Artesian named The World’s 50 Best Bars champion 2014

06 October, 2014

Artesian at the Langham Hotel has been named the world’s best bar for a third consecutive year at Drinks International’s World’s 50 Best Bars ceremony in London. 

It beat off competition from New York's The Dead Rabbit Grocery & Grog. 

Three London and three New York bars made up the top ten. Completing the top five, Nightjar finished in third while New York’s Attaboy - the Highest Climber for 2014 - catapulted from 42nd to fourth place and Employees Only took fifth.

The results were announced by cocktail historian David Wondrich and drinks commentator, Tom Sandham at The World's 50 Best Bars awards ceremony held at Christ Church, Spitalfields last night (October 9) before a 500-strong crowd of the world’s best bartenders, bar owners and industry experts.

The World’s 50 Best Bars is an independent poll, voted for anonymously by 334 industry professionals from 46 countries.

Artesian, one of eight London bars to make the list, takes the title of both the Best Bar in Europe and the World. The Dead Rabbit Grocery & Grog climbed three places to claim the world’s second best bar and best bar in North America. Highest New Entry was awarded to Canon. The Seattle bar enters the list for the first time in sixth place.

The Baxter Inn leapfrogged Black Pearl to clinch Best Bar in Australasia this year and High Five, from Tokyo, retains the Best Bar in Asia for a second year.  Floreria Atlantico is again Best Bar in Latin America, finishing in 39th place.

Imperial Craft, though outside of the top 50, rounded off the six regional awards with Best Bar in Africa & the Middle East. The Tel Aviv bar replaced Zuma Dubai to take the title.  

Twenty one of the bars were European, 16 North American, six Australian, four Asian and three Latin American.

There were 14 new entries this year. Other than those previously mentioned, Chicago’s Aviary (13th), Elephant Bar at The Nomad (14th); London’s White Lyan (20th); The Broken Shaker, Miami (22nd); Hemingway Bar, Prague (24th); Three Dots & A Dash, Chicago (27th); Trick Dog in San Francisco (33rd); Star Bar Ginza (40th); Cure in New Orleans (43rd); Amsterdam’s Tales & Spirits (44th); Maison Premiere in New York (45th) and Williams & Graham in Denver (50th). 

Speaking at the event, The World’s 50 Best Bars editor, Hamish Smith said: “It’s possible that Artesian’s hat trick of wins will never be repeated. It takes a special kind of bar to win The World’s 50 Best Bars poll, win again and then come back for more. Head bartender Alex Kratena says it’s the fear that drives him – whatever it is, he and his assistant Simone Caporale are running a bar that has more ticks than there are boxes. Outlandishly imaginative cocktails in a five star setting with the kind of hospitality that makes every visit memorable - it doesn’t get much better than that. 
“Artesian may be the industry’s darling right now, but the list, from 1-50, is packed full of great bars from all around the world. This year three of the top five were from New York but overall, London edged New York, eight bars to seven, making it the cocktail capital for 2014. 
“In terms of countries the US dominated, providing 16 of the top 50. Along with New York, San Francisco, Chicago, New Orleans, Miami, Denver and Seattle are all home to bars that made the list. 
“It was nice to see Attaboy climb 38 places – what an achievement that is. Cannon too, from outside the top 50 to no. 6. With 14 new bars joining list this year, it goes to show that being one of the World’s 50 Best Bars is a temporary status, and underlines Artesian’s immense achievement.”


Hamish Smith outlines the process that determines The World’s 50 Best Bars

If we had a FAQ page, “how do you do it?” would top the list of questions - and it’s one we’re always happy to answer. Our methodology is simple – we don’t decide which are The World’s 50 Best Bars, the industry does.

Now in its sixth year, The World’s 50 Best Bars has become the most far-reaching and globally respected poll of its kind. While any kind of quantitative analysis has its flaws, the bar business is a maelstrom of voices that is hard to be articulated in any other way.

The best we can do is ask as many of the most knowledgeable people in the industry around the world and trust in their collective professional opinion.

There are no judging parameters, though there are a few conditions. We ask that at least two of the votes be for international bars and a minimum of three be from the voter’s home country. This ensures that the list is international in its outlook and those who vote are regular travellers.

The rest is common sense. We ask that the voter doesn’t have an interest in the bar they vote for, has visited it in the past two years and that the bar is still open. All votes are anonymous.

This year we’ve expanded our voting Academy by about 50% to 334 members. We didn’t set an exact target at the beginning of the 2014 cycle, hence the untidy number, but we’re confident we found the right people.

So who votes? In a word, the trade. While other bar lists are totally democratic, we are not.

This poll is run by the trade and, first and foremost, must be credible to the trade. What a spotty teenager with itchy Twitter fingers thinks is the best bar is of little interest to us.

Instead we have assembled what we consider to be the most knowledgeable and influential group of bartenders, commentators and industry trainers. Within that select group, all voters are equal.

Membership is fluid. Voters have to remain at the top of their game and at the forefront of the business to take part each year. While some will drop out, new bar personalities will emerge to take their place. Polling takes place in July each year, so if a bar opened around that time or shortly after, 2015 might be its year.

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