What is the Top 50 Cocktail Bars list all about?

Charli Tomney | 27/01/2022

After a brief hiatus we are back with a bang bringing you the best cocktail bars to visit in the UK in 2022. We’ve been working hard collecting votes and judging awards to ensure we bring you a fantastic list of must-visit bars from up and down the country.

Now more than ever we need to be supporting the industry and what better way than celebrating the best bars in the UK.

The event is a celebration of the industry and all those who make it so great. We recognise talent within the community in towns and cities across Britain, not only with our list, but with specialist awards.

The Top 50 Cocktail Bars list is an eclectic mix of small neighbourhood bars, to some of the capital’s most renowned establishments offering something for every type of drinker. From whisk(e)y specialists to entirely vegan menus, there is a bar for everyone.

What is the Top 50 Cocktail Bars list?

Ultimately, the aim of this list is to give you a definitive rundown of where to drink in the UK (as voted for by the industry). It was birthed from the success of Top 50 Gastropubs, which has been the ultimate guide for foodies since 2009. It has also recently been joined by Top 50 Boutique Hotels, which launched in November 2021 so you can find the best places to eat, drink and now sleep.

Who are the Top 50 Cocktail Bars?

The bars on the list are places the industry like to visit, it’s not based on TripAdvisor reviews or consumer feedback. Who better to recommend places to drink in than the people who run them?

We believe getting professional insight on where to drink helps us create a truly unique Top 50 list. No two establishments are the same, they all have their own unique take on the cocktail experience whether that be through experimental menus or the interior design of the bar.

Run by some well-known names and even some new kids on the block, the list is inclusive of all takes on cocktail bars and pioneers the independents that make Britain’s drinking scene exciting and innovative.

How do you decide who is on the Top 50 list?

In short, the list is created by collecting votes from our hand-picked voting academy of industry experts. We ask for the opinions of our trusted academy to give us a list of high-end and unique cocktail bars across the UK. These votes are counted and tallied, which gives us the official list. You can learn more about our process here. If you are interested in joining our academy, then get in touch!

How can I get on the Top 50 list?

There’s no definitive way of getting on the list, but we do have plenty of recommendations that will help raise your profile.

Firstly, engaging with the current list. Make sure you are following and talking to the Top 50, invite them to your bar and events, try to collaborate to open up further opportunities within the community. Each bar on the list becomes part of our voting academy for future years so this can be really beneficial for you.

There are also opportunities to be part of the event by entering our special award categories. We have three awards available: Newcomer of the Year, Bar Team of the Year and Sustainable Bar of the Year. These categories are open for entry about two months prior to the event so keep an eye out on our socials to find out more. Even being shortlisted for these awards is a great way to raise your profile within the Top 50 community.

We also have a One to Watch category, which is awarded to a bar that hasn’t made the official list but we think has all the makings of a Top 50 cocktail bar. This could be a bar that’s been operating for three months or even 30 years, anywhere in the UK. Take a look at this year’s One to Watch winner to learn more. The winner is picked by our in-house experts and is based on range of menu, design, ethos, bar team and efforts to engage with the community.

The Top 50 Cocktail Bars media channels are built for the community to share recipes, menus and to give you the chance to reach a wider audience. We are always open to collaborations so if you have some exciting news or would like a profile written about you on our stories section then reach out to Charli at charli.tomney@wrbm.com.