16. Buck & Breck, Berlin
Disguised as an art gallery from the outside – the dark interior has enough room for just 14 people, seated around a large, square bar (weirdly so no standing allowed). Owners Gonçalo de Sousa Monteiro and Holger Groll churn out exquisite drinks such as the house special: a tasty, muscular mix of cognac, bitters, absinthe and champagne.
15. Canon, Seattle
Canon on Capitol Hill – sounds so poetic – boasts one of the largest whiskey selections, rivalling the likes of Brandy Library in New York City and Seven Grand bar in Los Angeles. Its drink menu is brilliant in its simplicity. Check the craft cocktail menus of the bars around Seattle. Many feature exhausting, six-to-eight ingredient concoctions, often overworked.
14. The Broken Shaker, Miami Beach
Specially handcrafted cocktails created with syrups, elixirs and infusions made from garden herbs and spices, and fresh-pressed produce and exotic ingredients grace your tables. Aside from bagging the 14th spot on this list, the Tales of the Cocktail’s has named it the Best American Hotel Bar.
13. High Five, Tokyo
Occupying a tiny space on the 4th floor of an office building is exactly where Hidetsugu Ueno crafts exquisite cocktails. There’s no menu, Hidetsugu simply asks (in fluent English I may add) for your tastes and will make you something accordingly.
12. Candelaria, Paris
Candelaria is a tucked-away spot in Marais. The front section of the restaurant is a sparsely-decorated taco stand, which leads to a sultry cocktail den that you could easily overlook if you weren’t paying attention.
11. Attaboy, New York
You knock, and a pleasant host lets you in. Attaboy, a standard speakeasy, occupies the old Milk & Honey space and is run by two of its former bartenders, Sam Ross and Michael McIlroy. Attaboy has no menu; you suggest a mood or a flavour and the bartenders improvise, which they do proudly.
10. Black Pearl, Melbourne
In the quieter moments, you’ll find locals propped against the bar, or lounging on the sofas and ottomans. When the weekend rolls around, the place inevitably starts to fill up. But the focus here is on cocktails, giving the mixing masters behind the bar a chance to showcase their skill.
9. Connaught Bar, London
Definitely one of my much-preferred spots in Mayfair, London, The Connaught is designed by the renowned David Collins. It is all about style and glamour – mirrors, low lighting, silver leaf, tasteful palette, lots of plush seating for intimate conversation. It’s obviously popular with hotel residents too, so don’t come here looking for local colour.