(CNN) — Move over London. Step aside New York. There’s a new cosmopolitan cocktail capital: Barcelona is home to Paradiso, the recently crowned best bar in the world.
For the first time since the inception of the World’s 50 Best Bars list in 2009, a bar outside of New York or London took the number 1 spot on the list.
Paradiso, owned by Giacomo Giannotti and Margarita Sader, is a Mediterranean-style speakeasy, which you enter through the freezer door of a pastrami bar in Barcelona’s trendy El Born district. The bar has risen from No. 3 in 2021.
“It is a great honor to win and a great responsibility. We will work hard to be the best and stick to our principles. Our cocktails try to stimulate creativity,” Giannotti told 50 Best on Tuesday evening.
“But it comes down to hard work. The more you work, the more you discover and the more creative you can be. We celebrate and then go back to the bar to do what we do.”
The top 50 winners were announced Tuesday evening in Barcelona, the first time the ceremony has been held outside of London.
The bustling city in Catalonia is home to three of the top 10 bars on the 2022 list. Sips was the “highest climber” this year, jumping from number 37 in 2021 to number 3 this year. Two Schmucks came in at number 7.
Three bars in the vibrant city of Barcelona were in the top 10 of the world’s 50 best bars this year.
Pol Albarran/Moment RF/Getty Images
Four bars in Spain made it to the top 50 — Salmon Guru in Madrid was number 15.
Italy also made a strong performance in the top 50 in 2022, with bars in Rome, Florence, Milan and Naples all making the list. Newcomer L’Antiquario Napoli took the number 46 spot, placing the southern city of Naples in the top 50 for the first time.
Florence also appeared first on the list, as did Portugal’s capital, Lisbon.
While London was knocked out of the top spot, the city is still one of the world’s premier cocktail destinations. Five London bars made the list, including The Connaught Bar, which dropped from number 1 in the ranking in 2022 to number 8 in 2022.
London’s Tayēr + Elementary, which awards show host Mark Sansom said is “one of the most original bars in the world”, kept its No. 2 spot from 2021.
Europe dominated with more top bars than any other region.
The list is the result of votes from 650 bartenders and bar owners, drinks writers and cocktail experts.
More big winners
Double Chicken Please won the Highest New Entry award for its strong debut. Sansom, content director of The World’s 50 Best Bars, told CNN Travel that the bar has “near Michelin-quality cuisine,” an example of a growing emphasis on food programs in the world’s leading bars.
In Singapore, No. 33 Manhattan also does “seriously, seriously elevated bar food,” Sansom said.
Cartagena’s Alquímico is the best bar in South America at number 10. There are three bars in Buenos Aires on the list and one in Lima.
Dubai had three bars in the top 50, including the No. 38 Zuma, winner of the best bar in the Middle East and Africa for the third year in a row.
In India, New Delhi’s sidecar jumped 21 places to 26th.
The best bar in Australasia is perhaps Sammy in Sydney at number 29.
The best bars in the world for 2022
What visitors will find in bars now
Now that bar hopping has been curbed by the pandemic, customers are more likely to linger in one place, Sansom said, and bars are offering more live entertainment in addition to their food programs to keep diners entertained for hours.
And the line between food and drink is blurring.
“The techniques and flavors associated with cooking and gastronomy are on the rise in drinks and cocktail crafts,” Sansom said, again citing New York’s Double Chicken Please.
The bar’s Back Room menu features a range of food-inspired cocktails – from Waldorf Salad (based on whiskey with apple, celery, ginger beer and walnut bitters) to Japanese Cold Noodle (based on rum with pineapple, cucumber, coconut, lime and sesame oil).
Two Schmucks in Barcelona also lean on flavors related to food.
“The Curry Colada is one of the best cocktails I think I’ve ever drunk,” Sansom said.
Tools like the centrifuge that has moved from science labs to restaurant kitchens in recent decades have also appeared in craft cocktail bars over the past decade, he said.
And custom glassware that sometimes inspires the drink rather than the other way around is becoming increasingly important in many bars, including the world’s best bar Paradiso.
In recent years, hospitality is more important than ever, says Sansom.
“After the pandemic, bars are much more aware of the value of each individual customer and make them feel wanted, safe and secure when entering those environments.”