Greek and Cypriot Bars on the World’s 50 Best Bars List

George Kaisaris, Thanos Tsounakas, Lelos Georgopoulos, Nikos Bakoulis, and Vasilis Kyritsis of The Clumsies in Athens, #6 on the World's 50 Best Bars List. Photo: Courtesy of The Clumsies

LONDON – The World’s 50 Best Bars were at a live ceremony in London’s Southwark Cathedral. The ranking is created by the votes of an Academy of over 500 members from 55 countries; the strongest, most diverse collection of industry experts ever assembled to express their view on the best bars in the world.

The list represents the ultimate guide to the top bars and drinking destinations around the globe, with restaurant bars, speakeasies and hotel bars all contributing to the eclectic list. This year’s ranking includes bars from 24 cities in 19 countries, and boasts a total of 7 new entries and 4 re-entries. Two bars in Athens, Greece and one in Nicosia, Cyprus are on the list.

Coming in at #6 on the list is The Clumsies, 105, 61 Praxitelous 30 in Athens. As noted on the World’s Best Bars website, “Far from clumsy, the concept of this warm and fun establishment is cleverly engineered to embrace a young crowd who like to dance, lounge at the long bar or chill out in one of the many rooms surrounding it. Added to the mix is the private ‘Room’, designed to look and feel like a living room where punters can play pool next to the library while being looked after by their own personal bartender for the night. The cocktail list changes annually. Currently called Genesis, it is inspired by art and Greek words. The drinks range from syrups and cordials made from vegetable or fruit water, to seasonal cocktails and even fermented or preserved ingredients. The Clumsies is more than a bar, it is also a brand: the team organizes various international cocktail projects, including the American Dream Bar, the Asian, and the Hotel pop-up where guests from some of the best bars in the world are invited to show their projects to the Athenian audience.”

At #29 is Lost & Found on Lordou Vyronos in Nicosia, Cyprus. As noted on the World’s Best Bars website, “A trip to Cyprus now features world-class drinking, courtesy of Dinos Constantinides and his bar, Lost & Found.

Dinos Constantinides at Lost & Found in Nicosia, Cyprus #29 on the World’s 50 Best Bars List. Photo: Courtesy of Lost & Found

In 2013 Nicosia was about mixer-and-spirit long drinks, not the black-belt in mixology that was about to descend. Break down the elements and these are serious drinks, but to the everyman, they are just very tasty. While the classics and the bar’s historical bestsellers are always a fixture, the menu undergoes regular rotation. Now the tiki drink, Three of Strong (spiced rum, passion fruit, Aperol and homemade Demerara oil lemonade), is the bestseller. That mix of the familiar and unfamiliar is what hooks locals but this is also a destination for the international cocktail connoisseur. Inside it’s retro-styled, with a golden-glowing bar, checkerboard floor and vintage arcade machines. An extended lab space on floor two now houses Constantinides’ growing techno-arsenal. Rectifying, carbonation, fat washing and clarification are just some of the techniques found at this local but international Nicosia bar that is certainly worth finding.”

Baba Au Rum, 6 Klitiou in Athens, comes in at #30 on the list. “Opened in early 2009, this sophisticated rum and cocktail bar in the historic centre of Athens was a pioneer of the city’s current vibrant scene. Baba Au Rum claims to hold the largest rum selection in Europe and it remains a global reference to post-tiki era rum bars.

A typical night in Athens at Baba Au Rum, #30 on the World’s 50 Best Bars List. Photo: Courtesy of Baba Au Rum

Owner and rum expert Thanos Prunarus, who ensures drinks here are served with consistency and professionalism, contributes to the bar’s successful side projects, such as the Athens Rum Festival, Fine Drinking magazine and its sister summer bar, Mary Pickford. Baba Au Rum was the first in Greece to make it into The World’s 50 Best Bar list, in part due to its Avant Garde cocktail and spirit menu. Influenced by futurism, modernism and conceptual arts, it documents the unfolding of time within gastronomical Greece that introduced the concept of fine drinking,” as noted on the World’s Best Bars website.

This year, North America boasts 13 bars on the list and once again contributes the highest number of bars to The World’s 50 Best Bar Awards. Cocktail culture continues to thrive in New York with 7 entries, making it the second highest-ranking city after London. Bars from San Francisco, Miami, and Chicago are also represented in the definitive list. Showcasing an extensive cocktail heritage and buoyant contemporary cocktail scene, seven of the 13 North American bars hail from New York, and two of which are in the top ten.

The full list is available online at: www.worlds50bestbars.com.

The World’s 50 Best Bars 2017 awards ceremony was held at Southwark Cathedral in London. Photo: imagecomms.com
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