Top 4 Most Iconic Cocktail Bars In The World

Dukes Bar, London 

Just off the lobby in the discreet Dukes Hotel in Mayfair, London, lies a true classic of a bar. Dukes has been renowned for it’s bracingly cold Martini’s since Salvatore Calbrese first stepped behind the hotel’s bar back in 1987. 

Their infamous Martini’s are poured directly from already frozen bottles, removing the need for the cocktail to be stirred with ice, which would have pleased James Bond’s author Ian Fleming, who had been a patron of the bar in it’s earlier days. 

What To Order: The House Martini 

That’s why you’re there, isn’t it?

PS: Guests are limited to two Martini’s per visit but we can assure you, that should be quite sufficient…

Attaboy, New York 

New York city’s Attaboy holds a special place in our heart. Tucked away in Downtown Manhattan’s Lower East Side, an area that was once home to Blondie, Talking Heads and iconic artists like Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring, the bar has stood as a bastion for uncomplicated but extraordinary cocktails for the best part of a decade. 

If you’re lucky enough to get a seat (preferably at the bar) you’re not given a menu but have a short and welcoming chat with a member of the Attaboy team. They ask you your likes and dislikes and then it is dealer’s choice. They’ll prepare something special, just for you and they deliver… every, single, time. 

The same space that now holds Attaboy, was previously the location of the iconic Milk & Honey, one of the bars that started the early 2000s Cocktail revival and where Attaboy’s owners Sam Ross and Michael McIlroy invented two modern classics, in the shape of the Penicillin and Paper Plane cocktails. 

What To Order: Whatever the bartender proposes

Harry’s New York Bar, Paris 

Harry’s New York Bar has been a beacon for cocktail enthusiasts ever since 1923, when the famous Scottish bartender Harry MacElhone bought the business from his former boss, who had indulged in the high life a little too much and could no longer afford to run the bar. 

MacElhone was famous for his wit and humour as much as his cocktails and famously handed out baggage tags to his inebriated customers marked “Return me to Harry’s Bar…” 

Coco Chanel, Ernest Hemingway, Humphrey Bogart and the Duke of Windsor were all clients of Harry’s but it is not known whether they were ever returned to the bar after a long evening of merriment in the ‘city of light’.

What To Order: Bloody Mary

A classic that was invented at the storied bar. 

American Bar, The Savoy, London 

With head-bartenders often staying in the role for decades, the iconic American Bar at the Savoy Hotel has held it’s rituals and old-world ways close to it’s heart, as a bastion of precise service and exquisite cocktails since the earliest days of American style cocktail making in Europe.

The bar famously prepared the “Moon Walk” cocktail for the Apollo 11 astronauts, which was the first alcoholic drink to be enjoyed by Neil Armstrong after being released from quarantine following his walk on the moon.  

The American Bar’s younger, sister bar, the Beaufort Bar at the Savoy is another truly iconic choice and regularly features in the World’s Top 50 Cocktail Bar lists. Our very own Cocktail Curator held the esteemed senior bartender role at the bar when it won the coveted “Best Hotel Bar In The World” award, pipping it’s older sister to the post.

What To Order: White Lady

Actually invented by the previously mentioned Harry MacElhone but improved and popularised by the infamous cocktail maestro Harry Craddock and tweaked more recently by another of the bar’s head bartenders, Peter Dorelli.  This is a drink that has been over 100 years in the making. It was definitely worth the wait… 

Want to discover new cocktails to try at home?

Kocktail is the brand new cocktail discovery club. Join the club to savour four world-class, made to order, fresh bottled cocktails each month!  

Our cocktails are created by our head cocktail curator who was previously the senior bartender at the infamous Savoy Hotel’s Beaufort Bar, when it was crowned the best hotel bar in the world, he was the bar manager at Kenny Atkinson’s (2 x Great British Menu winner) Michelin starred House of Tides restaurant and he’s spent time working at New York City’s iconic Employees Only bar - which is arguably the heavyweight champion of cocktail bars in the USA.

Now YOU can experience that quality of world-class drinks, in your own home each month…

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