Tales of the Cocktail Foundation Announces the Top 10 Nominees for the 2023 Spirited Awards®

Posted on: Jun. 01, 2023 | | By: Aly Velasquez

The 17th annual Spirited Awards celebrates global excellence in the drinks industry and recognizes professionals, organizations, and establishments shaping the cocktail community

NEW ORLEANS, LA (June 1, 2023) — Tales of the Cocktail Foundation (TOTCF) is honored to announce the Top 10 Nominees for the 17th annual Spirited Awards®. 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. In partnership with Forbes, the Spirited Awards® official media partner, TOTCF will honor recipients during the Tales of the Cocktail® (TOTC) conference, which is celebrating its 21st-year in New Orleans, July 23-28, 2023.

The Spirited Awards are comprised of industry accolades, both domestic and international, writing and media awards, and overall awards that transcend regionality, including World’s Best Cocktail Bar and World’s Best Cocktail Menu. 

“The Tales Spirited Awards shortlist shows that in spite of ongoing challenges, our industry is in incredible health, with bars and bartenders continuing to create extraordinary guest experiences and elevate their craft in so many ways,” said International Chair Jacob Briars. “I think it is also heartening to see the wide range of nominees from so many different towns and cities across the US and around the world. Great cocktails can now be found anywhere, and that is a wonderful opportunity for cocktail lovers across the globe.”

In that spirit, the Foundation is proud to announce the Top 10 Nominees, broken into U.S., International, Media & Writing, and Global categories.

2023 Spirited Awards® Top 10 Nominees (in alphabetical order):


International Bartender of the Year presented by The Busker

  • Gina Barbachano — Hanky Panky, Mexico City, Mexico
  • Giorgio Bargiani — The Connaught Bar, London, UK
  • Aaron Diaz — Carnaval, Lima, Peru
  • Kate Boushel — Atwater Cocktail Club / Milky Way Cocktail Bar, Montréal, QC, Canada
  • Giacomo Giannotti — Paradiso, Barcelona, Spain
  • Martin Hudak — Maybe Sammy, Sydney, Australia
  • Uno Jang — Jigger & Pony at the Amara Hotel, Singapore
  • Alessandro Palazzi — DUKES at Dukes Hotel, London, UK
  • Daniel Schofield — SCHOFIELD’S BAR, Manchester, UK
  • Luke Whearty — BYRDI, Melbourne, Australia

Best International Bar Mentor* presented by Tales of the Cocktail Foundation

  • Lorenzo Antinori
  • Simone Caporale
  • Evelyn Chick
  • Shingo Gokan
  • Trevor Kallies
  • Jose Luis Leon
  • Dre Masso
  • Iain McPherson
  • Danil Nevsky
  • Agostino Perrone
  • Christina Veira

*denotes 11 nominees due to a tie

Best International Brand Ambassador* presented by Tales of the Cocktail Foundation

  • Jenna Ba — Diageo
  • Jordan Bushell — Hennessy Cognac
  • Dickie Cullimore — Bacardi Rum
  • Caitlin Hill — Rémy Cointreau
  • Daniyel Jones — House of Angostura®
  • Ally Martin — Hendrick’s Gin
  • Dave Mitton — Lot 40 / J.P. Wiser’s
  • Léa Messier — Dandurand Spirits
  • Tim Philips-Johansson — Johnnie Walker
  • Nicola Riske — The Macallan
  • Claudia Cabrera Rodriguez — Fernet Branca
  • Charmaine Thio — Hendrick’s Gin

*denotes 12 nominees due to a tie

Best International Bar Team presented by Angostura Caribbean Rum

  • ALQUÍMICO — Cartagena, Colombia
  • Atwater Cocktail Club — Montreal, QC, Canada
  • COA — Hong Kong, China
  • Handshake Speakeasy — Mexico City, Mexico
  • Hanky Panky — Mexico City, Mexico
  • Jigger & Pony at the Amara Hotel — Singapore
  • La Factoria — San Juan, Puerto Rico
  • Paradiso — Barcelona, Spain
  • Tayēr + Elementary — London, UK
  • The Clumsies — Athens, Greece

Best International Cocktail Bar presented by Patr​​ón Tequila

  • 🔶🟥🔵 — London, UK
  • ALQUÍMICO — Cartagena, Colombia
  • Atwater Cocktail Club — Montreal, QC, Canada
  • BYRDI — Melbourne, Australia
  • COA — Hong Kong, China
  • MAYBE SAMMY — Sydney, Australia
  • Panda & Sons — Edinburgh, Scotland
  • Paradiso — Barcelona, Spain
  • Satan’s Whiskers — London, UK
  • SIPS — Barcelona, Spain

Best International Hotel Bar presented by Perrier

  • ARGO at the Four Seasons — Hong Kong, China
  • BKK Social Club at Four Seasons Bangkok — Bangkok, Thailand
  • Botanist at the Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel — Vancouver, BC, Canada
  • Bulgari Bar at the The Bvlgari Resort — Dubai, UAE
  • Charles H. at the Four Seasons Hotel — Seoul, South Korea
  • Dean & Nancy on 22 at the A by Adina hotel — Sydney, Australia
  • Fifty Mils at the Four Seasons Hotel — Mexico City, Mexico
  • Jigger & Pony at the Amara Hotel — Singapore
  • Side Hustle at The NoMad Hotel London — London, UK
  • The Donovan Bar at the Brown’s Hotel — London, UK

Best International Restaurant Bar presented by Tales of the Cocktail Foundation

  • Analogue Initiative — Singapore
  • ARCA Restaurant & Bar — Tulum, Mexico
  • Bar Kismet — Halifax, NS, Canada
  • COCHINCHINA — Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Continental Deli Bar Bistro — Sydney, Australia
  • COYA Dubai — Dubai, UAE
  • Danico — Paris, France
  • Le Mary Celeste — Paris, France
  • No Sleep Club — Singapore
  • Zuma Dubai — Dubai, UAE

Best New International Cocktail Bar presented by Diageo Bar Academy

  • Bar Planet — Sydney, Australia
  • Caretaker’s Cottage — Melbourne, Australia
  • CATA Agave Bar – Tamarindo, Costa Rica
  • Ergo Cocktail Bar & Restaurant — Dubai, UAE
  • Gucci Giardino 25 — Florence, Italy
  • Last Word — Singapore
  • Line Athens — Athens, Greece
  • Mahaniyom Cocktail Bar — Bangkok, Thailand
  • Night Hawk — Singapore
  • Seed Library at One Hundred Shoreditch hotel — London, UK


U.S. Bartender of the Year presented by Pernod Ricard USA

  • Chris Elford — Navy Strength / Here Today Brewery & Kitchen, Seattle, WA
  • Abigail Gullo — loa at the International House hotel, New Orleans, LA
  • Caer Maiko Ferguson — DrinkWell / Daijoubu, Austin, TX
  • Shauna O’Neil — Sweet Liberty, Miami, FL
  • Jessi Pollak — Spoon and Stable, Minneapolis, MN
  • Kapri Robinson — Allegory at the Eaton Hotel, Washington, DC
  • Christian Suzuki-Orellana — Wildhawk, San Francisco, CA
  • Masahiro Urushido — Katanna Kitten, New York, NY
  • Takuma Watanabe — Martiny’s, New York, NY
  • Christine Wiseman — Marygold’s Brasserie / Broken Shaker, Miami, FL

Best U.S. Bar Mentor* presented BarSmarts

  • Bridget Albert
  • Anu Apte
  • Colin Asare-Appiah
  • Jason Asher
  • Julio Cabrera
  • Alex Day
  • Touré Folkes
  • Kate Gerwin
  • Anne Louise Marquis
  • Nectaly Mendoza
  • Jeffrey Morgenthaler
  • Chris Patino

*denotes 12 nominees due to a tie

Best U.S. Brand Ambassador presented Libbey

  • Kiowa Bryan — Spiribam
  • Chris Cabrera — Bacardi USA
  • Tad Carducci — Gruppo Montenegro
  • Cameron George — Ardbeg Single Malts
  • A-K Hada — Bacardi Rum
  • Vance Henderson — Hendrick’s Gin
  • Benny Hurwitz — Wild Turkey
  • Anna Mains — Monkey Shoulder
  • Jenna Murray — The Glenlivet
  • Mary Palac — Campari Mexican Spirits

Best U.S. Bar Team presented by William Grant & Sons

  • Allegory at the Eaton Hotel — Washington, DC
  • Attaboy Nashville — Nashville, TN
  • Century Grand — Phoenix, AZ
  • Happy Accidents — Albuquerque, NM
  • Nickel City — Austin, TX
  • Overstory — New York, NY
  • Pacific Cocktail Haven — San Francisco, CA
  • Service Bar — Washington, DC
  • The Roosevelt Room — Austin, TX
  • Yacht Club — Denver, CO

Best U.S. Cocktail Bar presented by Absolut Vodka

  • Bar Goto — New York, NY
  • Bitter & Twisted — Phoenix, AZ
  • Century Grand — Phoenix, AZ
  • Double Chicken Please — New York, NY
  • Manolito — New Orleans, LA
  • Nickel City — Austin, TX
  • Overstory — New York, NY
  • Service Bar — Washington, DC
  • Thunderbolt — Los Angeles, CA
  • Yacht Club — Denver, CO

Best U.S. Hotel Bar presented by Grey Goose

  • Allegory at the Eaton Hotel — Washington, DC
  • Bar Marilou at the Maison de la Luz — New Orleans, LA
  • Champagne Bar at The Surf Club Miami — Miami, FL
  • Dear Irving on Hudson at the Aliz Hotel — New York, NY
  • Hey Love at The Jupiter — Portland, OR
  • Libertine Social at the Mandalay Bay — Las Vegas, NV
  • Little Rituals at the Residence Inn/Courtyard by Marriott — Phoenix, AZ
  • Midnight Rambler at The Joule — Dallas, TX
  • Raines Law Room at the William — New York, NY
  • White Limozeen at The Graduate — Nashville, TN

Best U.S. Restaurant Bar presented by Amaro Montenegro and Select Aperitivo

  • Arnaud’s French 75 Bar — New Orleans, LA
  • Bicyclette Bistro — Los Angeles, CA
  • Bresca — Washington, DC
  • Café La Trova — Miami, FL
  • Cleaver – Butchered Meats, Seafood & Classic Cocktails — Las Vegas, NV
  • Crown Shy — New York, NY
  • Jaguar Sun — Miami, FL
  • Kumiko — Chicago, IL
  • Manhatta — New York, NY
  • Palomar — Portland, OR

Best New U.S. Cocktail Bar presented by Diageo Bar Academy

  • Amazonia — Washington DC
  • Chez Zou — New York, NY
  • Khla — Phoenix, AZ
  • Martiny’s — New York, NY
  • Marygold’s Brasserie at the Arlo Wynwood — Miami, FL
  • Milady’s — New York, NY
  • Pacific Standard at the KEX Portland — Portland, OR
  • Refuge — Houston, TX
  • The Butterscotch Den — Sacramento, CA
  • UnderTow — Gilbert, AZ


Best Cocktail & Spirits Publication presented by Tales of the Cocktail Foundation

  • Boothby
  • CLASS Magazine
  • Difford’s Guide
  • Drinks International
  • Guest Check by SPILL
  • Liquor.com
  • Punch
  • The Cocktail Lovers Magazine
  • The Mix With Robert Simonson
  • The Spirits Business

Best Broadcast, Podcast, or Online Video Series presented by Tales of the Cocktail Foundation

  • Agave Road Trip
  • Black and Brown Podcast
  • Freepour
  • Japan Distilled Podcast
  • Perspectives by Campari Academy
  • Radio Imbibe
  • Shōshin Art Club 
  • The Modern Bar Cart Podcast
  • The Sipping Point 
  • The Speakeasy Podcast

Best Cocktail & Spirits Writing presented by Tales of the Cocktail Foundation

  • “A Rum Deal” by Dave Broom for Club Oenologique
  • “How Americans ruined tequila — and the true believers saving it” by Lilah Raptopoulos, for Financial Times
  • “How the Four Seasons Became an Incubator for Asia’s Best Bars” by Jake Emen, for VinePair
  • “The Drinks Industry Has an Ageism Problem” by Betsy Andrews, for SevenFifty Daily
  • “The Good, the Bad & the Artificial: How Big Data & Tech Are Infiltrating the Alcohol Industry” by Jake Emen, for VinePair
  • “The Great Mezcal Heist” by Emma Janzen, for Eater
  • “The Secrets to the Best Dry Martini You’ll Ever Have” by David Wondrich, for The Daily Beast
  • “This Is What Decolonizing a Spirit Looks Like” by Adaorah Oduah, for Punch
  • “Untold Story” by Yolanda Evans, for Imbibe
  • “What is a Bar Without a Backbar?” by Danny Chau, for Punch

Best New Cocktail or Bartending Book presented by Tales of the Cocktail Foundation

  • A Bartender’s Guide to the World by Lauren Mote & James O. Fraioli
  • Black Mixcellence: A Comprehensive Guide to Black Mixology by Tamika Hall with Colin Asare-Appiah
  • Drink Lightly by Natasha David
  • Mindful Mixology: A Comprehensive Guide to No- and Low-Alcohol Cocktails with 60 Recipes by Derek Brown
  • Modern Classic Cocktails by Robert Simonson
  • Mueble Bar by François Monti
  • The Bartender’s Manifesto by Toby Maloney with Emma Janzen
  • THE COCKTAIL CABINET: The art, science and pleasure of mixing the perfect drink by Zoe Burgess
  • The Cocktail Edit: Everything You Need to Know About How to Make All the Drinks that Matter by Alice Lascelles
  • The New York Times Essential Book of Cocktails – Elevated and Expanded, edited by Steven Reddicliffe

Best New Book on Drinks Culture, History, or Spirits presented by Tales of the Cocktail Foundation

  • A SENSE OF PLACE: A journey around Scotland’s whisky by Dave Broom
  • Brand Mysticism: Cultivate Creativity & Intoxicate Your Audience by Aaron Goldfarb and Steven Grasse
  • Dicktales (or Thankyou and Sluggings) by Dick Bradsell
  • Doctors and Distillers: The Remarkable Medicinal History of Beer, Wine, Spirits, and Cocktails by Camper English
  • Drink Like a Local New York: A Field Guide to New York’s Best Bars by Amanda Schuster
  • Exploring the World of Japanese Craft Sake by Nancy Matsumoto and Michael Tremblay
  • Gurú. Manual (multisensorial) de Coctelería by Diego Cabrera
  • Modern Caribbean Rum: A Contemporary Reference to the Region’s Essential Spirit by Matt Pietrek and Carrie Smith
  • The Art of Whisky by Ernie Button
  • Unreasonable Hospitality by Will Guidara


Best New Spirit or Cocktail Ingredient presented by Lyre’s Non-Alcoholic

  • Contraluz Cristalino Mezcal
  • Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin California Orange Citrus
  • Hendrick’s Neptunia
  • Martini & Rossi Floreale Non Alcoholic Aperitivo
  • Martini & Rossi Vibrante Non Alcoholic Aperitivo
  • Mijenta Añejo Gran Reserva
  • Nocheluna Sotol
  • PATRÓN El Alto Tequila
  • Saint Benevolence Aged Rum Clairin
  • The Fords Gin Co. Sloe Gin

World’s Best Cocktail Menu presented by Diageo Bar Academy

  • Allegory at the Eaton Hotel — Washington, DC
  • ALQUÍMICO — Cartagena, Colombia
  • Bitter and Twisted — Phoenix, AZ
  • Botanist at the Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel — Vancouver, BC, Canada
  • Double Chicken Please — New York, NY
  • Handshake Speakeasy — Mexico City, Mexico
  • Jigger & Pony at the Amara Hotel — Singapore
  • Licorería Limantour — Mexico City, Mexico
  • Panda & Sons — Edinburgh, Scotland
  • Paradiso — Barcelona, Spain

World’s Best Spirits Selection presented by Tales of the Cocktail Foundation

  • Baba Au Rum — Athens, Greece
  • Barro Negro — Athens, Greece
  • In Situ Mezcalería — Oaxaca, Mexico
  • KOL Mezcaleria — London, UK
  • Origin Bar at the Shangri-La Hotel — Singapore
  • Raised by Wolves — San Diego, CA
  • Salón de Agave at Casa Prunes — Mexico City, Mexico
  • Sexy Fish London — London, UK
  • Swift Soho — London, UK
  • The Office — Chicago, IL

Spirited Awards® 2023

Spirited Awards Top 4 Finalists and the recipients for the Helen David Lifetime Achievement, Visionary & International/U.S. Timeless Awards will be named on June 21, 2023. All winners will be celebrated on July 27, 2023 at the 17th Annual Spirited Awards Ceremony at the Fillmore New Orleans. Spirited Awards Ceremony tickets will be available via the TOTCF website on June 8, 2023

Spirited Awards® Judges

Below is a list of Spirited Awards® Chairs, responsible for overseeing the judging process this year:

  • Spirited Awards Overall Chair
    • Charlotte Voisey
  • Spirited Awards International Chair
    • Jacob Briars
  • Asia Pacific Co-Chairs
    • Lorenzo Antinori
    • Sam Bygrave
    • Pankaj Balachandran
    • Charmaine Thio
  • Canada Co-Chairs
    • Kate Boushel
    • Sabrine Dhaliwal
  • Europe Co-Chairs
    • Roberta Mariani
    • Nicola Riske
  • Latin America & Caribbean Co-Chairs
    • Carlos Aguinsky
    • Jean Trinh
  • Middle East & Africa Co-Chairs
    • Stephen “Kojo” Aidoo
    • Cassandra Eichhoff
    • Caitlin Hill
  • U.S. Central Co-Chairs
    • Steva Casey
    • Lynn M. House
  • U.S. East Co-Chairs
    • Jackson Cannon
    • Laura Cullen
  • U.S. West Co-Chairs
    • Jason Asher
    • Mary Palac
  • Writing & Media Co-Chairs
    • François Monti
    • Matthew Rowley
    • Sandrae Lawrence
  • Timeless Co-Chair
    • Jared Brown
    • Anistatia Miller

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 ensuring that our judging panel reflects their incredible diversity in terms of race, gender, ethnicity, and sexuality. Recognizing that inclusion is key to a well-represented committee, TOTCF strives to ensure that we have an equitable representation of gender across the judging panel. The Spirited Awards® are not based on popular vote and all nominations are evaluated by their respective judging committees. 

Spirited Awards Directory 

Tales of the Cocktail is thrilled to share the Spirited Awards® Directory in partnership with Absolut Vodka, Angostura Caribbean Rum, BarSmarts, Diageo Bar Academy, Grey Goose, Amaro Montenegro, Select Aperitivo, Johnnie Walker, Libbey, Lyre’s Non-Alcoholic, Patron Tequila, Perrier, Pernod Ricard, The Busker, and William Grant & Sons. Giving discerning imbibers a comprehensive compendium of all 900+ Spirited Awards winners and nominees from the past 17 years, the Directory is an interactive, global map created to easily guide guests to officially recognized Spirited Awards establishments.

This resource will be updated annually, 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 award-winning bars.

A Special Thanks: Spirited Awards® Sponsors

Tales of the Cocktail Foundation would like to thank all of its Spirited Awards sponsors. Title Partners: Diageo Bar Academy, Pernod Ricard; Presenting Partners: Bacardi Limited, William Grant & Sons; Supporting Partners: Angostura Caribbean Rum, Gruppo Montenegro, Johnnie Walker, Libbey, Lyre’s Non-Alcoholic, Perrier, The Busker. 

2023 Spirited Awards® Changes and Updates 

In an effort to continually evolve alongside the dynamic cocktail community, the Spirited Awards Committee has thoughtfully reviewed the awards program and has implemented a number of changes to the 2023 process. This year’s Spirited Awards have expanded the “World’s Best Spirits Selection” to include a venue’s expertise and focus on a specific spirit or a category of spirits. In addition, to qualify for “Best (International or U.S.) Brand Ambassador,” an individual must have worked in that position for at least 1 year or since January 1, 2022.

For “Best New Spirit or Cocktail Ingredient,” a product must have been launched before January 1, 2022, under one of the following classifications for it to still be eligible for nomination in this category as long as it established distribution in at least three states or countries between January 1, 2022, and December 31, 2022. The following classifications include: Non-Commercial Special Occasion Launch, whereby a product has been made for gifting and/or educational purposes and not released for general sale, and Distillery Release, whereby a product is made available for purchase at the distillery where it is made for the immediate geographical area only.

As an additional change in 2023, the “Pioneer Award” is called the “Visionary Award” and accepted public nominations. 

Please follow along for additional information on the Tales of the Cocktail Foundation, please visit the website, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook


About Tales of the Cocktail Foundation:

Tales of the Cocktail Foundation is a non-profit organization that Educates, Advances, and Supports the global hospitality industry and creates a lasting impact in its host communities. TOTCF is the global leader in spirits education and a platform that tackles critical issues and topics facing the cocktail community. This year, TOTCF  hosts its 21-year anniversary Tales of the Cocktail® (TOTC) conference in New Orleans from July 23-28, 2023, and celebrates the theme Vitalize.

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 150 million people worldwide through its trusted journalism, signature LIVE and Forbes Virtual events, custom marketing programs and 44 licensed local editions in 77 countries. Forbes Media’s brand extensions include real estate, education and financial services license agreements.

Media Inquiries: 

Foxglove Communications

Gia Vecchio, [email protected], 917.280.5043

Hunter Smith, [email protected], 803.397.8878 

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