The World's 50 Best Bars Academy is the mechanism used to create The World's 50 Best Bars list. 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 Academy comprises 540 members, each selected for their expert opinion of the global bar scene. To create the Academy, and give it a fair representation of the international bar landscape, we divide the world into 20 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, updated annually, ensuring a balanced selection of drink writers, bartenders and cocktail aficionados.
Learn more about how the voting works
Smith is an award-winning drinks journalist, specialising in the bar industry. Based in London, he edits UK bartender magazine CLASS, works across sister title Drinks International as Bars Editor and is a former editor of The World’s 50 Best Bars. Over a 10-year career in drinks, Smith has established himself as a key commentator of the global bar industry.
Czech editor and journalist Urbanová has almost 20 years' experience in food and drinks. From 2010 to 2015 she worked as editor-in-chief on Barlife magazine and in this capacity assisted in organsing the Prague Bar Show and Czech Bar Awards. Since 2015 she has been editor-in-chief and co-owner of online journal AtBars.com, which focuses its content on bars' business and related fields.
Mintz is the Editor of Neat Pour, a daily publication for the beverage industry. Prior to Neat Pour, he founded and edited a community news source. When not travelling, Mintz can be found at home, in New Orleans, US, sipping on a Perfect Manhattan.
A National Magazine Award-winning writer, Sismondo has been writing about spirits, cocktails, bars, books and history for the Toronto Star, Globe and Mail, Maclean’s and other publications for over 20 years. She’s also the author of America Walks into a Bar: A History of Taverns and Saloons, Speakeasies and Grog Shops, Prohibition, a six-part podcast series for Wondery’s American History Tellers and, most recently, Canadian Spirits: The Essential Cross-Country Guide to Distilleries, Their Spirits and Where to Imbibe Them. She lives in Toronto, Canada.
Cocktail expert Collins founded her blog 52martinis in 2007 to chronicle her search for the best cocktail bars in Paris and cover small-batch spirits news from France. She is the creator of iOS app Paris Cocktails and host of the radio show and podcast, Paris Cocktail Talk. As a freelance writer, she has written for Drinks International, Serious Eats and other gastronomic publications with a focus on the Paris cocktail scene. Collins regularly judges cocktail competitions and is Treasurer of the France chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier, a by-invitation philanthropic organisation for women leaders in the fields of food, fine beverages and hospitality.
Monti is a Belgian, Madrid-based cocktail and spirits writer. He is the author of three books, including El Gran Libro del Vermut and 101 Cocktails to Try Before You Die. His writing has appeared in various publications across the world and he has led seminars at some of the largest global bar events, such as Berlin Bar Convent. He lives for a good seat at the bar.
Francesca is based in Rome but constantly travels Italy and the world in search of the best cocktail bars. He is the creator and owner of BlueBlazeR, an influential Italian cocktail bar guide and magazine; the author of Spirits – I maestri del cocktail, a TV show; and is the producer of bar-tavel TV programme Drink Me Out, broadcasted on the main Italian free-to-air channel.
While foremost a freelance drinks writer with bylines in Rumporter, Food24 and more, Deventer is also a director of the Protégé Bartender Programme, a convenor of the South African Rum Awards and a regular cocktail competition judge. Based in Cape Town, South Africa, she’s slurped her way through 40-odd countries in the name of research, accumulating various accolades long the way.
Reyes has been a contributor to the best lifestyle magazines in Mexico – Accent, Vuelo, Expansión, Life&Style, Chilango – while he carried out his role as Deputy Editor for Travel+Leisure Mexico for five years. He is the author of ¡Acá las Tortas!, a book about one of Mexico City's beloved street foods, as well as being a leading commentator on the city’s bar scene. Now, he is Creative Director at Paladar, a gastronomic marketing agency that creates events and experiences around Latin America’s food and drink scene.
Bygrave has worked in the drinks and bar industry for 20 years, as a bartender, a wine and spirits buyer, and today as a writer having spent eight years as editor of industry monthly Australian Bartender magazine. He has written for international publications Drinks International and The Spirits Business, among many others.