The bestselling classic cocktails at the world's best bars 2024

01 May, 2024

45. Singapore Sling

Say what you like about the Singapore Sling, but unlike most other classics its age, we’re at least pretty sure of its origins. The location, famously, was the Long Bar at the Raffles Hotel in Singapore, and the bartender behind it, in 1915 according to the hotel, was Ngiam Tong Boon. More than a century later it’s having a resurgence, back on this list for the first time since 2015.

Today a Singapore Sling at the Long Bar is a rite of passage for even the most casual of cocktail-curious tourists to the city, but there are plenty of other places there to sample its national drink.

44. Vieux Carré

This year’s list features two Crescent City classics in a row, with the venerable Sazerac followed by this relative whippersnapper, dating back to around 1938. A testament to the mix of cultural influences in New Orleans’ French Quarter, the Vieux Carré includes two French ingredients, namely cognac and Benedictine, as well as Italian vermouth, Peychaud’s and rye whiskey from closer to home, and Angostura from much further away. 

This Manhattan variation is attributed to Walter Bergeron, head bartender at the Hotel Monteleone at the time. You can still get a Vieux Carré there, at the hotel’s Carousel Bar & Lounge.

43. Sazerac

The Sazerac, unlike those classics that have morphed and evolved over the years, remains mostly unchanged since the mid-1800s. It might have dropped significantly on this year’s list, but it’s proven it’s here for the long haul. Likely created at the Exchange Coffee House in New Orleans, it combined Sazerac de Forge et Fils cognac and Peychaud’s Bitters, with absinthe added soon after. Phylloxera caused rye to replace cognac for a while, and nowadays many use both. 

Acclaimed French Quarter bar Jewel of the South’s Jewel Sazerac opts for rye, adding Madeira and French wine Matifoc Rancio Sec into the mix.

42. Vodka Martini

While it’s commonplace, when ordering a Martini, to be given an option between vodka and gin, the popularity of the former has fluctuated wildly over the years. Sometimes known as a Vodkatini, or Kangaroo, the Vodka Martini had a boost in the 1950s while its headline ingredient was having a moment, and 007 probably had something to do with that too.

It’s certainly in favour at the moment. One excellent incarnation can be found at Scarfes Bar at the Rosewood Hotel in London. Its award-winning Pika-Tini makes subtle use of honey, olive leaf and chinotto, to great effect.

41. Cosmopolitan

A 1980s icon, the Cosmo might have remained in that decade if it wasn’t for Sex and the City. From its first mention on that show in 1999, this pink drink blew up, remaining a cocktail list fixture ever since. If only we knew who was responsible for the drink itself… Contenders include Toby Cecchini, who says he came up with it at New York’s Odeon in 1988, and Miami bartender Cheryl Cook, who claims to have invented it in 1989.

An inspired modern take comes from Portland bar Room for Improvement, where they use a cranberry and Campari cordial, aptly named Cranpari.

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