Asia’s 50 Best Bars has named COA in Hong Kong the Best Bar in Asia for 2021. The bar, run by mixologist Jay Khan, focuses on tequila and mezcal with the aim of changing the perception of agave-based spirits in Asia. Last year's winner, Jigger & Pony in Singapore, dropped to second place, while the top five was rounded out by Tokyo's The SG Club, Taipei's Indulge Experimental Bistro and Shanghai's Sober Company.
As well as the ranking of the top 50 bars in Asia, a number of special awards were announced at the ceremony, which was broadcast online. The Campari One To Watch award went to a bar from Mainland China for the first time, bartender Cross Yu's Epic in Shanghai. The Michter's Art of Hospitality Award went to MO Bar in Singapore.
Two individuals were awarded this year including Taiwan-based Bannie Kang, who received the peer-voted Mancino Bartenders' Bartender Award, impressing the industry as well as guests at her bar Mu: Taipei, and Shingo Gokan of Speak Low and Sober Company, both in Shanghai, who was awarded the Roku Industry Icon, marking him out as the individual who has done more than any other to elevate the art of bartending across the continent.
The Heering Legend of the List is awarded to the bar that has performed most consistently since Asia's 50 Best Bar Awards first launched, though it can only be won once. This year, it went to a bar that has given rise to a number of bartenders at the forefront of Hong Kong's cocktail scene, Quinary, owned by esteemed mixologist Antonio Lai.
The London Essence Best New Opening also went to a Hong Kong bar. Barely a year old, John Nugent's The Diplomat took home the award. The bar, which serves its own twists on classic cocktails has been praised for its quality drinks, fine service and excellent food.
There were two winners of the Nikka Highest Climber Award, both of which went to bars which climbed 24 places. Sidecar in India ranked 16 on the 2021 list, while Caprice Bar at Four Seasons Hong Kong came it at number 10 this year. The Disaronno Highest New Entry went to Singapore-based bar No Sleep Club, which last year had taken home the Campari One to Watch Award.