Tales of the Cocktail Foundation postpones its annual conference, Tales of the Cocktail®,  and Spirited Awards® announcements and programming until September 2020. The conference will remain fully digital and will run from Monday, September 21 through Thursday, September 24

As some bars in the United States (and around the world) begin to reopen in what historically is known as a slow season, we understand the increased challenges that travel restrictions and limited capacity pose on our entire industry. For more than 15 years, New Orleans has been a destination for our extended family, but this year our beloved city will feel distant too. We are taking the time to plan, so we can bring all of our communities closer.

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Spirited Awards®

Since its establishment in 2007, the Spirited Awards® have grown to become one of the most prestigious and coveted honors in the industry. Recognizing writers and brand ambassadors alongside bartenders and bars, the Awards showcase the talent found throughout the entire spirits community.

2020 Spirited Awards Judges

Nomination Process

  • The Spirited Awards® have a long standing tradition of honoring beverage professionals and industry leaders, who in turn become regarded as influential role models among their peers. As such, all voters are urged to consider the character and conduct of all nominees and they’re affiliated organizations. If you have concerns about a candidate’s behavior or the culture at their bars or establishments, please do include them in the nomination process.
  • In order to be considered for any one category you only need ONE nomination per category.
  • The Spirited Awards® are NOT based on popular vote.
  • All nominations will be evaluated by their respective judging committees.
  • Nominations for the 2020 Spirited Awards® open on Monday, January 13th, 2020 at 10:00 AM CST and close on Wednesday, February 26th 11:59 PM CST.
  • Anyone is able to submit a Spirited Awards nomination through our online awards judging software program.

2020 Spirited Awards® Nomination Process was open January 13th – February 26th, 2020.

2020 Spirited Awards® Dates & Deadlines:

Nomination Period Opens: 10:00 AM CST January 13th, 2020

Nomination Period Closes: 11:59 PM CST February 26th, 2020

Top 10 Regional Honorees (Establishments) Announced: April 14th, 2020

Top 10 Nominees Announced (excluding Philanthropy Award and Additional Industry Categories): May 4th, 2020

Top 4 Finalists Announced (excluding Philanthropy Award and Additional Industry Categories): June 1st, 2020

Winners Announced: July 25th, 2020

Spirited Awards® Judges

Spirited Awards® judges are a collection of respected bartenders, bar owners, educators, and writers from across the globe entrusted with this critical calling. Drawing on their years of experience and their knowledge of the current work being done locally, nationally, and internationally, together the judges can evaluate nominees from far and wide to ensure that the Spirited Awards® represents the breadth and diversity of the global drinks industry.

Tales of the Cocktail Foundation’s Spirited Awards® Committee is dedicated to valuing the inclusion of the communities we serve by working towards recruiting a judging panel that reflects their incredible diversity in terms of race, gender, ethnicity, and sexuality.

View the Spirited Awards® Judge Voting Procedure

Voting Procedures
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Judging Process

We aim to recruit judges of upstanding character who are diverse, extensively-traveled, recognized within their field, and representative of different-sized markets within their region. Recognizing that inclusion is key to a well-represented committee, TOTCF strives to ensure that we have a good representation of gender across the judging panel.

Regional Breakdown

Each year, the Spirited Awards® judges also break down regional recognitions for these categories. Please find the breakdown of each region below:

American Regions - United States - East

American Regions - United States - West

American Regions - United States - Central

International Regions - Europe

International Regions - Middle East & Africa

International Regions - Asia & Pacific (APAC)

International Regions - Latin America & Caribbean (LPAC)

International Regions - Canada

American/International Award Categories

Disclaimer: Any person or establishment that won an award at last year’s Spirited Awards® is not eligible for nomination in the category for which it won. Also, no person or establishment can win an award more than twice in the same category.

Spirited Awards® global awards for the drinks industry in which American (United States of America) and International barteams and individuals are recognized.

Best (American/International) Bar Team

*NEW* Best (American/International) Bar Mentor

(American/International) Bartender of the Year

Best (American/International) Brand Ambassador

Best (American/International) Cocktail Bar

Best (American/International) High Volume Cocktail Bar

Best (American/International) Hotel Bar

Best (American/International) Restaurant Bar

Best New (American/International) Cocktail Bar

Writing & Media Categories

Best Cocktail & Spirits Publication

Best Cocktail & Spirits Writing

Best New Cocktail or Bartending Book

Best New Book on Drinks Culture, History or Spirits

Best Broadcast, Podcast or Online Video Series


Best New Spirit or Cocktail Ingredient

World’s Best Cocktail Menu

World’s Best Spirits Selection

Philanthropy Award

Additional Industry Awards

Not Available for Public Nomination

Helen David Lifetime Achievement Award

Timeless American Award

Timeless International Award

World's Best Bar

Pioneer Award


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