Sips, the acclaimed bar founded by Simone Caporale and Marc Alvarez in Barcelona, achieved the pinnacle of success as it was named the World's Best Bar at the prestigious 17th annual Spirited Awards held at Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans.
The bar's innovative approach and the recent launch of the bar-within-the-bar concept, Esencia, impressed the judges, leading to Sips also winning the Best International Bar award. The competition was fierce, with renowned establishments like London's A Bar With Shapes for a Name, Montreal's Atwater Cocktail Club, and Cartagena's Alquímico vying for the top honours. Sips' talented team also received recognition as they secured the Best International Bar Team award.
In another highlight of the evening, the Best New International Cocktail Bar title was bestowed upon Line, the latest venture from The Clumsies founders Vasilis Kyritsis and Nikos Bakoulis, in collaboration with mixer brand Three Cents co-founder Dimitris Dafopoulos, in the vibrant city of Athens.
Singapore's hospitality community made a remarkable showing, with Jigger and Pony claiming the Best International Hotel Bar award. Meanwhile, Vijay Mudaliar's new bar, Analogue Initiative, was honoured as the Best International Restaurant Bar, and the iconic Long Bar at the Raffles Hotel, renowned as the birthplace of the Singapore Sling, received the esteemed Timeless International Award.
The Connaught Bar in London shined with two individual accolades as director of mixology. Ago Perrone secured the Best International Bar Mentor title, and assistant director of mixology Giorgio Bargiani was crowned International Bartender of the Year.
In the US categories, Century Grand in Phoenix, Arizona, was recognized as the Best US Cocktail Bar, while Matiny's in New York earned the title of Best New US Cocktail Bar. Hey Love at The Jupiter in Portland, Oregon, claimed the Best US Hotel Bar award and Miami's Café La Trova was honoured as the Best US Restaurant Bar.
The Spirited Awards also celebrated Christine Wiseman, who was named US Bartender of the Year. Moreover, the Marigold's Brasserie and Broken Shaker's beverage director received the prestigious Bartender's Bartender award at North America's 50 Best Bars ceremony, further adding to the night's brilliance.
Three bars in Greece made the top 50 list below
The Clumsies @ Number 19 in Athens
With its world-class cocktail list, beautiful food and warm Greek hospitality, The Clumsies is the bar you wish was in your neighbourhood. The central Athens all-day bar has the ability to flow effortlessly from a cosy daytime spot to a quiet night-time haunt to a full-blown party. This is partly down to its townhouse setting: from its statement bar in the front, terrace in the back, and private bar and billiard table up a wide staircase, the guest is always made to feel at home. But the real trick here, if there is one, is how naturally it all comes to co-owners Vasilis Kyritsis and Nikos Bakoulis and their team led by head bartender Nick Sourbatis and bar manager Georgia Georgakopoulou.
The current menu, F<3lings, explores the emotions felt in a bar: Happiness, Excitement and Tenderness. But First Coffee, from Excitement, plays with different roasting temperatures of coffee maceration to create a play on a Dry Martini, while Another Colada, from Tenderness, twists a Piña Colada using aged mezcal, milk kefir and pineapple. Now a veteran of the list, The Clumsies has never found the acclaim to be a distraction, always remaining inviting, intelligent, but most importantly, really good fun.
Praxitelous 30, 105 61 Athens
Baba au Rum @ Number 20 in Athens
Now in its 14th year, Athens’ Baba au Rum continues to lead the trends in what has quickly become one of the cocktail capitals of Europe. The secret behind the bar’s endurance is to be found in the impeccable taste of manager and owner Thanos Prunarus, whose love for the modernist movements of Bauhaus, Dada and the Avant-Garde can be felt in the bar’s decor and sensibilities. It feels tropical, but there are no trappings of the cabana kitsch – Baba feels urban, vital and authentic.
Even though the hand-bound menu is beautiful, and the recent recipient of the Greek Design & Typography Awards EVGE 2022, but the contents truly sparkle. Baba doesn’t scrimp on the stuff, primarily a rum specialist bar boasting 400 rum labels. The Rum Society list spins classics and post-tropical drinks, while the Avant Garde menu looks forward and brings in other spirits. Try the De Stijl Silver Fizz with pisco, cherries, lime, red berry vermouth and a pineapple soda – the perfect refresher. The bar recently expanded with the team opening a speciality coffee house and cocktail-inspired patisserie, In Love Again, in a venue opposite – making it finally possible to have a baba au rhum from Baba au Rum.
Klitiou 6, 105 60 Athens
Line @ Number 31 in Athens
The line is the new venture from Vasilis Kyritsis and Nikos Bakoulis (the main faces behind The Clumsies) and Dimitris Dafopoulos, owner of a Grecian mixer brand. Located close to the city centre of Athens, the building used to host an art gallery and has an industrial look and feel with natural materials, incredibly high ceilings and a beautiful tree-festooned garden. The line draws its inspiration from the dynamic and natural journey of fermentation, the seasonality of produce, the concept of sustainability and the synergy with small Greek producers. Putting emphasis on unexpected ingredients and unorthodox processing, Line makes its own fruit ‘wines’, beer and artisan bread.
Ingredients are swapped between recipes, producing an offbeat list of classic cocktails with a twist by employing wine by-products, such as dry and sweet vermouths, along the lines of the zero-waste movement. The line is also about creating a greater community of creative minds, collaborating with different industries in one house and creating something unique.
Agathodemonos 37, Orestou 1, 118 53 Athens
The rest of the list can be found here.