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2021 Spirited Awards

The 2021 Spirited Awards® will move forward with awarding key categories that could still be equitably judged during an unprecedented year:
Helen David Lifetime Achievement presented by William Grant & Sons
Pioneer Award presented by The Blend
Timeless U.S. Award presented by Q Mixers
Timeless International Award presented by Diageo Bar Academy
Best Cocktail & Spirits Publication presented by Diageo Bar Academy
Best Cocktail & Spirits Writing presented by TOTCF
Best New Cocktail or Bartending Book presented by Diageo Bar Academy
Best New Book on Drinks Culture, History or Spirits presented by Diageo Bar Academy
Best Broadcast, Podcast or Online Video Series presented by Diageo Bar Academy

2021 Spirited Awards Timeline

May 10, 2021 – June 2, 2021
Nomination Period

Monday, August 23, 2021
2021 Spirited Awards Writing & Media Top 10 Announced
2021 Spirited Awards Digital Playbill Live
Tales of the Cocktail Foundation’s Spirited Awards Directory Live

Thursday, September 23, 2021 | 4:00 PM CST
LIVE Virtual 2021 Spirited Awards® Ceremony

Nomination ProcessWriting & Media Categories | Pioneer Award | Additional Award Categories | Spirited Awards Regional Breakdown| 2021 Spirited Awards Ceremony | 2021 Spirited Awards Roundtables2021 Spirited Awards Committee | FAQs




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2021 Spirited Awards Ceremony

The 15th annual Spirited Awards Ceremony will be broadcast LIVE in video format on September 23, 2021, at 4:00 PM CST FREE of charge to registered attendees and available to view globally on the Tales of the Cocktail® 2021 digital platform – offering opportunities for new voices to be amplified while simultaneously paying tribute to the luminaries and establishments that have left an indelible mark on our industry. The Foundation will award winners for the Helen David Lifetime Achievement, Pioneer Award, Timeless U.S./International Awards, and the (5) Writing and Media categories. Top

Add the 15th annual Ceremony to your TOTC2021 Agenda

2021 Spirited Awards Regional Roundtable Discussions

Since its founding in 2007, the Spirited Awards have become one of the industry’s most sought-after awards, recognizing beverage professionals, products, and establishments across every facet of the spirits and cocktail community on a global scale. However, given the drastic changes our industry faced in 2020, the Foundation must also change how we recognize our industry’s establishments’ and individuals’ accomplishments.

The design of the 15th Annual Spirited Awards celebration is to have our community feeling hopeful about the future. Although this year’s celebration of excellence in the spirits and drinks industry will be different, we invite you to join us for an extended celebration through our Spirited Awards Regional Roundtable Discussions.

This year, members of the Spirited Awards Regional Committees conducted a series of Spirited Awards Regional Roundtable Discussions with its global network of 19 Regional Co-Chairs and over 200 Regional Committee Members. These roundtables identify voices in each Spirited Awards region that have shaped the way the industry has adapted from COVID-19, and present emerging themes poised to push the spirits community forward and will be shared at this year’s Tales of the Cocktail® (September 20 – 23) digital conference.

  • Community presented by Pernod Ricard
  • Digital Experiences presented by Pernod Ricard
  • Drinks Culture presented by Perrier
  • Industry Advocacy presented by Pernod Ricard
  • Innovative Pivots presented by CAMPARI

Add Roundtables to your TOTC2021 Agenda

Read more about the Regional Roundtables in the Playbill starting 8/23.


Nomination Process

Categories open for public nomination are NOT based on the volume of nominations submitted. It only takes ONE nomination to be considered for an award, self-nominations accepted and encouraged! 

2021 Nomination Process

Writing & Media Categories

A person or establishment may not win the same category two years in a row and is limited to no more than two awards in the same category within five years.

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


Pioneer Award

Additional Industry Awards

Not Available for Public Nomination

Helen David Lifetime Achievement Award

Timeless U.S. Award

Timeless International Award

Regional Breakdown

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

US Regions - United States - East

US Regions - United States - West

US 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

Spirited Awards Committee

Tales of the Cocktail Foundation’s Spirited Awards® Committee, including Co-Chairs, Regional Committee Members, and Writing & Media Judges, is composed of respected bartenders, bar owners, educators, and writers from across the globe. Drawing on their years of experience and their knowledge of the current work being done locally, nationally, and internationally, together the Co-Chairs and Judges can evaluate nominees from far and wide to ensure that the Spirited Awards are inclusive and represent the breadth and diversity of the global drinks industry.

This Committee is dedicated to valuing the inclusion of the communities we serve by enlisting a judging panel that reflects their incredible diversity in terms of race, gender, ethnicity, and sexuality.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


Why did TOTCF decide to award some categories this year but not others?

Which awards will be awarded Spirited Awards for 2021?

Which categories will not be awarded Spirited Awards for 2021?

How can I nominate someone?

What is the schedule for this year’s Spirited Awards Process?

What does this mean for the 2022 Awards?

How does this specifically impact 2022 eligibility for bars and products that debuted in 2021?

When will 2021 winners be announced?

What can we expect from the 2021 Spirited Awards?

Where will these new voices that have not previously won an award be featured within your programming?

How are you selecting new voices and trends to spotlight for 2021?

Why are there no Philanthropy Awards in 2021? Or honorees, like there were in 2020?


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