Tales of the Cocktail Announces 2015 Top Four Spirited Awards Finalists

Posted on: Jun. 16, 2015 | | By: Alex Smith

The 9th Annual Spirited Awards® will recognize the year’s best bars, bartenders, writers and cocktail experts from around the world at a ceremony during Tales of the Cocktail® 2015.

NEW ORLEANS, LA. – June 16, 2015 – Following the largest nomination pool in the history of the show and a rigorous judging process by some of the most respected minds in the cocktail industry, Tales of the Cocktail® is proud to announce the Top Four Finalists for each category of the 9th Annual Spirited Awards®. All award finalists are invited to attend the Spirited Awards® ceremony on Saturday, July 18 at the Sheraton New Orleans where the winners will be announced live and will receive the Riedel crystal trophies.

“The Spirited Awards continue to recognize the very best bars, bartenders, ambassadors and more. The standard continues to rise all over the world, both fuelled by Tales and recognized by it,” said Jacob Briars, the Chairman of the International Judging Committee for the Spirited Awards®. “I am thrilled to see such wonderful international talent being recognized from around the globe, showing that the modern cocktail age continues to grow and expand. There’s never been a better time to enjoy a cocktail all over the world.”

Since 2007, the Spirited Awards® have recognized the year’s best bars, bartenders, writers and experts, becoming the industry’s most prestigious and coveted award. Finalists and winners were voted on by a panel of more than 100 industry experts and led by Simon Ford (Chairman), Jackson Cannon (U.S. Judging Committee Chairman), Jacob Briars (International Judging Committee Chairman), and David Wondrich (Writing Committee Chairman). Voting was a weeklong process that required extensive knowledge in each category. The votes were checked by the Super Committee and tallied to determine the Top 10 and ultimately the Top Four finalists.

“We live in an amazing time for better cocktails, enlightened service and beverage education,” said Jackson Cannon, the Chairman of the U.S. Judging Committee for the Spirited Awards®. “Congratulations and thank you to all the finalists for Spirited Awards this year for their hard work and professionalism. I raise my glass to their consistency in producing great drinks, exceptional experiences and for motivating and educating the next generation of hospitality professionals.”

The 9th Annual Spirited Awards® ceremony is bringing Cuban flavor to New Orleans with a colorful and festive event will pay homage to the unique sights, sounds and flavors of Cuba. Attendees are encouraged to come dressed in their best Cuban attire and the night will feature daiquiris and Cuban Jazz while celebrating the industry’s best. This year, the sponsoring partners of the 9th Annual Spirited Awards® are Bacardi USA, BarSmarts, Beefeater, Bleu Dry Bar, Caña Brava, Chivas, Cognac Ferrand, Courvoisier, House of Angostura, Luxardo, Mountain Valley Spring Water, Nicolas Feuillatte, The Perfect Purée of Napa Valley, Rums of Puerto Rico, Silencio Mezcal and William Grant & Sons.

“Congratulations to everyone who has made the final four nominees,” said Spirited Awards® Chairman, Simon Ford. “The impact you are making is being recognized by our industry the world over and you should be proud of your accomplishment whether or not you take home the Spirited Award.”

The Spirited Awards® are just one part of the exciting 13th Annual Tales of the Cocktail® taking place in New Orleans, July 15-19, 2015. For more information about the Spirited Awards®, to view past winners or to learn more about all the week’s spirited events, visit TalesoftheCocktail.com or call 504-948-0511.

2015 Spirited Awards® Top 4 Finalists

American Categories

Best American Bar Team

  • ABV (San Francisco)
  • Dead Rabbit (New York)
  • Employees Only (New York)
  • Williams & Graham (Denver)

American Bartender of the Year

  • Chris Hannah (New Orleans)
  • Bobby Heugel (Houston)
  • Ivy Mix (New York)
  • Jeffrey Morgenthaler (Portland)

Best American Brand Ambassador

  • Brooke Arthur (House Spirits)
  • Colin Asare-Appiah (Bacardi)
  • Jamie Gordon (Absolut Elyx)
  • Chris Patino (Pernod-Ricard)

Best American Cocktail Bar

  • Prizefighter (Emeryville)
  • Smuggler’s Cove (San Francisco)
  • Trick Dog (San Francisco)
  • Williams & Graham (Denver)

Best American High Volume Cocktail Bar

  • Employees Only (New York)
  • Flatiron Lounge (New York)
  • Harvard & Stone (Los Angeles)
  • Honeycut (Los Angeles)

Best American Hotel Bar

  • Sable Kitchen and Bar (Chicago)
  • Spare Room (Los Angeles)
  • The Broken Shaker (Miami Beach)
  • The Hawthorne (Boston)

Best American Restaurant Bar

  • Eastern Standard Kitchen & Drinks (Boston)
  • Gramercy Tavern (New York)
  • Nopa (San Francisco)
  • The Rieger Hotel Grill and Exchange (Kansas City)

Best New American Cocktail Bar

  • ABV (San Francisco)
  • Julep (Houston)
  • Latitude 29 (New Orleans)
  • The NoMad Bar (New York)

International Categories

Best International Bar Team
  • 28 Hong Kong Street (Singapore)
  • American Bar at the Savoy Hotel (London)
  • Black Pearl (Melbourne)
  • Le Lion Bar de Paris (Hamburg)

International Bartender of the Year

  • Marian Beke (London)
  • Ryan Chetiyawardana (London)
  • Zdenek Kastanek (Singapore)
  • Hidetsugu Ueno (Tokyo)

Best International Brand Ambassador

  • Ian Burrell (Global Rum)
  • Dean Callan (Monkey Shoulder)
  • George Nemec (Becherovka)
  • Claire Smith-Warner (Belvedere Vodka)

Best International Cocktail Bar

  • Artesian (London)
  • Candelaria (Paris)
  • Happiness Forgets (London)
  • White Lyan (London)

Best International High Volume Cocktail Bar

  • Callooh Callay (London)
  • Eau de Vie (Melbourne)
  • The Black Pearl/The Attic (Melbourne)
  • Trailer Happiness (London)

Best International Hotel Bar

  • American Bar, The Savoy (London)
  • Beaufort Bar, The Savoy (London)
  • The Punch Room, The Edition Hotel (London)
  • Zetter Townhouse (London)

Best International Restaurant Bar

  • Blind Pig at Social Eating House (London)
  • Hawksmoor Spitalfields (London)
  • Tippling Club (Singapore)
  • Zuma (Dubai)

Best New International Cocktail Bar

  • Bar Termini (London)
  • Dandelyan (London)
  • Le Syndicat Cocktail Club (Paris)
  • The Clumsies (Athens)

Writing Categories

Best Cocktail & Spirits Publication

  • Difford’s Guide
  • Liquor.com
  • The Cocktail Lovers

Best Cocktail & Spirits Writer

  • Dave Broom
  • Camper English
  • Jeffrey Morgenthaler
  • Robert Simonson

Best New Cocktail/Bartending Book

  • Death & Co: Modern Classic Cocktails by David Kaplan, Nick Fauchald, and Alex Day
  • Liquid Intelligence: The Art and Science of the Perfect Cocktail by Dave Arnold
  • The Bar Book by Jeffrey Morgenthaler
  • The Old-Fashioned by Robert Simonson

Best New Spirits Book

  • Sherry by Talia Baiocchi
  • The Curious Bartender: An Odyssey of Malt Bourbon & Rye Whiskies by Tristan Stephenson
  • Thinking Drinkers: The Enlightened Imbiber’s Guide to Alcohol by Ben McFarland and Tom Sandham
  • Whisky: The Manual by Dave Broom

Overall Categories

Best Bar Mentor

  • Bridget Albert (Chicago)
  • Francesco Lafranconi (Las Vegas)
  • Jim Meehan (Portland)
  • Angus Winchester (London)

Best New Spirit or Cocktail Ingredient

  • Amaro di Angostura
  • J. Rieger & Co. Kansas City Whiskey
  • Mister Katz’s Rock and Rye
  • Suze Bitters

World’s Best Cocktail Menu

  • Artesian (London)
  • Beaufort Bar at the Savoy (London)
  • Dead Rabbit (New York)
  • Trick Dog (San Francisco)

World’s Best Spirits Selection

  • Canon (Seattle)
  • Multnomah Whiskey Library (Portland)
  • The Baxter Inn (Sydney)
  • Tommy’s Mexican Restaurant (San Francisco)

About Tales of the Cocktail®

The Spirits Are Calling. Will you answer? They’re calling you to New Orleans for five days of seminars, tastings, product launches, competitions, networking events and so much more at the world’s premier professional cocktail event. By just being a part of this spirited gathering you’ll help your fellow cocktail professionals around the world. Funds from Tales of the Cocktail®are invested back into the industry through scholarships, tuition reimbursements, training programs and financial aid. So join us as the international spirits community answers the call, returning for another spirited round of Tales of the Cocktail®.

About the New Orleans Culinary and Cultural Preservation Society

The New Orleans Culinary and Cultural Preservation Society (NOCCPS) is a non-profit organization committed to preserving the unique cocktail culture in New Orleans and around the world through education and outreach. Every year the NOCCPS produces a number of events including Tales of the Cocktail®, Tales of the Cocktail® on Tour, and Tales of the Toddy® with proceeds being invested back into the international spirits community through educational programs, scholarships, training programs and financial aid.


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