World's 50 Best Bars Awards Announced

The annual World's 50 Best Bars awards have been unveiled this week with Barcelona's Paradiso taking the top spot at the ceremony, a speakeasy cocktail bar hidden inside a deli in the Spanish city's trendy El Born district. This year's awards marks the first time that the top spot has been awarded to a bar outside of London or New York.

When arriving at Paradiso at first the experience is somewhat underwhelming upon entering the deli only to be welcomed by a fridge door but upon opening, everything changes. The room is a stunningly curated experience, with a curved wooden architecture to the interior and a discreet red-tinged back room too. On its website the bar describes itself as:

A surprising - almost otherworldly setting - setting, a space where you do not need to imagine the unimaginable is real, a place for enjoyment without a thought where temptations are allowed.

Its drinks menu features ornate and scientific concoctions that are masterful pieces of art even before you've taken a sip. Take The Cloud - Ketel One vdoka, Casamigos mezcal, hibiscus, Montenegro amaro, Mancino secco vermouth, birch syrup, Perrier and coffee cloud. Pictured below. Find out more about Paradiso, the new World's Best Bar, here.

The top three was then made up of yet another Barcelona bar, Sips, taking third place as well as the highest climber award having moved up 34 spots, whilst the runner's up spot went to London's Tayēr + Elementary, a cocktail bar taking a big interest in ingredients, intelligent design and meticulous research to create a drinks menu that expresses simplicity and uniqueness.

For the first time, bars from Florence, Lisbon and Naples feature in the 50 Best list; legendary bartender Agostino Perrone is voted Roku Industry Icon and Little Red Door in Paris receives the Ketel One Sustainable Bar Award.

The top 20 bars are:

1. Paradiso, Barcelona
2. Tayēr + Elementary, London
3. Sips, Barcelona
4. Licorería Limantour, Mexico City
5. Little Red Door, Paris
6. Double Chicken Please, New York
7. Two Schmucks, Barcelona
8. Connaught Bar, London
9. Katana Kitten, New York
10. Alquimico, Cartegna
11. Handshake Speakeasy, Mexico City
12. Jigger & Pony, Singapore
13. Hanky Panky, Mexico City
14. BKK Social Club, Bangkok
15. Salmon Guru, Madrid
16. Drink Kong, Rome
17. Coa, Hong Kong
18. Floreria Atlantico, Buenos Aires
19. The Clumsies, Athens
20. Baba au Rum, Athens

Speaking of the awards, tfp Director Charles Banks commented: "When you think about where the world's best bar might be, I'd think London, New York, LA or Miami but there is very much a new bar capital and that's Barcelona. Not only home to Paradiso, but also to two others in the top 10 with Sips and Two Schmucks. The Paradiso concept reminds me of a great hot dog joint in New York, a speakeasy style outlet where you pick up the phone and enter a magnificent underground bar with gourmet hot dogs, from memory the bar was PDT (pleased don't tell) and you enter through Crif Dogs in the Lower East!

"The concept at Paradiso is similar, you enter through a fridge door in a pastrami shop(!), from here you enter the majestic Dali-esque curved wooden bar that is Paradiso. The signature is their supercool martini which uses a 'supercooled' gin mix to build an iceberg in the glass. Having themed cocktails are a big part of the offer, previous themes have included space and magic but this year it's about the Evolution of Humankind. A great example would be the Fleming, inspired by the discovery of penicillin, which explores fermentation with a mushroom spore rim. There is so much innovation in bars at the moment, the boundaries between food and drink continue to blur, we see the same techniques that are being applied in the gastronomic and culinary worlds being transferred to drinks and craft cocktails. A great example is from the aforementioned Two Schmucks with their 'Curry Colada' or the back bar in New York's Double Chicken Please where they have Waldorf Salad (whisky-based with apple, celery, ginger ale and walnut bitters) and a Japanese Cold Noodle (rum-based with pineapple, cucumber, coconut, lime and sesame oil). Closer to home, I'm a big fan of timeless elegance and the No.8 spot, the Connaught Bar in London, gives that in spades with a touch of 20's glamour."

The list is compiled by votes from The World's 50 Best Bars Academy, which comprises more than 650 drinks experts with 50/50 gender parity, including renowned bartenders and consultants, drinks writers and cocktail specialists from around the world.

Find out more here.