Despite a global pandemic, which saw many bars close their doors either temporarily or indefinitely, to weather the storm or pivot and deliver cocktails to patron’s doors, The World’s 50 Best Bars have been announced for 2020.
This year, not one but three Australian bars have qualified in the coveted list, and in fact, all three bars hail from Sydney. But first, the top five.
Coming in in first place was Connaught Bar in London. Second place was scored by Dante in New York City, followed by The Clumsies in Athens, Atlas in Singapore, and in fifth place: London bar Tayēr + Elementary.
The first Sydney bar to qualify on the list was Maybe Sammy. At number 11, the drinking hole in The Rocks also received the Michter’s Art of Hospitality Award 2020, plus the award for Best Bar in Australasia 2020.
Of Maybe Sammy, 50 Best says: “Each new visit to Maybe Sammy brings surprise. That surprise might arrive in the statuette form of a flamingo while you’re sipping on one of the best Martinis you’ve ever tasted (surreptitiously placed by a bartender when your back was turned); it might be when they break out the bubble gun for some mid-shift hijinks. And it has been that way since Maybe Sammy opened in 2019”.
Cantina OK! was next to appear on the list in 28th place. Hiding in a single-car spot in a CBD backstreet, the pint-sized bar serves up the best margaritas in town. Did we mention they do takeaway?
Speaking of Cantina OK!, Best 50 says: “It’s the kind of small, quirky bar common to Melbourne’s scene that fuelled the jealousy of Sydneysiders for years: set back down a lane from one of the CBD’s busiest streets.
“Mezcal and tequila are the main event, opened in a disused single car space big enough for just two bartenders to mix drinks. Owners Jeremy Blackmore and Alex Dowd have — with manager Alex Gilmour — long taken their staff to Mexico to learn more about agave; these trips have inspired their list, as they’ve brought back bottles and stories from far-flung palenques for their guests — the kind of stuff you can’t get anywhere else.”
The final bar to make it onto the list from Australia is Bulletin Place. Since 2012, the bar’s owners Tim Philips-Johansson, Rob Sloan, and Adi Ruiz have been serving up seasonal fruit cocktails to rave reviews from passionate locals and barhoppers all around the globe.
This year, the team celebrates making it onto the 50 Best list again — it’s qualified a number of times in its lifetime. “Bulletin Place has had a big effect on the way people drink in Sydney,” 50 Best says.
“What has remained constant is the team’s love of service when you walk in the door; a cocktail mantra that focuses on deliciousness before technique; and a deserved reputation for crafting a uniquely Australian approach to drinks.”
You can view the full World’s 50 Best Bars list now.