What makes a member of Bar World 100?

27 June, 2023

Hamish Smith drills down into the results and how they reflect what’s important to the bar industry.

Like dark matter, influence is everywhere, you just can’t see it. Yet, as ethereal as it may be, we all have an idea about who holds it, who inspires us most, whose ideas and actions change the conversation and push the industry forward.

Bar World 100 in association with Perrier collects those opinions – a global dot-to-dot of influence across city lines and country borders – to form something of a more coherent picture.

It’s amazing how a poll that reaches 100 recipients in 67 cities around the world throws up so many of the same names again and again (without any prompts or suggestions). Indeed, 74 of the 100 featured last year, six re-entered having appeared in previous editions, while 20 were new to Bar World entirely.


Monica Berg – her fourth year at number one – is undoubtedly the bartender’s bartender, but also the journalist’s bartender, the consultant’s bartender… she takes votes from across our panel, and across the world. That’s because she stands for more than your average star-tender, gallivanting around on brand money doing guest shifts – her approach is seen as educational, ethical and progressive – and uncompromising with it. Where she works with brands, it seems the lens is wider, the objective deeper.

Danil Nevsky, who has been steadily rising and now sits in second, is the self-styled Indie Bartender. He revels in the half-space between bartender and content producer. His audience, which grew from eastern and central Europe outwards, has become global, each tuning in for their daily dose of Danil where he provides opinions – often tongue in cheek – by the skip-load. There are few greater pulls at bar shows around the world and none with more influence over bartenders.

Jean Trinh is another climber in the list, up to third. His influence is rather less digital – he has become the world’s most famous 'farmtender' (now a major trend), bringing sustainable supply systems to the bar; a 50 Best Bar at that. Much like Tato Giovannoni (fourth), who holds an annual sustainability festival and has a bar in the 50 Best list, and Vijay Mudaliar (fifth), who has pioneered green thinking in his two award-winning bars.

The list continues in this vein and also we see those who stand up for better equity in our industry, fighting the good fight, opening doors for those who come behind them. And of course, there are those who are exalted because they are the best at what they do: be it bartenders, bar owners, historians, event organisers or in media. Most of all, the members of Bar World 100 create.


Europe and North America, as the two most developed bar regions, are home to two-thirds of names on this list – 36 are from Europe, 29 from North America. These regions remain places to where talent gravitates, where ambitions can be sated – where bar culture is at its deepest and arguably strongest. Asia (20 of Bar World’s members) is now in the conversation, both growing its own talent and attracting bar industry figures from overseas.

Though these three continents account for 85 members, the more geographically isolated southern hemisphere is showing signs of growing influence: South America is now up to 7 while Australasia is at 6. Africa lags behind with 2.

Narrowing the lens to countries, the US contributes the most names to the list (25) with the UK being home to 19. The third most likely place for a member of Bar World 100 is a tie between Spain, Japan and Australia, providing six apiece.

Zooming in further, and we can see that London is the most influential scene in the bar world, with 14 of the 100 coming from this one city. New York meanwhile was second, contributing 11.

Much is said about the diminishing powers of what were the twin kings of cocktail culture – and no doubt many other cities have caught up – but they are still home to 25 of the figures in our list. 

Keywords: bar world 100

Digital Edition

Drinks International digital edition is available ahead of the printed magazine. Don’t miss out, make sure you subscribe today to access the digital edition and all archived editions of Drinks International as part of your subscription.


La'Mel Clarke

Service isn’t servitude: the skill of hosting

La’Mel Clarke, front of house at London’s Seed Library, looks at the forgotten art of hosting and why it deserves the same respect as bartending.