The who’s who of the world’s bartenders descended on Singapore’s tropical streets this week for the announcement of the coveted World’s 50 Best Bars, with two Australian bars named in the top 50 last night.

Australia’s reigning champ is fifth-time list-maker Maybe Sammy. The theatrical CBD bar has continued its charmed run, taking out spot 15 – the top rank for an Australasian venue in this year’s awards, and the highest spot it’s achieved since joining the 50 Best party, nabbing number 29 in 2022.

Pint-sized Melbourne pub-slash-bar Caretaker’s Cottage also upped its game this year, coming in at number 23 after placing 60th in 2022.

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The high-energy duo behind Maybe Sammy, Stefano Catino and Vince Lombardo, have more than solidified their bar’s place in the global scene. “We’re just so grateful,” Maybe Group bartender Giorgio Gervasoni tells Broadsheet at the afterparty. “It’s been a crazy few days and we’re so happy to be here. We’ve been pushing so hard over the last year. Anything we could’ve done, we did – so I’m very proud of the team. It’s been a fun time.”

This year’s World’s 50 Best Bars came from 28 countries, with 11 debut entries.

The ceremony took place in the Asia-Pacific for the first time in the awards’ 15-year history, but Europe and the Americas dominated all 10 of the top spots. Barcelona is officially the city to drink in, with the Spanish capital taking out number one for the second year in a row – this time with small bar Sips.

“After two years and a half of hard work and passion, finally when you get to the sweet happy end is when and where it all makes sense,” says Sips co-owner Simone Caporale. “Thanks so much, it’s a real pleasure. I cry like a little baby today, that’s what hospitality is: it’s feelings, it’s moments, it’s passion.” Last year’s winner, Barcelona’s Paradiso, slipped to number four.

After coming in at 41 in 2022, Sydney’s tiny laneway mezcal joint Cantina OK missed out this year. Matt Whiley’s sustainability-powered Eveleigh bar Re (87 in 2022) missed out, too.

Australia’s best performance in recent years was in 2020, when seven venues made the top 100 (Maybe Sammy, Cantina OK, Bulletin Place, The Everleigh, Byrdi, Above Board, Black Pearl). We started out hot in the award’s first year (2009), with 12 bars in the top 50.

The longlist of bars ranked 51 to 100 was released the week prior to yesterday’s ceremony. Melbourne’s cosy Byrdi – an experimental bar in a shopping centre – came in at number 61.–50

The World’s 50 Best Bars 2023
1. Sips, Barcelona
2. Double Chicken Please, New York
3. Handshake Speakeasy, Mexico City
4. Paradiso, Barcelona
5. Connaught Bar, London
6. Little Red Door, Paris
7. Lucoreria Limantour, Mexico City
8. Tayer & Elementary, London
9. Alquimico, Catagena
10. Himkok, Oslo
11. Tres Monos, Buenos Aires
12. Line, Athens
13. BKK Social Club, Bangkok
14. Jigger & Pony, Singapore
15. Maybe Sammy, Sydney
16. Salmon Guru, Madrid
17. Overstory, New York
18. Zest, Seoul
19. Mahaniyom Cocktail Bar, Bangkok
20. Coa, Hong Kong
21. Drink Kong, Rome
22. Hanky Panky, Mexico City
23. Caretaker’s Cottage, Melbourne
24. Café La Trova, Miami
25. Baba au Rum, Athens
26. CoChinChina, Buenos Aires
27. Katana Kitten, New York
28. Satan’s Whiskers, London
29. Wax On, Berlin
30. Floreria Atlantico, Buenos Aires
31. Roda Huset, Stockhold
32. Sago House, Singapore
33. Freni e Frizioni, Rome
34. Argo, Hong Kong
35. A Bar with Shapes for a Name, London
36. The SG Club, Tokyo
37. Bar Benfiddich, Tokyo
38. The Cambridge Public House, Paris
39. Panda & Sons, Edinburgh
40. Mimi Kakushi, Dubai
41. Scarfes Bar, London
42. 1930, Milan
43. Carnaval, Lima
44. L’Antiquario, Naples
45. Baltra Bar, Mexico City
46. Locale Firenze, Florence
47. The Clumsies, Athens
48. Atlas, Singapore
49. Jewel of the South, New Orleans
50. Galaxy Bar, Dubai