A Houston cocktail institution is one of the top 50 bars in North America. Julep lands at 46 on the list, which is published by World’s 50 Best Restaurants organizer William Reed.
Located on Washington Avenue, Julep is bartender Alba Huerta’s tribute to Southern cocktail traditions. It’s the only bar in Texas and one of only two in the South to make the list. Jewel of the South in New Orleans is the other at 24.
“We are incredibly honored to be on the inaugural @50bestbars list in North America,” the bar wrote on Instagram. “The new annual ranking features bars from across the North American continent, including the United States, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean. It truly is a list of exceptional bars, and we are so excited and humbled to ‘to be among them.’
New York’s famous Attaboy takes the top spot, followed by Mexico City’s Handshake bars Speakeasy and Licorería Limantour. Overall, New York establishments occupy 11 of the 29 US spots on the list. Mexico City is second overall with six of the country’s 11 entries.
An anonymous panel of more than 220 bar industry experts – including bartenders, bar owners, beverage media and “well-traveled cocktail connoisseurs” – from the United States, Canada, Mexico and of the Caribbean chose the winning bars. Neither members of the 50 Best organization nor sponsors had any input into recognized establishments, according to a statement.
“We congratulate all of the bars on the inaugural list of North America’s 50 Best Bars who are doing such an outstanding job of reinvigorating the continent’s drink scene as we emerge from what has been a very difficult time. Hospitality is an incredibly important driver of economic recovery and the creativity and determination of these bars demonstrates the best of our industry in North America,” added Mark Sansom, Director of Content for North America’s Top 50 Bars.
Julep could be in line for even more recognition in the coming weeks. He is one of five finalists in this year’s James Beard Awards Outstanding Bar program. The Spirited Awards nominated him for America’s Best Cocktail Bar and Huerta for America’s Best Bar Mentor.