The definitive guide to the finest drinking experiences

The World Class 50: The Definitive Drinking Guide features 50 of the most innovative and talented bartenders from across the globe. Each bartender showcases the perfect location, the most inventive cocktail and the finest of ingredients and spirits that define the 'must have' fine drinking experience in their city.

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What is the best question you can ask a bartender when ordering? We asked the world’s leading bartenders and this is how they answered – and, no, it wasn’t always ‘where’s the tip jar?’

Many, like Tita Erroa, Kester Blake and Clark Jiménez Alvarado, thought it best to keep it simple by asking for ‘what’s good/what is recommended?’ in order to get the best on offer that day. Others, like David Rios, kept it straightforward, but added an element of challenge – ‘surprise me!’ – noting that these days people place more trust in bartenders’ taste.

Mattia Pastori noted that people are increasingly sensitive to the quality of spirits used and are requesting more specific brands, and this helps to create a more flavoursome cocktail.

To get the best results, Jeff Bell thought people should replace the question ‘what’s good?’ with something like: ‘what do you recommend with rum that is more on the fresh side?’ or ‘I like stirred whisky cocktails, can you do me something like that?’

As a consumer’s choice is mainly informed by their previous experience and they tend to stick to the same drinks, no matter how long the menu, Thodoris Pirillos believes ‘it’s important for us to gain their trust and give them something new, but based on the flavour profile of what they like.’