato ‘Tato’ Giovannoni of that winning bar was the winner of the Altos Bartenders’ Bartender Award, and Alquímico in Cartagena was named the No.1 sustainable bar.