Belfast bar named one of world’s best cocktail bars

The recently published Pinnacle Guide has highlighted 37 of the world’s best cocktail bars, and has included a Belfast spot amongst them.

Belfast bar named one of world’s best cocktail bars.

Everyone knows you can get your fair share of excellent whiskey and some pretty good pints of Guinness, too. But did you know Belfast is also home to one of the world’s best cocktail bars?

Almost like a Michelin Guide for cocktail bars – for want of a better description – the Pinnacle Guide gives cocktail bars around the world a score based on six key criteria. A Belfast bar was the only Irish entry on the guide’s first list.

Pinnacle Guide – a guide to the world’s best cocktail bars

Credit: Unsplash/ Daniel Lloyd Blunk-Fernández

The Pinnacle Guide launched last summer in a bid to “create a reliable and trusted recognition system that elevates the bar industry” and “become the cocktail bar industry’s most respected accolade of excellence”.

Like the Michelin Guide gives out between one and three stars for excellence in the restaurant business, the Pinnacle Guide awards between one and three pins. One pin is given to excellent bars, two to outstanding, and three to exceptional.

The process – determining the world’s best cocktail bars

Credit: Unsplash/ Allan Francis

Bars must nominate themselves for the Pinnacle Guide, before anonymous reviewers visit the establishment to assess it based on six criteria: front of house, drinks programme, venue, staff management, operations, and community.

The bar’s drinks are worth 25% of the assessment, while front-of-house experience, staff management, and the venue itself are worth 20% each. An additional ten per cent focuses on operations, and five per cent on community.

To be considered by the Pinnacle Guide, a bar’s opening hours and address must be readily available online, it must meet basic hygiene standards, and it must include at least two non-alcoholic cocktails.

Rattlebag – one of the best cocktail bars in the world

Credit: Facebook/ Rattlebag

Though the Pinnacle Guide launched last year, so painstaking is their process that they just published their first ranking of the world’s best cocktail bars, which includes a popular Belfast bar.

Located inside the city centre’s Bullitt Hotel, Rattlebag was one of 25 bars to earn one pin from the Pinnacle Guide.

Alongside highlighting Rattlebag’s atmosphere, hospitality, drinks, and design, the guide described the Belfast bar as “a dark and intimate spirit-forward cocktail bar, with a focus on innovation, hospitality, and music”.

The review concluded, “My experience was great with the staff, not lacking for any attention or left waiting for anything at all. The menu is exciting, and I would have liked to try many more cocktails on the list”.

Another bar with an Irish connection on the list is the Dead Rabbit in New York. The bar has consistently appeared in ‘best of’ lists since it was opened by Belfast natives Jack McGarry and Sean Muldoon in 2013.

Check out the rest of the Pinnacle Guide’s list here.

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