Small But Mighty

The Cocktail Scenes Stealing The Spotlight in 2024

Each year more and more new cities and countries make their debut in the top industry awards and here's where every cocktail tourist should have on their radar for 2024.

Barcelona, New York City, London, Singapore… all come up time and time again as ultimate cocktail destinations around the world, with bars from these locations continuing to receive accolades in top industry awards, like World’s 50 Best, Top 500 Bars, and more. However, while each year more and more underrepresented locations are featured – 2023 saw five bars from the burgeoning Nordic cocktail scene make the extended 50 Best List, as well as debuts for Tulum and Guadalajara in Mexico, and Tirana, Albania – Europe and North America still dominate.   

According to Forbes, since the World’s 50 Best Bars list debuted in 2009, only four times in total has a bar from Africa made it onto the list. 

However, the largely untapped cocktail scene across the continent may be on the edge of global recognition, with the introduction of the cocktail festival Ajabu in South Africa. The brainchild of Mark Talbot Holmes and Colin Asare-Appiah, Ajabu is set to embrace the diversity of the hospitality industry across the continent, bringing attention to the cocktail scene and lifting up the incredible talent behind African bars.  

If ever there was an appetite for shining the spotlight on the bartending cities and countries that are still relatively small yet increasingly mighty, it’s 2024. And these are the cities our team thinks every cocktail tourist should have on their holiday wishlist.

Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

Designated as the culinary capital of the Caribbean, the Cayman Islands are now on a mission to become a cocktail capital, and as Food & Wine shared last year “it’s been proved throughout modern culinary and cocktail history, where there are sophisticated restaurants and gastronomy, craft cocktails follow.” Leading the charge in Cayman’s cocktail culture is Library by the Sea at the Kimpton Seafire, helmed by the most talented and well-read Jim Wrigley.

Bratislava, Slovakia

The Slovak bar scene and burgeoning Bratislava is vibrant, evolving and currently, largely untapped. In 2022, the city debuted on the extended World’s Best Bar list when Antique American Bar made it in the top 100, and in 2023, Mirror Bar, lead by Stanislav Harcinik and Bar Manager, Peter, premiered at number 90 due to its clever menu that is a fusion of art, nature, and classic elements. 

Bali, Indonesia

In its infancy, Seminyak and Ubud both have dynamic and lively cocktail scenes. From Akademi in Seminyak – recognized by World’s 50 Best Discovery list with industry legend Dre Masso helming the cocktail masterclass that acts as a world-class cocktail bootcamp – to Viceroy Bali’s esteemed Apéritif Bar, which cinched #432 in last year’s Top 500 bars list, we’re expecting to see big things from Bali’s hospitality scene in the coming years.