We wanted to poll our readers and speak with professional mixologists in order to figure out what kinds of cocktails people are drinking now and where you can find the most well-crafted cocktails in the world. To whittle down a list of the 50 best cocktails, we looked at:
- The highest selling cocktails in the world (Drinks International)
- The sales and menus at the best bars in the world (World’s 50 Best Bars)
- Opinions of professional mixologists in North America, South America, and Europe
- Opinions of our audience of 2.5 million readers regarding taste, quality, and popularity
The results? Pretty interesting. The best cocktail in the world might not be what you think it is. Or, perhaps you drink it on the daily and you’ve long been a fan of how they make it in a certain bar. If you’re feeling just as thirsty as we are, then listen up.
Here’s where you can find the 50 best cocktails in the world right now…
Best Cocktails In The World
It’d almost be a crime to rank the world’s best Cuba Libre anywhere else than Cuba. Numerous travellers said that they’ve been around the world in search of this classic rum and coke cocktail, but that the best is still found right in the heart of Havana. El Chancullero, which is also one of the city’s best tapas bar, serves them up strong.
Champagne cocktails were actually one of the top 50 highest-selling cocktails last year. However, our readers think that the Black Velvet Champagne Cocktail in Dublin takes this creative drink to a whole new level. This slightly smoky cocktail perfectly blends Guinness and champagne for a delightfully boozy treat.
There’s some debate as to where Pisco Sours originated, and the discussion can get pretty heated. However, it seems as if the majority of people agree that the best Pisco Sour in the world is in Peru. Despite the unique name, Museo del Pisco is a bar, not a museum. And, they whip up this traditional South American drink to perfection. You’ll only need one or two, but chances are you’ll order more they’re just that good.
COA is one of the best cocktail bars in Hong Kong by far, and while they craft numerous creative Mexican-inspired cocktails, it’s La Chinesca that’s got people talking. Named after the largest Chinese community in Mexico, the drink features tequila blanco and mezcal joven with spicy ingredients such as jalapeño, tajin and ginger honey.
Geneva’s actually bursting with high-quality cocktail bars, but there’s one in particular that serves up a fan favourite. At Voodoo Reyes, the cocktails take you on a voyage of flavours that surprise and delight. You can order some of the most creative cocktails in Europe, like the Crocodile Tears, which is served in a literal mini crocodile head.
While the Bee’s Knees cocktail didn’t rank that high amongst the best cocktails in the world, locals and travellers alike let us know that Rey de Copas serves up some of the best in all of South America. This Prohibition-era drink is made with gin, fresh lemon juice, and honey. Trust that Rey de Copas definitely knows what they’re doing; it’s, dare we say…the bee’s knees.
Head anywhere in the British Virgin Islands and you’ll find bars practically overflowing with Painkiller cocktails. This tropical twist on a Piña Colada didn’t seem high on the list for mixologists but ranked well amongst younger travellers. The Soggy Dollar Bar claims to be the home of the original Painkiller rum cocktail, and they make them so strong and tasty that we’re not disputing that claim.
This famous cocktail was invented by Donn Beach at his Hollywood Don the Beachcomber restaurant in the 1930s. And, they’re usually so strong that it’s hard for bartenders to sell more than one or two per person. At The Shameful Tiki Room in Vancouver, they make their Zombie cocktails just as strong as Donn Beach did. If you can’t handle the heat, then try another rum drink on their impressively delicious drink menu. There’s really nothing here that’s not great.
Sangria cocktails are an up-and-coming fad in the world of craft drinks it seems. Older travellers and locals seem to really love the Santa Sangria at Monkey Bar in Berlin, noting that it’s the perfect cocktail if you’re looking to enjoy a slow evening in an upbeat environment. It’s not too strong, yet not too weak, and the flavours are perfectly balanced. This is one drink you’re going to want to sip and savour.
How more than one person alerted us to the cocktails at Rasputin is something we’ll never understand, as this “secret” speakeasy doesn’t seem to be on the mainstream circuit for cocktail bars in Europe yet. However, their well-crafted cocktails are true works of art, and their Flower of Scotland is absolutely one of the best cocktails in the world. You’ll be immediately transported to the Isle of Skye.
Mojitos aren’t as popular as they used to be, but Motel Mexicola in Bali is doing their part to put them back on the map. Their Pornstar Mojito, which actually originated in Cape Town, perfectly blends Brugal Bianco rum, mint, lime, and coconut. They top it all off with a tantalising shot of Prosecco. Get ready to party.
The Old Man is a famous Hemingway-themed bar in Hong Kong that definitely deserves a spot on any list of the best cocktail bars in the world. And, when it comes to the best cocktails in the world, their homage to The Sun Also Rises is as spicy and adventurous as the book itself. Sweet vermouth is artfully paired with curry leaf-infused gin and coconut oil-washed applejack.
As medicinal as it might sound, the Penicillin cocktail is making a huge comeback. And, there are few places that craft the cocktail as creatively as the Old Fashioned Bar in Barcelona. Here, their Mick Jagger Penicillin dazzles guests looking to drink like a true rock star. Don’t let the smoke and mirrors fool you, it’s a true Penicillin at heart.
Like the Penicillin, we noticed a lot of interest in Singapore Slings, signalling that the cocktail is gaining popularity all over the world. The best Singapore Sling is in, well, Singapore. However, at Smoke & Mirrors, they put a spin on the signature cocktail. Their Robbery at the Museum combines local gin with sour cherry, local herbs, fermented pineapple, and a fizzy foam. It’s practically a work of art.
Imagine how it’d taste if you introduced a Piña Colada to the green fairy. Despite being a dangerous duo, it’d also be delectable and divine. At BarChef in Toronto, you can try this fantastical cocktail in the form of their Coconut and Absinthe Sour. Drink wisely or risk diving straight into a wild night.
A Dark ‘n’ Stormy cocktail is perhaps one of the most famous cocktails in the world as it somewhat resembles the ever famous Moscow Mule. You’ll find the best rendition of this rum and ginger beer drink in Sydney. Grandma’s Bar excels at a lot of things, but there’s nothing like the way they seamlessly mix Goslings Rum with Grandma’s style ginger beer. You’ll feel as if you’re baking on the shores of Bermuda.
Want to feel like you’re sipping cocktails with the elite in 1930s Louisiana? Try a Vieux Carré, which originated at the legendary Carousel Bar at Hotel Monteleone. Since the 1930s, plenty of other bars in New Orleans have crafted their own creative spin on the drink, and numerous travellers note that SoBou serves them best.
Red Frog is one of the most well-known speakeasies in Lisbon, a hotspot for craft cocktails and trendy bars. If you don’t get too distracted by the lush interior first, make your way to the bar and order a Spiced Rusty Cherry. You don’t need to know what’s in it; just know that it’s one of the best cocktails in the world, both in terms of quality and taste.
Despite having an Italian liqueur as its base, Amaretto Sours are pretty popular in the Phillippines. This sweet, almond-flavored cocktail ranked pretty high when it came to taste preferences, and bartenders pointed us towards Bank Bar in Manila as the home to the best Amaretto Sour on the planet right now. It’s perfectly sweet and perfectly sour. What more could you ask for?
Americanos are the quieter, younger brother of the ever-famous Negronis. While perhaps not quite as romantic, people all over the world love sipping on a smooth Americano, especially during the summertime. You’ll find that Harry’s New York Park in Paris makes fantastic Americanos year-round, and they put their own delicious spin on the classic cocktail.
This classic Tiki drink was first stirred in 1978 at the Aviary Bar inside of the Kuala Lumpur Hilton. However, the coastal town of Auckland has taken over as the new king, slinging quality tropical drinks to thirsty visitors who come from near and far just to get a taste of some of the best cocktails in the world. The Jungle Bird cocktail here’s so full of flavour (and alcohol) that it’ll feel like you’re flying in no time.
It comes as no surprise that thousands of people still think Long Island Ice Teas are some of the best cocktails in the world. They’re ridiculously strong and deliver quite the punch, ensuring that they’ll be a favourite for years to come. However, at The Dead Poet in New York City, they put an enchanting literary spin on their craft cocktails. You’ll find the Long Island Ice Tea here under the name Walt Whitman.
This passionately purple cocktail features a gin base and just a touch of crème de violette for a sweet finish. While lots of cocktail bars around the world try to get it right, Servan Jazz Quarters absolutely hits the nail on the head with their version of the Aviation cocktail. They artfully combine Bloom Gin, Maraschino Liqueur, Violet Liqueur and lemon to create one of the tastiest drinks you’ll ever try.
Dogma in Antwerp was recently ranked as one of the best cocktail bars in the world. So, when it came time to rank the best cocktails in the world, it was hard not to throw their entire drink menu onto this list. Alas, we committed to only choosing one drink per bar, which means that ranking their Cosmopolitan as the best in the world means it’s really, really good. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a more well-crafted Cosmopolitan anywhere in Europe, that’s for sure.
What our research revealed is that people are either interested in extravagant, themed cocktails or they’re interested in simple conflations that stick to the basics. When it came to the Vodka Twist, simplicity succeeded, pushing it to the No. 26 spot overall. Head to the intimate and inviting little speakeasy that is Hawthorn Lounge and try their no-frills Vodka Twist. It’s so simple yet so full of kick.
The Paloma cocktail is one of the tastiest tequila-based drinks around. Palomas usually tingle each one of your taste buds, arousing all of the sweet, sour, bitter, and salty points in your mouth. At Better Days, their unique take on a Paloma is the Chico de Bandito, which is just as well-crafted as the original cocktail. If you’re in the area, make sure you stop by and sample one, two, or even three.
Known worldwide as the signature drink of the Kentucky Derby, it seems as though people all over the world love how fresh Mint Juleps taste. Despite the fame, there’s no place like Louisville in terms of quality and taste, and The Silver Dollar is definitely home to the best Mint Julep around. It’s just bourbon, sugar, water, shaved ice, and fresh mint. But, how does it taste so good?
Cognac-Ferrand president Alexandre Gabriel once said that “Only Spain knows how to make a gin and tonic.” We agree, and so do our readers, as more than a few people tipped us off to the fact that Bobby Gin in Barcelona is home to the best Gin & Tonic in the world. Crisp, refreshing, and oh-so-classic, the flavours here spill over each glass, aided by the quality of the gin they use for their drinks.
We love that cachaça-based drinks are becoming more popular because they’re absoultely delicious. Caipirinhas are the national cocktail of Brazil, but it seems like they’re quickly becoming one of the most well-loved cocktails in the world. To try the best Caipirinhas, you’ll want to head straight to the source – São Paulo. There, you’ll want to order a Caipirinha Três Limões and savour every sip.
London’s so hot when it comes to cocktails that it’s hard to believe that this specific cocktail in London nearly made it into the top 20. At The Gibson, one of the world’s best cocktail bars, their Lock, Stock, and Barrels has got guests going crazy. It even beat out their Shanghai Sling and their Blue Grass Julep. What’s so great about it? You’ll have to head to London to see for yourself; we don’t want to spoil it.
Not only is Budapest one of the most up-and-coming tourist destinations, but it’s also home to one of the best cocktails in the world – the Hemingway Daiquiri. Black Swan’s Carrot Cake Negroni might be a delicious work of art, but it’s the daiquiri that ultimately beat out all other cocktails to earn a spot on this list. It tastes just how Hemingway would have wanted it himself.
Despite being a New Orleans drink, you’ll find the best Sazerac in the world at a trendy, dimly-lit bar in Bangkok. Let yourself fall down the rabbit hole and into a luxurious pool of flavour. The Sazerac here is features Remy Martin VSOP, rye whisky, sugar syrup, Bitters, and Absinth. It’s also one of many world-class cocktails at the Rabbit Hole, so we suggest starting with a Sazerac and working your way through the menu.
In the world of cocktails, tiki culture perfectly blends Polynesian and Caribbean flavours to craft some of the tastiest drinks around. That’s certainly the case when it comes to Mai Tais, one of the most popular cocktails this year. Hawaii is full of quality Mai Tais, but visitor after visitor will tell you that the best are at Monkeypod Kitchen. One sip and you’ll be convereted into a Mai Tai fan for life.
Regardless of it simplicity, Tom Collins managed to beat out a lot of other fancier cocktails to slide into the No 17 spot. This classc drink is made of gin, lemon juice, sugar, and carbonated water. Yes, that’s it. But, over at Longman & Eagle, you’ll find that they somehow manage to marry all of the ingredients together into one flavourful mix.
Siete Negronis was recently awarded a spot on the World’s 50 Best Bars and is highly regarded as one of the best bars in South America. And, while they definitely serve some of the best Negronis in the world, their Paloma del Sur was what had mixologists stirring amongst themselves. The cocktail is incredibly well-crafted, creative, and always expertly mixed. If Paloma del Sur becomes one of the most popular cocktails in 2020, you’ll have Siete Negronis to thank for that.
Enter any local bar in Italy and you’ll be able to order a fine Aperol Spritz. With so many options, however, you might find that you’re tired of the same old, same old. That’s when you’ll want to head to Georgia and sample the spritz at the Pink Bar at the Stamba Hotel. Delightfully refreshing and extremely well-balanced, this bar’s serving up some of the best Aperol Spritz cocktails in the world.
If you’re new to cocktails, then it helps to know that a traditional Gimlet is made of two parts gin and one part lime juice. Seems simple, right? Sure, if you’re not one of the creative geniuses over at The Old Town Whiskey Bar in Cork. Here, they combine fresh basil and cucumber to craft one of the best Gimlets the world has ever tasted. Quality Beefeater gin and a splash of lime juice top it all of. It’s the closest to heaven you’ll ever be, especially if you love gin.
If you want an Americano, go to Harry’s New York Bar in Paris. And, if you want a French 75, go to Arnaud’s in New Orleans. While it might seem a bit backwards, each respective bar handles their flavours perfectly, especially when it comes to the French 75s at Arnaud’s. Inspired by France but profoundly New Orleans, this cocktail ranked as one of the best cocktails in the world due to its simple preparation and complex flavour profile.
Any whiskey-based cocktail seems to be pretty popular nowadays, and the Boulevardier is no different. While traditionally featuring whiskey, sweet vermouth, and campari, the version that Panda & Sons puts out is far superior. They masterfully combine Byrrh fortified wine, Buffalo trace, Rittenhouse 100 and aged Campari to create a cocktail that’s so full of flavour it’s hard to identify each individual taste.
Martinis aren’t ever going to go out of style, and their No. 11 position on the list of the best cocktails in the world just goes to show how timeless the cocktail is. Even if it weren’t home to some of the most well-crafted martinis, ATLAS Singapore should be on the bucket list of any adventurous traveller. Everything here is doused in luxury and oozing with charm, including their drinks.
Barely swinging into the No. 10 spot is the ever-classic Bloody Mary. From California all the way to Australia, there’s certainly no shortage of over-the-top Bloody Mary cocktails in the world today. Yet, our readers point to the Mechanics’ Institute as having the absolute very best Bloody Mary cocktail. It’ll cure even the most monstrous of hangovers.
Irish coffee as one of the best cocktails in the world? We were just as surprised as you, but it seems as though people love the sweet, smooth taste of a good Bailey’s Irish Cream Liqueur-based drink. And, it’s impossible to beat the flavourful concoction you’ll get in Galway. At Garavan’s their Irish Coffee combines Powers Irish Whiskey with a special ingredient. The result? A cocktail so smooth and creamy you won’t be able to drink just one.
We scoured the world just to bring you the best Whiskey Sour, and it’s hidden in the foggy hills of San Francisco. Hard Water is an American whiskey bar, meaning that they know their way around any bottle of bourbon, rye, or malt. Here, you can sample flights of America’s finest whiskies, but we suggest starting by asking them to whip up a wonderful Whiskey Sour first.
Were Piña Coladas ever not in style? Because they sure are one of the hottest cold cocktails around now. While you might think that you’d find the best Piña Colada in the world on some tropical island, you’ll have to travel to the landlocked, chilly city of Manchester to sample this sweet and sultry drink. The Liars Club is a tropical hideaway packed with rum, each cocktail just as flavourful and strong as the next.
The Orphanage Cocktail Emporium is a speakeasy-style bar that serves quality cocktails across the board. However, it’s their Margarita that steals the show. Mixed with premium Espolòn Tequila, the cocktail receives its flavour from the fact that the tequila is aged for at least a year in white oak barrels to give it an earthy taste and a rich golden colour. The result? The best margarita on the planet.
Order anything at Dante NYC and you’ll notice that your palate begins to twitch in delight. While this New York City establishment consistently ranks high on any of the world’s best cocktails list, their Old Fashioned is just so timeless that it beats out any other well-crafted Old Fashioned you might find in similar places like London or Los Angeles.
If you haven’t hopped on the Negroni train, then book at ticket straight to Rome and sample what’s currently one of the world’s best cocktails. While traditional Negronis are deep red and swirling with Vermouth, the Sparkling Gold Negroni at the Stravinskij Bar in Rome is revolutionising how mixologists are viewing this tasty cocktail. It’s delightfully elegant.
Caffeine-filled cocktails are taking the world by storm, but that’s just part of the reason why Espresso Martinis edged into the No. 3 spot. The cocktails at The Lui Bar in Melbourne are so well-crafted that you’ll never tire of sampling their drink menu. But, numerous travellers consistently ranked this place as having the best Espresso Martinis in the world, noting that they’re creamy, balanced, and perfectly strong.
Want to taste the best Manhattan cocktail in the world? You won’t find it in New York, and not even in North America. For the best Manhattan, you’ll have to make your way to Shangai and visit the Senator Saloon, one of China’s most inspired 1920’s style American whiskey bars. Don’t be surprised if you leave feeling like Al Capone himself, the drinks are that authentic.
The best cocktail in the world right now? Moscow Mules! Whether it’s the true simplicity of the cocktail’s recipe or the incredibly Instagrammable glasses that they’re usually served in, Moscow Mules beat out other cocktails by a long shot to take the No. 1 spot. And, seeing as Tam O’Shanters has been slinging cocktails to thirsty guests for nearlt 100 years, it makes sense that they serve the best Moscow Mules ever.