The World's Best Bartenders

Forget your flat pints and Bacardi breezers, there's still an art to making the perfect drink. Providing you find a barkeep with the skills that is. With that in mind, here are some of the premier purveyors of the perfect plonk.
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Forget your flat pints and Bacardi breezers, there's still an art to making the perfect drink. Providing you find a barkeep with the skills that is. With that in mind, here are some of the premier purveyors of the perfect plonk.

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The chaps at TGI Fridays have nothing on these mixologists. The Top Ten Bartenders In The World...

Dale Degroff, Milk and Honey, Soho, London

Universally acknowledged by those that count to be the world’s premier cocktail craftsmen, Dale Degroff has done more to rehabilitate sophisticated drinking than any other person on the planet. From his work at New York’s Rainbow Rooms during the 80s, to his books on the subject, Degroff is the man who took the mini umbrella’s out of cocktail culture and replaced them with class in a glass.

Colin Field, Hemingway Bar, Ritz, Paris, France

Expert mixologist Colin Field has been the head barman at the legendary Hemingway Bar at the Ritz in Paris since 1994 and has forgotten more about making the perfect drink than most of us will ever learn. His specialty? Tell him what mood you are in and he’ll produce a cocktail to match. Now, that’s what we call service.

Aristotelis Papadopoulos, Banquet, Thessaloniki, Greece

Winner of 2009’s ‘Liquid Oscars’, Aristotelis Papadopoulosfought off challenges from 6000 barmen, in 24 countries to claim the title of World Class Bartender of the Year. From his bar, Banquet in Thessaloniki, 41 year old Papadopoulos’ has honed his craft to a science which puts bartenders on a par with celebrity chefs.

Salvatore Calabrese, Salvatore at Fifty, 50 St James, London, UK

Legendary Italian barkeep, Salvatore Calabrese started his career, aged 11, on the Amalfi coast in Italy and has since revolutionised London’s cocktail culture at some of the capital’s most salubrious drinking salons, including Duke’s Hotel, St James; The Library Bar at The Lanesborough Hotel and now the eponymous Salvatore at Fifty, St James. A true master of cocktail curation he calls “Liquid History”.

Dario Doimo, Kahunaville at Treasure Island, Las Vegas, USA

One to watch, at 27 Dario Doimo has shaken and stirred the world of Flair bartending (think Tom Cruise in Cocktail) in his eight years of professional mixing. Based out of Las Vegas’ institution, Kahunaville, Doimo is leading the next generation of great bartenders.

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Simon Difford, Class Magazine, UK

Though technically more of a drinks writer and publisher than bartender (In 2007 he received the Glenfiddich Drink & Bar Writer of the year award), Simon Difford has, through the course of his career, been involved with almost every aspect of the drinks business, from running his own off licence to founding Class Magazine in 1997. Quite simply, no one alive knows more about spirits.

Peter Dorelli, Education Officer, United Kingdom Bartenders Guild

One of the great elder statesmen of the cocktail world, Rome born Peter Dorelli spent 35 years working for the Savoy group, 19 of which were spent as head barman at the London Savoy’s American Bar. Since his retirement in 2003, Dorelli has maintained his position as one of alcohol’s great ambassadors, consulting for brands and hotels around the world.

Hidetsugu Ueno, Bar High Five, Ginza, Tokyo, Japan

World famous for his hard shake, 24 carat ice-carving skills and the pinpoint precision of his drinks at Tokyo cocktail palace, Bar High Five, Hidetsugu Uneo is a legendary mixologist, both in his native Japan and style bars around the world.

Rodrigo Delpech, Off The Hookah, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, USA

‘The Man With The Golden Hands’, Argentina’s Rodrigo Delpech is another rising star of the international bar world. With more than 30 international Flair competitions already under his snuggly fitting bar apron this is a man on a cocktail mission.

Dick Bradsell, El Camion, Brewer Street, London

Uber-barkeep, Dick Bradsell’s CV reads like a who’s-who of London night life. From Zanzibar to the eponymous Dick’s Bar at the Atlantic Bar and Grill, Bradsell almost single-handedly saved 90s London from a blight of alcopops and cut-price shooters. He has worked with the likes of Damian Hirst at Pharmacy and Jonathan Downey at Match and his latest venture, Circus, is pure cabaret class. Drinking would be a lot less fun without him.

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