Coa, Hong Kong’s agave-focused drinking den, topped the Asia’s 50 Best Bars list for a second year. The bar’s owner, Jay Khan, aims to elevate the reputation of mezcal in Asia. In addition to being a mezcal specialist, COA also stocks more than 200 varieties of tequila and Latin American spirits.

Another hong Kong bar, Argo, also made it into the top five. The Four Seasons’ cocktail restaurant Argo has a unique menu that features a rotating “Canvas” of seasonal creations. The bar has a small staff that takes pride in their drinks and service. They also make use of AI-produced gin and molecular-aged whisky.

A few new entries were also made into the top 50, including the MO Bar, The Aubrey, and Tell Camellia. Two of the bars in Taiwan and the Barbary Coast made it into the top 10. There are four mainland China bars in the list and five in Thailand. Vietnam has just one entry in the top 100. Singapore and Hong Kong have dominated the list in the past, but this year, several new entries made it into the top 50.

As usual, the Asia’s 50 Best Bars panel was composed of a group of hand-picked experts in the regional bar scene. It includes over 220 Asia-based mixologists, media, and other beverage industry professionals. They voted on experiences that happened between June 2020 and January 2019.

India made five appearances in the top 50. Five of them came from the state of Goa, with three from Bengaluru and two from Delhi. Bangkok accounted for the other one.

One of the highlights of the event was the announcement of the winners of special awards. BKK Social Club in the Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok won the Art of Hospitality Award, while Keith Motsi of Bar Trigona in Kuala Lumpur was awarded the Bartenders’ Bartender award. These accolades were announced by Nakwan Rayananonda of Coa, the award-winning beverage ambassador for Four Seasons Asia Pacific.

The list was announced in a live ceremony hosted at Bangkok’s Mandarin Oriental hotel. The event was broadcast to Facebook and YouTube. Perrier, the Champagne brand that sponsors the Asia’s 50 Best Bars list, was the official sponsor. During the ceremony, Perrier’s CEO, Jean-Philippe de Lauze, presented a commemorative bottle to the top winners.

Asia’s 50 Best Bars also recognized the best new opening. Jigger & Pony in Singapore retained its title as the best in the country. The bar offers fresh and inventive cocktails such as the Yuzu Whiskey Sour, which combines Maker’s Mark Bourbon with yuzu marmalade.

Other new entries on the Asia’s 51-100 Best Bars list include the Barbary Coast, The DarkSide, and The Aubrey. There are 24 different cities represented, including Bangkok, Beijing, Seoul, and Nara. This is part of a strategy to highlight more bars in the region. Including Cambodia, Nepal, Myanmar, and Sri Lanka, the list represents the diverse cocktail culture in Asia.

The Asia’s 51-100 Best Bars awards are the latest in a series of annual rankings recognizing the best bars and restaurants across the region.