Each year the prestigious World’s 50 Best Bars awards drops a countdown of 100 bars from around the world that elevate the drinking experience in their cities. The list is teased in two parts, with the 100–51 list dropping last week, naming Sydney’s Re– at number 87 and Melbourne’s pint-sized Caretaker’s Cottage at number 60.

Today, following an awards ceremony in Barcelona overnight, we can celebrate two more Aussie bars named in the 50–1 list. Sydney’s 1950s-inspired cocktail bar Maybe Sammy takes the highest ranking in the region at number 29, effectively naming it best bar in Australasia for the fourth year in a row. Sydney’s little mezcal bar Cantina Ok! came in at 41.

It’s a slight slip in the rankings from 2021’s list; last year Maybe Sammy placed at 22 and Cantina Ok! came in at 23, but the hospo legends behind the country’s best bars are still elated.

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Maybe Sammy’s co-owners Stefano Catino and Vince Lombardo and creative director Martin Hudak commented on Instagram, saying, “When we opened Maybe Sammy we never would have dreamed we’d be one of the World’s 50 Best bars four years in a row, let alone the best bar in Australasia each time.

“We’re so grateful the bar and our team continues to be recognised for the brilliant work they do … And a special mention goes out to our friends from Australia who made the Top 100 list – we’re proud to be with such good company.”

This year’s top prize went to Barcelona’s Paradiso. The judges said the 2022 World’s Best Bar is where the “surprises keep on coming, starting with the show-stopping Supercool Martini, which uses a ‘supercooled’ gin mix to build an iceberg in the glass”, finishing with the highest praise: “Drinks don’t look or taste like this anywhere but at Paradiso.”

The judging panel, made up of experts from around the world, commented that Maybe Sammy’s high placement for the fourth year in a row was due to its “top-flight and innovative cocktails”. They said: “The bar remains true to the vision set forth by co-owners Stefano Catino and Vince Lombardo: a cocktail bar versed in the traditions and style of the grand old hotel bars of Europe and their pursuit of hospitality, but updated with a little Rat Pack-imbued Las Vegas razzle dazzle, and brought Down Under with some Italian-Australian irreverence.”

Cantina Ok! commented with a simple “thank you” on its Instagram account this morning. The World’s 50 Best Bars judges said it was “the bar opening that Sydney didn’t know it needed” when it opened three years ago. And now that international travel has resumed, Cantina’s regular trips to Mexico to source the bar’s specialty mezcal have too, leading to an effect the judging team describes as “every bottle tells a story, of someone they’ve met, someone they’ve shared a drink and a meal with, or someone whose family they know” .

We couldn’t be prouder.

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