Since debuting on the scene in 2002, The World’s 50 Best has established itself as a kingmaker in the realm of high-end food and beverage. When the annual confab announces its top bars and restaurants, heads turn and headlines are made. Later this year they’ll expand into the luxury hotel space with the inaugural W0rld’s 50 Best Hotels list.
But before then we’ll get to see the 2023 edition of the event that started it all: The World’s 50 Best Restaurants. The winners will be announced at an exclusive event at Les Arts opera house in Valencia, Spain on June 20th. And while we have no way of knowing what esteemed kitchen will come out on top there, we do know what whiskey will be enjoyed by the peerless assortment of chefs and tastemakers in attendance that evening.
The awards show has just announced The Craft Irish Whiskey Company as its “Whiskey of the World” partner. What exactly does that mean? And how did they land upon this particular producer? Let’s ask World’s 50 Best and find out.
“The World’s 50 Best Restaurants champions the best dining experiences across the globe and The Craft Irish Whiskey Co. shares our passion for celebrating the constant pursuit of excellence in hospitality,” says Roger Betriu, director of partnerships for the UK-based media group. “We are delighted to collaborate with The Craft Irish Whiskey Co. as our official Whiskey of the World Partner.”
A brand as relevant as World’s 50 Best clearly has no shortage of beverage partners lining up to work with them. So it speaks volumes that they opted to link up not with a scotch, but with an Irish whiskey—and a relative newcomer at that. Craft Irish, for its part, has been turning heads for the past 3 years with its bombastic approach to bottling and blending ultra luxury liquids. These are the same people that launched with a $2 million juice, which came packaged alongside a first-of-its-kind Faberge Egg.
In successive releases they’ve nabbed dozens of awards for innovative design. But company founder and master blender Jay Bradley is even more proud of the recognition received for what’s inside the glass. Last year his Devil’s Keep expression was named “World’s Best Irish Single Malt” at the prestigious World Whiskies Awards. And he’s dedicated to raising the stature of the once-dominant category he specializes in. Which is where World’s 50 Best comes in…
“As a company, it’s our mission to put premium Irish whiskey back at the top of the global hierarchy, and that means putting it back on the menu of the world’s finest restaurants and bars,” Bradley explains. “Whether that’s by the glass, in a cocktail, or on a plate, we’re achieving that mission at an impressive speed, and I believe that’s a result of the passion we have for hospitality, demonstrated through our work with organizations like World’s 50 Best and The Michelin Guide.”
Craft Irish Whiskey Company began a partnership with the latter back in early 2022, helping the tire company distribute its prestigious plaques to Michelin Star recipients after last year’s reveal. Earlier this year he presented the “Exceptional Cocktail List Award” for truly exceptional craftsmanship in mixology to Makis Kazakis, bar manager at Park Chinois in London. Bradley’s impressive relationship with top restaurant talent can already be seen across that city’s dynamic dining scene.
The Donn—Craft Irish’s most accessibly priced release—is being used as a primary component in a reduction sauce on a venison dish at Restaurant Gordon Ramsey. Chef Adam Handling of Frog fame is using it in upmarket Irish coffee he conceived in time for Paddy’s Day this year. And that same liquid is also featured in the citrusy, effervescent Golden Nectar cocktail at Hakkasan London.
Through his newfound partnership with the folks at World’s 50 Best, Bradley is hopeful he can forge relations with chefs and bartenders far beyond the UK capital he currently calls home. It’s always easier making friends when you arrive at the party with world class whiskey in-hand.