The World’s 50 Best Bars 2019 revealed
In the iconic Roundhouse Camden on 3 October, London had the privilege of hosting The World’s 50 Best Bars Awards; an event that celebrates the best in the art of bar-tending from all around the world.
The UK had an impressive ten bars from across the nation make the list, with the USA hot on it’s heels with seven bars in the coveted ranking. The US definitely had the most to celebrate though as Dante Bar in New York City was given the top spot of World’s Best Bar. Quite the achievement for the Greenwich Village based Italian Caffe and bar, which first flung open its door in 1915. The bar has been a hub of community, and a sanctuary for New York residents since it opened. Not only was it the meeting place for the residents of the ‘South Village,’ Dante has also played host to a myriad of famous faces. Artists, actors, writers and musicians all gathered here to soak up the small slice of Italy in the Big Apple. Just some of the famous faces that used to congregate here include Al Pacino, Alec Baldwin, Whoopi Goldberg, Jerry Seinfeld, and Bob Dylan.
2015 saw a new beginning for the historic venue as new owners, the Flotta family, reimagined what Dante’s is about; staying true to it’s Italian roots with classic dishes inspired by its heritage they also added influences from all around the world; ‘global ingredients that New Yorkers have learned to love and seek out’. The new Dante is really making quite the name for itself with it’s unique take on old world Italian cooking, mouthwatering cocktails, and now being named as the best bar in the world. The new Dante really is a love letter to the original. The pictures that line the walls are not only of the original owners but also highlight the wonderful cast of characters that have passed through these doors. From artists and writers, like Anais Nin and Ernest Hemingway of the Bohemian age, to Robert Maplethorpe and Patti Smith, Caffe Dante is a place that people have always flocked to.
Other winners on the night included the iconic Connaught Bar in London’s upmarket district of Mayfair, which earned second place at the awards in addition to taking home the title of Best Bar in Europe. This bar prizes itself on ‘artful drinks and graceful service in a stylish setting’. A dark, intimate venue where top-shelf drinks are served and conversation enjoyed well into the night.
Drink Kong, located in the ever-romantic Rome, was awarded the Campari One To Watch Award. A stark departure from the traditional bars formerly discussed, Drink Kong is a futuristic feast for the senses, with all engulfing neon lights and pop culture references, this is a bar for anyone with a wild imagination, and a love for all things extra. The unique bar is a collection of eclectic spaces that evoke different moods from London modernity and high-energy New York to Japanese minimalism. However, its overarching style was inspired by Ridley Scott’s 1982 film Blade Runner and it shows. The venue, the music and the atmosphere come together as essential parts of the bar’s fundamental tenet: creator Partic Pistolesi wants customers to have an experience, not just a drink. Everything at Drink Kong is about instinct. Rather than reading though long ingredient lists, customers are invited to choose a flavour profile (dry, sweet, or bitter), or let themselves be guided by the menu’s colours, which represent each drink’s feeling. This encourages the use of gusto-olfactory senses to discover the elements that went into the drink, leading to a deeper cocktail experience.
Number 12 on the list; Native Bar from Singapore was also a winner at the awards, walking away with Kettle One Sustainable Bar Award. Having only opened it’s doors in 2016, this is a particularly impressive win. Native takes buying local to the very next level as a ‘significant’ amount of the bar’s produce comes from a local rooftop farm just a 10 minutes walk from the establishment, while 100 per cent of the ingredients are sourced within 100km of Singapore. The sustainable approach doesn’t stop at sourcing. Native also operates fair hiring practices and an apprenticeship scheme that offers a competitive salary to interns. The bar has recently switched to using solar energy and proves its commitment to the environment in many other ways, from re-using water and reduce wastage, to re-purposing sanitised and beeswax-coated cleaning cloths as food wrappers and using dried lotus leaves as coasters. All these initiatives go a long way to show the bar’s complete dedication to enacting a more sustainable world. Native’s commitment to being an environmentally minded and ethically conscious bar is a true breath of fresh air in today’s landscape.
It is clear that wherever you are in the world, whatever your tastes; whether you are searching for dark, brooding and traditional, wild, outrageous and fun, or ethical and sustainable drinking, all are available on The World’s 50 Best Bars. So if you are ever stuck for the perfect location for whatever occasion, this list will surely offer it up on a silver platter, no matter what you are thirsty for.