In every major city across the world, there is a renewed interest in well-made cocktails crafted with care and quality ingredients- Los Angeles is certainly no exception. And Time Out, the global media and entertainment brand that aims to inspire people to make the most of their city, sought to recognize this resurgence and honor L.A.’s best mixologists, cocktails, and watering holes through its 2018 Bar Awards.
Craft cocktails are known not only for their taste but for their aesthetic and presentation- this made OUE Skyspace LA the perfect venue for the award ceremony. The path to the bar began with a rapid 54-story elevator climb leading to an interactive audio-visual room detailing various L.A. experiences, followed by an adrenaline-fueled trip down the Skyslide- a 45-foot glass chute nearly 1,000 feet above street level (a dram or two might have helped steel the nerves for this)!
The venue for the event offered stunning, 360-degree views of the city, from the Pacific Ocean all the way to the San Gabriel Mountains. This backdrop, paired with the beautiful setting sun, provided the perfect atmosphere to enjoy some signature cocktails- this was a bar awards ceremony, after all!
The Classic Daiquiri was a prime example of the category, with just the right amount of sweetness from the Flor de Caña 7 rum, balanced by the tartness of the freshly squeezed lime juice. The Melodious Melonade Punch (a mouthful!) was a personal favorite- the unique flavors of honeydew melon juice and melon tea paired very well with the always herbaceous Hendrick’s Gin. And the sparkling wine option was a real treat- Spanish cava from Segura Viudas winery, which is bottle fermented to heighten the bubbliness, offered in both brut and rosé. I always knew Time Out was good at helping you find the party- turns out, they can throw a pretty good one on their own as well!
The panel of industry-renowned high-profile drinks experts and top bartenders chose Mar Vista gem Accomplice as the Bar of the Year, and DTLA’s NoMad Giannini Bar as Best New Bar. The latter is significant- the bar at the original NoMad hotel in NYC has been named the best in all of North America, so we should be very excited that the proprietors have decided to open up shop here on the west coast as well!
You can find the full list of winners at the bottom of this article. Worth noting is that the Time Out Bar Awards are also taking place in New York, Chicago, Austin, San Francisco, Philadelphia, and Miami- because what better reason is there to travel than to taste the local libations!
Bar of the Year presented by Hendrick’s Gin: Accomplice
Best Legacy Bar presented by Flor de Caña: The Spare Room
Best Wine Bar presented by Segura Viudas: Bar Covell
Best New Bar: NoMad Giannini Bar
Best Bar-Restaurant Program: The Ponte
Best Bar Crew: The Normandie Club
Most Stylish Bar: Apothéke LA
Best Cocktail in LA: “Cold Hollow” at Bibo Ergo Sum
Most Instagrammable Cocktail: “Cola” at The Walker Inn