150 Best Bars Outside the United States
February 19, 2015
From cocktail lounges to speakeasies, The Daily Meal toasts the best bars
150 Best Bars Outside the United States
One of the first things visitors do after dropping their bags in the hotel lobby of a place they’ve never been to is ask, “Where’s the bar?” The answer to that question often brings directions to built-in hotel bars, standardized sports bars, or forgettable franchised joints. Then, there are those occasions that lead you to “secret” bars tucked down alleyways or behind nondescript façades, or you happen to find yourself in a landmark hotel that is home to a legendary watering hole.
The Daily Meal set out to find the most iconic bars, famous pubs, and legendary cocktail lounges outside the United States (The Daily Meal will soon reveal its 150 Best Bars in the United States). The list includes dive bars, taverns, and Tiki bars, too. The list does not include nightclubs or establishments that function predominantly as live music venues, though bars that happen to feature live music were considered.
150. Star Lounge (Riga, Latvia)
Nestled on the top floor of the Albert Hotel, Star Lounge offers picture postcard views of Riga. While the food offerings are pedestrian, the drink menu offers the opportunity to sample Latvian-style cocktails like the Clavis Riga (Riga Black Balsam, rhubarb liqueur, apple juice, and syrup), the Innocent Balsam (Riga Black Balsam, peach liqueur, peach juice, and ice cream), and the Fruity Summer (Riga Black Balsam, currant, lime, orange, and ginger ale).
149. KONOBA (Roche Caiman, Mahé, The Seychelles)
Located at the entrance of Eden Island, KONOBA is a bar, lounge, and restaurant designed by Albert Angel, who incorporated a nautical theme into the space. Sails serve as room dividers and refreshing drinks are prepared at the hull-shaped bar adorned with metal “fish scales.” The relaxed bar serves Mediterranean cuisine infused with island flavors indoors or on the breezy terrace overlooking the marina.
148. Soggy Dollar Bar (White Bay, Jost Van Dyke, British Virgin Islands)
This six-seat bar got its name from the way patrons approach the place, located on a long stretch of white sand beach on Jost Van Dyke (population: 220). There is no dock, so patrons must swim to the Soggy Dollar Bar.
It is here that owner Daphne Henderson created the Painkiller in the 1970s. The proportions of the concoction (dark rum, crème de coconut, pineapple and orange juices, and a garnish of freshly grated Grenadian nutmeg) are a closely guarded secret, though admirers like Charles Tobias of Pusser’s (see #80) have tried to replicate it. Since it is a trek to get to Jost Van Dyke, many visitors, once they arrive, opt to stay at the Sandcastle, the bar’s open-air, barefoot, television- and telephone-free hotel.
147. Louis B (Cape Town, South Africa)
The cozy Louis B jazz bar at the Westin Cape Town is an informal affair. The menu offers standard lunch and dinner choices and classic cocktails with a view of the convention center; the real draw is a separate, extensive beverage menu devoted to South African wine, brandy, and port.
146. Grotesk (Helsinki, Finland)
Grotesk is a cocktail bar and meat restaurant run by beverage manager Paul Hickman and chef Eemeli Nurminen. The homey bar serves Champagne, cocktails, wine, and meat — lots of meat. All the meats, from Australian Aberdeen Black Angus entrecôte to rack of organic Åland lamb, are seared on a Big Green Egg ceramic grill. There are more than 40 wines to pair with the carnivore-centric lunch and dinner menu.
145. Bar and Books (Prague, Czech Republic)
A fine cigar and a classic cocktail (or two) await at Bar and Books. Founded by Raju S. Mirchandani in 1990 in New York City, the Bar and Books portfolio now includes a trio of outposts in New York and two in the Czech Republic, all well-stocked with hundreds of whiskies and a selection of cigars.
Helmed by Veronika Mašková, who tends the bar in the heart of Prague’s Old Town, Bar and Books has much to offer parched patrons in comfortable surroundings. Order the Fashioned Connexion, made from Nikka Connexion Rum & Rye with a homemade beer reduction served over an ice cube, and, if you’re inclined, puff on the Monkey Tobacco Petit Corona cigar that comes with the drink.
144. Lemon (Zagreb, Croatia)
Lemon is a chic café/bar, just steps from the Croatian capital's archaeological museum, with a relaxing terrace and a downstairs club known for its weekend parties. The bartenders oversee the handcrafting of Lemon’s 14 specialty drinks and 18 classic cocktails. There is also a list of heady Croatian liqueurs and brandies, including those made from walnuts, carob, and sour cherries. Be sure to eat before you come, as there’s no food here.
143. Piet's Pier Bar (Palm Beach, Aruba)
Hovering over azure Aruban waters at the end of a pier is the aptly named Piet’s Pier Bar at the Hyatt Regency Aruba Resort Spa and Casino. A perch at the Meranti wood bar is the ideal spot from which to watch the sunset while sipping a sundowner, like the island favorite Aruba Ariba, a refreshing blend of vodka, Ron Rico rum, Coecoei (a centuries-old Aruban liquor made from a type of agave), crème de banana, orange juice, cranberry juice, and pineapple juice with a splash of grenadine, topped with Grand Marnier and garnished with an orange slice and a cherry.
142. 1897 Bar (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
Richly decorated in a palette of purple hues, 1897 Bar, on the second floor of the Kempinski Hotel Mall of the Emirates, is a stunning retreat. Named for the year the first Kempinski opened, the 60-seat bar serves from midday until the wee hours of the morning. The drink menu is heavily influenced by legendary bartender Jerry Thomas’ 1862-vintage Bartender’s Guide: How to Mix Drinks: A Bon Vivant’s Companion, as evidenced by the paragraphs of cocktail history included beneath each cocktail.
The choices are arranged in chronological order, by decade or generation, beginning with 1890 and ending with the present day — from the Sazerac (cognac, Peychaud’s bitters, sugar, and absinthe), said to have been the first cocktail invented in America, to the Cosmopolitan (Citron vodka, Cointreau, cranberry juice, and lime juice).
141. Nest (Bangkok, Thailand)
Nest, the rooftop lounge bar at Le Fenix Hotel, boasts a spectacular view of the city. Cushioned lounge chairs and bed-style seating pods offer a respite from bustling Bangkok eight stories below. The bar serves strong tropical fruit cocktails like Party Punch; Martinis served in chilled, stemless glasses; and Asian-Euro fusion tapas like chicken wrapped in pandan leaves and Thai steak tenderloin (both à la carte and tasting menus are available). Live acts play on Thursdays and a DJ spins soul, funk, R&B, and disco on weekends.
140. Harry's at Boat Quay (Singapore, Singapore)
Harry’s is a chain of 19 bars in Singapore known for their sports-bar atmosphere and beers on tap. There is a variety of creative cocktails, too, like the Dirty Harry (vodka, lychee liqueur, and brown sugar garnished with lime wedges) and the Bombay Mintger (gin, sugar syrup, mint leaves, and ginger ale). Chef Daniel Sia has created the food menu, which contains the requisite bar snacks — burgers, wings, and the like. Harry’s at Boat Quay, opened in 1992 along Boat Quay, is the original, and our favorite.
139. MOD Public Bar (Taipei, Taiwan)
MOD Public Bar is an unpretentious, 20-seat place that can provide an excellent introduction to whisky for beginners while satisfying the discerning palate of whisky aficionados. No matter what your level of experience with this distilled beverage, the bar staff will discuss the options, based on their encyclopedic knowledge of scotch, Irish whiskey, and bourbon, retreat to the bar, and return with tiny glasses, offering patrons the chance to try a couple of single fingers of the spirit before committing to their orders. If the samplers don’t turn you into a whisky drinker, there are strong cocktails, too.
138. Marie Laveau’s (Stockholm, Sweden)
The Creole- and Cajun-inflected bar/restaurant Marie Laveau opened in 2005 as a neighborhood gathering spot. Nearly 10 years later, Marie Laveau (named for a famous voodoo queen) consists of seven parts, from a cocktail bar to an art gallery. The original main space has a party-like atmosphere in which bartenders mix cocktails including frozen Margaritas and Lynchburg Lemonades with a Carnival-inspired twist.
Deep inside the restaurant section is Little Quarter, a cocktail bar within Marie Laveau with its own separate craft cocktail menu. Here, Micke Karlsson, Björn Kjellberg, and Andrea Patelli serve high-proof cocktails inspired by classics. Recent cocktails have included the Invincible (orange gin, rum, and lime cordial), the Enclave Cobbler (Amer Picon, sherry, orange cordial, and Champagne), and The Latter (calvados, Strega, milk and cookies).
137. Academia da Cachaça (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
Opened in 1985 in Rio’s affluent Leblon neighborhood, Academia da Cachaça brims with Brazilian pride, from the green and yellow Brazilian flag on its ceiling to its nonpareil selection of cachaça and cachaça cocktails. Partners Edméa Falcão, Renata Quinderé, and Hélcio Santos have created a space devoted to all things cachaça, from education and promotion to tasting and appreciation of this sugar cane-derived spirit.
The Barra da Tijuca location, which opened in 1989, houses a collection of 2,000 bottles of Cachaça that once belonged to Ulisses Vasconcelos, a journalist from Minas Gerais (where most of the spirit is distilled), which tell the story of 130 years of cachaça. Try the Caipirinha Acadêmica (Cachaça Seleta, citron, and honey) or a Caipirinha (cachaça, sugar, and lime). Be sure to come hungry and devour Brazilian dishes like Arrumadinho (jerked beef with cowpeas); feijoada (the Brazilian national dish of beans with various cuts of meat); and escondidinho (cassava and cream cheese)
136. The Bar (Budapest, Hungary)
The drink menu at The Bar, formerly Bar Domby, reads like a who’s who of cocktails and spirits. There are White Russians, Whisky Sours, even Lynchburg Lemonade (Jack Daniels, Cointreau, lemon, and Sprite) and the seldom-seen Welcome Stranger (gin, cognac, grenadine, orange and lemon juices) on the menu.
135. Earl’s Juke Joint (Sydney, Australia)
In the inner-city Sydney suburb of Newton, this is a butcher shop-turned-bar dedicated to jazz and R&B (it's named after legendary New Orleans drummer Earl Palmer). The dark wooden bar’s walls are decked with photos of celebrated musicians, whose music plays constantly on the sound system. Owner/head bartender Pasan Wijesena serves expertly crafted cocktails alongside draft IPAs at the 35-foot-long bar.
Cocktail lovers should order the Jelly Roll Morton’s Zombie (a blend of rums, cognac, lime, spiced grapefruit, absinthe, and bitters topped with a flaming lime). It’s so strong, the staff recommend you limit it to two of these per visit. Be sure to order from the snack page, a takeaway box from nearby Bloodwood restaurant, that includes alcohol-soaking salami, bresaola, jamón, pastrami, pickles, and Brickfields bread.
134. Barfly (Oslo, Norway)
Indecisive drinkers may have difficulty ordering off Barfly’s versatile drink menu, filled with attention-grabbing beverage names. There’s something for (nearly) everyone, from long and short drinks to hot drinks and frozen cocktails to beer, wine, ciders, and spirits. Intriguing options include the Pineapple Jack (fresh pineapple muddled with a dash of lemon and simple syrup, mixed with Jack Daniels and Cointreau and topped with 7-Up), the Angry Italian Woman (vanilla vodka, Frangelico, and Kahlúa mixed with cream and topped with espresso beans), and the Big Apple (calvados, amaretto, and apple juice blended with simple syrup and a pinch of cinnamon and garnished with an apple slice).
133. Balthazar (Athens, Greece)
Housed in a beautiful Neoclassical building, the massive Balthazar is amply lit with delicate hanging lights. Though the drink menu includes wine and spirits, it’s the cocktails and the Mediterranean cuisine that are standouts. Signature cocktails include Das Glockenspiel (Don Julio Blanco, “Mys-tea-rious” syrup, lemon, vanilla, pineapple, and cherry bitters), the Bloody Clockwork Guns (Bulleit Bourbon, Cocchi Vermouth di Torino, milk, strawberries, and Mozart Chocolate bitters), and the Unforgiven Childhood Memories (Ketel One, blue Curaçao, bubblegum, and lime). In the summertime, the outdoor garden is a blissful setting for chef Savvas Kostantinides’ classic Mediterranean fare.
132. The Blck Bird (Hong Kong, Hong Kong)
This charming, no-fuss, quiet lounge attracts a sophisticated, low-key crowd. Opened in Central in 2010, The Blck Bird serves all the classic cocktails plus interpretations of the classics, a good selection of wines from boutique wineries, and locally made craft beer. There’s often something new to offer that is not on the menu, so be sure to ask the bar staff for recommendations.
131. City Space (Singapore, Singapore)
Located in Equinox Complex, a cluster of restaurants and bars inside the Swissôtel The Stamford, City Space is the most impressive bar. With vertigo-inducing views of Singapore, it’s also a memorable spot for a drink. The bar is known for its innovative cocktails, incorporating citrus juices pressed by hand, syrups made in-house, and mint from the hotel’s own herb garden. Standouts include the Blossom, the bar’s take on a Bellini, with lemon balm-tinctured gin, puréed mango, white peach, and Moët & Chandon Impérial Champagne; and the Rhude Not Too, a blend of fresh-pressed grapefruit juice, cardamom, passion fruit, gin, and rhubarb.
130. Aqua Spirit (Hong Kong, Hong Kong)
Situated on the top level of the city's 30-story One Peking Road building, Aqua is three venues in one: Aqua Tokyo (Japanese food), Aqua Roma (Italian food), and Aqua Spirit (a lively cocktail bar). Aqua Spirit features colorful, creative concoctions like the Fruit Crumble (Amaretto di Saronno shaken with blackberry liqueur, apple juice, and grapefruit juice) and the Gold Honey (Elements 8 Rum stirred with Lillet Blanc infused with figs, Pedro Ximénez sherry, and chocolate bitters). The food menu features Japanese-style bar snacks like mackerel and ginger sushi rolls.
129. L'Ambre (Paris, France)
Bartenders Kevin Guerin and Anthony Serbit spent a decade working together at the Parisian capital's famous Hôtel de Crillon before opening L’Ambre in 2012. The cozy, two-story cocktail bar, with rich wooden fixtures and brown leather sofas, has a long list of spirits, whiskeys, classic cocktails, Champagne cocktails, and house creations. L’Ambre is famous for its sur mesure (custom-made cocktails) cocktails, made personally for each guest.
Signature drinks on the regular cocktail menu include the Wan's (dark French West Indies rum, apricot liqueur, Grand Marnier, and lemon juice), the Rapshody (rosé Champagne, raspberry liqueur, cranberry juice, and fresh mint), the Russian Tea Time (Russian vodka, green tea syrup, freshly squeezed lemon juice, mint essence, and soda water), and the El Diablo (tequila, fresh strawberries, Espelette pepper, strawberry liqueur, and cranberry juice). A trio of small plates, including foie gras with toast and fig jam and Norwegian smoked salmon with lemon, butter, and toast, pair nicely with the drinks. Jazz on the sound system and live piano music by Crillon veteran Bernard Bosch on Tuesday and Thursday nights complete the experience.
128. Rock Bar, Ayana Resort (Bali, Indonesia)
Located in Bali's Ayana Resort and Spa, Rock Bar, which offers some of the most amazing sunset views in the world, has taken the concept of "on the rocks" literally: Perched on a massive limestone cliff 14 meters above the Indian Ocean near Jimbaran Bay on Bali’s southwestern peninsula, the minimalistic alfresco bar offers 360-degree panoramic views. Rocks are an integral part of the bar’s design, too, with a kitchen concealed beneath a rock formation and a DJ booth ensconced in a rock formation. There are seven beers on tap, 11 wines, and 25 cocktails. The signature drink is the Rock My World, made with vodka, Grand Marnier, pineapple juice, grapefruit juice, fresh orange, and kaffir lime leaves.
127. Dragonfly (Edinburgh, Scotland)
In the heart of Edinburgh’s Old Town, Dragonfly is serious about its cocktails. The handmade drink menu includes classic spirits, some wines, and some of the most cleverly named and crafted cocktails around. Most of the cocktail listings include tongue-in-cheek comments (take the entry for Absolut Rudy Red and pomegranate: "Does mixing premium grapefruit vodka with your pomegranate juice reduce the latter’s 'superfood' properties? We don’t care, it tastes great").
The Dragonfly Hall of Fame page includes cocktails created by Dragonfly’s bartenders over the years, like Sage Against the Machine (José Cuervo Tradicional tequila, fresh sage leaves, pineapple juice, lime juice, and sugar syrup). Ever-creative, the staff continues to tinker behind the bar and their efforts are catalogued in the menu under “Latest Flavours” like the “Don’t Call Me ‘Chicken’” (Wild Turkey Kentucky bourbon, Grand Marnier, lemon, apple, egg white, and sugar laced with La Fée absinthe). There’s no food but the staff is happy to arrange pizza delivery from Mamma’s or get canapés from Villager sent to your table. DJs keep the good vibes going on weekends.
126. La Opera Bar (Mexico City, Mexico)
Opened in 1876, La Opera Bar is a Mexican institution. Though it attracts a fair number of tourists, it has retained its authenticity. The cantina is fancier than most, with velvet curtains and glimmering chandeliers but history, too — a bullet hole said to have been put there by Mexican revolutionary general Pancho Villa remains in plain sight above one of the booths opposite the bar. Regulars mostly drink beer or tequila (shots of it with sangrita, or Paloma highballs, made with grapefruit soda). Be sure to sample the Spanish tapas or the red snapper Veracruz style, with olives and tomatoes.
125. Roxy (Auckland, New Zealand)
Housed in a century-old former movie theater, Roxy is a bar and lounge with a Hollywood vibe. The rooftop deck is a fantastic spot for drinks and views of the skyline. Try the Café Le Peche, an espresso Martini shaken over egg white; the Romeo and Roxy, a dry, fruity Hendricks gin-based cocktail with subtle sweet and sour elements; or the Sweet Virgin, a Champagne cocktail with sweet vermouth, fresh grapefruit juice, and sugar. Resident DJ Jarrod Phillips spin tunes on Friday nights, making Roxy all the more enticing.
124. Janes & Hooch (Beijing, China)
This popular vintage dive bar in Beijing’s Sanlitun bar district is from Warren Pang, the man behind d lounge, one of Beijing’s most acclaimed bars. First opened in 2013, Janes & Hooch is an urban twist on a vintage bar and describes itself as having “a touch of class minus the wank." The bartenders present modern twists on classic cocktails alongside seasonal tipples, plus a handful of nibbles like rou pan, a selection of charcuterie. Seasonal cocktail offerings include 50 Shades of Oolong (smoky oolong-infused Tanqueray, lemon, and an egg white) and Blood & Spice (Spice Tree Scotch, apricot brandy, rosso, and blood orange).
123. Nightjar (London, England)
One of London's coolest places for cocktails in London is Nightjar, a self-described “hidden den of deco glamour.” There are tin ceilings, backlit mirrors, and displays of absinthes, vintage spirits, and bar tools galore in this 1920s- and 1930s-style bar. There are 48 cocktails with remarkable garnishes on bar manager Marian Beke’s menu.
Try the London Mule, Tanqueray gin, Kamm & Sons [a British apéritif], and Galangal Beer, or the Toronto (a twist on the Old Fashioned, with Woodford Reserve bourbon, Fernet Branca, and a smoked cotton candy garnish) alongside Mediterranean small plates like jamón ibérico croquettes and octopus carpaccio, complemented with live music every night.
122. Thundi Bar (Lhaviyani Atoll, Maldives)
Possibly one of the world’s most romantic spots to have a drink, Thundi Bar at the Komandoo Maldives Resort, 80 miles north of the capital, Malé, overlooks the resort’s water villas and pristine, white beach. The intimate venue seats only 20, so visitors are likely to enjoy their tropical cocktails and mocktails here in near seclusion
121. Old Taipa Tavern (Taipa, Macau)
The no-frills Old Taipa Tavern is a classic pub — hardwood floors, curios galore, and a friendly staff — is the heart of Taipa, Macau. Housed in a classic building in Taipa village’s Old Town Square, OTT, as regulars call it, is a great spot for people-watching and interaction with the locals who come for the pints of beer and hearty pub sandwiches.
120. High Five (Tokyo, Japan)
Named for the Western hand-slapping greeting, High Five, a cozy, friendly neighborhood bar, features a variety of precisely made seasonal fruit concoctions and signature cocktails with an Asian twist. Favorites include the Ceremony (J's Whisky, matcha green tea liqueur, green tea liqueur, and homemade matcha green tea bitters); the Curtain Call (J’s Whisky, plum liqueur, ruby port, and syrup); and the Innocent Love (dry gin, vermouth Bianco, lime, and homemade gin syrup).
119. Bassoon (London, England)
Bassoon is a 1930s-style Art Deco bar in the spectacular Corinthia Hotel London in Whitehall. Top-flight pianists make excellent music on the bar's grand piano. The bar staff uses organic ingredients, blends their own infusions, tinctures, and syrups, and even hand-chips the ice. There is an impressive portfolio of gins and whiskeys, a wide selection of vintage wines, and 70 cocktails, like the signature Bocal, made with Grey Goose la Poire vodka, fresh pomegranate seeds, lemon juice, sugar, and St. Germain Elderflower liqueur.
118. Old Imperial Bar (Tokyo, Japan)
This hotel bar incorporates elements from the original 1923-vintage hotel, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright — including Ōya stone and terracotta walls —but demolished in 1968. The 72-seat Old Imperial Bar, is famous for its frothy, cherry-topped Mt. Fuji cocktail, on the menu since 1924 (gin, lemon and pineapple juices, and egg white) and for the Imperial ’70 (dry gin, Cointreau, lemon juice, and Angostura bitters), created for the bar’s revival in 1970.
117. Le Boudoir (Lyon, France)
Gastropub Le Boudoir is hip enough by day, but the excitement is ratcheted up as the sun goes down. An impressive assortment of tapas and a lengthy wine list of mostly French wines are the main attractions; however, there is an equally impressive selection of whiskeys, Champagnes, beers, shots, and classic and contemporary cocktails. In warmer months, grab a table on the terrace and, no matter the season, enjoy the nightly mood music provided by talented DJs.
116. 34 (London, England)
The masters of mixology at 34, a bar and restaurant at 34 Grosvenor Street, enjoy bonding with regulars and creating unique concoctions for them. Sometimes these creative encounters, at the 1930s Chicago-style red marble-topped bar, end up on the cocktail menu. The Hibiscus Margarita, created for one guest and named for her dog, contains Don Julio Blanco tequila, Génépi herb liqueur, hibiscus syrup, and lime juice. Head bartender Katarina Mazaniova, winner of the Chartreuse Challenge UK Final 2011 and Chartreuse Brand Ambassador for London, and her bar staff often introduce new and unusual ingredients such as truffle honey or beer into the cocktails, which are often elaborately garnished with fresh and dried herbs and flowers and even edible glitter.
The bar also has its own single malt scotch, and is the place that commissioned, in honor of fashion model Kate Moss’ 40th birthday and 25 years in the fashion industry, the Kate Moss Coupe, a shallow, broad-bowled Champagne glass molded from the model’s left breast. There is also a 260-bottle wine list and impressive whiskey menu with 88 types and counting. The food menu offers beef, game, fish, and shellfish grilled on an imported Argentinian parrilla charcoal grill. A house pianist tickles the ivories Sunday through Wednesday evenings and a jazz trio jams Thursday through Saturday.
115. Emporio Armani Caffe (Milan, Italy)
The sleek, fashionable bar/café is one of 16 of fashion designer Giorgio Armani’s forays into fine dining and drinking around the world. While each location has its own focus — New York’s Fifth Avenue location is a ristorante that focuses on Northern Italian cuisine, for example, Armani Caffè in Milan is a recently-redesigned, refined, and relaxed place to enjoy cocktails or fine Italian wines. The décor is embellished with a variety of textures in a palette of colors that are quintessential Armani.
114. 360º Bar (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
Located at the end of the marina walkway at the landmark Jumeirah Beach Hotel, 360º Bar is a tranquil, casual restaurant popular for its lavish brunches by day and a stylish dining room serving pan-Asian fare plus a lounge bar with sophisticated cocktails by night. House music spun by a rotating roster of DJs is a constant, as are the breathtaking panoramic views of Dubai. Here weekends, which are observed on Fridays and Saturdays, begin on Thursday night. The 360º Bar’s brunches are a must. The Thursday Must-Sea Moon-Light Brunch begins at 7 p.m. and features a five-course set menu with unlimited house beverages.
113. Indigo (Mumbai, India)
The friendly bar staff, memorable live music performances, and easygoing vibe have made Indigo, which is housed in a colonial bungalow, a popular spot since its opening in 1999. Rahul and Malini Akerkar have curated one of the largest wine lists in India, and there are more than 60 cocktails and mocktails on the menu, including the Kokum Fizz, made with kokum (a tart Indian fruit), fresh lime, and lemonade, and Fresh Lime Frozen, a lime soft drink.
The signature cocktail is the Indigo Mary, a twist on the classic Bloody Mary made with a hint of tamarind and cumin. Head bartender Zafar Shaikh and his team are so dedicated that they take the time to meet each patron and remember repeat visitors and their beverages of choice. If you’re feeling peckish, there’s a constantly changing menu that offers such dishes as honey mustard-glazed salmon fish tikka and wok-tossed tamarind chili-spiced baby potatoes.
112. ANUBA (Oxford, England)
ANUBA is a late night vodka bar. Like its sister location in Bath, this icy cool establishment provides a sophisticated space for vodka-lovers, with a recently refurbished bar, a garden area, and a wide range of vodka drinks. Among these are the Mandarin Crush (Absolut Mandarin, Malibu, orange juice, pineapple juice, and lemon), the Red Rose Martini (Absolut Vanilla, Chambord, raspberry purée, and lemon), and the Pornstar Martini, Absolut Vanilla, Passoã [a passion fruit liqueur], and passion fruit syrup topped with prosecco. Vodka shots include the Chocolate Fudge Cake (Absolut Vanilla and Frangelico hazelnut liqueur) and the Apple Pie Shooter (Absolut and apple juice).
111. Principe Bar (Milan, Italy)
The newly redesigned Principe Bar in the Hotel Principe di Savoia is a must-see. In a recent renovation, architect and interior designer Thierry Despont retained many of the original 1920s features, including its majestic colored marble, lush Italian fabrics, and splendid mirrors and glass. Principe Bar is a place to see and be seen, especially during Milan Fashion Week each fall. The 16-page drink collection includes a variation on the Moscow Mule, made with tequila, ginger beer, lime juice, celery bitters, and Angostura bitters and served in a 1940s-style copper jug.
110. Bamboo Bar (Hanoi, Vietnam)
This poolside bar at the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi is one of a trio of breezy, relaxing bars at the French colonial-style hotel, a popular meeting place for journalists and writers during and after the Vietnam War. Try the Bamboo Bar’s signature cocktail: the Henry Graham Greene Daiquiri, a refreshing rum, lime juice, and sugar syrup drink named for the English author of Vietnam War novel The Quiet American.
109. Peader's O'Donnell's (Derry, Northern Ireland)
It’s not just the pints of Guinness that attract folks to Peadar O’Donnell’s, named for a prominent twentieth century IRA activist and politician. This authentic neighborhood pub bills itself as "the number one traditional Irish music pub in Derry — but the entertainment also includes rock at the adjacent Gweedore Bar and a weekend DJ at Gweedore Upstairs.
108. The Drunken Ship (Rome, Italy)
This American-owned bar was born on the Campo dei Fiori in the historic center of Rome in 1994. The Drunken Ship is a lively spot, popular with students, especially on the weekends when DJs spin and on themed party nights. Founded by backpackers, it’s frequented by similar clientele who flock here for the frozen cocktails. By day, the bar serves hearty breakfasts and lunches, and a generous happy hour, including a free buffet, begins at 3 p.m. When the sun sets, this is a good place to sample wines paired with cheese plates.
107. Jade on 36 (Shanghai, China)
After a recent revamp, Jade on 36 (#40 in our 101 Best Restaurants in Asia for 2014) has a new chef, a new look, and a new lounge, but what remains is the enviable view of Shanghai’s iconic Bund from high atop the Pudong Shangri-La’s 36th floor. Sommelier David Shoemaker helps guests find the perfect wine to pair with chef Jeremy Biasiol’s delightful menu of European-fusion dishes like the Jade on 36 Garden, a salad presented in a black, clay pot filled with vegetables and edible “soil,” and foie gras “tagada,” — pan-seared foie gras served with a foie gras lollipop and strawberries. The wine list has more than 100 bottles of reds, whites, and champagnes from artisanal and emerging boutique wineries to well-established, world renowned wineries. Six sets of wine flights are regularly available as are stylish Sex and the City-themed cocktails on Thursday nights.
106. Eyebar (Hong Kong, Hong Kong)
Named for the “eye” painted on Chinese ships to protect sailors from evil on their voyages, Eyebar offers patrons a glimpse of the boats in Victoria Harbour, high above the action from the 30th floor of iSQUARE in Tsim Sha Tsui. Sip cocktails like the Grape Expectations (gin, lime, lemongrass, and a basil leaf) while snacking on peanuts seasoned with Sichuan pepper on the nautical-themed bar’s terrace. If you are truly hungry, the Michelin-starred Nanhai No. 1 is adjacent to the bar.
105. Berry and Rye (Liverpool, England)
This nondescript Prohibition-themed spot keeps a low profile — hidden behind a black, signless door, it can be a bit tricky for first-timers to find. Pull back the black velvet curtain at the entrance to reveal a cinematic drinking scene with vintage advertisements decking the brick halls, soft candlelight, and railroad lamps lighting the café tables. The bar serves whisky, gin, and classic cocktails. Surprisingly, the food on offer are baked goods from Baltic Bakehouse. Cocktails and cakes? It works here.
104. Al Volto (Venice, Italy)
The cozy Al Volto wine bar, near the landmark Rialto Bridge, was founded in 1936 by Luigi Carbon and his father, Leone. The bar is a throwback to an earlier era, with retro décor and an atmosphere reminiscent of Venice’s traditional bàcari (wine bars). Wines from the cellar are paired with cicchetti (small plates of Venetian snacks) prepared by chef/owner Sebastiano Masiol. The varietals and labels change regularly, but patrons can admire Al Volto’s vintage bottles on shelves around the bar or gaze at the hundreds of labels that decorate the ceiling. Respect for ancient Venetian culinary traditions is just as important here as the fine wines. Try the tagliatelle alla busara di canoce (pasta with langoustine and tomato sauce) or the asparagus ravioloni with scallops and zucchini flowers.
103. Bar up (Queenstown, New Zealand)
Bar Up is a boutique gem that resembles a winter cabin, complete with comfy red couches and a fireplace. In the summer, patrons can enjoy drinks alfresco on the bar’s balcony, which overlooks a pristine lake. The seasonally changing cocktail menu includes the famous Money Shot, a creamy concoction topped with a money sign, whose contents are a closely guarded secret. As if the curiosity weren’t enough to encourage you to knock back this shooter, there is a board near the bar that tallies those brave souls who have managed to drink 100 Money Shots — not all on the same occasion, of course.
102. Hassler Bar (Rome, Italy)
A celebrity hangout since the 1950s, the Hassler Bar is a world-renowned institution. At the top of the Spanish Steps, inside the Hotel Hassler Roma, the Hassler Bar is a relaxing retreat adorned in dark wood and appointed with fine red leather upholstery. There’s piano music in the evening, a perfect accompaniment to the expertly crafted Negronis, Martinis, and Bellinis. Princess Diana told Robert Wirth, president and managing director of the hotel, that she enjoyed the world’s best Bellini here, according to the hotel.
She also tried the bar’s signature cocktail, the Veruschka (freshly squeezed pomegranate juice and sparkling white wine), invented by head bartender Luigi Berardi. The “Roman Tradition” menu from the hotel's Salone Eva restaurant is served here including rigatoni amatriciana.
101. 37 Dawson Street (Dublin, Ireland)
“We are not just a bar,” 37 Dawson Street’s website proclaims. The restaurant, named for its physical address, has a whiskey bar at the back of the palatial space, a stylish, dimly lit retreat where patrons can sip whiskeys and listen to music played on the baby grand piano. Beverage manager Dan Mulligan will also mix whatever you want to drink. The food, prepared by the folks behind Gourmet Food Parlour, a conglomerate of five cafes, restaurants, and bars in the Dublin area, ranges from marinated and stuffed olives and patatas bravas with chorizo to slow-roasted pork belly with celeriac purée and cider gravy. A trio of multi-snack platters are also available.
100. Bar 62 (Montevideo, Uruguay)
Bar 62’s name is a nod to the first trolley bus line in Montevideo. Housed in a historic building, the bar boasts an extensive drink menu that includes wines, international spirits, beer, and cocktails like the Pantera Rosa (vodka, piña colada, and grenadine) and the Pasión (vodka, ginger, and passion fruit). There is an equally extensive food menu that includes appetizers, salads, sushi, pastas, and meat-centric dishes.
99. mybar (Beirut, Lebanon)
The striking, ultra-modern mybar is a must-see. Located in Beirut’s hotel quarter, the space was designed by architect Samir Hakim. Brothers Haytham and Nael Nasr turned to crowdsourcing to raise funds to create this stunning place. The handcrafted fruity cocktails combine nicely with the contemporary Euro-American cuisine with a twist. The innovative cocktail list includes the 1344 (white and gold rum, apricot, cherry, lemon juice, orange juice, and grenadine), the Banana Pinball (gin, banana liqueur, orange juice, and lemon juice), and the Canal Coco (gin, coconut milk, condensed milk, and Angostura bitters). Be sure to try the food, like teriyaki glazed Scottish salmon filet with cilantro-infused rice and stir-fry vegetables; honey-citrus grilled shrimp with ginger spinach and cilantro-infused rice; and the "PB & J" (peanut butter and jelly bites).
98. Long Bar (Singapore, Singapore)
The legendary Long Bar at the Singapore Raffles Hotel has a robust history. Most notably, it’s where the Singapore Sling was invented by bartender Ngiam Tong Boon in 1915. Since the landmark bar’s restoration in 1991, it has been moved to a new home in the Raffles Hotel Arcade. The second floor bar, where variations of the iconic Singapore Sling are poured, features a 1920s décor inspired by Malayan plantations. Order the original made with gin, Cherry Heering, DOM Bénédictine, Cointreau, Sarawak pineapple juice, lime juice, grenadine, and a dash of Angostura bitters garnished with a slice of pineapple and a cherry.
97. Sol y Sombra (Madrid, Spain)
Stark white walls awash in icy indigo and purple hues lend an art gallery vibe to Sol y Sombra, a duo of bars with expansive dance floor. The late-night bar doesn’t open until 10 p.m., but when the doors swing open, it’s a party six nights a week (Sunday is a day of rest). Pulsating contemporary music, hookahs, gin and tonics, and a variety of cocktails create colorful memories.
96. BBC (Beijing, China)
Nestled behind an ornate wrought-iron door, tiny speakeasy BBC (for Bottle, Boot & Cigar) is a true gem in China’s capital. Head bartender Douglass Williams, who hails from San Francisco, and his staff craft bespoke cocktails per each guest’s preferences — a feat rarely seen in these parts. In striving to offer the perfect gentleman’s retreat, the aptly titled bar BBC offers cigars and, coming soon, shoe shines and straight-razor shaves in the backroom. Sounds pretentious, but it’s surprisingly not.
95. Bacchus Lounge (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada)
The Bacchus Lounge is a splendid, lavish restaurant and bar at the luxurious boutique Wedgewood Hotel & Spa. Lush velvet banquettes, warm cherrywood, delicate flowers, and nightly piano music set the mood for memorable food and wine pairings. Sommelier Sarah McCauley selects a seasonally changing roster of varietals from around the world. An extensive drinks menu accompanied with a simple menu of comfort food is elevated to a fine art, a hallmark of the Relais & Châteaux experience.
94. The Bailey (Dublin, Ireland)
The Bailey is a contemporary wine bar that serves fantastic tapas under the watchful eyes of James Joyce, rendered in a massive portrait that is a focal point of this hip drinking stop. There’s a globe-trotting selection of wines dominated by European labels, and a short list of house cocktails that include a trio of Bellinis, a Mojito, a Long Island Iced Tea, a Caipirinha, and the Hugo: elderflower liqueur, prosecco, mint, and soda.
93. Little Red Door (Paris, France)
Little Red Door is a late-night haven in the City of Lights. Exposed brick walls, reminiscent of a New York apartment, and colorful furniture surround the center bar. Each drink on the menu is created in-house and the cocktail list of a dozen or so drinks changes twice a year, The autumn/winter menu includes the Maracutaya (Calle 23 Blanco tequila, passion fruit syrup fermented for three or four days using an American ale yeast, and Bitter Truth grapefruit bitters topped with Petite Princesse Bière de Table brewed at the Brasserie Thiriez in Northern France, which adds a hoppy dryness to the cocktail).
There is also a small but excellent selection of European craft beers. Head bartender Rémy Savage has won several awards for his cocktails, which can be enjoyed with such French street snacks as the Lyonnais-style hot dog, bufala mozzarella on toast, and savory waffles with pickled vegetables. The Don't Boire Please, served straight from the freezer in a LRD logo-stamped wax-sealed bottle, is impressive. The concoction contains Byrrh Grand Quinquina, Plymouth Navy Gin, Christian Drouin Calvados and Floc de Gascogne Blanc. Santé!
92. Bristolbar (Madrid, Spain)
Named for the town in southwest England, Bristolbar is an English-themed bar decked out in modern décor. From a massive floor-to-ceiling photomural of the London Bridge to a glass wall housing rows of artisanal gin bottles, the bar is a hip spot to sip English-style drinks and tuck into hearty British food. It’s a popular spot for brunch and English breakfast. Ellie Baker has curated a portfolio of wines and gins, ensuring that patrons enjoy a tipple or two.
91. Boutique Bar at the Ohla Hotel (Barcelona, Spain)
It’s all about the signature cocktails at the quaint Boutique Bar, and there are 35 to choose from (several are award-winners). Head bartender Giacomoloris Giannotti considers the Bloomsbury Fizz (gin fizz with basil and port) and the 3 Magic Number (a multi-sensory smoked Old-Fashioned) to be the bar’s most iconic cocktails, but his signature drink is the Mediterranean Treasure, winner of Spain’s World Class Bartender Competition 2014.
Served in a smoked, salt-rimmed seashell, it is a vodka-based drink mixed with cilantro leaves, lemon, Mediterranean honey, and fino Sherry infused with oyster leaf. Reflecting Spain’s current gin and tonic drink trend, the hotel bar offers 20 gins married with different spices and garnishes. The bar at the Ohla Hotel Barcelona also serves tapas prepared by the Michelin-starred chef Xavier Franco, who helms the property’s Saüc Restaurant.
90. Le Casa Del Habano (Tallinn, Estonia)
This cigar bar transports cigar aficionados to Havana. Part of Habanas S.A., the Cuban joint venture has distributors in 150 countries. La Casa Del Habano is a chain of Havana-style bars. A variety of spirits, with a focus on whiskies and rums, as well as red and white wines and port, pair well with the more than two dozen cigar brands on offer. This is a comfortable space for conversation, good smokes, and carefully curated spirits.
89. Market Bar (Dublin, Ireland)
Tucked down quiet Fade Street, the ornate red brick Market Bar evokes a classical Victorian atmosphere. Their signature beer is Guinness, and pouring the perfect pint is taken seriously here. The Guinness at this establishment in particular is highly sought-after for two reasons: the distance between the Guinness keg and the tap line is a precise 12 feet, one of the shortest in Dublin, and the lines are maintained and cleaned every two weeks. There are 19 other beers on draft for non-Guinness lovers.
For those who prefer a cocktail, there are 22 to choose from. The signature is the Lockwood and Mason, named for the gentleman who designed the original Market Bar building. The Lockwood and Mason contains scotch, blackberry jam, agave syrup, and lemon. You won’t go hungry here, either. There’s an extensive Mediterranean tapas menu and Sunday brunch, but the Irish fish stew and patatas bravas are not to be missed.
88. WOOBAR at W Hotel (Taipei, Taiwan)
Head bartender Alex Lee helms the bar at WOOBAR, a lounge bar by day and club by night. Like other W Hotel bars around the world, this bar is built to impress, from the cool modern interior design with plush red sofas, steel sculptures by German artist Hans Schüle, and a marble and stone fireplace, to the beautiful staff to 46 out-of-this-world cocktail concoctions with playful names. Try the Wonderful Cosmopolitan (W-made citrus-infused vodka, orange liqueur, fresh lime, and cranberry juice topped with cotton candy). Even the bar food is fun yet sophisticated: the WOOBURGER with Wagyu beef is topped with foie gras and molten Taleggio and the smoked salmon is accompanied by grapefruit confit and eggplant caviar.
87. The Lobby Lounge and RawBar (Vancouver, British Columbia)
The swanky cocktail lounge in Fairmont Pacific Rim hotel is a glamorous yet cozy spot for a cocktail. The Lobby Lounge and Rawbar features an inviting fireplace, delicate crystal chandeliers, and a seven-seat raw bar where Chef Takayuki Omi and his team handcraft sushi rolls. From classic cocktails to creative seasonal twists on old favorites, the drink menu has something for everyone including non-drinkers who can indulge in a range of mocktails. Options include the award-winning August's Angel (Hennessey VS Cognac, blackberries, creme YvetteLive music every night completes the package.
86. The Jerry Thomas Project (Rome, Italy)
American Jerry Thomas wrote what many consider to be the Bible of bartenders, Bartender’s Guide: How to Mix Drinks: A Bon Vivant’s Companion, published in 1862. Leonardo Leuci paid homage to Jerry Thomas by opening this private, members-only speakeasy in 2010. Pre-Prohibition cocktails are expertly crafted at The Jerry Thomas Project, but you won’t get any unless you know the password to gain entry/ [Hint: the password is an answer to a question, which changes often. A recent question was “By what name was the ‘Cocktail’ of the Italian Futurist movement in the 1930s called?” We have no idea.).
85. Blue Gin Bar (Monte-Carlo, Monaco)
This seaside hotel sports bar is a lively affair. There are free billiards and, on most nights, DJ John Lorenz spins records at this venue tucked inside the Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort. The nautical-themed room features a starry ceiling, but patrons can see the real stars out on the terrace on clear nights. As the name suggests, Blue Gin Bar offers a variety of gins and gin-based cocktails. Creations by Benoit Chevalier include the signature Girly (Martini Rosé, cream of peach, ginger ale, mint, strawberry, and raspberry) and the Golden Julep (Havana Club rum, ginger ale, home-made spice infusion, orange, and mint), but there’s also a healthy selection of Champagne cocktails, Martinis, and Mojitos, too.
84. The Bon Vivant (Edinburgh, Scotland)
There’s an ever-changing cocktail menu along with an expansive Champagne and wine list at The Bon Vivant, opened by Stuart McCluskey in 2008. Patrons can select from snack-size or regular-size bar fare. The same goes for the 44 boutique wines on offer, which are served by the 175-ml glass, by the 500-ml carafe, or by the bottle. Intriguing cocktails include the Front Page, Buffalo Trace Bourbon, Campari, créme de cacao, amaro (an Italian herbal liqueur), and chocolate, the This is Moral (Diplomático Blanco Rum, pink grapefruit juice, lime juice, elderflower cordial, and vanilla salt), and the Flor de Muerto (Tapatio Reposado Tequila, honey, lemon thyme, lemon juice, dry riesling, peach bitters, and soda).
83. bar fifty nine (Düsseldorf, Germany)
Named for its address, 59 Königsallee, bar fifty nine is a street-level bar inside the InterContinental Düsseldorf. There are more than 150 cocktails on offer at this cozy and welcoming hotel bar. The bar also boasts dozens of the best whiskies and vodkas in town.
82. Buck & Breck (Berlin, Germany)
Hidden behind a secret door between a police station and a bistro, Buck & Breck can be accessed only by pressing a buzzer marked “bar.” Gonçalo de Sousa Monteiro and Holger Groll’s bar is named for the 1856 U.S. Democratic presidential ticket of James Buchanan and John C. Breckinridge, and the subsequent Champagne cocktail named after the running mates. The focal point of this speakeasy is a square, black wooden bar surrounded by barstools. A bartender stands at the table preparing cocktails for the 14 guests that the tiny bar can accommodate. The bar menu’s historically inspired cocktails include dry gin-, whisky-, and brandy-based cocktails and Champagne, though requests are accepted. Of course, there’s the eponymous house special Buck & Breck that consists of Champagne, cognac, absinthe, and bitters — not to be missed.
81. Bar Basque (Saint-Jean-de-Luz, France)
Created in 1920 by the Cerruti family, the Bar Basque has been a point of rendezvous in southwestern France for decades. Fine wines, Basque specialties, live music, and two terraces offer the ideal elements for fantastic sunset- and people-watching. Try Basque-style chicken; minced veal with peppers; spiced chicken; and beef carpaccio, perhaps washed down with the bar's legendary cocktail the Macca'B, based on a secret recipe using five kinds of alcohol plus Champagne.
80. Robb White Bar at Pusser’s (Marina Cay, British Virgin Islands)
The Pusser’s complex, on a small island off the east end of Tortola, includes the Robb White Bar, a restaurant, eight villas, a dive shop, and a store. Owner Charles Tobias formed Pusser’s in 1979 to resurrect the rum that was part of the old British Royal Navy tradition of issuing a daily rum ration (a mix of spirits from Jamaica, Guyana, and Trinidad) to sailors (the tradition of the ship’s purser — or "pusser" — handing out a two-ounce “tot” twice a day lasted for 300 years, until July 31, 1970, which became known as Black Tot Day).
The Admiralty Board of the Royal Navy gave Tobias the rum blend recipe and, in exchange, he donates a portion of the proceeds to the Royal Navy Sailor’s Club. Tobias began bottling the rum and selling it in 1980. Since then the Pusser’s empire has expanded to eight locations around the world, including outposts as far away as Munich and Gibraltar. The Robb White Bar serves the award-winning single-malt rum neat, on the rocks, or mixed in Caribbean cocktails like the Grog (Pusser’s rum, water, lime juice, and dark cane sugar) and Pusser’s Painkiller (Pusser’s rum, pineapple juice, cream of coconut, and orange juice) — a sweeter version of the original Painkiller, which originated at the Soggy Dollar Bar on Jost Van Dyke (see #148).
79. Floreria Atlántico (Buenos Aires, Argentina)
This speakeasy, hidden under a flower shop, has a name, décor, and menu evocative of the neighborhood’s immigrant legacy. The place was founded by Aline Vargas, Renato Giovannoni, and Julian Diaz, who have created an expansive cocktail menu divided into six sections: Italy, Spain, England, France, Poland, and Criollo. Each classic cocktail at Floreria Atlántico has a twist and incorporates products that are reflective of modern Argentina. The food menu is equally impressive, featuring Spanish, Italian, and English cuisine cooked on a vintage parrilla grill.
78. La Capilla (Tequila, Mexico)
This tiny, humble cantina in western Mexico is home to Don Javier Delgado Corono and his Batanga tequila cocktail. La Capilla (which means “The Chapel”), the oldest bar in town, is lit by fluorescent bulbs, with a plywood bar lined with barstools and a smattering of plastic tables and chairs. Tequila aficionados and local tequila distillers come not for the décor but for the enviable assortment of tequilas and refreshing Batanga (tequila, fresh lime juice, and Coca-Cola with a salted rim).
77. Bar Isabel (Toronto, Ontario, Canada)
The timeless, Spanish-inspired Bar Isabel is reminiscent of taverns in Barcelona and San Sebastian. There’s much to offer parched patrons, including a rotating six-tap selection of draught beer and cider from local breweries, 28 bottled and tinned beers, 12 sparkling wines, 33 white wines, 38 red wines, 15 sweet wines and sherries, and 16 cocktails. The signature drink is the Baraganna, the house take on a Margarita, which includes charred pineapple and jalapeño-infused blanco tequila, Cointreau, lime juice, and a sage-infused simple syrup.
There are nightly specials as well as a "we choose your own adventure" option where, with some guidance from the guest, the bartenders produce a vast number of off-menu offerings. Chef Grant van Gameren hand-carves a handsome selection of cured meats, many imported, including Spanish bellota jamón. The food menu also includes whole grilled baby Spanish octopus; smoked sweetbreads with albacore tuna and pickled green tomatoes; and pinxtos (meat skewers). Save room for the Basque cake with sherry cream.
76. Ruby (Copenhagen, Denmark)
Walking through the doors of Ruby, housed in an embassy building circa 1740, patrons instantly feel welcome. The seasonal libations take a Nordic approach to classic cocktails, like the Rapscallion, which head bartender Nick Kobbernagel Hovind describes as “an unabashedly smoky, Scottish version of the Manhattan.” It contains Talisker single malt whisky stirred over sweet Pedro Ximénez sherry with a Ricard pastis rinse. Hovind, who won the Heering Sling Awards 2014 in Berlin, can be found behind the marble bar tinkering with new concoctions. There’s no food here, but bar snacks like salted nuts, green mammut olives, and crisp or baby pickled peaches keep patrons sated.
75. Tales & Spirits (Amsterdam, Netherlands)
As the name suggests, the drinks at this vintage chic bar, opened by award-winning bartenders Lydia Soedadi and Boudewijn Mesritz in 2012, each come perfectly crafted with homemade ingredients served in vintage vessels and stories of their inspiration printed on the menu. Indeed, many tales have been told at Tales & Spirits, which is housed in a multi-level building from 1575 with exposed brick walls, original wooden beams, and an antique bank counter from 1920s London.
There’s a small but well-curated wine list, but the focus is on the cocktails, which include three house specials, 20 signature cocktails, and eight variations of the Old-Fashioned. Head bartender Airto Cramer mixes house cocktails like What If…?, a twist on the Daiquiri that features Bacardi Superior, fresh lime juice, and a pineapple-ginger shrub. The concoction is inspired by the belief that all great ideas and cocktails start with a “what if” moment. There’s a full small plates dinner menu and a bar snack menu featuring “modern global cuisine” like a veal steak tartare with toast, truffle mayonnaise, parmigiano chips, and anchovies; and the duck liver brioche burger with homemade prune chutney, caramelized onions, truffle potatoes, and mayonnaise.
74. Long Bar (Shanghai, China)
Once known to house the world’s longest bar, this hot spot inside the Waldorf Astoria Shanghai on the Bund has since been stripped of the title, but it retains the debonair feel. Long Bar still has the vibe of its former life as a British gentleman’s club — the 39-foot bar serves up Martinis and other classic cocktails, while soft gray leather seating and carved dark wood create the right ambiance for enjoying the regular live jazz. There’s an oyster bar, Cuban cigars, and classic Prohibition-era Waldorf Astoria cocktails along with signature drinks only available at the Long Bar like the Shanghai Club (gin, goji berry liqueur, raspberry and almond sugar, fresh lemon, and egg white) and Collins on the Bund (bourbon, Long Bar five-spice syrup, fresh lemons, and soda water). For added indulgence, try the whisky flight, comprising single-malt Scotch whiskies from the Lowlands and the Highlands.
73. Jing-A Taproom (Beijing, China)
What started as a hobby for friends Alex Acker and Kristian Li in 2011 turned into the Jing-A Brewing Co. in 2013 and the Jing-A Taproom a year later. One of the Chinese capital’s best microbreweries, Jing-A is housed in 1949, a converted factory space with high vaulted ceilings, brick walls, and pendant lighting. Here, there are 10 to 12 small-batch and seasonal beers on tap each month, like Flying Fish IPA, which won the Asia Beer Cup award, Koji Red Ale, brewed with fermented sake rice, ginger and wasabi, and Smoked Guizhou Chili Porter, a smooth porter infused with an aggressive kick of smoked Guizhou chiles and beechwood-smoked malts.
There are one or two guest beers on tap, too, along with a limited selection of wine, prosecco, and spirits. The bar serves “beer-centric” food, like locally crafted bratwurst and IPA sausages; charcuterie boards with both western and Chinese cured meats, cheeses, and house pickles; and a super cheesy grilled cheese sandwich with thick-cut craft bacon.
72. Kruger's American Bar (Vienna, Austria)
When Kruger’s American Bar opened in 1910, as Kaiser Bar, it was one of the first cocktail bars in Vienna. As it has since the beginning, the old-school bar, with its wooden floor and heavy Chesterfield couches, serves a fine selection of 80 whiskies, 50 rums, 250 classic cocktails, and more than a dozen cigars. Bar owner/chef Mounir Hamrouni upholds the bar’s legacy while adding new creations like the Gin Gimlet Cucumber (Bombay Sapphire Gin, lime juice, and cucumber) and Kruger’s Special (Bacardi Reserva, apricot brandy, Passoã [a French passion fruit liqueur], lime, grenadine, and orange juice).
71. Malabar (Lima, Peru)
The bar at this stunning restaurant (#37 in our Best Restaurants of Latin America and the Caribbean for 2014) is as revered for its cocktails as the dining room is for its Amazon-inspired food — both so elegant, colorful, and creatively presented that patrons almost don’t want to consume them. José Antonio Schiaffino, the father of Malabar’s chef, was instrumental in creating the cozy bar within the restaurant, which specializes in pisco cocktails. Of note is Malabar’s Pisco Punch (Pisco Quebranta, pineapple syrup, lemon juice, and water).
70. A Bar (Amsterdam, Netherlands)
A Bar, at the InterContinental Amstel Amsterdam, aims to celebrate the Dutch capital. Hotel guests can sit on the heated terrace and sip barrel-aged cocktails from the copper and marble bar while taking in views of the Amstel River. Dutch distilleries are key components of the bar drink menu, from The Flying Dutchman rum to Zuidam dry gin to cherry and hibiscus liqueurs from Wynand Fockink. This is a great opportunity to try traditional Dutch concoctions like Advocaat, a rich and creamy eggnog-like drink made from brandy, eggs, sugar, and vanilla that’s best imbibed with a spoon, and Kopstootje (a "little head butt"), a shot of genever (Dutch gin) with a cold draft beer. Seasonal locally brewed ciders, Dutch gin flights, and Dutch whisky flights are also on offer, as is a menu of Nordic snacks like croquettes made with local ingredients.
69. SKY Bar (Vienna, Austria)
Perched on the top floor of the seven-story Steffl department store, SKY Bar affords breathtaking views of the capital. The American-style roof terrace has a 23-page menu of classic cocktails, spirits, and more. Celebs like Tom Jones and Samuel L. Jackson have stopped by to sip drinks and gaze at the city skyline and beyond. Live music, played Monday through Friday, sweetens the deal.
68. Bacaro Jazz (Venice, Italy)
Typical Venetian cuisine and splendid cocktails are served alongside soulful jazz performances at Bacaro Jazz. A favorite of tourists, the bar receives letters of gratitude from its visitors that line the walls. Italian red and white wines dominate the drink menu, and pastas, seafood, and grilled meats are the emphasis of the food menu.
67. Boxing Cat Brewery (Shanghai, China)
One of China’s first microbreweries, Boxing Cat Brewing, opened in Shanghai in 2008 with a mission to introduce and expand the knowledge of American craft beer in Chinese culture. (There is now a second location, with a third planned for western Shanghai this March.) Brewmaster Michael Jordan (no relation to the basketball player) has been a catalyst in China’s craft beer industry. On tap are 25 rotating beers including unique barrel-aged examples. The food menu, by executive chef Sean Jorgensen, focuses on modern American cuisine with American Creole and Cajun influences. Each item, like the Fist of Fury Chicken Wings, Big Daddy House Smoked BBQ Ribs, and slow-braised beef short ribs, is designed to be paired with Boxing Cat’s award-winning microbrew beers.
66. Whisky Café (Montreal, Quebec, Canada)
Whisky Café is a high-end, minimalistic bar with cozy booths and comfy leather chairs that carries more than 150 scotch whiskies — though there is wine, beer, and grappa, too. The bar’s whisky tastings are an ideal way to sample a range of quality spirits. Each tasting comes with three whiskies and a bottle of spring water. The bar and cigar lounge also serves wine and food pairings like a glass of Château Calabre white wine from Bergerac, served with a plate of duck rillettes.
65. Great Leap Brewing (Beijing, China)
Since Brewmaster Carl Setzer, co-founder of China's Craft Beer Association, and his wife, Liu Fang, opened Great Leap Brewing in tree-filled Doujiao Hutong in 2010, its goal has been to foster a Chinese craft beer culture with beers crafted from locally grown hops, barley, and other ingredients. (A second, more pub-like location, called #12, opened near Beijing’s bar district shortly after and a third location is under construction.) Great Leap's most popular brew to date is the Honey Ma Gold, an easy-drinking ale enlivened by floral, mouth-tingling Sichuan peppercorns and organic honey from an apiary near the Great Wall (it was awarded Silver Medals at the 2014 Asia Beer Cup).
It’s all about the beer here, but there is one lone cocktail, the Beijing Storm, made with craft ginger soda and infused rum from CuJu, a Moroccan bistro and rummery in Beijing. In addition, there are 14 to 16 Great Leap Brewing beers on tap plus the aforementioned ginger soda, and two rotating guest beers from craft breweries around the world like Victory Brewing Company from Downingtown, Pennsylvania, Hilden Brewing Co. from Lisburn, Northern Ireland, and 8 Wired Brewing Co. from Blenheim, New Zealand. A classic double cheeseburger is among the bar food dishes offered.
64. Biber Bar (Istanbul, Turkey)
A hip, modern bar in Istanbul's upscale Nişantaşı neighborhood, Biber Bar serves classic cocktails, tapas, and sushi in comfortable surroundings, with a soundtrack supplied by DJs spinning lounge music. At this hotspot for post-work drinks, patrons take a load off at the 30-foot-long bar or sip drinks alfresco at this charming watering hole. There is another location, up the Bosphorus a bit in Bebek, but we prefer this one for its thick-of-things location, impressive views, and popularity with the trendy crowd and expats.
63. Augustiner Bräustübl (Salzburg, Austria)
The bar at Augustiner Brewery was founded by Augustinian monks in 1621, and beer has been made in the monastery here ever since. The beer brewed here is still made with tools so old that they belong in a museum. At the monastery pub, the Braustübl, said to be the largest beer tavern in Austria, such beers as Märzen, a malt, “Lenten beer” (a stout served from Ash Wednesday to Easter) and “Christmas Bock beer” (served from November to December) are served directly from wooden barrels into stone mugs. Guided tours of the brewery are offered with the brewer showing visitors the “path of beer” from the brew house to bottling.
62. Le Ti (Anse de Lorient, Saint Barthélemy)
Bon vivants have been flocking to Le Ti since its opening on Christmas Day 1995 for the drinks, food, and lively cabaret scene. Chef/owner Carole Gruson, chef Pascal Giglio, and DJ Franck N. have created a legendary Caribbean tavern, adorned with red velvet and over-the-top décor. The “Ti” serves such fare as Zen Tartare (guacamole, tuna tartare, and lime soy sauce) and Big Tataki de Thon (seared and sliced yellow fin tuna with soy sauce wasabi and sautéed noodles), along with the requisite bar standards, plus probably the island's best list of Champagnes.
61. SkyBar (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
Perched on the 33rd floor of the Traders Hotel Kuala Lumpur by Shangri-La is the polished glass and steel SkyBar. This impressive bar attracts smartly dressed locals and hotel guests alike who arrange themselves around the bar’s glimmering 85-foot-long pool. While the bar food is mostly uninspired and standard-issue, the signature drinks like the Selangor Sling (Bombay Sapphire Gin and cherry brandy liqueur shaken with pressed pineapple juice, fresh lemon juice, and a touch of Angostura bitters, then topped with soda and Benedictine D.O.M. and garnished with lemon and maraschino cherry) are standouts.
60. Barchef (Toronto, Ontario, Canada)
Barchef’s Frankie Solarik and his team at the intimate, dimly lit Barchef, like to challenge the boundaries of a multisensory cocktail and dining experience. Nearly everything here is handmade or handcrafted, from jars of bitters infusing behind the bar to fresh herbs to ice hand-chipped by the bartenders. There’s much to choose from, classic through "molecular," the latter of which go well with modernist menu. Try the signature Vanilla and Hickory-Smoked Manhattan (Crown Royal Special Reserve, vanilla-infused brandy, cherry and vanilla bitters, hickory-smoked syrup, smoked hickory, and vanilla) and the Four Seven Two (bourbon, cola bitters, fresh lime, muddled mint, and mint syrup).
59. Belga Queen (Brussels, Belgium)
Antoine Pinto’s brasserie adventure Belga Queen is a Belgian gastronomic trip. Housed in a nineteenth-century building with stained glass windows that was the former Hôtel de la Poste and later a Belle Époque-style bank (a second location is northwest of the Belgian capital in Ghent), Belga Queen is a massive, ornate complex with an oyster bar, a waterfall, a beer bar, and a cigar lounge where the bank’s vault used to be. A portfolio of Belgian wines (yes, wine is made in that country) and Belgian beers, including authentic Trappist brews, can be paired with Pinto’s original but unpretentious Belgian, beer-infused cuisine. Try the lobster baked on a hot plate with birds beak peppers, lemon juice, and lobster oil or the Charolais beef tartare with caviar, pékèt (Belgian gin), and a cone of fries.
58. Bar Liguria (Santiago, Chile)
Bar Liguria on Avenida Providencia, one of a trio of locations in the Chilean capital, is a welcoming and casual bar and bistro with exceptional homemade-inspired Chilean food — specials like stewed rabbit and hake cheeks in Basque sauce are written on a blackboard — served on tables draped with red-checkered tablecloths. The wine list is extensive, and more than a dozen beers and apéritifs are on offer as well as a range of Pisco Sours (the Chileans who claim they, not the Peruvians, invented the cocktail). Here, the cocktail is made sans egg whites and Angostura bitters, with just Chilean Pisco, pica limes, and sugar.
57. Saxon + Parole (Moscow, Russia)
Walking through the door at Saxon + Parole, you might think you’re in New York, not Moscow. Designed as an exact replica of the original Saxon + Parole in New York City, the décor is inspired by the two namesake thoroughbred racing horses from the late nineteenth century, Saxon and Parole. The dining room and bar are reminiscent of the urban horse stables that these horses would have resided in, with natural wood paneling and warm orange lights.
Each season, head bartender Oxana Zhidkova and the bartending team head to the local farmers market to source fruits and vegetables for its seasonally changing cocktail menu. The knowledgeable and friendly staff craft classic cocktails with signature twists and original creations like the Cold War, beet-thyme sous vide vodka, Campari, Dolin Vermouth, and orange bitters. The spectacular food menu includes: truffled portobello mushroom mousse served in a jar topped with Parole whisky jelly, and a dry-aged Angus burger topped with Havarti cheese, maple bacon, and a fried egg accompanied with French fries.
56. Delicatessen (Moscow, Russia)
Delicatessen’s homemade infusions and barrel-aged cocktails, combined with the staff’s deep connection between the bar and kitchen, have made it a must-visit in the Russian capital. The shabby-chic bar features hand-printed wallpaper, brass bars, and an eclectic collection of chairs. Elizaveta Evdokimova — global winner of the 2013 Bacardi Legacy competition for her cocktail the Knight Cup, a mix of Bacardi Superior rum, Cynar, grenadine liqueur, and simple syrup — helms the bar. Signature beverages include the cherry-bourbon barrel-aged Pedro Manhattan, made with sherry instead of vermouth. Along with the cocktails, try Delicatessen’s “innovative, curious, and modern cuisine,” like the signature dish, fried calf brains with egg yolk sauce and pike roe.
55. The Piano Rouge (Krakow, Poland)
Located in Kraków’s Main Market Square, The Piano Rouge is a beloved jazz bar and restaurant. The historical baroque-style venue dates to the mid-twelth century, and is punctuated with gold, glass, chandeliers, and lush red carpeting. Musicians gather nightly to play on The Piano Rouge’s century-old Bechstein piano. The menu features classic Polish soups, salads, pasta, and desserts. While most of the drinks are standards — Margarita, Tequila Sunrise, Manhattan, White Russian, Bloody Mary — each is expertly made and served with a warm smile.
54. Salt Dog Slim's (Liverpool, England)
When members of the staff aren’t dancing on the bar tops at Salt Dog Slim’s, they are pouring steins of Dortmunder German lager or imaginative cocktails — like the signature Salt Dog Millionaire, made with rum, sloe gin, apricot brandy, passion fruit syrup, and mango, orange, and lime juices. The eclectic bar features two boar’s heads mounted on the wall, a bathtub for a table, a fireplace, and comfy booths and sofas. The most daring guests don’t leave without eating a “suicide dog,” an American-style chili dog made with extremely hot sauce.
53. Shaker (Helsinki, Finland)
This casual cocktail bar in Finland’s capital is known for its delicious cocktails. The staff prepares beverages with flair from Shaker’s Top 30 list (and patrons who make it through the entire list get their name on a little plaque behind the bar), but are happy to prepare classic and custom drinks, too. The 40-seat bar has a wonderful terrace that is open in the summer.
52. Hemingway Lounge Bar (Zagreb, Croatia)
While the first Hemingway Bar in the Croatian capital is now more club than bar, the second, newest incarnation, opposite the Croatian National Theatre, is reminiscent of the original opulent cocktail bar. Part of a chain of bars with outposts in Opatija, Medveja, Rijeka, and Split, the bar offers a popular signature drink called the Crocktail. Created by Croatian mixologist Marin Nekić, this is a bright red concoction made with Croatian ingredients: Zadarski Maraschino (a distilled from Marasca cherries), lemon juice, Maraska sour cherry juice, and arancini (Dalmatian candied orange peel), all topped with a cherry. Mojitos, Martinis, and Amaretto Sours are also sipped by the city’s elites, who gather here to see and been seen.
51. Xu Lounge (Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam)
By day, Xu Lounge is comfortable spot to enjoy chef/founder Nguyen Duc Bien’s modern and traditional Vietnamese fare; by night, the cocktail lounge serves luscious cocktails and vibrant music provided by rotating DJs. The bar list includes wine, beer, a wide range of liquors, and cocktails listed under several headings, for instance "Soul of Vietnam" (the Kentucky Kumquat: ginger-infused bourbon, black sugar, fresh kumquat, and kumquat candy); “Liquid Nitrogen Edible” (the LN2 Coconut: vodka, fresh coconut juice, and liquid nitrogen); “Muddled” (the Caprioska: vodka, limes, and sugar); “Sparkling” (the Xuparkle Cherry: cherry brandy, vodka, and sparkling wine); “Shots” (the Chilli Kumquat: vodka, kumquat candy, chili, and rau ram, which is Vietnamese cilantro); and “Martinis” (the Mia: scotch, lime, sugar cane juice, and honey).
50. Basil's Bar (Mustique, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines)
Celebrities, including Hollywood luminaries, rock stars, and British royalty, have flocked to Basil’s Bar, Basil Charles’ laid-back bamboo-and-wood establishment, built on stilts over the Caribbean on this small private island. Copious amounts of Basil’s Bar Rum Punch are drunk each day, as are signature cocktails like the Mustique Whammy, made with Champagne, gold rum, orange juice, lemon juice, and grenadine syrup. Local bottled Hairoun beer, vodka, whiskey, and wines are also on offer. The lively bar also hosts the only blues festival in the Caribbean, and each Wednesday night, the staff fires up the grill, preparing lobsters, suckling pig, and steak for patrons.
49. Buddha Bar (Kyiv, Ukraine)
Buddha Bar is a sleek tri-level bar, restaurant, and mezzanine lounge, one of a network of 16 Buddha Bars worldwide (the first opened in Paris in 1996). It also happens to be the longest and highest bar in the Ukraine. Each Buddha Bar maintains a similar standard for décor, including a giant Buddha as the focal point, and the drink and food menus are nearly the same. The fully stocked bar offers a repertoire of drinks from apéritifs to whiskies and nearly everything in between.
If that’s not enough, a wide range of cocktails from “slow cocktails” like Manhattans and Cosmopolitans to the “Instans Red Bull” — Red Bull mixed with rum, Jägermeister, vodka, and whisky — to hot beverages like grog and glintwine is prepared by head bartender Galina Tretyak and her team. There’s an à la carte Pacific Rim menu and a family-style menu for groups of three or more, as well as “hookah cocktails,” non-alcoholic cocktail-themed shisha smokes.
48. Articsóka (Budapest, Hungary)
The stylish Articsoka bar and restaurant is popular among Budapest’s hip crowd. The Mediterranean-style space features an atrium and a rooftop terrace. The menu includes Mediterranean and Central European fare, featuring a range of fish and pasta, which can be paired with an impressive portfolio of wines and brandies. Live music and theatrical performances play here monthly.
47. Kelly's Cellars (Belfast, Northern Ireland)
Located in Bank Square, in the heart of the capital, Kelly’s Cellars is Belfast’s oldest pub, having poured its first pint on October 3, 1720. (It was here the United Irish Men met to plot the 1798 rebellion against the English rule.) Most of the original features of the pub remain, from the whitewashed walls to the uneven concrete floor. Irish musicians from all over visit the bar to play traditional music weekly. It’s not uncommon for the locals, who come for a pint of Guinness and a bowl of homemade Irish beef stew, to occasionally break into song.
46. Intermezzo Piano Bar (Sofia, Bulgaria)
This classic hotel piano bar in the Kempinski Hotel Zografski, at the foot of Mount Vitosha, offers a convenient, picturesque respite from the hustle and bustle of the capital. Patrons can enjoy coffee and cocktails indoors or outdoors on the sunlit terrace, which overlooks what is said to be the only Japanese garden in the Balkans. Intermezzo is particularly popular for Sunday brunch and for late evening apéritifs.
45. Cocktail Lounge at The Zetter Townhouse (London, England)
Drink pioneer Tony Conigliaro has earned a reputation for his groundbreaking approach to cocktail making and the drinking experience (his projects include 69 Colebrooke Row; see #20) and the Drink Factory, a research and development laboratory of like-minded bartenders near London’s Broadway Market. The unique recipes Conigliaro has created for Cocktail Lounge — a collaboration with The Zetter Group, chef Bruno Loubet, and Conigliaro, at the 13-bedroom Georgian-style The Zetter Townhouse — pay homage to Central London’s breweries and gin distilleries heritage.
Old recipes for tinctures (liquid extracts made from herbs), bitters, and herbal remedies have inspired not only the cocktails, but also the homemade cordials and infusions that sit behind the apothecary-style counter. The bar is crammed full of collectibles, taxidermy, and Victoriana and on cold nights a crackling fireplace warms the room. Chef Loubet has crafted a menu of light bites and supper bowls to pair with the bar’s seasonally changing roster of signature cocktails. Recent selections included the Bronze Faun, made with rum, cocoa, and elderflower, and the Somerset Sour, a spin on the New York Sour made with apple brandy instead of whiskey.
44. Bramble Bar (Edinburgh, Scotland)
It’s a bit difficult to find Bramble Bar, but well worth the effort. The cocktail menus at this dimly lit basement-level speakeasy, bound with the covers of old hardcover books, contains forgotten classics like the Celery Sour from Tom Bullock’s The Ideal Bartender (1917), originally made with freshly squeezed lemon juice, pineapple juice, and a spoonful of bitters but no alcohol (today, the bar staff add Beefeater gin and pasteurized egg whites). Bramble Bar is home to original cocktails, too, like the Red Rum (Bacardi eight-year-old rum, Hayman’s Sloe Gin, fresh lemon juice, redcurrants, and vanilla sugar syrup).
43. Revolution (Liverpool, England)
Set on Albert Docks on the banks of the River Mersey, Revolution offers classic and innovative food and drink. The terrace provides a fantastic vantage point for a sundowner, from beer and cider to wine, spirits, and cocktails. Drinking is more fun with company, so grab a few friends and order from the "sharing" drink menu, which includes classic party pitchers like the Fizzee Rascal (Absolut Original and Absolut Raspberri vodkas mixed with Southern Comfort and fruited with wild blueberries, lemons, and cranberry juice, and then fizzed with lemonade) and creative concoctions like the Swedish Pirate (large measures of Brugal and Malibu rums with Chambord and orange juice, topped with Mango and Raspberry Rekorderlig and served in a copper jug). If that’s not enough to get the party started, at night, live music fills the bar, adding to the merriment.
42. Baz Bar (Gustavia Harbor, Saint Barthélemy)
Sushi, songs, and scenery are what make Baz Bar so remarkable. Located on the tiny island of Saint Barthélemy — better known as St. Barts — in the French West Indies, the nautical-themed bar is named for the Creole expression le bête à z’ailes, which literally means “the beast with wings” but is a local name for the frigate bird — a nickname supposedly given to the bar’s owner, Jean-Marc LeFranc, because like the bird, he landed on the island (from France) and stayed. The bar often hosts musical acts from around the world; it’s common to see a motley crew of the rich, the famous, and the slightly disreputable knocking back cocktails, beer, and sake and noshing on sushi here. Some 14 Martinis are on offer, as are cocktails mixed with Havana Club 7-year-old rum and various spiked coffees. Try The Old Cuban, made with Havana Club 7-year-old rum, fresh ginger, fresh mint, sugar, fresh lime juice, and a dash of Angostura bitters.
41. Harry's Bar (Florence, Italy)
Giuseppe Cipriani, founder of Harry’s Bar in Venice (see #7) convinced his friend Enrico Mariotti, who was working on his own bar in Florence, to call his place “Harry’s Bar,” too. Bartender Leo Vadorini helped make this Harry’s Bar, which opened in 1952, an internationally known watering hole. Paloma Picasso and Margaux Hemingway used to spend time at the bar; Paul Newman came and swapped Vadorini his bowtie in exchange for an autographed photo; and when Robin Williams spilled coffee on his shirt, it was the bartender who procured a T-shirt for the comedian. Artisan Murano glass shimmers on the beautiful terrace where patrons enjoy panoramic views of Florence, including the Ponte Vecchio, while sipping cocktails like the Bellini (invented at Harry’s Bar in Venice), the bar’s award-winning reinterpretation of the classic Martini, and the Negroni (a cocktail named for Count Camillo Negroni, who asked the bartender at nearby Caffè Giacosa to spike his favorite cocktail, the vermouth-Campari-soda water Americano, with gin).
40. The Diamond (Vancouver, Canada)
The bartenders at Mark Brand’s The Diamond, located on the second floor of a historic Gastown building that was once a brothel in Vancouver’s Downtown East Side, abide by the bar’s motto: “For the people, the craft, the past, and the present.” The extensive cocktail list is separated into “boozy” like the Monocle (London dry gin, Bénédictine, Cynar, French vermouth, and bitters); “refreshing” like the Colin’s Lawn (sake, Lillet, lemon, mint, ginger, and sparkling wine); “delicate” like the Lola (sparkling wine, apricot, lemon, Cuban white rum, and ginger); “proper” like the Karlita’s Way (blanco tequila, Italian vermouth, Cocchi Americano, and Italian liqueur Averna); “notorious” like The Gastown (London dry gin, grapefruit, Orancio Vermouth, and Ramazzotti Absinthe); and “overlooked” like the Brandy Alexander (cognac, crème de cacao, cream, and nutmeg). Equally exciting is the food menu, which has shareable items like prawn ceviche with spicy tomato sauce, lime, avocado, cilantro, onion, and chips.
39. Fitzsimons Temple Bar (Dublin, Ireland)
Five floors with four bars, a roof terrace, and a nightclub make this the ultimate adult playground. The Daily Meal’s favorite is the Roof Terrace, Dublin’s only open-air, heated rooftop bar, which overlooks the River Liffey. The onsite restaurant serves classic Irish and European dishes like traditional Irish stew of Wicklow lamb with root vegetables in a lamb and herb broth; Irish braised beef and Guinness casserole with mashed potatoes; and shareable bar bites like the Fitzsimons Soakage Platter with cocktail sausages, chicken strips, potato skins, onion rings, spring rolls, and spicy potato wedges, which all go well with pints of Guinness, the dry stout that originated in the brewery of Arthur Guinness at Dublin’s St. James's Gate. The complex includes a 22-room hotel, should you need a place to crash after all-night drinking and partying.
38. Connaught Bar (London, England)
Inspired by English Cubist and Irish 1920s art, Mayfair’s Connaught Bar was designed by the late Irish interior designer David Collins to reflect Dickensian glamour with modern flair (e.g., textured walls in silver leaf overlaid with dusty pink, pistachio, and lilac hues). The cocktail menu, which fuses tradition and innovation, provides a little history lesson about each beverage. The new signature serve is a whisky and chocolate tasting, though those seeking savory canapés can try honey- and mustard-glazed pork belly with red onion compote and apple and jamón ibérico and rabbit roulade with capers and tarragon emulsion. The bar brags that it is the only one in the United Kingdom to offer two particular expressions, or versions, of Lagavulin and Dalmore whisky. Perhaps the most famous offering at the Connaught Bar is the Connaught Martini Trolley, which makes, arguably, the perfect Martini.
37. Callooh Callay ( London, England)
Inspired by Lewis Carroll’s Jabberwocky, Callooh Callay has an eclectic, eccentric style. Upon entering, guests are treated to an eyeful of mirrored walls and plush purple furnishings, seating created from two halves of a bathtub, and disco balls. Callooh Callay is three pubs in one: The Bar, a contemporary hideaway that welcomes parched passersby; The Lounge, a reservations-only bar-within-a-bar that is accessed by walking through a wardrobe à la the C.S. Lewis fantasy novel The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe; and the JubJub Club, a members-only upstairs bar that returns in early 2015 (it was temporarily transformed to a monthly experimental pop-up bar/space called The Upstairs Bar). While details about the JubJub Club have not yet been revealed, the former bar was accessed by membership key, which unlocked a space that played host to visiting bartenders who were given full creative license over the cocktails served.
While we eagerly hope to be granted coveted access to the JubJub Club, meanwhile we happily enjoy head bartender Simon Toohey’s 18 current cocktails, among them the Pea-ter Rabbit (Tanqueray gin, green pea- and anise-infused Noilly Prat, carrot shrub, and a dash of Pernod) and the Guac’ to the Future (El Jimador Tequila mixed into a cocktail with guacamole). Save room for the nibbles and snacks like honey-glazed pigs in blankets with wholegrain mustard; fish and chips with tartar sauce; and falafel sliders with lemon, cilantro, and chile mayo accompanied by hummus.
36. Skye Bar (São Paulo, Brazil)
Atop São Paulo's ultra-contemporary crescent-shaped Unique Hotel, this rooftop hotel bar is as stunning as its view of São Paulo’s skyline and Ibirapuera Park. At the center of Skye Restaurant & Bar is a crimson pool with an underwater sound system; around it are a lounge area and alfresco bar. French chef Emmanuel Bassoleil has designed menus for breakfast, lunch, and dinner that are a mix of Brazilian, French, Italian, and Japanese cuisines, which perfectly complement the many variations on the Caipirinha, Brazil’s national drink made with cachaça, sugar, and fruit.
35. The Blackbird (Edinburgh, Scotland)
This beer garden serves craft beers and house batch cocktails in a homey, stone-walled spot in the Scottish capital. The expansive cocktail menu is divided into “Up” with drinks like Panic at the Disco (Tanqueray gin, Gabriel Boudier pink grapefruit liqueur, green tea, lemon, egg white, and popping candy) and Elegantly Wasted (Belvedere orange, Grand Marnier, orange, fresh mint, and a whole egg); “Short” with Too Much Too Young (Grey Goose vodka, Kahlua, half-and-half, chocolate, and marshmallows) and Blackbird Brew (Ketel One Citroen, Ketel One, mango tea syrup, lemon, and plum bitters); and “Long” with offerings like Kick Ass (Grey Goose vodka, strawberries, lime, and ginger ale) and Rum Direction (Appleton V8, house batch spiced spirit, apple, lime, and grenadine).
The food at The Blackbird is just as carefully curated as the cocktails. The eight-hour venison stew with chocolate stout, caramelized roots, and house batch crispy onions and the eight-ounce Scottish beef burger with brioche bun, applewood-smoked Cheddar, tomato and chili relish, and dill pickle, served with a heaping portion of twice-cooked chips are a tasty reminder this is not typical pub grub.
34. Bar Tender (Tokyo, Japan)
Located in the fifth floor of the Nogakudo Building, an office building in Ginza, Bar Tender is a tiny, legendary cocktail lounge. Award-winning Kazuo Uyeda is known for his fastidiousness behind the bar. Uyeda’s book, Cocktail Techniques, explains in great detail each step of the bartending process, from how to grip a shaker and hold a spoon to how to arrange bottles on the bar. He’s credited with inventing the “hard shake,” a shaking technique that maximizes aeration. The drinks Uyeda and his staff, who wear crispy white jackets and work with precise precision, are mainly classics, though Uyeda has created a few cocktails of his own. Nicknamed “the magician of color,” Uyeda fashions such delights as the City Coral, a mix of Blue Curaçao and grenadine that produces a light turquoise color reminiscent of the ocean; and the Shungyo (spring dawn), an amber-hued cocktail (the color evokes an early spring sunrise) made with sake, vodka, and green tea liqueur that is garnished with a salted cherry blossom.
33. The William Thornton (Norman Island, British Virgin Islands)
Affectionately referred to as The Willy-T, The William Thornton is a floating bar named for William Thornton, a British-American physician, inventor, painter, and architect who was born in the British Virgin Islands and designed the United States Capitol building. This remote bar and restaurant, a 100-foot steel craft that resembles a pirate ship decked in red and black complete with skeleton graphics on the metal sidings which floats off a deserted island, is only accessible by boat. A gathering spot for charter yachts that sail around the BVIs, The Willy-T has a real party atmosphere. Patrons enjoy the signature Zeus Juice, a special rum punch, and food offerings including such Continental/Caribbean fare as local fish, roti, and honey-stung chicken.
32. El Museo del Whisky (San Sebastián, Spain)
More than a bar, El Museo del Whisky boasts one of the largest whisky collections in the world with 3,400 whiskies lining its walls, most from Scotland — though there are whiskies from France, Germany, and the United States on display, too. The piano bar’s Facebook page proclaims the bar’s motto is “"El Museo del Whisky is not a bar, it is a whole factory of ideas." Indeed, it is. Whisky-obsessed owner Paul Bordonaba tends to the two-floor bar and its museum-like collection of whisky-related knick-knacks including mugs, bottles, glasses, the World’s Smallest Cocktail Shaker (complete with certification from the Guinness Book of Records), and a collection of porcelain owls (a collection begun by Bordonaba’s father) — truly a feast for the eyes as well as the palate.
31. Black Pearl Bar (Melbourne, Australia)
A casual neighborhood cocktail place, the Black Pearl Bar serves cocktails, nibbles (think duck nachos), and chill music. The unpretentious bartenders mix Midori Sours, Long Island Iced Teas, Martinis, and pretty much whatever else patrons want. Be sure to check out The Attic, a new upstairs space open Thursdays to Saturdays that offers table service.
30. American Bar (London, England)
A trip to London isn’t complete with a stop at the American Bar at The Savoy. This legendary hotel bar has had some famous bartenders who created cocktails that became part of bar menus the world over, including Ada Coleman, who invented the Hanky Panky (a kind of sweet Martini made with sweet Italian vermouth, dry gin, and two dashes of Fernet Branca, garnished with an orange peel) and Harry Craddock, inventor of the White Lady (a Sidecar made with gin) and the author of The Savoy Cocktail Book, a classic tome full of 750 cocktail recipes.
29. 360 Istanbul (Istanbul, Turkey)
Located in the old embassy row in Beyoğlu, 360 Istanbul features a 360-degree view of the city’s icons, like Topkapı Palace, Hagia Sophia, and the Blue Mosque. The sexy, moodily lit penthouse-level bar/restaurant is located in a nineteenth-century historic apartment building. The bar/restaurant serves such craft cocktails as the signature drink Your World Is 360, a concoction of cinnamon vodka, cherry liqueur, cherries, fresh green apple juice, and a secret exotic bitters blend. The bar also offers 85 cocktails, 100 bottles of wine, 10 beers, and 22 hot and iced teas. On weekends, the venue transforms into 360Club. In the summer, patrons can enjoy drinks and small Turkish meze plates like pastrami pacanga and wasabi edamame on heated terraces overlooking the Bosphorus or around the swimming pool.
28. Soleil Rouge (Geneva, Switzerland)
Soleil Rouge is a dimly lit wine bar that serves a monthly rotating card of Spanish wines along with tapas like ham croquettes and meatballs. Patrons can enjoy a sampling of red and white wines and tapas from a communal table, a VIP area, and a "cave" that seats 25 to 50 people. Those who find a wine they like can buy additional bottles to take home.
27. Grand Café de la Poste (Marrakesh, Morocco)
Step back in time at this colonial mansion on the corner of Boulevard el-Mansour Eddahbi and Avenue Imam Malik. The 1920s vibe abounds at Grand Café de la Poste with wooden blinds, wicker chairs, potted plants, and crisp white linen tablecloths. A French-Moroccan menu complements the apéritifs served indoors and on the terrace.
26. The Bar at Hôtel Costes (Paris, France)
The Bar at Hôtel Costes is a lavish but intimate space created by French interior designer Jacques Garcia. Situated in Paris’ fashion district, on the Rue Saint-Honoré, the Italian baroque-style bar is often frequented by celebrities who enjoy pricey classic cocktails — from Mojitos to Long Island Iced Teas — while they relax in the cozy courtyard or indoors on lush velvet couches and listen to legendary resident DJs spin lounge music inside (onetime resident DJ Stéphane Pompougnac released several Hôtel Costes mixes, heard in hip hotel lobbies all over the world).
25. Foreign Correspondents Club (Phnom Penh, Cambodia)
In its early days, the Foreign Correspondents Club was one of only a handful of places to eat in Cambodia’s capital, which made it popular with journalists and aid workers who gathered each night to drink and swap stories. As it was in the beginning, the colonial-style bar is a cornerstone of Phnom Penh’s riverfront. Still popular with journalists and expats, the FCC Phnom Penh, like its counterpart in Siem Reap, is ever popular with tourists, too. The terrace in Phnom Penh is a phenomenal spot from which to watch the sunset over the Tonle Sap River. Local lagers, strong Mojitos, Martinis, Margaritas, and the like, along with hearty bar food including staples like beer-battered fish and chips and local Cambodian dishes such as fish amok and beef lok lok, keep the FCC bustling at all hours of the day and night.
24. Da Conch Shack (Providenciales, Turks and Caicos)
Chef Mark Clayton is onto something at the shabby, open-air, legendary Da Conch Shack (#59 in our 101 Best Restaurants in Latin America and the Caribbean for 2014) just off Blue Hills Road. Da Conch Shack is the type of place beach bums yearn for, offering fresh, tasty seafood and potent rum-laced drinks with a punch. This quintessential beach bar, right on the sand, carries 40 different rums, some for mixing, some to be sipped. The signature cocktail is the Rum Conchknocker, named for the method folks use to get a conch out of its shell, and for some reason often requested by couples after they serve each other “pistols,” a part of the conch famed for its aphrodisiacal properties.
While the menu includes options like jerk ribs, it's the namesake conch — fried, as ceviche, in curried chowder, as fritters — that keeps folks coming back year after year. Be sure to order some Johnny Fries (Turks & Caicos salted French fries drizzled with black bean and pepper gravy) or island staple rice and peas and a pitcher of rum punch on the side. A reggae band plays on Wednesdays and a DJ spins on Sundays while patrons and the staff dance under palm trees. The best part (besides the rum punch and good vibes)? You can take a dip in the turquoise ocean or pluck conch shells off the beach just feet from Da Conch Shack.
23. El Floridita (Havana, Cuba)
Since 1817, El Floridita has been the place for drinks, food, and conversation in the heart of Old Havana. Ernest Hemingway wrote the draft of For Whom the Bell Tolls and imbibed many sweet, citrusy Daiquiris here (the exact chair Papa sat in remains, chained off, at the bar). In fact, Catalan Constantino Ribalaigua Vert, who took ownership of the bar in 1918, is credited with having invented the Daiquiri. Cantineros (bartenders) today continue to serve the bar’s famous cocktails — not just the Floridita Daiquiri (a blend of Havana Club rum, lemon juice, white sugar, ice, and maraschino) but also the Papa Hemingway (a blend of Havana Club rum, grapefruit juice, lemon juice, ice, and maraschino).
22. Dick's Bar at The Yeatman (Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal)
Named in honor of the late Richard "Dick" Stanley Yeatman, who ran the esteemed Taylor-Fladgate port house in the mid-twentieth century (the firm owns The Yeatman hotel, where the bar is situated), Dick’s Bar at The Yeatman serves all the usual cocktails, but the real draw is a seasonally changing list of some 82 Portuguese wines, from light whites to rich vintage ports, all available by the glass. With enviable views of the Douro River and Porto, the vibe is that of a private club; live music on Friday and Saturday evenings adds to the ambience, and the knowledgeable staff helps patrons select perfect wine pairings to complement the light menu.
21. Le Bar du Bristol (Paris, France)
Opened in September of 2012, Le Bar du Bristol in Le Bristol hotel is sumptuously appointed with dramatic silk curtains revealing English-style club décor with pine-paneled walls, Versailles oak parquet floors, a marble fireplace, and a specially commissioned mural by artist Thierry Bruet — all this juxtaposed with modern elements, like a nightly video projection and DJ’s who spin on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. The 26-year-old head bartender, Maxime Hoerth, who was awarded the title of Best French Bartender in 2011, serves exclusive Champagne, wines, and signature cocktails. His most famous offering the is Hoerth’s Bristol Old Fashioned, which changes ingredients seasonally. Variations include the Winter Old Fashioned, an ode to the bartender’s childhood Christmas memories in Alsace, a drink mixed with homemade mulled wine syrup, strawberry liqueur, Grand Marnier, and a cinnamon stick; the British Old Fashioned n°3, a refreshing springtime mix of Calvados Pays D’Auge, homemade pear and apple cider syrup, and peach and orange bitters; and the Bristol “Irish” Old Fashioned n°5, a mix of Redbreast Irish whiskey, homemade caramel and Guinness syrup made with Werther’s Originals candy, and Amargo Chuncho bitters. The bar also offers more than 400 classic cocktails and 400 types of spirits, including 40 whiskies. Three Michelin-starred chef Éric Fréchon has created a tapas menu to accompany the bar’s expertly crafted cocktails. The menu includes maki rolls with king crab and vegetables in spicy ketchup; tartines of salted and peppered potted duck foie gras; shrimp tempura with ginger and coriander mayonnaise; chicken wings in satay sauce; and pata negra ham accompanied with meringue with sugar crystallized violets and a blackcurrant confit.
20. 69 Colebrooke Row (London, England)
Technically a bar with no name, it’s identifiable by a lantern and a burgundy awning at 69 Colebrooke Row in Islington. Since opening in 2009, this 1950s film noir-inspired bar has garnered many awards. From the folks behind the Cocktail Lounge at The Zetter Townhouse (see #45), the bar uses eclectic ingredients and techniques sourced from the company’s Drink Factory, a research and development laboratory of like-minded bartenders founded by Tony Conigliaro. The Drink Factory was once housed at The Bar with No Name, but has since expanded to its own space near London’s Broadway Market. Classic cocktails are available upon request, but it’s more enticing to try innovative cocktails from the seasonal cocktail menu like the signature Prairie Oyster, a deconstructed Bloody Mary served in a ceramic oyster shell. Other recent cocktails that caught The Daily Meal’s attention are the Death in Venice (Campari with grapefruit bitters topped with prosecco and an orange twist) and the Aerial (distilled bergamot, an aromatic plant from India called ambrette, and dried lemon served straight from the bottle).
19. Alibi Room (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada)
Owners Raya Audet and Nigel Springthorpe have created Alibi Room, a modern tavern that serves 50 local craft beers, often exclusively, and a rotating cask selection paired with chef Greg Artmstrong’s organic and locally sourced food. The majority of craft beers come from British Columbia, like Four Winds “Phaedra” Rye Wheat IPA and Red Truck’s India Pale Ale. The wine list is equally impressive. The wines on offer here include boutique and organically grown wines like Tantalus Riesling and Cedar Creek Proprietor’s Blend, both from Kelowna, British Columbia. The cocktails are inventive, too, like the Nitro Fizz (Strega, ginger liqueur, nitro beer, and soda) and The Green Run (bourbon, lemon juice, simple syrup, cardamom bitters, and IPA foam float). Housed in a heritage building along the rail yard, the bar is a welcoming and homey place to enjoy such hearty fare as mushroom and hazelnut pâté with truffle oil, garlic confit, and crostini; barbecue pork belly “samwich” with beer braised onions, French fries, and jalapeño slaw; and roasted Rossdown Farms chicken breast with black garlic jus, nugget potatoes, and fall vegetables.
18. Library Bar (Dublin, Ireland)
Long off the radar, the quaint Library Bar at the Central Hotel Dublin City is gaining popularity thanks to a number of awards and accolades including Best Hotel Bar from the National Hospitality Awards in 2012. Tucked away on the historic hotel’s first floor (the hotel was established in 1887), the carpeted bar features coffee tables, hundreds of books, and welcoming armchairs — the perfect spot for a pint of Guinness (the bar has won awards for its Guinness) or a Jameson on the rocks and relaxing with friends or a great book. The bar has recently added “Gin Central” with a large selection of gin cocktails and there’s gastropub food like pan-fried dumplings with blue cheese cream, candied walnuts, fig, and arugula. Be sure to seek out Brendan O’Sullivan, the bar’s charming head bartender, who not only pours arguably the most perfect pint of Guinness, but also has plenty of stories to tell.
17. Rick's Café (Casablanca, Morocco)
Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, you must visit Rick’s Café. You won’t find gambling in the real-life version of the mythical piano bar from the 1942 film Casablanca, but you will find the same charm. Set in an old courtyard-style mansion, the bar/tourist destination was created by former American embassy worker Kathy Kriger in 2004. Many features of the bar have been replicated from the film, including curved arches, a sculpted bar, and grand balconies and balustrades, and a few details have been added, like banquettes and four fireplaces. Each night, Issam Chabaa plays French tunes, Spanish ballads, and, of course, “As Time Goes By,” on the piano.
16. The Carlton Bar (Cannes, France)
Formerly called The Celebrities Bar for its reputation as a watering hole for the rich and famous, this grand hotel bar has been a high-profile hangout since its opening in 1913, especially during the annual Cannes Film Festival. The Belle Époque-style bar features elegant and chic décor. Chef Laurent Bunel serves a snack menu inspired by local cuisine. Head bartender Franck Gamba mixes a variety cocktails including one of The Carlton Bar’s most famous, the Lady Carlton, a Champagne and strawberry cocktail created in honor of an English woman who lived in the InterContinental Carlton Cannes for 25 years.
15. Blue Bar (London, England)
Located in the posh Knightsbridge neighborhood, Blue Bar is a celeb hotspot with a chill vibe that matches its color scheme. Irish designer David Collins decked out the Blue Bar in a striking blue color palette punctuated by cool Lutyens furniture, an impressive white onyx bar, and a black crocodile-print leather floor. Patrons can choose from 50 whiskies and a range of wines, Champagnes, and cocktails. Head bartender Stefano Zampieri and his team mix classic cocktails and innovative creations like the Old Roger (El Dorado 12-year-old, Heering Cherry, homemade eucalyptus and wormwood cordial, lemon, and absinthe served in a frosted julep cup); the Blue Buzz (Ketel One fused with Szechuan peppercorns, Galliano, and kiwi); and the Witch (pineapple flambé, Rittenhouse rye, fresh lime, homemade sandalwood, saffron syrup, and Angostura bitters). If you don’t see a drink you fancy, Zampieri will create a bespoke cocktail for you, and you can even buy the John Jenkins & Sons glass to take home.
14. Caffe Florian (Venice, Italy)
Set under the arcades of the Procuratie Nuove in the Piazza San Marco, Venice’s oldest café, was opened, as Venezia Trionfante, by Floriano Francesconi in 1720. Today, Caffe Florian serves coffee and tea, but also wine and spirits, like rosolio, an Italian liqueur derived from rose petals. Lord Byron, Dickens, and Rousseau are just a few of the litany of luminaries who have sat in one of the café’s rooms to sip wine and enjoy light snacks.
13. The Crown Liquor Saloon (Belfast, Northern Ireland)
A traditional Irish pub The Crown Liquor Saloon has a rich history. Owned by the National Trust and carefully managed by Nicholson's Pubs, it was restored to its full Victorian glory in 1981 and again in 2007. Dating back to 1826, it was first known as The Railway Tavern. Its current décor is reminiscent of a church, with its stained glass windows and snugs that resemble confessional boxes; complete with gunmetal plates for striking matches and antique bells. The snugs were added in 1885 for patrons who wanted to drink in private. The ornate bar is replete with a primrose yellow, red and gold ceiling, mosaic tile floor, brocaded walls, ornate mirrors, and etched glass. The ales are equally alluring. The bar is Cask Marque accredited, and has an in-house Cask Master — an ale expert who ensures that only the finest ales are served. Choices include Saint Nick’s, with notes of spice, raisins, and Christmas cake; White Witch, a fruity-flavored ale with a touch of citrus, flowers, and peppery spice; and Legally Blonde, a vibrant and citrusy ale with herbal, floral, and buttery notes.
12. Dune (Nassau, The Bahamas)
Perched on a bluff above a white sand beach at the One&Only Ocean Club, Dune offers the perfect backdrop for a sundowner. In addition to 150 fine vintage wines and Champagnes, the bar serves two dozen cocktails, many prepared with a variety of specialty rums, from local John Watling to Haiti's Barbancourt. The signature cocktail is the One&Only Special (one ounce of dark rum, one ounce of coconut rum, a quarter ounce of banana liqueur, and one-and-a-half ounces of pineapple juice poured over ice). Making the deal even more enticing are the French-Asian food pairings like steamed shrimp salad prepared under the supervision of chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten. Regulars come looking for popular bartender Bruce Richards, whose loyal fans ask for his signature cocktail, the Bruce Almighty (lime juice, ginger, Bacardi Limón, Captain Morgan, cranberry juice, and sugar cane).
11. Rick's Cafe (Negril, Jamaica)
The quintessential beach bar, Rick’s Cafe serves “Tropitinis” (fruit-flavored Martinis) and offers cabana packages to beachgoers. Founded by Richard Hershman in April 1974, Rick’s was the first public bar and restaurant of its kind to open on West End Cliffs, a once-sleepy fishing village. Over the years, Rick’s has been rebuilt after being destroyed by Hurricane Gilbert in 1988 and Hurricane Ivan in 2004. Today, chef Phillip “Sheddy” Williams serves delicious bar food like jerk chicken skewers, Rick’s famous broiled lobster, and escoveitch snapper, while the bar staff serve specialty drinks like Jamaican Me Crazy (three types of rum, banana liqueur, and pineapple juice) and Category 5 Hurricane (Appleton rum, orange juice, pineapple juice, grapefruit juice, and grenadine).
10. Le Bar Américain at Hotel de Paris (Monte-Carlo, Monaco)
The recently renovated Le Bar Américain at Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo — also home to Alain Ducasse's posh Louis XV dining room, #3 in our 101 Best Hotel Restaurants Around the World 2014 — is an elegant, old-school piano bar. Decked out in rich wood, sumptuously appointed leather armchairs, and soft lighting, the bar also has a romantic terrace that overlooks the Mediterranean — the perfect spot for a nightcap with a side of jazz piano.
9. Artesian (London, England)
A bar at the forefront of innovation, Artesian is a wonderful place to sip innovative cocktails and explore what is ahead. While it is possible to order classic cocktails like the Bloody Mary and the Daiquiri, the excitement rests in the annual “Unfolding and Exploring” drink menus, from head bartender Alex Kratena, which allow “guests to ‘unfold’ new experience and ‘explore’ unusual ingredients.” Consider the Magician (Becherovka, cherry, smoke, and jasmine), the I Feel Pretty (frankincense, bergamot, mandarin, raspberry, and rice), or the signature concoction, the Digidiva (Absolut Elyx, cypress syrup, and Aqua di Cedro). These notable cocktails have won the attention of Drinks International, which has named Artesian the best bar for a third year in row on its annual World’s 50 Best Bars list.
The food menu is taken seriously, too; culinary offerings include classic bar food like an Angus beef burger and fish and chips; sharing platters include sliders and a mezze platter with lamb kibeh, spinach, and feta falayer, falafel, and hummus; and you can order dim sum like chicken gyoza and shumai. Save room for desserts like Cambridge burnt cream with spiced plum compote and plum sorbet.
8. Luna Rooftop Tapas Bar (San Miguel de Allende, Mexico)
The casual hotel bar Luna Rooftop Tapas Bar at Rosewood San Miguel de Allende offers magnificent views of the town’s historic district, including the neo-Gothic La Parroquia de San Miguel Arcángel. International tapas are the perfect complement to the alfresco bar’s tamarind and pomegranate Margaritas, and Mexican dishes like baby squid in garlic mojo sauce and suckling pig tacos with salsa verde, which go perfectly with local beer.
7. Harry's Bar (Venice, Italy)
Yes, it's something of a tourist trap; yes, it's usually crowded and noisy (with non-Venetians often in the majority); yes, the service can be desultory if you're not well-known; and yes, it's stunningly expensive (around $80, for instance, for the famous carpaccio — which was invented here, but still…). On the other hand, it is Harry's Bar, a landmark, a must. If you don't at least stop in, at least for an icy cold Martini, or maybe a Bellini (also invented here), it's almost as though you haven't really been to Venice. And the truth is that if you're in the “1 percent,” or are pretending for the evening as if you are, and you don't make yourself crazy by translating that big euro number into your hard-earned American dollars, the atmosphere here can be truly magical and the food can be really good. Such dishes as scampi with Lamon white beans; breast of veal (or turkey) with tuna sauce; baked green tagliolini with ham and cream sauce; calf's liver alla Veneziana; cuttlefish with polenta, and, of course, that carpaccio, are genuinely delicious. You can’t leave without having a Bellini (one part white peach purée and three parts prosecco). And, hey, Orson Welles, Noel Coward, Charlie Chaplin, and, of course, Ernest Hemingway, drank here, so that should be motivation enough.
6. The American Bar at The Stafford London (London, England)
The trend of calling hotel bars "American" began in London’s West End in the 1930s, as a way of attracting increasing numbers of North American travelers. The tradition lives on today at only two places (The American Bar at The Savoy is the other one; see #30). The American Bar at The Stafford London continues to attract Americans and others who enjoy classic cocktails like the Manhattan, the Sidecar, and the Martini, crafted here by head bartender Benoit Provost, the protégé of the late Charles Guano, who was head bartender for 42 years. Many have demonstrated their gratitude by leaving behind memorabilia. The first gift was a wooden carving of an American eagle; the expansive collection today includes signed celebrity photographs, a ceiling collection of baseball caps, and other knick-knacks.
5. The Hemingway Bar (Paris, France)
This bar in the legendary Hôtel Ritz has been a self-proclaimed “expert in the ‘art of partying’ ever since its grand opening on June 1, 1889.” It’s the bar that Ernest Hemingway famously “liberated” after the Allied troops declared victory on August 24, 1944, after booting out the Nazi officials who had been using the Ritz Paris as their headquarters. Hemingway was a close friend of the Ritz family and spent much time enjoying cocktails, so it was fitting that the Hemingway Bar was subsequently named for him. The bar, as well as the entire Ritz Paris, is undergoing extensive renovations and will reopen in the second quarter of 2015. In the meantime, award-winning head bartender Colin Field can be found preparing an array of concoctions at 40,000 feet with Air France.
4. Foxy's (Great Harbour, Jost Van Dyke, British Virgin Islands)
Foxy’sis a highlight of this roughly 5-mile-long island. Foxy’s, which opens each day at 9:30 a.m., makes its own rum, Foxy's Firewater, to use in signature drinks like the Sly Fox (with Margarita mix over ice with a dash of bitters) and the Dread Fox (with lime, sour mix, and cranberry juice over ice). The bar uses Caribbean water to microbrew its own beer, which is served at 36 degrees Fahrenheit. On Fridays and Saturdays, the staff fire up the “Grillzebo” for a traditional Caribbean barbecue complete with chicken, ribs, and mahi mahi. Don’t be surprised if there’s a concert — the likes of The Beach Boys and Shaggy have performed on the outdoor stage here.
3. The Grenadier (London, England)
This storied pub in London’s Belgrave Square originally opened to serve as the officers’ mess for the First Royal Regiment of Foot Guards in 1720. It opened to the public under the name The Guardsman in 1818; King George IV was known to frequent the place. Later renamed The Grenadier, the pub is believed to be haunted by a Grenadier Guard named Cedrick, who, legend says, was beaten to death for cheating at a game of cards. No one knows when the beating occurred, but it is surmised to have taken place in September, as the supernatural activity at the bar seems to increase around this time. (Past visitors have attached money to the ceiling in an attempt to pay off the slain Grenadier’s debt; money from around the world , dating back to 1914, now covers the entire ceiling.) Locals and visitors alike gather at this red, white, and blue pub, tucked down Wilton Mews, for hand-pumped lagers and ales like Courage Best, Morland Old Speckled Hen, and Marston's Pedigree. Those seeking something stronger can enjoy a Bloody Mary, the only cocktail on the menu. It’s not only the supernatural that visit this bar; the likes of David Beckham, Madonna, and Miley Cyrus have enjoyed a pint or two here.
2. Dry Martini (Barcelona, Spain)
The epitome of a British cocktail bar transplanted to Spain, with sumptuously appointed leather, wood, and brass accents, Dry Martini served only dry Martinis when it opened more than three decades ago. Now owned by Javier de las Muelas, one of the top cocktail masters in the world, Dry Martini serves a variety of cocktails in addition to its eponymous gin and vermouth Martinis. In February 2002, Speakeasy, a self-described “clandestine” restaurant and “brain-storming factory” where patrons need a password to enter the establishment, opened next door and is well worth a visit.
1. Harry's New York Bar (Paris, France)
More than a century after it opened in Paris, Harry’s New York Bar continues to attract a crowd. Hemingway, Sartre, Bogart, Rita Hayworth, and even (according to Ian Fleming) James Bond have all bellied up to the aged mahogany bar thirsty for its famous cocktails. The legendary watering hole was opened on Thanksgiving Day, 1911, by an American jockey who longed for a good cocktail in Paris. He convinced a friend of his who owned a bar in New York City to literally dismantle it and transport it to France. The Manhattan-style bar has been a gathering place for Americans and others ever since. Each election year since 1924, the iconic bar has hosted a straw poll in which only Americans can participate. The straw vote has been reliable in all but two elections, adding to the bar’s legacy. The roster of carefully crafted cocktails invented here have become classics and include (probably) the Bloody Mary (vodka, tomato juice, lemon juice, Tabasco, Worcester sauce, and salt and pepper); Harry’s Pick Me Up (Grand Marnier, cognac, Champagne, and orange juice); and the Sidecar (cognac, Cointreau, and lemon juice).