Tales of the Cocktail Foundation Announces Top 10 Nominees for the 2020 Spirited Awards®

Posted on: May. 04, 2020 | | By: Gia Vecchio

NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana (May 4, 2020) — Tales of the Cocktail Foundation (TOTCF) is honored to announce the Top 10 nominees for this year’s Spirited Awards®. The Foundation remains committed to keeping our industry connected during COVID-19 and will host its annual festival and the 14th annual Spirited Awards®  in a primarily digital format this year. The organization is hopeful that come July 21, 2020, the scheduled start of Tales, there will be smaller, in-person events hosted wherever it is safe and advisable to do so in accordance with the CDC and state and local guidance. 

Since its founding in 2007, the Spirited Awards® have become one of the most sought-after awards, recognizing beverage professionals, products, and establishments across every facet of the spirits and cocktail community on a global scale. The award categories spotlight a range of talent from bartenders, journalists, and brand ambassadors, to brands and media, to ensure each aspect of the industry is well represented and recognized for its contributions. 

This year, a record number of Spirited Awards® submissions were received across all categories with more geographic diversity than we’ve ever seen before — a testament to the hospitality industry’s continued participation in recognizing the incredible hard work and achievements of our colleagues. 

2020 Spirited Awards®  Top 10 Nominees (listed in alphabetical order):

Jump to Links:

American Categories | International Categories |

Writing & Media Categories | Global Categories


Best American Bar Team* presented by William Grant & Sons

  • Café La Trova — Miami, FL
  • Existing Conditions — New York, NY
  • Jewel of the South — New Orleans, LA
  • Lost Lake — Chicago, IL
  • Navy Strength — Seattle, WA
  • Nickel City — Austin, TX
  • Pacific Cocktail Haven — San Francisco, CA
  • Paper Plane — San Jose, CA
  • Sweet Liberty — Miami, FL
  • The Roosevelt Room — Austin, TX
  • Williams & Graham — Denver, CO

*Includes 11 nominees due to a tie

Best American Bar Mentor presented by BARSMARTS 

  • Tony Abou-Ganim 
  • Bridget Albert 
  • Erick Castro 
  • Laura Cullen 
  • Alex Day 
  • Anu Elford 
  • Lynn House 
  • Don Lee 
  • Paul McGee 
  • Nectaly Mendoza  

American Bartender of the Year presented by Pernod Ricard

  • Kevin Diedrich — Pacific Cocktail Haven, San Francisco, CA
  • Marco Dionysos — ABV, San Francisco, CA
  • Ricky Gomez — Palomar, Portland, OR
  • Chris Hannah — Jewel of the South, New Orleans, LA
  • Alex Jump — Death & Co, Denver, CO
  • Julia Momose — Kumiko, Chicago, IL
  • Mary Palac — Paper Plane, San Jose, CA
  • Ezra Star — Drink, Boston, MA
  • Masahiro Urushido — Katana Kitten, New York, NY
  • Christine Wiseman — Broken Shaker, Los Angeles, CA

Best American Brand Ambassador presented by Tales of the Cocktail Foundation

  • Kiowa Bryan — Spiribam Fine R(h)um Specialists 
  • Tad Carducci — Amaro Montenegro 
  • Tracie Franklin — Glenfiddich
  • Vance Henderson — Hendrick’s Gin
  • Misty Kalkofen — Del Maguey Single Village Mezcal
  • Robin Nance — Beam Suntory 
  • Trevor Schneider — Reyka Vodka 
  • Willy Shine — MAST – Jagermeister USA
  • Dominic Venegas — Pernod Ricard USA
  • Daniel Warrilow — Campari America Italian Portfolio 

Best American Cocktail Bar presented by Pernod Ricard

  • Bar Goto — New York, NY
  • Beachbum Berry’s Latitude 29 — New Orleans, LA
  • Best Intentions — Chicago, IL
  • Drink — Boston, MA
  • Katana Kitten — New York, NY
  • Pacific Cocktail Haven — San Francisco, CA
  • Pearl Diver — Nashville, TN
  • Raised by Wolves — San Diego, CA
  • Rob Roy — Seattle, WA
  • Trick Dog — San Francisco, CA

Best American High Volume Cocktail Bar presented by Grey Goose

  • ABV — San Francisco, CA
  • Anvil — Houston, TX
  • Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Parlour — Phoenix, AZ
  • Café La Trova — Miami, FL
  • Ghost Donkey — New York, NY
  • Nickel City — Austin, TX
  • Sweet Liberty — Miami, FL
  • The Dead Rabbit — New York, NY
  • The NoMad Bar — New York, NY
  • The Roosevelt Room — Austin, TX

Best American Hotel Bar presented by Tales of the Cocktail Foundation

  • Broken Shaker at Freehand Hotel — Los Angeles, CA
  • Dear Irving on Hudson at the Aliz Hotel — New York, NY
  • Death & Co at the Ramble Hotel — Denver, CO
  • Elephant Bar at the NoMad Hotel — New York, NY
  • Hey Love at The Jupiter — Portland, OR
  • Le Sirenuse Champagne Bar at the Four Seasons Hotel at the Surf Club — Miami, FL
  • Libertine Social at the Mandalay Bay — Las Vegas, NV
  • Mr. COCO at the Palms Casino Resort — Las Vegas, NV
  • Proof on Main at 21c Museum Hotel — Louisville, KY
  • The Spare Room at The Hollywood Roosevelt — Los Angeles, CA

Best American Restaurant Bar presented by Woodford Reserve

  • Bad Hunter — Chicago, IL
  • Better Luck Tomorrow — Houston, TX
  • Cleaver — Las Vegas, NV
  • Eleven Madison Park — New York, NY
  • Gramercy Tavern — New York, NY
  • Grey Ghost — Detroit, MI
  • Jewel of the South — New Orleans, LA
  • Jimmy’s — Aspen, CO
  • Otium — Los Angeles, CA
  • The Silver Dollar — Louisville, KY

Best New American Cocktail Bar presented by Elijah Craig

  • Bar Goto Niban — Brooklyn, NY
  • Bar Marilou — New Orleans, LA
  • Belle Époque — New Orleans, LA
  • Boat Drinks — St. Augustine, FL
  • Century Grand — Phoenix, AZ
  • Crown Shy — New York, NY
  • Elda — San Francisco, CA
  • Scotch Lodge — Portland, OR
  • Silver Lyan — Washington, D.C.
  • Thunderbolt — Los Angeles, CA



Best International Bar Team* presented by House of Angostura 

  • Alquímico — Cartagena, Colombia
  • El Copitas Bar — St. Petersburg, Russia
  • La Factoría — San Juan, Puerto Rico
  • Lyaness at Sea Containers London — London, UK
  • Manhattan at Regent Singapore — Singapore
  • MAYBE SAMMY — Sydney, Australia
  • Paradiso — Barcelona, Spain
  • Sober Company — Shanghai, China
  • The Clumsies — Athens, Greece
  • The Connaught Bar — London, UK
  • Two Schmucks — Barcelona, Spain

*Includes 11 nominees due to a tie

Best International Bar Mentor presented by Tales of the Cocktail Foundation

  • Simone Caporale 
  • Aaron Diaz Olivos 
  • Renato Giovannoni 
  • Shingo Gokan 
  • Alex Kratena 
  • Chris Lowder
  • Dre Masso 
  • Lauren Mote 
  • Agostino Perrone
  • Carina Soto Velasquez 

International Bartender of the Year presented by Martini & Rossi

  • Claudia Cabrera — Kaito de Valle, Mexico City, Mexico
  • Andrea Gualdi — Maybe Sammy, Sydney, Australia
  • Bannie Kang — MU, Taipei, Taiwan
  • José Luis León — Ritual H Bars, Mexico City, Mexico
  • Kelsey Ramage —  Supernova Ballroom, Toronto, Canada
  • Remy Savage — Le Syndicat, Paris, France
  • Marcio Silva — Guilhotina Bar, São Paulo, Brazil
  • Kaitlyn Stewart — Royal Dinette, Vancouver, Canada
  • Luke Whearty — Byrdi, Melbourne, Australia
  • Matt Whiley — Scout London & Sydney, UK

Best International Brand Ambassador presented by Tales of the Cocktail Foundation

  • Camille Austin — Casa Lumbre
  • Dickie Cullimore — Bacardi Limited
  • Diego Ferrari — Matusalem Rum
  • Paulo Figueiredo — Ketel One
  • Audrey Hands — Havana Club
  • Martin Hudak — Mr Black Spirits
  • Daniyel Jones — The House of Angostura
  • Dave Mitton — Lot No. 40 & J.P. Wiser’s Canadian Whisky
  • Luca Missaglia — Italicus Rosolio di Bergamotto
  • Nicola Riske — The Macallan & Edrington Malts

Best International Cocktail Bar presented by Tequila Fortaleza

  • CARNAVAL — Lima, Peru
  • Floreria Atlántico — Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • MAYBE SAMMY — Sydney, Australia
  • Native — Singapore
  • Paradiso — Barcelona, Spain
  • Speak Low — Shanghai, China
  • Swift — London, UK
  • The Old Man — Hong Kong, China
  • Three Sheets — London, UK
  • Two Schmucks — Barcelona, Spain

Best International High Volume Cocktail Bar presented by Beam Suntory

  • Alquímico — Cartagena, Colombia
  • Employees Only — Singapore
  • Freni e Frizioni — Rome, Italy
  • HIMKOK — Oslo, Norway
  • La Factoría — San Juan, Puerto Rico
  • Licorería Limantour — Mexico City, Mexico
  • Panda & Sons — Edinburgh, Scotland
  • The Baxter Inn — Sydney, Australia
  • The Clumsies — Athens, Greece
  • Trailer Happiness — London, UK

Best International Hotel Bar presented by Tales of the Cocktail Foundation 

  • Artesian at The Langham — London, UK
  • Fifty Mils at the Four Seasons Hotel — Mexico City, Mexico
  • Jigger & Pony at the Amara Hotel — Singapore
  • Lyaness at Sea Containers London — London, UK
  • Punch Room at The London EDITION — London, UK
  • Scarfes Bar at the Rosewood Hotel — London, UK
  • The American Bar at The Savoy Hotel — London, UK
  • The Bamboo Bar at the Mandarin Oriental — Bangkok, Thailand
  • The Beaufort Bar at The Savoy Hotel — London, UK
  • The Donovan Bar at the Brown’s Hotel — London, UK

Best International Restaurant Bar presented by Tales of the Cocktail Foundation

  • ámaZ — Lima, Peru
  • Bar Kismet — Halifax, Canada
  • Continental Deli Bar Bistro — Newtown, Australia
  • Le Mary Celeste — Paris, France
  • Restaurant Hubert — Sydney, Australia
  • Sexy Fish — London, UK
  • Sober Company — Shanghai, China
  • SubAstor – São Paulo, Brazil
  • Tippling Club — Singapore
  • Zuma Dubai — Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Best New International Cocktail Bar presented by Stranger & Sons

  • Bar Margaux — Melbourne, Australia
  • Byrdi — Melbourne, Australia
  • Café Ocampo — Mexico City, Mexico
  • Kwānt — London, UK
  • Mother Cocktail Bar — Toronto, Canada
  • No Sleep Club — Singapore
  • Stillife — Montreal, Canada
  • Supernova Ballroom — Toronto, Canada
  • Tayēr + Elementary — London, UK
  • Tres Monos — Buenos Aires, Argentina



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

  • Class Magazine
  • Cocktail Lovers
  • Cocktail Wonk
  • Difford’s Guide
  • DRiNK Magazine Asia
  • Half Full
  • Liquor.com
  • The Daily Expo
  • The Spirits Business
  • VinePair

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

  • M. Carrie Allan, “Chartreuse liqueur’s popularity has soared. But how do you market the elixir without offending the monks who make it?” The Washington Post
  • Céline Bossart, “Sexism in the Bartending World is Real. Here Are Some Ways to Handle It,” Liquor.com
  • Wayne Curtis, “Mixopedia: Under Foot,” Imbibe
  • Philip Duff, “Duff Said: Unwise Investments,” Drinks International
  • Aaron Goldfarb, “JaNee: Where is She Now,” PUNCH
  • Kara Newman, “Can There Be Terroir in Spirits?” Wine Enthusiast
  • Becky Paskin, “The Case for Drinking Scotch in Tiki Cocktails,” The Daily Beast 
  • Matt Pietrek, “Can the U.S Recognize Rum Regulations?” Cocktail Wonk
  • Clay Risen, “Yes, African-Americans Drink Bourbon. You’d Never Know It From the Marketing,” The New York Times 
  • Hamish Smith, “New Yawk Boyz!” Class Magazine

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

  • Bar Chef: Handcrafted Cocktails By Christiaan Rollich and Carolynn Carreño
  • Cocktails with a Twist by Kara Newman
  • Great Northern Cocktails by Shawn Soole
  • Miami Cocktails: An Elegant Collection of over 100 Recipes Inspired by the Magic City by Gabriel Urrutia
  • Minimalist Tiki: A Cocktail Wonk Look at Classic Libations and the Modern Tiki Vanguard by Matt Pietrek
  • Schofield’s Fine and Classic Cocktails: Celebrated Libations & Other Fancy Drinks by Daniel Schofield and Joe Schofield
  • Sip: 100 Gin Cocktails with Only Three Ingredients by Sipsmith
  • The Martini Cocktail: A Meditation on the World’s Greatest Drink, with Recipes by Robert Simonson
  • The NoMad Cocktail Book by Leo Robitschek
  • Tiki: Modern Tropical Cocktails by Shannon Mustipher

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

  • Amaro Italiano by Matteo Zed
  • Drunk in China: Baijiu and the World’s Oldest Drinking Culture by Derek Sandhaus
  • Last Call: Bartenders on Their Final Drink and the Wisdom and Rituals of Closing Time by Brad Thomas Parsons
  • Spirits, Sugar, Water, Bitters: How the Cocktail Conquered the World by Derek Brown and Robert Yule
  • The Complete Whiskey Course: A Comprehensive Tasting School in Ten Classes by Robin Robinson
  • The Tequila Dictionary: An A–Z of All Things Tequila, Mezcal and Agave Spirits by Eric Zandona
  • The World Atlas of Gin: Explore the Gins of More Than 50 Countries by Joel Harrison & Neil Ridley
  • Understanding Spirits: Explaining Style and Quality by WSET

*Due to a limited number of submissions, this category includes less than 10 nominees

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

  • Difford’s Guide
  • Happy Hour History
  • Life Behind Bars
  • Living Proof: Conversations for Bartenders
  • Post Shift Podcast with Shawn Soole
  • Shift Drink
  • That Boutique-y Broadcasting Company’s Uncorked: Whisky Sessions
  • The Speakeasy
  • What We’re Drinking with Dan Dunn
  • WhiskyCast



Best New Spirit or Cocktail Ingredient presented by Tales of the Cocktail Foundation

  • Avallen Calvados
  • Del Maguey Single Village Mezcal Las Milpas
  • Empirical Spirits Ayuuk
  • Fever-Tree Refreshingly Light Cucumber Tonic Water
  • Heaven Hill 7 Year Bottled in Bond
  • Hendrick’s Midsummer Solstice
  • iichiko Saiten Shochu
  • Mr Black Single Origin Colombia
  • SCHOFIELDS Dry Vermouth
  • Tequila Fortaleza Winter Blend 2019

World’s Best Cocktail Menu presented by Perrier

  • ATLAS Bar — Singapore
  • Dante — New York, NY
  • Little Red Door — Paris, France
  • Lyaness at Sea Containers London — London, UK
  • Panda & Sons — Edinburgh, Scotland
  • Paradiso — Barcelona, Spain
  • Raised by Wolves — San Diego, CA
  • Tayēr + Elementary — London, UK
  • The American Bar at The Savoy Hotel — London, UK
  • The Connaught Bar — London, UK

World’s Best Spirits Selection presented by Beam Suntory

  • Amor Y Amargo – New York, NY
  • Cantina OK! — Sydney, Australia
  • Coupette — London, UK
  • Old Lightning — Los Angeles, CA
  • Raised by Wolves — San Diego, CA
  • Rumba — Seattle, WA
  • Sexy Fish — London, UK
  • Speak Low — Shanghai, China
  • The Beaufort Bar at The Savoy Hotel — London, UK
  • The Office — Chicago, IL


“It is paramount that we keep our community intact in whatever ways we can right now,” shares Caroline Rosen, President of Tales of the Cocktail Foundation. “The hospitality industry has been decimated throughout this pandemic, but we are a strong, resilient group. The ability to honor our peers is of the utmost importance and we’re so proud of this year’s class of nominees.”

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

Central U.S. Co-Chairs —  Bridget Albert, Shaun Traxler

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

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

Europe Co-Chairs — Guiseppe Gallo, Claire Warner

Canada Co-Chairs — Evelyn Chick, Lauren Mote

Middle East & Africa Co-Chairs — Richard Irwin, Stephanie Simbo

Latin America & Caribbean Co-Chairs — Camille Austin, Tato Giovannini

Asia Pacific Co-Chairs — Hayley Morrison, Micaela Piccolo

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

“In light of everything that is happening today, it would be easy to question whether we need the Spirited Awards. We are living through uncertain and unprecedented times. Right now, are awards really necessary?,” shared Claire Warner, European Co-Chair. “As judges, it is a question we have asked ourselves. But, to answer whether they are necessary, would be to ignore the fact that this year saw the highest number of nominations we’ve ever received. Greater geographical, cultural and gender diversity than ever before. More celebration of creativity, tenacity and community than ever before. More recognition of the passion, devotion and energy that our industry calls for, than ever before. All aspects of our industry that we will need in the future, than ever before. The awards may not be necessary, but they are important. They allow us to collectively celebrate the contributions we all make to help shape the industry we love. They help bring us together to shine a light on the corners of our industry we might not otherwise be able to see. This is why I am honoured to be a part of the judging committee, and along with my co-chair, Giuseppe Gallo and our European judges, we all will continue to seek out, lift up and champion the efforts of our hospitality family both at home, and across the world.”

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. Over the past year, Tales of the Cocktail Foundation worked with the regional chairs to ensure this year’s judging panel would be more geographically diverse and focused on recruiting more judges from mid-sized markets to better represent the range of the industry on a global scale. This is especially evident in the addition of three new Writing & Media Co-Chairs who span the globe for 2020.

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 will be evaluated by their respective judging committees. 

In keeping with the original 2020 timeline, Top 4 Finalists will be named on June 1st, 2020. The following awards will be announced on July 25th, 2020 during the digital Spirited Awards® ceremony:

  • Helen David Lifetime Achievement presented by William Grant & Sons
  • Philanthropy presented by Santa Teresa 1796 Rum
  • World’s Best Bar presented by Tales of the Cocktail Foundation
  • Timeless American and Timeless International Award, both presented by Tales of the Cocktail Foundation


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 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. For more information on Tales of the Cocktail, please visit www.tocstaging.wpengine.com

Media Inquiries:Gia Vecchio, [email protected], 917.280.5043

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