2018 Top Ten Cocktail Bars

Here’s a list of my favorite bars from this past year. I advise that the best time to go to any bar is during the week; weekends tend to be rather unpleasant. Also, there’s nothing like going to a bar when it opens, rather than later at night.

And these bars support my belief that egg white blesses all drinks, even ones with Jagermeister.

  1. The Alchemist, London, UK
    • Science and cocktails together at last. This bar, located at the foot of the Gherkin, provides delicious drinks as well as entertaining shows. Drinks that bubble and foam; blow torches, beakers and other scientific equipment are regularly used. Worth sitting at the bar to watch the bartenders make their science. I’m particularly fond of the Madhatter’s Tea (for 2) that involves smoking beakers.43143877_10101625500745300_4319546277143511040_o
  2. Victor Bar, Chicago
    • This tiny bar near Irving Park and Damen has the best cocktail list in the city. I’ve tried about 9-10 cocktails and only disliked one. It’s a great place to go during the week; I’ve enjoyed many a fine hour reading and sipping their tasty Pisco Sour (Chilean Pisco of course). It has a slight Parsian theme to it.
  3. Billy Sunday, Chicago
    • Billy Sunday is where everyone knows our name. Well, our faces. We love coming here because the staff are delightful and the Boxed Lunch. It’s goat’s milk with sherry and other magical ingredients. While Victor Bar is my favorite bar in the city, Billy Sunday’s Boxed Lunch is my favorite drink in the City. I also love some of their food and they also make a delightful Pisco Sour.Billy Sunday
  4. Speak Low, Shanghai, China
    • I love bars with hidden doorways and secrets. Speak Low provides all of these things. To access the bars, you enter a bartending supply shop that has a secret passage. The second floor has the first bustling bar. I had an amazing cocktail with Parmesan cheese that was out of this world. If you go up the third floor and solve the riddle, you might be able to find the next bar, tinier and quieter. I enjoyed the experience of bar 2 but I preferred my drink in bar 1. There’s even a third bar – but you have to be one of 30 members.
  5. Please Don’t Tell, NYC
    • This bar was my white whale for a year. You enter the bar in a hot dog stand telephone box. I asked about reservations and was given a black card with the name and phone number in red. Perfect. Getting in was a real pain. We nearly had a mob situation the time we did get in which did not endear me to the bar. But once in, the Paddington was a delightful drink as well as the clever taxidermy.
  6. Pegu Club, NYC
    • Pegu Club is kinda the opposite of Please Don’t Tell. We were advised to go by a bartender; we walked straight in (at 5 o’clock but given how crowded Please Don’t Tell got at 6, nothing is certain) and had tasty drinks. My drink was a Earl Grey Marteani that was tasty.42045101_10101613545598510_6805066210938454016_o
  7. Pink Squirrel, Chicago
    • If you like retro themed places and boozy cocktails, Pink Squirrel is for you. I’m also fond of their Whiskey sour. There’s mini-bowling that’s fun to try once but a little expensive. Snag a booth if you can and enjoy the great wallpaper in the bathroom.Pink Squirrel
  8. Dolly’s Tea Room and Wine Bar, Falmouth, UK
    • This place had everything going for it: tea, cocktails, and dogs. We found it on our anniversary and I was not entirely convinced we hadn’t dreamed it all up.  But no, it’s a tea shop that serves gin based cocktails in teapots and teacups. There are two dogs, Pearl and Hebe, who wear Pearls. A dream come true.48188519_10101672865201550_4125974390330359808_o
  9. Hassler Roma, Rome, Italy
    • The Hassler is a crazy expensive hotel with an impressive cocktail repertoire. Expect to pay a lot but the drinks we had were actually quite delicious. I had the Trinità dei Monti, which was a delightful blend of vanilla vodka, cranberry, and champagne. Due to its location, it’s a beautiful bar with addictive nuts.
  10. Angel’s Share, NYC
    • To find Angel Share, you have to go the second floor of a Japanese restaurant. It’s tiny but if you can time it, the wait can be short. It feels a bit like a fancy attic with attentive waiters.
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