The Voting System

Organised by William Reed, the people behind The World’s 50 Best Bars, Asia's 50 Best Bars is a snapshot of the opinions and experiences of 265 bar industry experts across the continent.

What constitutes ‘best’ is left to the judgment of these trusted and well-travelled experts. The list is the result of a simple computation of votes. Given that the list is based on personal experiences, it can never be definitive, but we believe it is an honourable survey of current tastes and a credible indicator of the best places to drink across Asia.

How the voting works

Asia's 50 Best Bars (and the awards ceremony hosted to celebrate the list’s unveiling) is compiled and organised by William Reed. None of the employees of the organiser or any of the sponsors associated with the awards, including the main sponsor, has any influence over the results.

The list is compiled by votes from Asia’s 50 Best Bars Academy, which comprises 265 drinks experts, including renowned bartenders and educators, drinks writers and cocktail specialists from across the region.

The Academy of voters is spread across Asia with the distribution of voters designed to reflect the relative development and sophistication of the drinks sector, and the concentration of quality bars, in each country.

Prior to 2021, each Academy member voted for six bars, with at least two of these from outside their home country/SAR. Since the global pandemic restricted international travel, the voting rules were revised to reflect this situation. In 2022 and 2023, voters could nominate a total of seven bars, including up to five from their home country, but with no obligation to vote for bars outside of their home country/SAR.

The results of the Asia's 50 Best Bars 2023 list were announced on 18th July at an awards ceremony in Hong Kong.  

The main rules of voting are:

  • Voting is strictly confidential
  • Panellists can vote for a total of seven bars, including up to five from their home country, but with no obligation to vote for bars outside of their home country/SAR
  • Voters must have visited the bars they nominate within the voting window (the previous 18 months)
  • Voters are not permitted to vote for bars they own or have a financial interest in
  • Nominations must be made for the bar and not for the bar owner or bartender (except in the case of special individual awards)
  • Panellists cannot vote for a temporary bar, ‘pop-up’, or ‘guest shift’, or for a bar based on an experience that does not take place at the bar itself

These criteria are designed to allow our panellists to vote far and wide. Every bar in the region is eligible, unless it is closed at the time that the list is announced, or we receive notice that it will be closing in the near future. This method also means that bars cannot apply to be on the list, cannot be nominated, and no external influences (from William Reed or our sponsors) can influence the list.

There are no criteria that a bar has to meet. They certainly do not have to sell a certain product. They do not need to have been open a certain number of years and they do not need to have won any other accolades.

Learn more about the Asia's 50 Best Bars Academy

Independent Adjudication

Since 2021, professional services consultancy Deloitte is the official independent adjudicator of Asia’s 50 Best Bars. Deloitte has been granted full and independent access to Asia’s 50 Best Bars' voting process and data and has performed certain procedures to confirm the integrity and authenticity of the voting process and the resulting list.

In order to guarantee a fair relationship between the percentage of votes a country receives and their proportionate representation in the Asia’s 50 Best Bars list, in the event of a significant variance, Deloitte will apply a normalisation process to the voting data.

About Deloitte

Founded in 1845, Deloitte has grown to become one of the world’s pre-eminent and most trusted professional services consultancies. As part of its wide-ranging portfolio, Deloitte works with companies in all areas of the licensed retail industry and has considerable experience in providing bespoke adjudication services for a number of internationally recognised awards.

It has a dedicated team devoted to the hospitality sector that specialises in a comprehensive range of audit and advisory services, complemented by industry-specific knowledge and the leverage of a network of specialist expertise across the UK, Europe, the US and Asia. In the sector Deloitte works with businesses spanning one-site start-ups through to FTSE-listed groups – and it is proud to be acting as independent adjudicator for Asia’s 50 Best Bars.