Build-a-Bar Workshop

Top bartenders from around the world met in London to build bars from scratch

Serious bartenders are fierce competitors, and last weekend, some of the best in the world threw down the gauntlet at the 24Hr Bar Build in London. Crews—led by Richard Woods of London's Duck & Waffle, New York's Leo Robitschek of The NoMad Bar, Carina Tsou from Candelaria in Paris and Joel Fraser of The Cufflink Club in Singapore—were given 24 hours to build a bar from scratch, mix five specialty "house" drinks (including one mocktail) and entertain loads of guests and judges who ultimately crowned one bar king.

Each team was assigned a spirit to use in their drinks and inspire the bar they built. The London team took home the gold with their cactus-decorated tequila bar, while Paris finished second with their Grand Bleu bar decorated with an ice-filled bathtub and a disco ball, serving drinks made with Bombay Sapphire. Meanwhile, Robitschek's team channeled the vibe of old-school New York hip-hop serving a Block Party cocktail with Grey Goose, watermelon juice and mint, which scored the team the bronze. Singapore came in fourth with their Cuban boxing theme and a drink called the Ringside Breezer.

Twenty-four-hour build-outs aren't new to anyone who digs Top Chef—where the contestants are regularly asked each season to build a restaurant pretty much overnight—but this is the first we've heard of it in the bar space. Sadly, these bars came down as fast as they went up, but, hopefully, we'll be seeing some more like this. In the meantime, check out this cheeky video that captures the teams in action.