HANDSHAKE SPEAKEASY IN MEXICO CITY NAMED AS THE BEST BAR IN NORTH AMERICA AS RANKING OF NORTH AMERICA’S 50 BEST BARS IS REVEALED AT THIRD ANNUAL AWARDS CEREMONY

The list of North America’s 50 Best Bars 2024 was announced at a live ceremony in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

  • Handshake Speakeasy, Mexico City, is crowned No.1 and The Best Bar in Mexico, sponsored by Perrier
  • This year’s list features 26 U.S. bars, 15 from Mexico, 7 hailing from Canada, and 2 based in the Caribbean
  • Civil Liberties, Toronto, at No.21, is named The Best Bar in Canada, sponsored by Naked Malt, for the third year in a row
  • La Factoría, Puerto Rico, No.18, earns The Best Bar in the Caribbean, sponsored by Amaro Lucano
  • Claudia Cabrera of female-led bar Kaito del Valle (No.28) in Mexico City wins the Roku Industry Icon Award
  • Simpl Things, Toronto, wins the Campari One To Watch Award
  • Library by the Sea, Grand Cayman, No.35, is awarded London Essence Best New Opening Award
  • True Laurel, San Francisco, No.30, earns the Ketel One Sustainable Bar Award
  • Meadowlark, Chicago, No.32, wins the Siete Misterios Best Cocktail Menu Award
  • Martiny’s, New York, No.4, is the Nikka Highest Climber Award winner
  • Avondale Bowl, Chicago, earns Bareksten Best Bar Design Award
  • Superbueno, New York, No.2, wins Disaronno Highest New Entry Award

SAN MIGUEL DE ALLENDE, Mexico, April 24, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — The list of North America’s 50 Best Bars, sponsored by Perrier, was announced at the live awards ceremony on April 23, 2024 at Rosewood San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. This was the second year that the awards ceremony was held in Mexico and continues to platform the country’s place as a leader of the global cocktail scene. The annual ranking features bars from across North America, including the USA, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean.

Mexico City’s Handshake Speakeasy is crowned No.1 as The Best Bar in North America and The Best Bar in Mexico, sponsored by Perrier. New York City’s Superbueno is ranked at No.2 and claims the title of Disaronno Highest New Entry as well as The Best Bar in Northeast USA 2024, sponsored by Disaronno. New York City’s Overstory follows at No.3.

Toronto’s Civil Liberties, No.21, wins the title of The Best Bar in Canada, sponsored by Naked Malt for the third year in a row alongside Puerto Rico’s La Factoría, at No.18, recognized as The Best Bar in the Caribbean, sponsored by Amaro Lucano for the third year as well. Overall, the U.S. leads the list with 26 bars followed by Mexico with 15 bars, seven from Canada and two on the list from the Caribbean.

The full list of North America’s 50 Best Bars 2024 is at the bottom of this press release.

Handshake Speakeasy makes history as the first bar in Mexico to be named No.1 on a North America’s 50 Best Bars list. The hidden bar is difficult to find, but those who discover the Mexico City lounge are rewarded with an unforgettable, high-end cocktail experience. While the design and ambiance, with a long marble bar and copper arches, recall the glamour and allure of the Prohibition era, the cocktail menu looks to the future. Bar Director Eric van Beek uses molecular mixology to create unexpected cocktails that may appear traditional but reveal complex layered flavors on the palate. On the menu, guests can find cocktails featuring clarified juices, fat-washed spirits and unusual, home-made syrups and infused cordials. Handshake Speakeasy also features batch cocktails on draft and a laboratory hidden within the bar where the team concocts its next liquid revelations. Handshake Speakeasy has featured prominently on the global stage since opening, ranking as No.3 on The World’s Best Bars 2023 list and No.2 on North America’s 50 Best Bars 2023 list.

Emma Sleight, Head of Content for North America’s 50 Best Bars, says: “What a momentous occasion for the Mexico cocktail scene! We give our biggest ¡Felicidades! to Handshake Speakeasy and head bartender Eric van Beek for the team’s incredible work in delivering excellence. Handshake Speakeasy continues to push the boundaries of the art of cocktail creation as well as always putting service first, so we are pleased to see them crowned the first bar in Mexico City named No.1 on North America’s 50 Best Bars list. We also extend our congratulations to all the other incredible bars on this year’s list that are testament to how exciting, innovative and dynamic the North American bar scene truly is.”

Elisa Gregori, Perrier Global Business Unit Director, says: “It is an honor once again to join in celebrating the hard work, ingenuity, and innovation of the great bartenders, mixologists, and professionals who continue to push the bar scene to new heights. North America is the melting pot of the world, where cultures, flavors, ingredients, and techniques combine. This is on display like nowhere else in the bar community that leads the way in terms of innovation and creativity, where hospitality is more of a way of life than just a job. I would like to express my gratitude for always raising the bar on what is possible in the cocktail culture. And, likewise, the entire Perrier team would like to express their gratitude to the bar community. Your extraordinary efforts and unwavering commitment, with which you have created unique shared experiences for everyone who has passed through your doors in the past and in the future, are an inspiration.”

New York Continues to Account for the Most of North America’s Top Bars

Each year, New York continues to excel in delivering the world’s most amazing craft cocktails. In 2024, New York holds 12 of the 26 U.S. listees, including the continent’s highest achievers. The list includes Superbueno (No.2) which is the Disaronno Highest New Entry, Overstory (No.3), and Martiny’s, which jumped 25 spots to No.4 to earn the Nikka Highest Climber Award. Alongside these are additional notable bars including Double Chicken Please (No.7), Katana Kitten (No.12), Employees Only (No.15), Dante (No.20), Attaboy (No.31), The Dead Rabbit (No.33), Maison Premiere (No.41), new entry Angel’s Share (No.43), and Milady’s (No.44).

Cocktail hotspots across the U.S. such as New Orleans’ Jewel of the South (No.7) named The Best Bar in South USA, sponsored by Tia Maria, and Cure (No.47) have remained on the list in 2024. Top establishments across the U.S. in cities that have been consistently recognized for their cocktail culture include Los Angeles’ Thunderbolt (No.8), named The Best Bar in West USA, sponsored by Rémy Martin, Miami’s Café La Trova (No.13), Kumiko (No.19) from Chicago, which named The Best Bar in Midwest USA, sponsored by Torres Brandy, as well as Service Bar (No.22) and Allegory (No.23) from Washington DC. This year, Los Angeles’ Mírate (No.46) and Chicago’s Best Intentions (No.48) are new entries to the list.

San Francisco’s True Laurel (No.30), another new entry, wins the Kettle One Sustainable Bar Award, with new entry from Chicago Meadowlark (No.32) taking home the Siete Misterios Best Cocktail Menu Award.

Mexico City Continues to Grow Its Global Cocktail Presence, Winning 9 of Mexico’s 15 Bars

Mexico City accounts for more than half of this year’s best bars in the country. Handshake Speakeasy (No.1) wins The Best Bar in Mexico, sponsored by Perrier for the third year in a row.

Handshake Speakeasy is joined by Mexico City’s Rayo (No.5), Licorería Limantour (No.9), new entry Tlecān (No.10), Café del Nadie (No.17), Baltra Bar (No.26), Kaito del Valle (No.28), Hanky Panky (No.42) and Brujas (No.45).

Mexico’s wider bar scene continues to grow, as can be seen in the list, which includes Playa del Carmen’s Zapote Bar (No.11), Guadalajara’s El Gallo Altanero (No.14), and Tijuana’s Aruba Day Drink (No.16), as well as the country’s newest entry, Bekeb (No.27) in San Miguel de Allende, plus Arca (No.37) in Tulum and Oaxaca’s Selva (No.34).

Canada Continues to Thrive in Cocktail Culture

Civil Liberties (No.21) in Toronto has been named The Best Bar in Canada, sponsored by Naked Malt for the third consecutive year. Vancouver’s Botanist Bar (No.24), Toronto’s Bar Pompette (No.29), Montreal’s Cloakroom (No.39), and a re-entry for this year in Vancouver, The Keefer Bar (No.49) are also part of the list.

The Caribbean: Grand Cayman Joins the List

La Factoría (No.18) continues to remain on the list as The Best Bar in the Caribbean, sponsored by Amaro Lucano. Grand Cayman has joined the locations of top bars in the Caribbean with Library by the Sea (No.35) as a new entry.

Special Awards

Among all the spectacular highlights, Simpl Things in Toronto joins the stellar lineup as Campari One To Watch, an accolade given to a bar outside of the main list that the 50 Best team believes has the ability to be named on future editions of the ranking.

Meadowlark (No.32) in Chicago is named winner of the Siete Misterios Best Cocktail Menu Award. The rotating menu celebrates the history of the region, featuring local spirits and liqueurs. Any bar on the North America’s 50 Best Bars list is eligible to enter this award, which is decided upon by a panel of Academy Chairs. This award was introduced in 2021 to reward bars for their innovation, design, drinks craftmanship and menu communication.

Claudia Cabrera of Mexico’s Kaito del Valle (No.28) receives the accolade of Roku Industry Icon. For this award, all 270 members of the voting Academy are asked to name the person who has done most to progress the bar sector. Cabrera is a vocal advocate for gender equality in the drinks industry and champions the need for more female representation behind the bar. At Kaito del Valle and in the wider industry, Claudia’s dedication to her fellow bartenders, her mentorship to colleagues and her passion to provide outstanding hospitality shines through the bar’s Japanese izakaya-style cocktail menu.

Grand Cayman’s Library by the Sea (No.35) earns the London Essence Best New Opening Award, as the bar enters the list for the first time. Library by the Sea presents a drinks program highlighting art, literature and local Caymanian and Caribbean culture, while balancing inventive names and flavors that are enriched with the history of the region. The bar brings each of its drinks concepts to life without limitations, using bespoke ingredients made with local botanicals such as a sea mineral-adjusted vermouth to bring the complexity and heritage of local island flavors to the fore.

True Laurel in San Francisco earns the title of Ketel One Sustainable Bar at No.30. The award is gifted to bars that demonstrate the strongest commitment to sustainability. The Ketel One Sustainable Bar Award is independently adjudicated by 50 Best’s international audit partner, the Sustainable Restaurant Association.

Additional special award winners, announced prior to the reveal of this year’s list, include New Orleans’ Jewel of the South (No.6) receiving the Michter’s Art of Hospitality Award and Kate Boushel of the Barroco Group and Atwater Cocktail Club (No.50) in Canada, who is celebrated as the winner of Altos Bartenders’ Bartender Award.

EDITOR’S NOTES:

1-50 LIST

Position

Bar

Town

1

Handshake Speakeasy

Mexico City

2

Superbueno

New York

3

Overstory

New York

4

Martiny’s

New York

5

Rayo

Mexico City

6

Jewel of the South

New Orleans

7

Double Chicken Please

New York

8

Thunderbolt

Los Angeles

9

Licorería Limantour

Mexico City

10

Tlecān

Mexico City

11

Zapote Bar

Playa del Carmen

12

Katana Kitten

New York

13

Café La Trova

Miami

14

El Gallo Altanero

Guadalajara

15

Employees Only

New York

16

Aruba Day Drink

Tijuana

17

Café de Nadie

Mexico City

18

La Factoría

San Juan

19

Kumiko

Chicago

20

Dante

New York

21

Civil Liberties

Toronto

22

Service Bar

Washington DC

23

Allegory

Washington DC

24

Botanist Bar

Vancouver

25

Herbs & Rye

Las Vegas

26

Baltra Bar

Mexico City

27

Bekeb

San Miguel de Allende

28

Kaito del Valle

Mexico City

29

Bar Pompette

Toronto

30

True Laurel

San Francisco

31

Attaboy

New York

32

Meadowlark

Chicago

33

The Dead Rabbit

New York

34

Selva

Oaxaca

35

Library by the Sea

Grand Cayman

36

Century Grand

Phoenix

37

Arca

Tulum

38

Pacific Cocktail Haven

San Francisco

39

Cloakroom

Montreal

40

Bar Mordecai

Toronto

41

Maison Premiere

New York

42

Hanky Panky

Mexico City

43

Angel’s Share

New York

44

Milady’s

New York

45

Brujas

Mexico City

46

Mírate

Los Angeles

47

Cure

New Orleans

48

Best Intentions

Chicago

49

The Keefer Bar

Vancouver

50

Atwater Cocktail Club

Montreal

For media centre access, please visit:  https://mediacentre.theworlds50best.com/

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About North America’s 50 Best Bars

Following the success of The World’s 50 Best Bars, sponsored by Perrier, and the establishment of Asia’s 50 Best Bars in 2016, 50 Best launched North America’s 50 Best Bars, with the first edition of the awards held in New York, N.Y. on June 7, 2022. It shines a much-deserved spotlight on the region as a world-class drinks’ destination and acts as a mouthpiece for the outstanding talent coming through. The inaugural North America’s 50 Best Bars awards ceremony and unveiling of the list provided a unique opportunity to unite bartenders, bar owners, cocktail aficionados and drinks media from all over the region at a captivating celebration of drinks, hospitality, passion and talent. North America’s 50 Best Bars includes voting for bars from Canada, the U.S., Mexico and the Caribbean. William Reed, which owns the 50 Best brand, is entirely responsible for the organization of the awards, the voting system and the respective lists.

How the Voting Works

The ranking for North America’s 50 Best Bars will reflect the best bar experiences based on the votes of the Academy members, who comprise anonymous North American bar industry experts (including bartenders, bar owners, drinks media and well-traveled cocktail connoisseurs) from the USA, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean. In 2023, the Academy expanded to 270 members. This change was implemented to obtain a wider snapshot and ensure a greater number of diverse voices voting for the awards. Moreover, as per all 50 Best lists for restaurants, bars and hotels, 25 per cent of Academy members are refreshed annually to keep the perspectives dynamic and relevant. Members of the 50 Best organization do not vote and do not control the composition of the list; that is the collective role of the voting Academy. This means that bars cannot apply to be on the list and no sponsors have any influence on the list.

The Academy is divided into 7 regions: USA Northeast; USA Midwest; USA West; USA South; Canada East; Canada West; Mexico and the Caribbean. Each region has its own panel of members including a chairperson, called the Academy Chair. The Chairs each then select a voting panel, ensuring a balanced selection. Each North America Academy member will vote for 7 bars, with a maximum of 5 in the home country (or state in the U.S.) where they are based. Voters also have the option to vote for a further 2 (or more) bars located outside of their home country (or U.S. state) up to a maximum of 7.

Voting is carried out individually and strictly confidentially on a secure site and remains confidential before the list announcement. Academy Chairs are not privy to, and have no knowledge of, the votes cast by the voters in their respective regions. They are neither spokespeople for the 50 Best brand.

The list will be the result of a poll of 270 experts (all within the North American continent), who each cast votes for the bars where they have had their ‘best experience’ during the last 18 months before the voting deadline. The list is a simple computation of votes by North American voters for bars in North America. Further information on the Academy Chairs and how the voting works is available on the FAQs page here.     

About the Main Sponsor: Perrier

For more than a century, Perrier® has collaborated with some of the world’s most influential major artists, including Andy Warhol, Salvador Dalí, Bernard Villemot, and Jean-Gabriel Domergue, each of whom in their own way have demonstrated a certain artistic irreverence. With a history that began in 1863 in Vergèze, in the Gard region of France, the Perrier® brand is now recognized worldwide thanks to its iconic green bottle. Appreciated in more than 140 countries, the brand is acclaimed for its natural mineral water combined with the power of its bubbles.

Partners:

  • San Miguel de Allende – Official Host Destination Partner
  • Perrier – Official Water Partner; sponsor of The Best Bar in North America and The Best Bar in Mexico
  • Michter’s – Official American Whiskey Partner; sponsor of Michter’s Art of Hospitality Award
  • Nikka Whisky – Official Whisky of the World Partner; sponsor of Nikka Highest Climber Award
  • Ketel One – Official Vodka Partner; sponsor of Ketel One Sustainable Bar Award
  • Siete Misterios – Official Mezcal Partner; sponsor of Siete Misterios Best Cocktail Menu Award
  • The London Essence Co. – Official Mixers Partner; sponsor of London Essence Best New Opening Award
  • Disaronno – Official Italian Liqueur Partner; sponsor of Disaronno Highest New Entry and The Best Bar in Northeast USA
  • Roku Gin – Official Gin Partner; sponsor of Roku Industry Icon Award
  • Altos Tequila – Official Tequila Partner; sponsor of Altos Bartenders’ Bartender Award
  • Matusalem – Official Rum Partner; sponsor of ceremonial scarves
  • Naked Malt – Official Scotch Whisky Partner; sponsor of The Best Bar in Canada
  • Rémy Martin – Official Cognac Partner; sponsor of The Best Bar in West USA
  • Campari – Official Bitters Partner; sponsor of Campari One To Watch Award
  • Mancino Vermouth – Official Vermouth Partner; sponsor of ceremonial shakers
  • Amaro Lucano – Official Amaro Partner; sponsor of The Best Bar in the Caribbean and ceremonial shakers
  • Tia Maria – Official Coffee Liqueur Partner; sponsor of The Best Bar in South USA
  • Torres Brandy – Official Brandy Partner; sponsor of The Best Bar in Midwest USA
  • Scrappy’s Bitters – Official Cocktail Bitters Partner
  • Bareksten – Official Aquavit Partner; sponsor of Bareksten Best Bar Design Award
  • Live Aqua – Official Hotel and Venue Partner
  • Rosewood San Miguel de Allende – Official Hotel and Venue Partner
  • Hotel Amatte – Official Hotel & Venue Partner

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SOURCE 50 Best



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