About the Academy

The Asia's 50 Best Bars Academy is the mechanism used to create the Asia'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 250 members, each selected for their expert opinion of Asia's bar scene. To create the Academy, and give it a fair representation of the continent's bar landscape, we divide the area into 7 voting regions.

The five Asia's 50 Best Bars Academy Chairs each select a voting panel, updated annually, ensuring a balanced selection of drink writers and educators, bartenders and cocktail aficionados.

Learn more about how the voting works

The Academy Chairs

  • Vivian Pei
    An ardent supporter of the Singapore cocktail scene, Pei is a cook, writer and general F&B geek. She has judged cocktail competitions, been an unofficial Asian bar ambassador and plays a key role in supporting women in the industry through her work organising Speed Rack in Asia and Australia. In response to the pandemic, she co-founded the Singapore Cocktail Bar Association to champion the local craft cocktail industry and create a Covid-19 relief fund. The group is also working on recovery tools, mental health support, ensuring career opportunities and providing educational resources for its members.
  • Holly Graham

    Graham is the Managing Editor (International) of DRiNK Magazine, Asia’s leading bar industry title. She is known for championing Asia’s bars, their personalities and achievements and is also an advocate for sustainability and women in the industry. She is the founder of the Asia Women In Booze community, author of Cocktails of Asia and was responsible for bringing Speed Rack – the all-women charity speed bartending competition – to Asia in 2019. Graham’s previous role as Food and Drink Editor of Time Out Hong Kong saw her publish restaurant and bar guide books. She dabbles behind the stick and can often be found slinging drinks somewhere in the world.

  • Nicholas Coldicott

    Based in Tokyo since 1998, Coldicott is the author of Tokyo Cocktails and co-founder of artisanal sake exporters KuroKura. He has been a drink columnist for The Japan Times and CNN, an editor of Whisky Magazine Japan and Eat magazine, a judge for the World Whisky Awards, and a writer of guide books for Wallpaper* and Time Out

  • Priyanka Blah

    Blah is the founder of The Dram Attic, a spirits and cocktail platform highlighting key bars and talent across the globe. She has spent the last decade discovering the world of cocktails through extensive travel, chronicling the evolution of the drinks industry from both sides of the bar, paying particular attention to guest experience and creativity. She has worked in several aspects of the F&B business, from operations to creative as well as global sales of craft spirits.