(CNN) – With pandemic travel restrictions easing across much of the region, the annual Top 50 Bars in Asia party was held in front of a live audience for the first time since 2019 on Thursday night.
Celebrating the best bars in the area and the people behind them, the 2022 event was held at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Bangkok.
As usual, the showdown between Hong Kong and Singapore was for the top spot, with last year’s winner, Coa, retaining the top spot for the second year in a row.
The Hong Kong bar, set in a candlelit space with industrial-style interiors, is named after a sickle-like instrument used to harvest aloe vera – the plant from which mezcal and tequila are distilled. Both of these spirits feature prominently in Coa cocktails, including La Paloma de Oaxaca, which includes a blend of mezcal and tequila.
Singapore’s Jigger & Pony, located in the city’s Amara Hotel, took second place. Named after the double-conical meter used by bartenders, it offers a menu of 24 cocktails—many of which are new interpretations of classic drinks such as the Yuzu Whiskey Sour, made with Maker’s Mark Bourbon, yuzu marmalade, St Germain, lemon and egg whites.
Hong Kong Bloody Maria Beef Cocktail Bar.
Asia’s 50 Best Bars of 2022
Four Seasons Hong Kong-based Argo took third place on this year’s list. Its unique cocktail menu includes drinks fueled by spirit innovations, such as AI-produced gin and molecular whiskey.
Meanwhile, the only bar in the top ten not located in a major city, Tesouro opened during the pandemic in the village of Colva Beach in Goa, India. Ranked number four on this year’s list, it features Goan-Portuguese design elements, cocktails made with fine rum, craft liqueurs, agave spirits, and local spirit distilled from Goan.
Bar Benvidic of Tokyo took fifth, Taipei’s Indulge Experimental Bistro finished sixth, while Charles H of Seoul took seventh this year.
Although Singapore missed the lead, it has more bars in the top 50 than any other city. Eleven locations on the 2022 Asia list are located in the city-state, including this year’s No. 8, MO Bar, and former No. 1, Manhattan, which ranked No. 9 this year.
The new BKK Social Club in Bangkok, located in the Four Seasons on the Chao Phraya River, made the top ten list.
Part of the world’s 50 best brands owned by William Reed Ltd. Asia’s list is based on a vote by the 50 Best Bars Academy in Asia, which is made up of members from the bar industry, media and mixology experts in the region.
“Bars in Asia have shown remarkable resilience and growth despite the challenges of the past two years, and we remain proud to celebrate the talent and creativity on display in bars across Asia,” said Mark Sansom, Director of Content for Asia 50. The best bars, in a statement.
Asia’s 50 Best Bars of 2022