Connaught, London’s stylish hotel lounge, was named on Thursday the World’s Best Bar. It unseated Dante, in New York, which fell to No 2 from the top spot last year.
The irony is that Connaught Bar cannot properly celebrate its victory until December 1, as a new four-week coronavirus lockdown takes effect in the UK. That brings up a question: How can you name a world’s best bar when the majority of them have been closed for most of the year? Dante, for its part, pivoted to canned cocktails during the pandemic.
Indeed, the list represents a virtual reshuffling of last year’s winners. Almost all the bars in the top 20 simply moved up or down a few spots, while the entire list, spread across 23 countries, features just 11 new entries.
Winners were announced online in a virtual ceremony on November 5 after the original plans for an extravagant event in Singapore were cancelled because of Covid-19 coronavirus restrictions. The second half of the list, Nos 51 to 100, had already been released online.
Organiser Mark Sansom says via telephone 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.
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, when most bars were shut in the pandemic. Normally, the voting period encompasses 18 months.