Fancy Tipples: Rarified Bars Around the Globe

Broken Shaker Miami

Photo Credit: Broken Shaker

The world’s most alluring bars are striking windows into the cultural fabric and the social zeitgeist of their respective cities. Of course, a few of them have no other purpose than to look drop-dead sexy. Whether it be an ode to luxury dripping with diamonds or a rowdy speakeasy with personality in spades, a hot bar is often at the fulcrum of a city’s pulse. Here’s a carefully curated selection of intoxication at its finest.

Dead Rabbit NYC
Photo Credit: The Dead Rabbit

The Dead Rabbit Grocery & Grog, New York

Two Belfast natives walk into a bar…well, subvert the script, because Sean Muldoon and Jack McGarry’s lush interpretation of the traditional Irish pub experience fuses the plush intimacy of a high-end cocktail bar with the bonhomie of an Irish watering-hole. It’s the cocktails that rule the roost at The Dead Rabbit Grocery & Grog. Try the Bad Blood and its feisty assemblage of Plymouth, Rossi Bianco Vermouth, Campari, and a Cinnamon sting, or the Kappa Pisco, Vermouth, Macadamia Nuts, and Boston Bittahs kick of the Tinderbox for a taster. The 64-drink menu changes every year, but the happiness quotient never fluctuates.

Candelaria Paris
Photo Credit: Candelaria

Candelaria, Paris

The shopfront is a cheerful taqueria stocked with frozen Margaritas. It's the nondescript door behind the tiny taco joint, though, opening up to one of Paris' finest bars, that you should be heading towards. Candelaria courts a dimly lit atmosphere and Paris' bohemian set with some predictably tres chic cocktails. Flirt with some tequila, joust with something from their Reserve Menu, but move on quickly to the good stuff. The Pisco Disco is an orgasm of Galliano and lime, the Sycamore brims with Ocho Blanco tequila, Pineau Rose and charteuse, while the Guepe Verte remains a cucumber-influenced classic. 

Ozone Ritz Carlton
Photo Credit: Ritz Carlton

Ozone, Hong Kong

If intoxication is the agenda, then why not aim high? At the 118th floor within the Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong, Ozone brings you the highest bar experience in the world and a sexy blue-accented vibe to go with it. The views, naturally, are stunning, but battling for your attention on an even keel will be Masamichi Katayama's exquisite take on the future. In this "manmade environment of nature in an imaginary world" make sure you taste Katayama's signature French white pearl oysters and the octopus sashimi. Of the libations, make sure you try the vodka, sake, coconut rum, passion fruit, and Cointreau merriment of Aria 18, as well as the pure bourbon and vanilla bliss of Vanilla Sky

Rock Bar
Photo Credit: Ayana Resort & Spa

Rock Bar, Bali

You're at the Ayana Resort & Spa in Bali, which, in and of itself is a pretty paradisiacal experience. But then you decide to head towards the Resort's Rock Bar, and that's when things begin to get downright over-the-top. You access the waterfront bar via a cable car that takes you to its cliff-face locale, James Bond-style. Forget rooftop, think rock-top: Rock Bar proudly sits atop natural rocks that lie 14 meters above the Indian Ocean, kissing its waves from time to time. Stylish tipples such as the bourbon-based Choco Iceberg and the New Age Cosmo notwithstanding, you'd be hard-pressed to remember anything but that epic sunset.

Leela Delhi
Photo Credit: The Leela

The Library, Delhi

Moving away from cocktails for a bit, whiskey is the elixir of choice for the well-traveled patron bearing taste and literary proclivities. And no one does whiskey better than the Leela property's lavish Library Bar. This is a decidedly adult experience for men and women with class, and nary a Bieber song to be heard on its playlists. With plush reds, dark woods, and pitch-perfect lighting, The Library ticks off some appropriately sexy boxes. Their exceptional collection of whiskies comes accented with Chesterfield chairs and bookshelves peopled with rare first editions and leaving you with "savor" as your word of the night. 

Photo Credit: Artesian

Artesian, London

It's about time London made an appearance on this list, and in Artesian, it has one of the world's celebrated best bars. This Langham Hotel standout mixes artistry with luxury for an experience that isn't for the weak-hearted (or the weak-pocketed). Think molecular mixology, with Artesian's Surrealism series resulting in experiences like the carrot, sesame and elderflower merging in the Snake Charmer, the golden pineapple glass and smoking potpourri appearance of the Camouflage, or the Spring Drifting Into Summer and its offering of Ketel, artichoke, coffee, and yuzu. 

Broken Shaker Miami
Photo Credit: The Broken Shaker

The Broken Shaker, Miami

Does something as roughed out as a hostel bar deserve to be on this rarefied list? If the bar in question is Elad Zvi and Gabriel Orta's The Broken Shaker, then the answer is an exhilarating yes. The Broken Shaker is an original concept that thrives within the Freehand Miami, which is a hostel complex styled as a reinterpretation of the Art Deco historic Indian Creek Hotel. Think steamy Miami nights, tropical bohemia, and youthful excess accented by handcrafted cocktails that use elixirs and infusions birthed from herbs and spices. The mood is irreverent, as gauged by Sorry Donald and its Viejo Indecente mezcal, tamarind, cinnamon, and Modelo Especial pairing.  

Siddharth Dasgupta

Siddharth Dasgupta has a thing for character, both in the horizons he seeks and in the stories he pursues. As an Indian poet and novelist who also articulates travel and luxury experiences for a gamut of global publications - Conde Nast Traveller, Travel + Leisure and Harper's included - words are at the heart of everything. When Siddharth is not being consumed by a story, black & white photograph...(Read More)

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