Here’s a book that should be on the reading list of any bartender looking to explore the world through its bars. Straight Up: The insiders’ guide to the world’s most interesting bars and drinking experiences has been put together by UK drink writers and presenters Joel Harrison and Neil Ridley.
They’re well-travelled bon vivants themselves, and they’ve distilled their favourite drinking experiences around the globe — and that of more than 100 industry professionals — into a list of some 550-plus bars and destinations worldwide. It’s not just about the best bars for this book, though; the focus is instead on great experiences. So you’ll get the lowdown on a perfect day of drinking in various cities across the globe — Australian Bartender editor Sam Bygrave contributed two pages on a day out drinking in Sydney, for instance — and you’ll find curios such as Berlin’s Absinth Depot, a place other bar guides overlook. (Having visited this shop for ourselves, we can testify to the quality of the listings in the book).
So whilst we’ll always ask the locals for bar recommendations in whichever city we’re in, we’ll be taking our copy of the book in our carry-on the next time we board a jet plane.