Barcelona Hot Spot Sips Named World's Best Bar 2023

On October 17, broadcasting out of a decommissioned power plant in Singapore, The World's 50 Best Bars Academy awarded the title of World's Best Bar 2023 to the relatively new Barcelona cocktail bar, Sips. Having been established during the pandemic in 2021, it didn't take long for the international community to recognize just how special this bar is, seeing as it earned third place in 2022. Of course, it helps that it was founded by two of the industry's most famous bartenders, Simone Caporale and Marc Alvarez. The organization praised their emphasis on "serious cocktails served in unserious forms," citing the Primordial cocktail (12-year-old Scotch, port, and nashi pear) being served in a metal cast of two hands rather than a glass, as an example.

This is the second year in a row that a Barcelona bar has earned the title of World's Best Bar. Last year, it was Paradiso, a speakeasy cocktail bar that you enter through a pastrami shop's fridge door. Paradiso came in fourth place this year. The fact that Barcelona kept the throne two years in a row is a huge upset. Since the awards began in 2009, London and New York bars have historically reigned supreme. New York's Double Chicken Please came in second place, but London wasn't represented in the top three for the first time since the awards began. Mexico City's trendy but austere cocktail bar, Handshake Speakeasy, rose to third place.

Something special about Sips

It's difficult to understand why Sips is so good without understanding the brains behind the bar. Simone Caporale is an Italian-born bartender whose accolades could fill this entire article. He earned the title of World's Best Bartender in 2014 and was working with industry giants Alex Kretena and Monica Berg on several projects until 2019 when they all decided to focus on their own bars. Kretena and Berg created Tayēr + Elementary in London, which came in second place for World's Best Bar in 2022, while Caporale focused on Sips.

Marc Alvarez worked for eight years with El Bulli chefs Ferran and Albert Adrià, the world-famous brothers credited with pioneering molecular gastronomy. Alvarez was ultimately their elBarri group bar manager. His creativity when it comes to mixology has certainly elevated him to a global status, especially now with the success of Sips.

The guiding line of Sips' mindset is to produce technically rigorous cocktails, from a bartender theory perspective, without becoming stuffy and outdated in the process. It's not a particularly original concept, many of the world's best cocktail bars share a similar philosophy, but its popularity can be attributed to how frequently it excels at producing the best of the best. It's a proud moment for the bar and a testament to the many years of hard work that culminated in Sips' overnight success.