New book reveals the best bars to hit on every continent
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If you have a trip coming up soon and have a penchant for alcoholic beverages, this new drinking directory promises to steer you in the direction of a top bar or pub.
Wherever in the world you are.
Drinks connoisseurs Joel Harrison and Neil Ridley scoured the globe in a bid to create their book, Straight Up: The Insiders’ Guide To The World’s Most Interesting Bars And Drinking Experiences, which features six sections detailing dozens of drinking holes and a cocktail of heady libations.
The drinking duo have served MailOnline Travel a tipple of what their book has in store, so scroll down for a tantalising taster of globetrotting gallantly, one glass at a time…
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At Tweed in Stockholm there are no secret handshakes or knowing glances, just lashings of fine whiskies gins and purportedly over 2,800 different labels of wine to try, the book explains
What the book says: ‘Tweed is pretty much modelled on a gentleman’s drinking club, so you’ll find an abundance of leather armchairs, rugs and nik-naks you would find behind one of the mysterious nondescript polished doors on London’s Pall Mall.
‘Here though, there are no secret handshakes or knowing glances, just lashings of fine whiskies gins and purportedly over 2,800 different labels of wine to try.
‘The bar is affiliated with the burgundy.se (Yxsmedsgränd 12 111 28) who clearly know a thing or two about fine plonk and have a terrific wine cellar bar in their own right, with a similarly impressive display of vintages and around 2,000 different labels. So settle in, order one’s self a single malt and perhaps choose a cigar for smoking later on the terrace.’
Lilla Nygatan 5, 111 28 Stockholm. +46 8 506 400 82. tweedbar.se
Callooh Callay, London
Inspired by Lewis Caroll’s poem Jabberwocky – Callooh Callay in London takes its name from a poem about total nonsense
What the book says: ‘Inspired by Lewis Caroll’s poem ‘Jabberwocky’ – Callooh Callay takes its name from a poem about total nonsense. Unsurprisingly, the vibe the team here have created truly lives up to its surrealist imagery.
‘From the Narnia-esque wardrobe, which guests can enter and find themselves in a wonderfully cool, environment, through to their more exclusive, mirrored back ‘Jubjub’ bar upstairs (which can often boast a different menu to the main bar), the bar feels like walking into another world.
‘And then there’s the drinks menu, the design of which changes regularly, has won design awards, and has seen cassette tapes, tube maps, sticker albums, and a whole host of other unique designs at which Callooh Callay truly excels. Enter…and be prepared for the unexpected.’
65 Rivington Street, London, EC2A 3AY. 020 7739 4781, www.calloohcallaybar.com
The high ceilings and gilded features at the Atlas bar in Singapore instantly conjure up images of the beautiful ballrooms of Gatsby-era America, according to Straight Up
What the book says: ‘Sometimes the best experiences comes in small packages. In the case of Atlas however, the opposite is entirely true. Arguably the most stunning-looking bar in the world, this vast Art Deco palace to all things gin (and champagne) will leave you utterly speechless when you arrive.
‘The high ceilings and gilded features instantly conjure up images of the beautiful ballrooms of Gatsby-era America.
‘Behind the immaculate bar is a gin tower, rising up like a monolithic tribute to Mother’s Ruin, where you’ll find over 1,000 different gins from around the world. Ask the bartender nicely and they’ll take you upstairs for a little tour.’
Parkview Square, 600 North Bridge Road, Singapore 188778. +65 6396 4466. atlasbar.sg
Aer at the Four Seasons, Mumbai
ER at The Four Seasons Hotel hosts monthly nights showcasing the best of Indian and international DJs
What the book says: ‘This is a rooftop bar like no other. It’s as if designers from the future have dropped in on Mumbai’s Four Seasons and installed their dream rooftop bar. With a panoramic city and sea views, it covering the entire roof of this premier Mumbai hotel.
‘Situated on the 34th-floor, the sounds from the bustling streets of Worli below adds an audio backdrop to remind you that you’re in such an excitingand busty city. Open all year round, it is the idea place to take in a sunset and they even have a canopy and windscreen during the monsoon season, to keep the cocktails flowing.
‘The rooftop bar also hosts monthly nights each month showcasing the best of Indian and international DJs and artists, making it a place to be seen in Mumbai.’
ER at The Four Seasons Hotel Mumbai 1/136, Dr. E. Moses Road 400 018 Worli, Mumbai India / +91 (22) 2481-8000
Africa and Middle East
Asoka, Cape Town
Asoka in Cape Town is an Instagrammer’s dream come true, with ‘sumptuous platters of locally inspired seafood dishes and bold, colourful drinks’
What the book says: ‘When you have Table Mountain as your backdrop, it’s probably hard not to be a little envious, but Asoka can, quite rightly, be very proud of their very own vision of excellence.
‘This restaurant and bar has become one of the most respected places in the city and right from the start of the evening you know your experience will be memorable.
‘From the sumptuous platters of locally inspired seafood dishes and chargrilled vegetables to the drinks – fresh, bold, colourful and highly crafted affairs, bringing together fruit and spices, Asoka is an Instagrammer’s dream come true. On top of that, how many other bars can boast of having a huge olive tree growing in it and a wonderful live band….’
68 Kloof Street, Gardens, Cape Town 8001 +27 21 422 0909 asoka.za.com
Benny’s Cask Ale Pub, Tel Aviv
Benny’s Cask Ale Pub is a tiny establishment off the beaten track located in a suburb of Tel Aviv
What the book says: ‘This is a tiny pub off the beaten track located in a suburb of Tel Aviv, but it’s well worth seeking out, if you’re a serious cask beer fanatic – something that owner Benny clearly is.
‘The place has only three taps and doesn’t serve food but the ales are the real deal here and it’s one of the only cask ale pubs in Israel.
‘Expect to find local boutique brews, which are put into traditional beer casks and poured ‘old style’ – giving you the malty, soft flavours you’d find in a traditional London boozer, rather than the traditionally carbonated fizzy brews. The beer on tap changes daily, so gives you more than a few good reasons to keep on returning!’
Saba Jerusalem Street 46, Kfar Saba +972 9 771 7627
Bar Americano, Melbourne
Bar Americano was opened in 2011 by Matthew Bax as a homage to the golden age of drinking, and they only serve classic cocktails, Straight Up proclaims
What the book says: ‘Some bars are small, others are tiny…and then there is Bar Americano. This is a proper ‘hole in the wall’ style bar – one station, standing room for 10 people tops.
‘Australia’s first ‘standing room only’ bar was opened in 2011 by Matthew Bax as an homage to the golden age of drinking, and they only serve classic cocktails – ‘No, the Espresso Martini is not a classic!’ says Matt – and the menu changes on a regular basis. The no-photos policy is brilliant, too.’
20 Presgrave Place, Melbourne VIC 3000 +61 3 9939 1997 baramericano.com
The Baxter Inn, Sydney
Located right in the heart of Sydney, The Baxter Inn ‘turns whisky on its head and introduces this once staid spirit into a fun-time, party atmosphere’
What the book says: ‘One of the most highly recommended bars in this book, The Baxter Inn has won the hearts and minds of many of our contributors and it is easy to see why.
‘Located right in the heart of Sydney, The Baxter Inn turns whisky on its head and introduces this once staid spirit into a fun-time, party atmosphere. With incredibly rare bottles of whisky open and ready to drink, there is a cornucopia of labels ready to be tried, but without any of the stuffiness that is often associated with whisky tasting.
‘But this joint is not just about whisky – there are awesome cocktails too at this basement operation, and the beer selection will rival anywhere else in Australia. Set up by the guys behind The Shady Pines Saloon (see opposite), it is another example of why visiting Sydney is a must for any serious booze-hound!’
152–156 Clarence Street, Sydney, NSW 2000 +61 2 9221 5580 thebaxterinn.com
Dead Rabbit, New York
At the Parlour at the Dead Rabbit in New York, ‘the cocktail list boasts 72 different options and all are presented in an ever-changing (and highly collectable) menu’
What the book says: ‘Dead Rabbit. What can be said about this place that hasn’t already been written? From the outside it might seem like a simple Irish bar on the southern tip of Manhattan Island, but behind this facade is something much deeper, much greater.
‘On the outside it is Roddy Doyle. On the inside, James Joyce. Downstairs is a spit-and-sawdust tap room where you’ll find ‘craft beer, bottled punch, and whiskeys of the world’ and food is served daily, with a mixture of pies and stews, sandwiches and oysters.
‘Upstairs, the magic starts to happen as you ascend to the Parlour where the cocktail list boast 72 different options, presented in an ever-changing (and highly collectable) menu, often featuring comic book style drawings and telling stories of local folk looking to do good through adversity.’
30 Water Street, New York, NY 10004 +1 646 422 7906 deadrabbitnyc.com
Midnight Rambler, Dallas
The Midnight Rambler is ‘a chic drinking den located in the Joule Hotel in Dallas’
What the book says: ‘A stunningly designed, dimly lit, chic drinking den in the Joule Hotel, this place has really thought through what it means to be a customer at a bar.
‘A great soundtrack, the lighting just right, staff who really care and a drinks list that is unique to the venue, all create a truly sumptuous hangout.
‘Don’t forget, you’re in Dallas, and in this stunning place you’re really in Dallas. So settle in and let the good times roll.’
1530 Main Street, Dallas, TX 75201 +1 214 261 4601 midnightramblerbar.co
Central and South America
El Floridita, Havana
El Floridita in Havana remains a fine example of how important the Daiquiri is to Cuban culture
What the book says: ‘Propping up the side bar at El Floridita is a full-sized bronze statue of Ernest Hemingway and it’s easy to see why Old Papa was such a fan of the place. El Floridita may well be a hugely popular tourist destination, but it remains a fine example of how important the Daiquiri is to Cuban culture.
‘Here, they’re largely served frozen, by gentlemen in red bartending jackets, while in the background a laid-back band of Cuban musicians lays down the perfect drinking soundtrack. < /span>
‘It sounds as corny as can be, but it’s not. Do this anywhere else and it would stink to high heaven of pastiche. But here you live, breathe and sip Cuban life, the memories of which you will never, ever forget.’
Obispo No. 557 esq. a Monserrate, Havana 10100 +53 7 8671299 floridita-cuba.com
The English Bar at the Country Club Hotel, Lima
The English Bar at the Country Club Hotel in Lima, Peru, is built to resemble a traditional English pub, complete with wood panelling and an impressive back bar mirror
What the book says: ‘Quite an eccentric gem inside the traditional 1920s splendour of this wonderful fine-dining boutique hotel, the English Bar, or Bar Inglés as it is known, is built to resemble a traditional English pub, complete with wood panelling and an impressive back bar mirror.
‘While it’s not the sort of place you’re used to seeing these days in London (they’ve mostly gone gastro), the vibe is perfect. But rather than warm pints of nut brown ale, the Pisco Sour is the order of the day…and what an order it is.
‘Arguably one of the finest in Lima, this simple (but often maligned) drink is served strong but balanced, and is deliciously quaffable. Salud!’
Calle Los Eucaliptos 590, San Isidro, Lima 15076 +51 1 611 9000 hotelcountry.com
Faraday bar, Vernadsky Research Station
‘Built by the British and now owned by Ukraine, Faraday bar at the Vernadsky Research Station has just seven seats, where you can enjoy shots of home-distilled vodka, wine and beer for around $3,’ the book reveals
What the book says: ‘*Before anyone says we missed an entire continent… If you fancy heading to arguably the world’s remotest bar, make it the tiny Faraday bar at the Vernadsky Research Station on the Antarctic Peninsula.
‘Built by the British and now owned by Ukraine, it has just seven seats, where you can enjoy shots of home-distilled vodka, wine and beer for around $3.
‘As experiences go, this has to be one of the most extreme, but surely one of the most life-changing. Now, to ask for ice, or not…’
Straight Up: The Insiders’ Guide To The World’s Most Interesting Bars And Drinking Experiences by Joel Harrison and Neil Ridley is published by Octopus Books and available to pre-order ahead of its October 9 release.
Drinks connoisseurs Joel Harrison and Neil Ridley scoured the globe in a bid to create their book, Straight Up