As The World’s 50 Best Bars prepares to take over Barcelona on October 4th, the Catalan capital’s cocktail scene is looking hotter than ever.
This year, the world’s highest profile awards ceremony for bars and mixology will take place outside London for the first time. Read on to find out why 50 Best Bars decided to hold its 2022 gala in Barcelona, how Barcelona became a cocktail destination to be reckoned with, and where to sample some of the most creative drinks in the city.
50 Best Bars hits the road
“This year, we decided to hit the road, as we do with The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, to shine a light on the other amazing cities around the world that are leading the way in bar craft and hospitality,” explains Mark Sansom, Content Director for The World’s 50 Best Bars.
While most visitors to Barcelona probably think of it first and foremost as a destination for wine—from natural pet-nats, to sparkling cava and fortified vermut—recent years have witnessed a boom in new cocktail bars opening up around the city.
Barcelona: a “top-five drinking city”
“Barcelona is fast becoming one of great cocktail capitals; I’d say it’s in the top five drinking cities in the world,” continues Samson, adding: “The city’s palate is already very sophisticated, with a strong gastronomic tradition that feeds into the drinks scene.”
Samson maintains that there is a preference for savory flavors in Barcelona’s native cocktail scene.
“The city’s heritage around vermouth influences the local understanding and, as we know, many of the best-known cocktails in the world use vermouth,” he continues.
The World’s 50 Best Bars in Barcelona
Next week, the movers and shakers of the mixology world will arrive in Barcelona for the World’s 50 Best Bars awards ceremony on October 4th. In addition to the main event, the city will also play host to Barcelona Cocktail Experience, a 10-day-long program of popups, takeovers and masterclasses, involving more than 150 different bars, restaurants and hotels, as well as a two-day Cocktail Village, hosted at Palau Dalmases, a medieval palace in the El Born district.
Top Barcelona cocktail picks, according to The World’s 50 Best Bars:
Ranking according to The World’s 50 Best Bars (2021): 3
Mark Samson: “Paradiso I love because it’s full of surprises from the minute you walk through the door (which is a fridge door at the back of a pastrami shop!). The bar itself is incredible, from the décor right through to its cocktails, which Giacomo Giannotti and his team have worked on down to every last detail. My go-to order is the Supercool Martini. I’m still not sure what “supercooled” water is but it makes a fine Martini!”
Ranking according to The World’s 50 Best Bars (2021): 11
Mark Samson: “Two Schmucks is the ultimate ‘five-star dive bar’ and an absolute must-visit! Every night is a party with Moe and his team, who deliver drinks and service that equals some of the best. My favorite cocktail is the Just for Dolphins, which is their very own Long Island Iced Tea—what’s not to love about that?”
Ranking according to The World’s 50 Best Bars (2021): 37
Mark Samson: “Sips is another fantastic bar with two incredible talents behind the bar: Simone Caporale and Marc Alvarez. They don’t hold back on any of the details, preparing every drink at your table, and even carving the ice in front of you, which adds to the overall experience. My favorite is their take on the Negroni, which comes with a whole orange.”
Ranking according to The World’s 50 Best Bars (2021): Not ranked, on the 50 Best Discovery list
Mark Samson: “Marlowe is great for classic cocktails. Open since 1979 and still one of top bars in Barcelona, it offers personalized service with cocktails based on your mood, making it one of my favorites if I’m feeling indecisive!”