Bar World 100 - an analysis of this year's list

03 July, 2024

Barcelona meanwhile, with five members, has established itself as Europe’s second bar scene. It lacks the depth of the likes of London and New York, but has top-tier talent, with three of the top-10 in our list based there.

Influential bar, influential bartender

One theme we’ve not explored in any great detail is the link between the world’s best bars and their key figureheads in the Bar World 100 list. About a third of the members in Bar World 100 are at bars on the 50 Best list. A further quarter represent bars in the 51-100 list, or feature on Asia’s 50 Best Bars or North America’s 50 Best Bars list. Fifteen more have historical associations with bars from these lists. That leaves a handful of writers, some of whom are academy chairs for 50 Best and Tales of the Cocktail. Few on this list live completely outside of the world of awards.

In one respect, an obvious connection. The people behind the bars are what make the bars great.  But is there also a spiral of recognition at play? When 50 Best or the Spirited Awards throw light on the best bars, it also plays a role of raising the profile of their leaders, their glow guiding voters in other lists and awards.

Indeed, when new names appear in Bar World 100, their bar has often recently debuted in either 51-100 or the North America or Asia list. And to some extent – thanks to the timing of the poll – Bar World 100 can be a bellwether of opinion in the opposite direction. You can spot trends in Bar World that play out in the Spirited Awards and The World’s 50 Best Bars list.

Voter behaviour

With a few exceptions, it’s normally just one member of an award-winning bar who is voted into Bar World. While voting panels act as a proxy for the industry, there is one important difference. With a finite number of votes – 10 in the case of Bar World 100 – voters have to be selective with their appreciation. They tend to funnel their support towards one person from a given company.

Though, bar or not, a person’s ability to be newsworthy and continually present in voters’ minds is key. To catch the attention of voters, it helps to have had a big year. That could mean you launched a bar, won a global competition, started a bar show or cocktail week, or perhaps launched a scheme that speaks to a topical cause.

Most on the list are also well travelled, appearing on the guest-shift circuit, going to bar shows and delivering talks – physical appearances remain important. But of course, whatever direction your work takes you in, documenting it on social media is crucial.

To say it in as few words as possible, Bar World 100 members do good things and are seen doing them.  

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