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 more than 500 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 more than 500 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, of which at least 3 must be for bars located outside the voter’s country of residence. In the US, a voter needs to make 3 of their 7 votes for bars outside their home state.

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 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, which is refreshed by 25% of its panellists 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.

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, with the proviso that at least three of their choices must be for bars located outside the voter’s country of residence. 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.

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 Business Media, the group behind The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants and Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants. In 2017, William Reed Business Media 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 is next for The World’s 50 Best Bars?

We believe 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. We have already published the fifth edition of the Asia’s 50 Best Bars list, and we aim to continue to grow the brand overall.