Get thirsty for World Cocktail Day! Take a trip through gin drinks at the world's best cocktail bars

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Today is World Cocktail Day! We celebrate the creative combinations of delicious drinks and decorations today because on this day in 1806, the Balance and Columbian Repository, a newspaper in Hudson, New York, published the first definition of the term “cocktail” in print. It’s term originally was political as the newspaper’s editor believed the drink to “fuddle the head” and that a “person, having swallowed a glass of it, is ready to swallow anything else,” meaning the words of a politician in election season.

cocktail day

Today, a cocktail election of a different kind takes place - the votes for the World’s Best Bars. We thought we’d explore those bars to find the best cocktails for World Cocktail Day. The bars cited below come from the World’s 50 Best Bars 2015 list and were chosen in order by different geographies. The number in front of the bar name and place designates the bar’s position on the list. These bars make a variety of cocktails so we’ve isolated one gin-based cocktail. We don’t have all of the recipes as they are secret to each bar. But go ahead and experiment - you may just come up with the world’s best cocktail on World Cocktail Day!

1. Artesian, London

The Artesian has been voted the world’s best bar three years in a row. This year it has unveiled an “Unfolding and Exploring” menu, a cocktail adventure that takes you through ingredients you wouldn’t expect to see together or perhaps never see at all. On this list is a drink they call “Camouflage”, made with Tanqueray No. Ten, Americano, Carrot, Kombucha, and Sandalwood. That’s a drink we’d like to unfold and explore.

2. Dead Rabbit Grocery & Grog, NYC

A recent staple of the World’s 50 Best Bars list is also this gem in downtown Manhattan. It’s drinks menu is split up in two ways - seasonally and “shaken” or “stirred”. Since it’s spring and a real martini is stirred, that’s the menu we looked at to find “Heretic”, which mixes Bombay Dry, Mezcal, Muscat, Pine and Elderflower. Expect a floral fire on your tongue. 

7. The Baxter Inn, Sydney


Primarily a whisky bar, you can also find a small list of classic cocktails including the Southside. We haven’t been Down Under to visit yet but from this image found on Facebook, the bartenders us Sipsmith’s, a lovely choice but one they might change considering all of the great gins that Australia is producing.

9. High Five, Tokyo

This Japanese establishment has a list of “Japanese Old Cocktails” including one called “Million Dollar” which combines Dry Gin, sweet vermouth, pineapple, grenadine and egg white. What’s not clear is how many millions of yen it costs:-)

10. 28 Hongkong Street, Singapore

When it’s not serving Singapore Sling’s, 28HKS is barrel-aging its drinks, including a Martinez using Bols Jenever

15. Nottingham Forest, Milan

You might not find Robin Hood stealing from the rich and giving to the poor here, but you will find a few rich pours you should steal away on your tongue. The bar specialises in the chemistry behind its drinks just like Heston Blumenthal has driven the molecular gastronomy craze. Nottingham makes a Negroni with a gelatine base - a cocktail you can eat!

21. Buck & Breck, Berlin

Honoured as having the “best drink in town”, this Berlin must-visit has a few must-drink cocktails like the class Clover Club which the well-known founder Goncalo de Sousa Monteiro “has his own way of making.”

24. Hemingway Bar, Prague

We’re not sure if Papa would approve, but the bar named after him makes a Chocolate Negroni with Campari infused with cocoa beans and Dubonnet. Perhaps the Queen would like one. 

26. Door 74, Amsterdam


Talk about ginventive, Door 74 combines Bulldog Extra Bold Gin with Nusbaumer Quince liqueur, Chamomile tea and Gwynt cider from Wales.

34. Dry Martini, Barcelona

“1/2 London dry gin, 1/2 French vermouth, 1 dash of orang bitters, squeeze of lemon rind. Add a green olive.” Need we say more?