cheers to alba!

Popular Houston cocktail destination named one of the 50 best bars in North America

Popular Houston cocktail spot named to best bar in North America list

Julep Houston Mint Julep
Julep is one of North America's 50 best bars. Photo by Julie Soefer
Alexis Mijares and Alba Huerta Julep
Manager Alexis Mijares and owner Alba Huerta represented Julep at the 50 Best presentation. Courtesy of Julep
Julep interior
Julep is also a James Beard Award finalist. Photo by Julie Soefer
Julep Houston Mint Julep
Alexis Mijares and Alba Huerta Julep
Julep interior

A Houston cocktail institution is one of the 50 Best 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 homage to Southern cocktail traditions. It is the only bar in Texas and one of just 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 included on the inaugural list of the @50bestbars in North America," the bar wrote on Instagram. "The new annual ranking features bars from across the North American continent, including the USA, Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean. It's truly a list of exceptional bars, and we're so excited and humbled to be among them."

New York City's acclaimed Attaboy takes the top spot, followed by Mexico City bars Handshake Speakeasy and Licorería Limantour. Overall, New York establishments occupy 11 of America's 29 spots on the list. Mexico City comes in second overall with six of the country's 11 entries. 

An anonymous panel of more than 220 bar industry experts — including bartenders, bar owners, drinks media, and "well-traveled cocktail connoisseurs" — from the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean picked the winning bars. Neither members of the 50 Best organization nor sponsors had any input in the recognized establishments, according to a release. 

"We commend all of the bars on the inaugural list of North America’s 50 Best Bars that are doing a stellar job invigorating the continent’s drinks scene as we emerge from what has been a very challenging time. Hospitality is an incredibly important engine of economic recovery and these bars’ creativity and determination demonstrate the best of our industry in North America,” added Mark Sansom, content director for North America’s 50 Best Bars.

Julep could be in line for even more recognition in the weeks to come. It is one of five finalists for Outstanding Bar Program in this year's James Beard Awards. The Spirited Awards nominated it for  Best American Cocktail Bar and Huerta for Best U.S. Bar Mentor.