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Barcelona Celebrates Victory as Sips Tops World’s 50 Best Bars 2023



Sips 'drinkery house' in Barcelona

In a dazzling event held at a decommissioned 1950s power plant in Singapore, Barcelona’s vibrant cocktail scene took the spotlight as the intimate Sips bar claimed the coveted title of the world’s best in the 2023 World’s 50 Best Bars awards. This marks Barcelona’s second consecutive win, a feat that has historically been dominated by establishments in London and New York. The previous year’s winner, Paradiso, slipped to the fourth position, making way for fresh contenders on the global stage.

In a surprising turn, the runner-up spot was secured by Double Chicken Please, an establishment located in Manhattan’s Lower East Side, showcasing the dynamic and ever-evolving New York bar scene. The global landscape of top-tier bars saw a significant shift, with Asian cities making a remarkable entrance. Seoul’s sustainability-focused Zest made a grand debut at the 18th position, while Bangkok’s Mahaniyom Cocktail Bar claimed the 19th spot, and the retro-styled BKK Social Club was crowned Asia’s top bar, securing the 13th position.

This year’s winners were selected anonymously by the World’s 50 Best Bar Academy, a panel of 680 industry insiders, including bar owners, bartenders, and critics. The judging criteria focused on the experience, allowing members to vote for the bars where they enjoyed the best overall experience.

Sips, with its mere 33 seats, stood out with its locally sourced ingredients and innovative cocktails, an establishment that managed to shine even in the midst of a pandemic. Co-founders Simone Caporale and Marc Álvarez expressed their elation, acknowledging the transformative potential of this recognition for their bar. “Let’s call it a dream,” said Caporale in an interview with CNN, reflecting the sentiments of many in the industry.

While London still boasts more top-50 bars than any other city, this year marked a historic moment: for the first time since the awards’ inception in 2009, no bars in the UK capital made it to the top three. Connaught Bar, a two-time winner, secured the fifth position, a testament to its enduring excellence in London’s Mayfair district.

This annual celebration of the world’s best bars has become a global showcase of innovation, creativity, and the artistry of mixology. As cities like Barcelona and New York continue to redefine the bar scene, the 2023 World’s 50 Best Bars list stands as a testament to the ever-evolving nature of the industry, where each sip tells a story of passion, craftsmanship, and the pursuit of perfection.

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Apple boss Tim Cook makes surprise China visit



Apple CEO Tim Cook made an unexpected trip to China, where he interacted with gamers in Chengdu. Despite the positive atmosphere, Apple is grappling with declining iPhone demand in the country, as indicated by analysts. This visit marks Cook’s second trip to China this year; previously in March, he emphasized Apple’s symbiotic relationship with China, a pivotal manufacturing hub. The company’s operations in the country have been complicated by challenges related to Covid and US-China tensions.

During his visit, Cook visited Apple’s Taikoo Li store and met young players of Tencent’s Honour of Kings online battle game. He expressed his excitement about the game’s global success and encouraged Chinese developers to create content for Apple’s new Vision Pro augmented reality headset, which would involve a Chinese manufacturer.

This year marks Apple’s third decade in China. Cook, who has been Apple’s CEO since 2011, played a significant role in Apple’s embrace of Chinese manufacturing, although the relationship has experienced fluctuations in recent years. Covid-related restrictions impacted production in China, and geopolitical tensions with the US exacerbated supply chain concerns. Consequently, Apple has been expanding its production in India.

Analysts, speaking to Bloomberg, noted that sales of Apple’s latest iPhone haven’t matched previous models. They attributed this to diminishing demand in China and intensified competition from rivals. Stringent US export controls on advanced technology have posed challenges for Chinese companies like Huawei to produce models comparable to the iPhone. However, Huawei’s successful launch of the Mate 60 Pro phone in August, featuring advanced Chinese-made chips, indicated that competitors were catching up.

Cook’s visit coincided with other tech advancements in China. Baidu, a Chinese tech giant, unveiled its latest Ernie AI model, Ernie 4.0, which it claimed was on par with OpenAI’s GPT-4 system. At the launch event led by Baidu CEO Robin Li, the AI demonstrated its capabilities by writing a martial arts novel and creating advertising materials. Despite the achievements, AI developers in China face strict restrictions.

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