Tales of the Cocktail Foundation announces 2021 Spirited Awards® Winners

Posted on: Sep. 23, 2021 | | By: Gia Vecchio

NEW ORLEANS, LA (September 23, 2021) — Tales of the Cocktail Foundation (TOTCF) is honored to announce the 2021 Spirited Awards® winners for the Helen David Lifetime Achievement Award, Pioneer Award, Timeless U.S. Award, Timeless International Award, and the five Writing and Media awards. Founded in 2007 to celebrate excellence in the drinks industry, the Spirited Awards have become one of the most globally revered accolades, recognizing beverage professionals, brands, media, journalists, and establishments across all areas of the cocktail industry. This year, the 15th annual Spirited Awards ceremony was broadcast LIVE from Jewel of the South in New Orleans on Thursday, September 23 at 4pm CST. The ceremony is available for global viewing on the Tales of the Cocktail® 2021 digital platform. As the Spirited Awards official media partner, Forbes will continue to share additional coverage on key themes and industry trends for 2021 on Forbes.com.

While reflecting on 2020 presented a difficult climate for the notion of excellence, it also presented a pivotal moment for global acknowledgment of tenacity and innovation. As the cocktail industry navigated closures, government shutdowns, and global travel restrictions in 2020, Tales of the Cocktail Foundation and the Spirited Awards Co-Chairs made the difficult, but necessary decision to honor a selection of awards category for 2021 that could be judged equitably given the current landscape.

“We always knew we were a truly determined, tenacious community, but the way in which we’ve seen our peers navigate this year with such grace and grit has been nothing short of incredible,” said Tales of the Cocktail Foundation CEO Eileen Wayner. “Tales of the Cocktail Foundation is proud to recognize the winners of the 15th Annual Spirited Awards, and we thank them for their outstanding contributions that are advancing the beverage industry.” 

2021 Spirited Awards®  Winners:  

2021 Writing and Media Spirited Awards® Winners:

  • ​​Best Cocktail & Spirits Publication presented by Diageo Bar Academy
  • Best New Book on Drinks Culture, History, or Spirits presented by Diageo Bar Academy

2021 Spirited Awards Chairs and Judging Criteria

Below is a list of Spirited Awards Chairs for 2021:

Overall Chair — Charlotte Voisey 

International Chair — Jacob Briars

Central U.S. Co-Chairs —  Bridget Albert, Steva Casey

West U.S. Co-Chairs — Kiowa Bryan, Mary Palac

East U.S. Co-Chairs — Laura Cullen, Andy Seymour

Europe Co-Chairs — Guiseppe Gallo, Nicola Riske

Canada Co-Chairs — Evelyn Chick, Sabrine Dhaliwal

Middle East & Africa Co-Chairs — Oyindamola C. de-Medeiros, Richard Neil Irwin

Latin America & Caribbean Co-Chairs — Camille Austin, Tato Giovannoni, Jean Trinh

Asia Pacific Co-Chairs — Pankaj Balachandran, Yao Lu, Hayley Morison, Charmaine Thio

Writing & Media Co-Chairs — Paul Clarke, Sandrae Lawrence, François Monti, Matthew Rowley

“This year, our regional co-chairs have been invaluable in helping tell the stories of our industry in 2020,” said Spirited Awards Overall Chair, Charlotte Voisey. “This difficult task, at times poignant but also inspirational, helps share hope and pragmatic advice across the global bar community at large, and I thank them all for all of their time, effort, and expertise.”

Spirited Awards® judges are a collective of revered bartenders, bar owners, educators, and writers from across the globe entrusted with the meaningful decision of evaluating nominees based on a set of structured criteria. Drawing on their years of experience and their knowledge of the current work happening locally, nationally, and internationally, together the judges evaluate nominees from far and wide to ensure that the Spirited Awards represents the range and magnitude of the global drinks industry. The Spirited Awards is not based on popular vote and all nominations are evaluated by their respective judging committees. 

To learn more about the Spirited Awards judging committee and awards criteria, please visit the Tales of the Cocktail Foundation’s Spirited Awards page.

The 15th Annual Spirited Awards Ceremony

The 15th annual Spirited Awards Ceremony was broadcast LIVE from Jewel of the South in New Orleans on September 23, 2021 at 4pm CT. The ceremony, which was led by hosts ms. franky marshall and J’Nai Angelle, is available for global viewing on the Tales of the Cocktail® 2021 digital platform and on the Foundation’s YouTube channel beginning on 9/28. 

Tales of the Cocktail Foundation Spirited Awards® and Forbes 

Tales of the Cocktail is pleased to share that Forbes is the official media partner for this year’s Spirited Awards and partners with the organization on editorial exploration of the interactive Spirited Awards directory as well as key themes and industry trends for 2021.

Tales of the Cocktail Foundation’s Spirited Awards® Directory

Tales of the Cocktail is thrilled to share the Spirited Awards® Directory in partnership with marquee sponsor Diageo Bar Academy with support from Angostura, Bacardi Limited, CAMPARI, Elijah Craig, Hendricks Gin, Tequila Fortaleza, and The Blend. Giving discerning imbibers a comprehensive compendium of all 900+ Spirited Awards winners and nominees from the past 15 years, the Directory is an interactive, global map created to easily guide guests to officially recognized Spirited Awards establishments. 

This resource will be updated year over year, making it an easy-to-use tool to plan which bars to visit at home or when traveling. Use the Spirited Awards Directory today to explore the award winning bars. 

2021 Spirited Awards Regional Roundtable Discussions

As an addition to Tales of the Cocktail’s stellar 2021 programming agenda, members of the Spirited Awards Regional Committee identified voices in each Spirited Awards region that have shaped the way the industry has adapted from COVID-19 and created emerging themes poised to push the spirits community forward. These themes were shared at this year’s digital conference during a special series of Spirited Awards Regional Roundtable Discussions and are available for viewing in perpetuity via the Foundation’s YouTube channel

Spirited Awards Roundtable Discussions include: 

  • 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



Tales of the Cocktail Foundation is a 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 a lasting impact in communities that host our events. 

About Forbes

Forbes champions success by celebrating those who have made it, and those who aspire to make it. Forbes convenes and curates the most influential leaders and entrepreneurs who are driving change, transforming business and making a significant impact on the world. The Forbes brand today reaches more than 140 million people worldwide through its trusted journalism, signature LIVE and Forbes Virtual events, custom marketing programs and 32 licensed local editions in 71 countries. Forbes Media’s brand extensions include real estate, education and financial services license agreements. For more information, visit the Forbes News Hub or Forbes Connect.

Media Inquiries:

Gia Vecchio, [email protected], 917.280.5043

Hunter Smith, [email protected], 803.397.8878

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