In first, Israeli cocktail bar makes world’s top 50 list


(JTA) — A leading publication on alcohol for the first time ranked an Israeli pub on its list of the world’s 50 best bars.

Imperial Craft Cocktail Bar in Tel Aviv was No. 17 on the list published earlier this month by Drinks International, the Israeli daily Haaretz reported this week.

The same establishment, situated on Hayarkon Street near the U.S. Embassy in the central part of the city, was ranked last year by Drinks International as the best bar in Africa and the Middle East, but was only No. 56 on the worldwide list. This year, Imperial Craft retained its regional title and completed the most significant advance of all the establishments ranked, according to Haaretz.

The two non-Western bars that ranked above Imperial Craft were in Tokyo and Singapore. The Israeli bar was one of three Middle East bars in the top 50 along with  Zuma Dubai (No. 44) and Cyprus’ Lost & Found (48).

Bar Shira, an owner of Imperial Craft, recalled in an interview for Haaretz attending Drinks International’s ceremony on Oct. 9 in London, in which organizers read out bars listed in ascending order of excellence.

“We reckoned we’d get ranked 36, so when No. 30 came around and Imperial’s name wasn’t read out yet we were totally psyched,” Shira said. “At No. 25 we were nearing cardiac arrest.”

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