July 18, 2023 was a great day for Indian bars as four Indian bars were awarded as Asia’s 50 Best Bars while another five bars made it to the top 100 list, at a live ceremony in Hong Kong. With three bars from Mumbai and four bars from Delhi making it to the list, these two metropolises are leading the charge when it comes to international standards of quality drinks and cocktail innovation. These cities are closely followed by Goa and Bengaluru.
For Indian bar owners and consumers passionate about quality cocktails, this is a great sign as the world slowly and steadily acknowledges India’s focus towards an evolved and world-class bar culture. At the same time, this global recognition will also stoke the fire for young professionals to learn, grow and excel as reputed and recognised bartenders and mixologists.
The much-anticipated Asia’s 50 Best Bars list featured 17 Asian cities and there were 11 first-time entrants, which even included two bars from Kathmandu, Nepal. For the third year in a row, Hong Kong’s Coa has been adjudged as Asia’s Best Bar with number one ranking. Established in 2017 by bartender-owner Jay Khan, the bar takes its name from the agave harvesting tool and showcases a vast collection of over 200 bottles of tequila, mezcal, and other handcrafted Mexican spirits.
Check out the nine Indian bars that have made it best in class:
1. Sidecar, Delhi
At Number 18 is Delhi-based Sidecar. Helmed by Yangdup Lama and Minakshi Singh, this bar has been making India proud since the day it opened. The intimate bar is known for its mastery of classic cocktails and at the same time excels in modern and interpretive cocktails. Asia’s 50 Best Bars 2023 ranking now establishes Sidecar as the number one bar in India.
2. The Bombay Canteen, Mumbai
The Bombay Canteen is ranked number 35. Under the tutelage of Sameer Seth and Yash Bhanage, the bar team has dedicatedly pursued excellence with offbeat drinks. Apart from finding inspiration from Mumbai city’s idiosyncrasies, there is also a focus on showcasing indigenous flavours in the cocktail menu. And if you do not want a whole martini, The Bombay Canteen bar will serve you a mini version allowing you to taste more.
3. Copitas, Bengaluru
The third Indian bar on Asia’s 50 Best Bars 2023 list is Copitas of the Four Seasons Hotel Bengaluru at Embassy One. Ranked 38 on the list, Copitas has emerged as a frontrunner in the masterful execution of cocktails. Copitas has become the cocktail destination in the sprawling metropolis of Bengaluru with a multitude of international bar takeovers.
4. The Living Room at Masque, Mumbai
At number 48 is The Living Room, which is located at the mezzanine floor of the contemporary and ingredient-driven restaurant Masque in Mumbai. Similar to the restaurant’s philosophy of representing Indian ingredients and flavours in a modern avatar, The Living Room’s cocktail menu is a result of meticulous research and innumerable experiments.
5. Americano, Mumbai
Another Mumbai bar that has made it to the Asia’s Best Bars list is Americano at number 57. While the food at the eatery has always been a draw, the cocktails are quite the revelation. Best known for well-executed and consistent classic cocktails, Americano’s cocktails are the perfect way to start an evening of revelry.
6. Home, Delhi
The bespoke venue in Delhi is known to mix up innovative cocktails that implement modern techniques and bar innovations. Home Delhi is ranked number 58 in Asia’s Best Bars list and is becoming renowned for their exemplary bar team and their service, apart from the cocktails, of course.
7. Hoots, Delhi
Hoots in Delhi is a discreet cocktail room connected to the popular wine and coffee bar, Perch. The aim of this bar is to showcase the bartenders and their crafts. The menu is not small or too exhaustive—with just around 25 drinks, the cocktail menu draws a balance between classics, signatures and experimental cocktails. Hoots, Delhi ranked number 60 in Asia’s Best Bars list.
8. Hideaway Goa
At number 66 is Hideaway Goa. Tucked in the alleys of Vagator, Hideaway is known for its ambience, energy and cocktails. The casual vibe of the space belies the skills behind the bar—in-season urrak cocktails at Hideaway Goa come highly recommended.
9. PCO, Delhi
The ninth Indian bar on the Asia’s Best Bars list is PCO, Delhi at number 96. One of the longstanding speakeasy bars in the country, PCO Delhi is known for its unrelenting focus on great cocktails since the day it opened.