What to Drink at the World's Top 10 Bars
"World's Best Bar" means something different for every person. For some, the ambience can make or break a watering hole. For others, a great cocktail is enough to keep them coming back for more. Earlier this month, Drinks International announced the winners from the World's 50 Best Bars Awards 2015 with inns and lounges from New York City all the way to Melbourne. Needless to say, it could stand alone as a great itinerary for the most enthusiastic cocktail connoisseurs.
This year's list ranges from speakeasies and tiki bars to restaurant bars and hotel bars—meaning there's a bar stool for every drinker. Not sold? We went a little further and pulled a few recommendations from visitors for each spot. Read on and start planning your next trip.
Erika Owen is the Audience Engagement Editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @erikaraeowen.
10. Black Pearl, Melbourne
The Black Pearl is known for its killer cocktails and prime location on Melbourne's Fitzroy Street. The bartenders are no stranger to "Bartender of the Year" titles and you can expect a good conversation if you sit barside and get there early enough. They have a rotating selection of "house" cocktails—you can't go wrong with one of those.
9. Connaught Bar, London
The Connaught Bar in London is inspired by English Cubist and 1920's Irish art. What that means: Expect tons of glitzy, throwback style. Quietly shaken (never stirred!), the Connaught Martini Trolley is not to be missed. With hints of lavender, coriander, cardamom, ginger, grapefruit, vanilla, and liquorice, this isn't your neighborhood bar martini.
8. Happiness Forgets, London
Walk-ins are more than encouraged at Happiness Forgets: They save half-tables for anyone looking to stop in for a drink (or three). The entrance is a flight an unassuming stairs, but don't be fooled—just follow the sign for "Happiness." A super-chill (both in vibe and temperature) basement bar awaits. Try the Tokyo Collins; you won't regret it.
7. 28 Hongkong Street, Singapore
If 28 Hongkong Street's website is any indication, this bar isn't the easiest to spot. (Good thing the name serves as the actual address!) The dimly lit bar is known as one of the pioneers in the Singapore speakeasy scene with its original cocktails and cozy ambience. Try: The Hulk Smash, a lemony gin combination, followed up with some fried mac and cheese balls.
6. The Baxter Inn, Sydney
With more than 100 whiskeys to choose from, The Baxter Inn is the pub for any bourbon drinker looking for a cocktail in Sydney. Don't be put off by the line in front of the door—it's well worth the wait. Go simple and try a whiskey neat. They also carry Japanese scotch, which is always a treat.
5. American Bar, London
The American Bar is located in the Stafford Hotel, which makes sense considering each of their cocktails is based off of a story that took place at the inn. We recommend: The Seabiscuit—Gordon Sloe gin, Cherry Heering liqueur, fresh blackberry pineapple juice, and grenadine topped up with soda water.
4. Employees Only, New York City
This speakeasy brings locals and tourists alike to its West Village location. Employees Only is known for their Manhattan, but if whiskey isn't your thing, give the Fraise Sauvagea try (Fords gin shaken with wild strawberries and Tahitian vanilla, and Employees Only Prosecco di Conegliano Brut).
3. Nightjar, London
Nightjar's menu spans pre-Prohibition sips to modern cocktails. The bar also follows a strict no-standing policy, turning what could be a potentially packed situation into the perfect spot for chatting drinks with the bartender or catching up with friends over some delicious cocktails. Try the London Mule, which comes in a barrel and is as big as it sounds.
2. The Dead Rabbit Grocery & Grog, New York City
The Dead Rabbit Grocery & Grog is an unexpected gem in New York City's Financial District. The cocktail menu is organized by the four seasons, making the seemingly overwhelming choices a little bit easier to whittle down. Fun fact: Some scenes from the "Gangs of New York" was filmed at this bar. Try the Moby Dick: Remy Martin 1738 Cognac, Power John's Lane Irish Whiskey, Pale Cream sherry, fig, elderberry, lemon, orinoco bitters, vanilla, and vanilla soda.
1. Artesian, London
This is the fourth year Artesian has topped the list, and for good reason. Located in the Langham Hotel, the drinks come with quite the presentation. The cocktails aren't cheap, but they're well-worth the price. Try the Camouflage, which is served in a giant, golden pineapple glass topped with smoking potpourri.