A ranking of the world’s best bars for 2020 has named three South African pubs as part of its extended top 100 list.
The best bars list is compiled from the votes of more than 540 experts around the world, including drinks writers, bartenders, and cocktail aficionados.
The voting was based on visits made from January 2019 through March 2020. Normally, the voting period encompasses 18 months, but the coronavirus pandemic, which forced most establishments to close after March, cut the assessment period short.
Connaught, a stylish hotel lounge in London, was named as the best bar in the world. In an ironic twist, Connaught cannot properly celebrate its victory until 1 December, as a new four-week coronavirus lockdown takes effect in the UK, Bloomberg reports.
Organiser Mark Sansom said that the decision to go ahead was made to give the industry a chance to “come together” and for guests to be assured that hospitality venues have worked hard to create safe and secure environments for them to visit after months of closures.
“We were met with the overwhelming response that the industry needed something to talk about,” he said.
“People are starting to go out again, and the message to consumers is that there are wonderful bars and they need to receive your support,” says Sansom, content editor for the World’s 50 Best Bars.
“This isn’t a celebration, but a sober recognition for the bars that have managed to keep going in this difficult time.”
The top 10 winners are as follows:
- Connaught Bar, London
- Dante, New York
- The Clumsies, Athens
- Atlas, Singapore
- Tayēr + Elementary, London
- Kwānt, London
- Florería Atlántico, Buenos Aires
- Coa, Hong Kong
- Jigger & Pony, Singapore
- The SG Club, Tokyo
The list was dominated by European, Asian and American bars. However, three South African bars were named as part of the extended top 100 list:
- Sin + Tax (69th)
- Cause Effect Cocktail Kitchen (75th)
- Art of Duplicity (88th)
Sin + Tax in Johannesburg was the highest-ranked local bar on the list coming in at 69th – an impressive 22 place climb from its 89th placed ranking in 2019.
Located behind the popular Coalition eatery, the cocktail bar is headed up by the renowned mixologist Julian Short who has previously worked in Sweden, Mexico, Scotland and Cuba.
Local reviewers have praised the bar’s unique setting, unique cocktails such as “Lucy in the Sky with Black Diamonds” as well as the swift and knowledgeable waiters.
Cause Effect Cocktail Kitchen and Cape Brandy bar is inspired by the city’s oceans, mountains, fynbos and vineyards, its website states.
The bar uses raw ingredients and effects them into flavour, our cocktail kitchen is a study in creativity where we discover, create and serve the best flavours from the Cape.
“We use modernistic techniques inspired by our history, diversity and passion for the drinks industry. Our small plate food service is fresh, flavoursome and delicate and compliments our array of exceptional cocktails.”
The Art of Duplicity is described as a jazz and cocktail speakeasy bar that is inspired by the USA’s prohibition era, during which unlawful establishments served alcoholic beverages.
The sale of liquor is currently permitted under South Africa’s level 1 lockdown regulations:
- By licensed premises for off-site consumption is permitted from 09h00 to 17h00, from Mondays to Fridays, excluding weekends and public holidays;
- By licensed premises for on-site consumption is permitted, subject to strict adherence to the curfew.