With top bars across the continent, European venues need to shine to stand out. Luckily, there is no shortage of exciting establishments.
Europe’s bars have had a stellar year, with venues throughout the continent dominating cocktail culture and collecting an impressive haul of trophies at some of the world’s biggest cocktail contests.
While London remains a key player in driving innovation, bars and bartenders across the UK, The Netherlands, Spain, Poland and the rest of Europe have been catching the eye of the world’s discerning drinkers.
This year saw sustainability and waste reduction in the on-trade dominate the headlines, a trend spearheaded by UK-based Ryan Chetiyawardana and his White Lyan, Cub and Super Lyan venues. One of last year’s bars to watch, Matt Whiley’s Scout, proved so popular with its sustainability focus that it recently moved to a larger venue in London’s Hackney – after fewer than 18 months at its former site.
A number of exciting new bars opened their doors in Europe in 2018. Cocktail Bar Max & Dom in Warsaw joined Europe’s mixers and shakers with one of the world’s largest spirits collections, while 9 Below in Dublin has garnered rave reviews since opening in the basement of the historical Stephen’s Green Hibernian Club.
Meanwhile, bars such as Panda & Sons in Edinburgh and Dr Stravinsky in Barcelona have risen through the ranks to earn their spot on the world’s best bars lists.
This year also saw the buzz around Joe Schofield reach fever pitch. The UK-born star bartender left his role as head bartender at Singapore’s Tippling Club after earning the accolade of Best International Bartender at the Tales of the Cocktail’s Spirited Awards. Schofield later announced plans to open a venue in Manchester with his brother – however, details of the new site are being kept under wraps.
Other changes that are set to shake up Europe’s cocktail scene over the next 12 months include the American Bar at The Savoy’s new head bartender, Maxim Schulte, and Chetiyawardana’s plans to close his award-winning Dandelyan and replace it with “something brighter, shinier and more fitting”.
Click through the following pages to discover Europe’s top bars to watch in 2019.