Cover Jay Khan of COA (Photo: Affa Chan/Tatler Hong Kong)

Hong Kong's Coa retains its position as The Best Bar in Asia 2022, with Singapore's Jigger & Pony coming in at number two, and Hong Kong bar Argo rounding out the top three and taking home the Highest New Entry award

Luminaries from Asia's bar industry gathered at Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok for the live announcement of Asia's 50 Best Bars 2022 today (28 April). The excitement was palpable among the audience, not only for the announcement of the list but for everyone to be in a room together again surrounded by friends, colleagues and peers. 

The ceremony kicked off with a recap of the 51-100 list, which had been announced a week prior, before the ranking of the top 50 was revealed. 

Singapore bars dominated the list, taking 11 positions, followed by Hong Kong, which had representation from eight bars. There were six bars from Japan included, with five apiece from Thailand, South Korea and India, four from mainland China, and two each from Taiwan and Malaysia. There was also representation from Indonesia and, for the first time, Sri Lanka with Hiriketiya bar Smoke & Bitters coming in at #42. Notable new entries to the list included Argo (#3) and The Aubrey (#38), Republic (#12) and Analogue (#37) in Singapore, and Tokyo's Memento Mori (#41).

For the second year running, Hong Kong's Coa, Jay Khan's bar that focuses on agave-based spirits and mezcal, topped the ranking, followed by Jigger & Pony in second place, also retaining the same position it attained in 2021.

The announcement of the ranking was punctuated by the presentation of individual awards. The One To Watch award went to Hong Kong bar Honky Tonks Tavern (#55). Taipei cemented its sustainability credentials as Bar Mood (#89) took home the Sustainable Bar Award, complementing Taipei restaurant Mume, which was awarded the Sustainable Restaurant Award at Asia's 50 Best Restaurants 2022 awards last month.

A new award was launched this year for Best Cocktail Menu, which took design and layout, storytelling, innovation, range of drinks, sustainability and how well the menu communicates the bar's identity into account. This award went to Kuala Lumpur's Bar Trigona (#29). 

The Industry Icon award, given to an individual who has furthered the craft of bartending in Asia, was bestowed upon Colin Chia of Nutmeg & Clove (#36) in Singapore, while the Legend of the List award, honouring a bar that has performed most consistently in the 50 Best Bars ranking since the list's inception in 2015 went to Bar Benfiddich (#5) in Tokyo. It joins previous Legend of the List winners Quinary in Hong Kong (2021), Indulge Experimental Bistro in Taipei (2020), Manhattan in Singapore (2019), and Shanghai's Speak Low (2018). 

The award for Best New Opening went to Tesouro (#4) in Goa, India; the Highest Climber Award went to MO Bar in Singapore, which jumped from #45 last year to #8 this year; and the Highest New Entry, placing at #3, went to Argo at Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong. 

The trophies for awards announced in the run-up to the ceremony were also bestowed upon the honourees and these included the Bartenders' Bartender Award, which went to Keith Motsi, head bartender at Charles H in the Four Seasons Hotel Seoul, and the Art of Hospitality Award, which went to BKK Social Club in the Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok. 

The Asia’s 50 Best Bars 2022 ranking is listed in full below (those with an asterisk are new entries)

1. COA, Hong Kong
2. Jigger & Pony, Singapore
3. Argo, Hong Kong *
4. Tesouro, Goa *
5. Bar Benfiddich, Tokyo
6. Indulge Experimental Bistro, Taipei
7. Charles H, Seoul
8. MO Bar, Singapore
9. Manhattan, Singapore
10. BKK Social Club, Bangkok *
11. Sober Company, Shanghai
12. Republic, Singapore *
13. Darkside, Hong Kong
14. Sidecar, New Delhi
15. No Sleep Club, Singapore
16. Quinary, Hong Kong
17. Tropic City, Bangkok
18. Hope & Sesame, Guangzhou
19. Vesper, Bangkok
20. Lamp Bar, Nara
21. The SG Club, Tokyo
22. Penicillin, Hong Kong
23. Atlas, Singapore
24. Aha Saloon, Taipei
25. Bar Trench, Tokyo
26. Hoots', New Delhi *
27. Tippling Club, Singapore
28. Bar Cham, Seoul
29. Bar Trigona, Kuala Lumpur
30. Home, New Delhi *
31. Sago House, Singapore
32. The Cocktail Club, Jakarta *
33. The Pontiac, Hong Kong
34. The Wise King, Hong Kong
35. Junglebird, Kuala Lumpur
36. Nutmeg & Clove, Singapore
37. Analogue, Singapore *
38. The Aubrey, Hong Kong *
39. Le Chamber, Seoul
40. Alice, Seoul
41. Memento Mori, Tokyo *
42. Smoke & Bitters, Hiriketiya *
43. Asia Today, Bangkok *
44. Copitas, Bengaluru *
45. Union Trading Company, Shanghai
46. The Bamboo Bar, Bangkok
47. Bee's Knees, Kyoto
48. Zest, Seoul *
49. 28 Hongkong Street, Singapore
50. Speak Low, Shanghai

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