It is no secret that the financial crisis has had quite the effect on Greece’s culinary and bar scene over the last decade.
The need to survive has spiked creativity, boosting Athens all the way up and into the top tier team.
The Greek capital currently sits at number four, being home to some of the best bars in the world.
Two Athenian establishments have made it on the reputable ‘World’s 50 Best Bars 2018’ list, published by William Reed Business Media.
The catalogue is based on nominations and the judgement of 500 international industry experts.
The multi-awarded Baba Au Rum in the Athens centre – the oldest modern cocktail bar in the country – sits in 22nd place, with the much younger The Clumsies, on Praxitelous Street listed at number seven.
Cyprus is also included this year with Lost and Found drinkery sitting in 25th place, while Australia is represented by Melbourne’s Black Pearl bar in Fitzroy listed at number 30.
London’s Dandelyan has been named the world’s best.
Bartenders Nikos Bakoulis and Vasilis Kyritsis met while working behind the same bar, and soon realised they shared the same vision and attitude. In the midst of the Greek financial recession the two boys put their ideas on the table and came up with a mission. Backed by three businessmen, they took over a dilapidated building in the city’s old centre and transformed it into a distillery and a stunning three floor bar; with each floor and each room offering a different experience including coffee and refined Greek food.
What had established The Clumsies as one of the World’s best since day one skyrocketing it to number 22 in 2015’s The World’s 50 Best Bars and to number six within a year is its exceptional and completely unique cocktails. The team collaborate on every aspect and have even opened a fermentation room in the building’s basement.
Baba Au Rum
Otherwise known as House of Spirits, Baba Au Rum is the place to taste quality cocktails blended with hand-selected spirits from all over the world if you find yourself in Athens.
True to its name, it is the city’s temple dedicated to rum and playing on the history of the cocktail that began in the early 19th century.
Combining the eclectic collection of spirits with organic, locally produced herbs, the bartenders create magic. The local and imported spices also have their story to tell complimenting potions inspired by the Avant Garde movement.
Lost and Found
The Nicosia based drinkery is Cyprus’ first awarded cocktail bar. Dinos Constantinides saw a hole in the market and with his year of knowledge in the mixology and hospitality industries jumped at the opportunity, transforming his bar school and events space into a cocktail hot spot.
The bar is a cool and quirky mix of DIY fixtures and fittings punctuated with mismatched artefacts either donated by friends and family or found along the way. Inside, there is enough room for 20 or so standing customers, but dozens of guests queue outside till the early morning hours for a drink.
In the heart of Fitzroy, on Brunswick Street, Melburnians can visit an ‘institution’ named Best Bar in Australasia this year. Sponsored by Tanqueray gin, Black Pearl also made it in the World’s 50 Best Bar helmed by owner Tash Conte. For 16 years, and now with the stewardship of Matt Linklater, the bar’s stellar team serves up great cocktails busting with flavour across two floors and an outdoor area.