If the ingenuity with which they went about sourcing and making their own drinks during the lockdown proved nothing else, it showed that South Africans love themselves a good (or even nasty) tipple.
It should, therefore, come as no surprise that three of the country’s watering holes have made it onto a list of the world’s 100 best bars, compiled annually by William Reed Business Media group and sponsored by Perrier.
Though it is formally called The World’s 50 Best Bars, the annual list compiles 100 of the top drinking destinations, compiled from the votes of more than 500 drinks experts around the world and has been awarded every year since 2009. The 2020 edition of The World’s 50 Best Bars was unveiled through a virtual awards ceremony on Thursday, 5 November.
The three South African bars that made it onto the list are Sin + Tax, Cause Effect Cocktail Kitchen, and Art of Duplicity, in the 69th, 75th, and 88th spots respectively.
Sin + Tax in Johannesburg is no newcomer to the list, having also made it on as the only African bar in 2019.
On their website, the bar’s owners describe themselves as “a world-class cocktail experience without the pretension: an inclusive, exclusive cocktail encounter in the City of Gold. Never compromising on quality, we ensure your ‘experience’ with us is just that. Upping the ante for South Africa’s cocktail scene by pushing the boundaries of innovation and imagination…”
Both the other local bars are Cape Town based and both appearing on the list for the first time.
Cause Effect Cocktail Kitchen and Cape Brandy bar;s website says it “is inspired by Cape Town’s oceans, mountains, fynbos and vineyards.
“Cause Effect uses raw ingredients and effects them into flavour, our cocktail kitchen is a study in creativity where we discover, create and serve the best flavours from the Cape.”
The final bar is a little more mysterious, since Art of Duplicity has no website, and no published location.
According to Cape Town based website Capetownetc.com, however, the only way to find it is via word of mouth, while getting access still isn’t guaranteed, as you also need to know the door password. The bar has apparently been in operation since 2018.
The Connaught hotel lounge in London walked away with the very top spot on the list, but according to Bloomberg they will only be able to celebrate their success with a drink once the four week lockdown across the UK ends on 1 December.