The year is 1888, 21” of snow falls in New York, the Football League is established, the first-known recording of classical music is made (Handel’s Israel in Egypt) on wax cylinder, Jack the Ripper terrorises East London and the Old-Fashioned cocktail recipe appears in Theodore Proulx’s Bartender’s Manual.
And here we are, 115 years later, partying like we’re still in the Victorian times. It is a cocktail in the purest form, with alcohol, sweetness, bitters and dilution.
How did Proulx make it?
2oz Wild Turkey rye whiskey
1 demerara sugar cube
2 dashes Angostura bitters
Method: Muddle, stir with ice and strain over one large cube into a chilled rocks glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.
It’s interesting to see that the Mojito has dropped down below the Dry Martini in best-sellers. The two are very different beasts. It’s also interesting to note that, although the Margarita is officially the most popular cocktail in North America (according to Gourmet magazine), it doesn’t top the polls in World’s Best Bars territory.
It’s great to see the Caipirinha on the list – we bet it’s a name more familiar to many drinkers than its base spirit, cachaça. Now that the Brazilian spirit is all legal and above board in the US, the Caipirinha might rise up the table. Time will tell.
How we did it
Since we relaunched the World’s 50 Best Bars, we think we’ve built up a pretty fantastic list of top bars and phenomenal bartenders from all over the world.
To create an even better global picture, we also polled 100 of the top 200 bars. When I say ‘we’, it was actually an independent research company called Leslie Henry Marketing & Research.
It’s still growing, make no mistake – and we feel really quite excited about it.
So excited in fact, that this year we decided to reinvent the way we conduct the artist formerly known as Hot Bar Brands by polling our very own top 50.
Voices from the team at Leslie Henry could be heard through telephone receivers from Melbourne to Budapest, Edinburgh to Singapore. The team asked the top bars which brands were best-sellers and which were – to borrow from Twitter – trending.
A trending brand might not be doing the same volumes as a best-seller but it’s a brand that customers are increasingly asking for.
We also included a couple of new categories this year – champagne and water – as well as expanding the cocktail questions to include the likes of aperitifs and after-dinner drinks.
The idea is to paint as accurate a picture of what is being consumed in bars around the world as possible.
Respondents – to use the fancy terminology – included bar owners and bartenders from the likes of the best bar in the world, the Artesian, London; PDT, New York; Nightjar, London; Bramble, Edinburgh: Employees Only, New York; Dry Martini, Barcelona; Black Pearl, Melbourne; Asoka, Cape Town; American Bar at the Savoy, London; Tippling Club, Singapore; Palmer & Co, Sydney; Boutiq Bar, Budapest; Chainaya Tea & Cocktails, Russia and Schumann’s Bar, Munich.
Let us know what you think of the survey: firstname.lastname@example.org