Industry News

Tales of the Cocktail Foundation Announces 2018 Golden Spirit Award and 2019 Seminar Submissions Open

Photography by Cory James Photo
Photography by Cory James Photo

NEW ORLEANS, LA - October 10, 2018 - Tales of the Cocktail Foundation is honored to name Lou Bank the 2018 recipient of the coveted Golden Spirit Award. Every year, Tales of the Cocktail awards the Golden Spirit Award to the seminar presenter who received the highest evaluation scores from attendees. With this award, Tales aims to recognize the recipient’s dedication to sharing his or her knowledge with the industry in an engaging, relatable way.

“Whatever you think you know about mezcal, Lou and his non-profit SACRED (Saving Agave for Culture, Recreation, Education & Development) will teach you more, giving greater insight into the individuals and communities that produce the mezcal we enjoy, and using the proceeds to build libraries, agave nurseries and water treatment facilities in rural Mexico," said Philip Duff, Director of Education at Tales of the Cocktail Foundation. "Also, and not unimportantly, Lou’s mezcal seminars blow the doors off, every time, and we cannot think of a worthier recipient for the 2018 Golden Spirit Award.”

Lou joins an esteemed group of previous Golden Spirit Award winners including Charlotte Voisey (2007 & 2009), Jeff “Beachbum” Berry (2008), Jacob Briars (2010), and David Wondrich (2013), among others. A full list is available here.

"This world of bars and cocktails isn’t my world — I’m in bed almost religiously by nine every night. My world is non-profits. So I’m surprised when the people who do populate this world — the bartenders, cooks, waitstaff, hosts, and bar backs — give me their time to talk about SACRED’s projects in rural Mexico," said Lou Bank, Founder and Executive Director of SACRED. "The first time I presented to an industry crowd, I thought I was bombing — no one said anything. At the end, all hands were up asking questions, and one of my friends in the group told me the silence was because people were taking notes. Notes! I was — and am — blown away by the scholarly approach so many hospitality industry workers take to their craft. I'm humbled by this award, grateful to my attendees for their kindness, and honored to be welcomed into your community!"

This award announcement also cues a call to action for 2019 seminar submissions for Tales of the Cocktail 2019 which, in keeping with tradition, will take place in New Orleans in July. The seminar submission period is live beginning today, Wednesday, October 10th and extends through Saturday, December 1st.

Tales of the Cocktail Foundation is pleased to introduce a refresh to it’s seminar platform, divided into streams, or categories, for seamless navigation. Many of your favorite seminar topics are still present but are now housed under Beyond the Bar, Business, and/or Culture Seminars.

Our call for 2019 seminar proposals seeks ideas that are thought-provoking, new and impactful. Whether or not you have a sponsor confirmed does not affect your chances of being selected in any way -- if you have an idea, submit it! Tales of the Cocktail Foundation is dedicated to establishing meaningful partnerships between seminar moderators, presenters and sponsors to foster collaboration and growth within the industry.

2019 seminar streams are structured as follows:

  • Beyond the Bar: Mental Health & Physical Wellness, Social Justice (including Diversity & Inclusiveness, Intersectionality, Harassment, Assault, Sexual Harassment and Sexual Assault), Substance Abuse, Sustainability, 101 Seminars
  • Business Seminars: 101 Seminars, Bar Indepth, Bar Career, Business, #SEDTalks
  • Culture Seminars: 101 Seminars, Cocktails, Exclusive Tastings, Spirits, History, General

More information on guidelines and how to submit a seminar idea can be accessed here.

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About Tales of the Cocktail

Founded in 2002, Tales of the Cocktail has grown from a small gathering of cocktail lovers into the world’s premier cocktail festival. Each year the international spirits industry is welcomed to New Orleans for a week of seminars, tastings, networking events and much more. With 200+ annual events developed specifically for bartenders, distillers and other spirits professionals, Tales of the Cocktail is the industry’s annual meeting place for the exchange of new ideas, products and techniques.

About Tales of the Cocktail Foundation

Tales of the Cocktail Foundation is a 501c3 non-profit organization that educates, advances and supports the global hospitality industry and creates lasting impact in our host communities. Tales of the Cocktail Foundation is the global leader in spirits education and a platform to tackle issues facing the industry. The pillars of the Foundation are to Educate, Advance and Support the hospitality industry through programs that benefit individuals and organizations in the community and to make lasting impact in communities that host our events.


For Media Inquiries:

Gia Vecchio, gia@foxglovecommunications.com, 917.280.5043

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