Frequently Asked Questions

What is the World’s 50 Best Bars?

The World’s 50 Best Bars is an annual list that celebrates the best of the international drinks industry. First published in 2009, The World’s 50 Best Bars provides an annual ranking of bars as voted for by 680 drinks experts from across the globe. The list represents the ultimate international guide to the world’s top bars and drinking destinations and is revealed at the annual The World’s 50 Best Bars awards event.

How are the awards voted for?

The World’s 50 Best Bars list is compiled from the votes of The World’s 50 Best Bars Academy, comprised of 680 drinks experts, including renowned bartenders and consultants, drinks writers and cocktail specialists. Each voter casts 7 votes based on their best bar experiences of the previous 18 months. Find out more about the voting system here

Who are the voters and how are they chosen?

The Academy is made up of drinks experts, including bartenders, bar managers, drinks consultants, brand ambassadors, drinks writers, historians and cocktail aficionados. To create the Academy, and give it a fair representation of the international bar landscape, we divide the world into 28 geographical regions.

Each region has a chairperson appointed for their knowledge of their part of the bar world. These chairs each select a voting panel, which is refreshed by 25% of its members annually. The distribution of voters is designed to reflect the relative development and sophistication of the drinks sector, and the concentration of quality bars, in each region.

Are bars encouraged to campaign to voters?

No, bars are not encouraged to campaign directly for voters, but of course they should strive to be as good as they can be and market themselves as they see fit. Since 2017, the list of voters has no longer been publicised and, since 2018, all voters are required to retain their anonymity. The votes themselves are logged on a secure online platform and remain confidential.

Since 2020, professional services consultancy Deloitte is the official independent adjudicator of The World’s 50 Best Bars. Deloitte has been granted full and independent access to The World’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.

On what criteria are voters asked to make their decisions?

Voters are simply asked to name the seven bars in which they have enjoyed the best experience over the previous 18 months. There are no pre-determined criteria, though there are strict voting rules. Voters must have visited the bars they vote for during the voting period, and they cannot self-nominate or nominate a bar in which they have any financial interest. Guest bar shifts and pop-ups do not qualify for votes. 50 Best reserves the right to remove bars from the list where there may be reputational issues that discredit the 50 Best organisation by way of these venues' inclusion.

What awards are given?

In addition to The World’s 50 Best Bars list, the organisation also publishes the extended 51-100 list and awards a series of special prizes to individuals and bars. See the full line-up of awards.

What does it mean to be included on The World’s 50 Best Bars ranking?

It provides recognition of the dedication, passion and skill of the teams behind those bars. It also helps promote those bars internationally to well-travelled discerning drinkers, boosting the bars’ profiles and business.

Who owns The World’s 50 Best Bars?

The World’s 50 Best Bars is owned and organised by William Reed, the group behind The World’s 50 Best Restaurants and its regional events. In 2017, William Reed took over from Drinks International, part of Agile Media, in the organisation of the awards, collating the votes and producing the list. Drinks International has taken the role of trade media partner for The World’s 50 Best Bars.

What was new in the 2023 edition?

An exciting new addition to the 50 Best Bars event programme in Singapore was a series of five 50 Best Signature Sessions: collaborative drinks events featuring leading 50 Best bartenders who partner up with the local bartending talent to create unique cocktail experiences.

We also launched the Bareksten Best Bar Design Award, celebrating the best in bar design around the world. This award celebrates innovation and aesthetics as well as accessibility and ecological compatibility and is independently judged by an international panel of world-leading bar design experts. Any bar anywhere in the world is eligible to nominate themselves.

What is next for The World’s 50 Best Bars?

The World’s 50 Best Bars can grow to become an even higher-profile brand, not only in the drinks industry, but also among discerning drinkers across the world. The launch of the Asia’s 50 Best Bars list in 2016 and subsquently of North America's 50 Best Bars in 2022 already expanded the brand's portfolio, with plenty further opportunities for growth and expansion in future years. 

How will 50 Best continue to support bars around the world?

We have a number of different channels and platforms to support bars around the world:

- 50 Best Bars The Blend Scholarship – the inaugural 50 Best Bars The Blend Scholarship, which launched in May 2022, ran again this year. It is open to any bartender from anywhere in the world aged 21 or over with fewer than five years’ experience. The winner is rewarded with two bar stages in Spain and Colombia, organised alongside The Blend Global Team.

- 50 Best Discovery – our in-depth collection of city guides undergoes major yearly updates, with hundres of new venues added.

- 51-100 list – we will continue to publish the annual list of bars which rank from 51-100, casting a wider spotlight on the industry as a whole.

- Siete Misterios Best Cocktail Menu Award – introduced in 2021, this award is open to any bar, anywhere in the world, whether they have featured in a 50 Best list or not.