New York City’s Attaboy is the best bar in America.
That is an objective declaration: tonight, the New York City cocktail haunt was crowned with the official title at the awards ceremony for North America’s 50 Best Bars. Attaboy was followed by two Mexico City establishments, Handshake Speakeasy and Limantour.
It’s a distinction that comes at a special time for Attaboy. Founded by Samuel Ross and Michael McIlroy in 2012, Attaboy has consistently been considered one of the best cocktail spots in the country—but it took until 2022, the year of their 10th anniversary, for them to be ranked number one in North America.
What drinks made them worthy of the top spot? Ross’s “Penicillin”—whisky, ginger, honey syrup, and fresh lemon juice, as well as McIlroy’s “Greenpoint”—whisky, yellow chartreuse, and sweet vermouth. Currently, the bar is overseen by mixologist Haley Traub.
“Despite its modest size, it has had an outsized influence on how we drink not only in New York and the USA, but globally as well,” Mark Sansom, Content Director for North America’s 50 Best Bars, says of Attaboy.
Sansom is right about the deeper significance of the nod: Attaboy founders were alumni of Milk & Honey, the influential bar that kicked off New York City’s craft cocktail craze—that subsequently catapulted around the country—in the early 2000s. Fittingly, Attaboy occupies Milk & Honey’s former Lower East Side space.
Several other American bars made the esteemed list: Katana Kitten, also in New York, came in fourth, while Kumiko in Chicago came in fifth. Meanwhile, Café La Trova in Miami ranked sixth.