Asia’s 50 Best Bars 2021 will be announced in May alongside an extended list and new bartender discussion series

Mark Sansom - 02/03/2021

The 2021 edition of Asia’s 50 Best Bars, sponsored by Perrier, will be announced in a virtual event on 6th May. The ceremony will be preceded by four pre-announced awards, the first-ever reveal of the 51-100 list and a new bartender discussion series, Breaking The Ice. Together, they will celebrate the many ways the hospitality sector has demonstrated its agility and resilience, while giving guests more reason than ever to get back out into bars all across Asia

Asia’s 50 Best Bars is back. After one of the most difficult years that the global hospitality industry has faced, the bar world is tentatively beginning to look to the future. There are optimistic signs of revival emanating from across the Asian continent and, as part of its commitment to support the recovery of the hospitality sector, 50 Best will announce the sixth edition of Asia’s 50 Best Bars on Thursday, 6th May at 6pm HK/Singapore time (11am UK; 3.30pm India; 5pm Thailand; 7pm Japan), via The World’s 50 Best Bars Facebook and 50 Best Bars TV YouTube Channel.

On Thursday, 29th April, one week before the virtual ceremony, 50 Best will reveal the bars placed between 51st and 100th in the ranking. A first for the Asia’s 50 Best Bars list, the extended ranking will give consumers double the choice of expert-approved drinking destinations to select from as they start to make bar-focused travel plans for the months and years ahead.

The conversation around Asia’s cocktail scene will continue to ramp up in the days approaching the ceremony. On 2nd, 3rd and 4th May, 50 Best will host its first three Breaking The Ice sessions. This all-new discussion series will take place in bars across Asia, featuring two bartenders in open conversation about their plans for the future, how they see the cocktail world evolving and sharing a few surprises along the way.

Pre-announced awards
In the four weeks running up to the 51-100 list, 50 Best will reveal some special pre-announced awards. Here are the dates to put in your diary:

- 1st April: Michter’s Art of Hospitality Award, an accolade given to the bar that has offered outstanding service to its guests in the past 18 months
- 8th April: Mancino Bartenders’ Bartender, as voted for by the bartenders from the establishments on the 2021 list
- 15th April: One To Watch Award, which recognises a bar that has the potential to break into Asia’s 50 Best Bars in future years
- 22nd April: Ketel One Sustainable Bar Award, an award that recognises a bar’s outstanding commitment to sustainable practices

Ahead of the awards, the listed bars will receive a ‘50 Best event pack’, which will include the iconic red scarves, sponsored by Matusalem; the ceremonial cocktail shaker, sponsored by Mancino Vermouth; a 2021 official plaque; and other 50 Best merchandise. Where they are able to, and bearing in mind local health and safety guidelines, bars are encouraged to organise socially distanced viewing events at their venues on the awards night.

The Asia’s 50 Best Bars 2021 awards programme aims to acknowledge local champions, celebrate the sector’s resilience and honour the leaders who have demonstrated innovation during the crisis. Since 2016, the annual list of Asia’s 50 Best Bars has been created from the votes of the Asia’s 50 Best Bars Academy, an influential group of 220 leaders made up of bartenders, bar owners, drinks writers and cocktail aficionados. In previous years, each Academy member voted for seven bars, with at least two of these from outside their home country. With travel restrictions in place throughout 2020, voters had limited travel opportunities. Consequently, this year voters nominated a total of five bars, including up to four from their home country. The voting process is independently adjudicated by professional services consultancy Deloitte.

Bar and cocktail lovers from across the globe will be invited to tune into the virtual ceremony on 6th May on The World’s 50 Best Bars Facebook and 50 Best Bars TV YouTube Channel. The live run-through of the list will begin at 6pm HK/Singapore time (11am UK; 3.30pm India; 5pm Thailand; 7pm Japan), culminating with the announcement of The Best Bar in Asia 2021, sponsored by Perrier.

Relive the action from last year with the Asia’s 50 Best Bars 2020 virtual highlights: