The Top Four Finalists for the 12th Annual Spirited Awards®

Posted on: Jun. 22, 2018 | | By: Gia Vecchio

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The Top Four Finalists for the 12th Annual Spirited Awards®

Held during Tales of the Cocktail, the Spirited Awards will honor the world’s top bars, bartenders, writers, and cocktail experts

NEW ORLEANS, LA – June 22, 2018 – After another year of incredibly competitive Top Ten Nominees and intense deliberation from the judging panels, Tales of the Cocktail® has finally arrived at the Top Four Finalists in each category for this year’s 12th Annual Spirited Awards®. All of the finalists are invited to attend the award ceremony, taking place on Saturday, July 21st at 7:00PM CT (doors open at 6:30PM CT) at the iconic Orpheum Theater, where the winners of each category will be announced live in front of their peers in the cocktail and spirits industry. In addition to the prestige that comes with winning a Spirited Award, recipients will receive a Riedel crystal trophy to commemorate their accomplishments.

“Yet again we see the continued vibrancy of the cocktail world come into focus with this great, varied list of finalists,” says Jacob Briars, International Spirited Awards Chair. “This shows the strength of the bar scene, and the people who make it, in America and around the world. It was a tough task for our many judges to make this list, but I’m sure they would agree, as these lists show, there has never been a better time to enjoy cocktails around the world than right now.”

Since their debut in 2007, the Spirited Awards have recognized the best and brightest in the cocktail and spirits industries. The award categories stretch from bartenders and brand ambassadors to bars and writers in order to ensure that every aspect of the industry receives recognition for its contributions. For these efforts, the Spirited Awards have grown to become one of the most coveted honors an industry professional can receive. Each year, a panel of over 140 industry experts, led by Charlotte Voisey (Spirited Awards Chairperson), Jacob Briars (International Spirited Awards Chair), Paul Clarke (Writing Chair), Bridget Albert and Kiowa Bryan (U.S. Judging Chairs), and Daniyel Jones, Lauren Mote, Claire Warner, Giuseppe Gallo, Micaela Piccolo, Zdenek Kastanek, Kurt Schlechter and Rebecca Sturt (International Judging Chairs) take part in a month-long voting process to choose their picks for Awards finalists. These votes are then reviewed and tallied up by Advisory Committee Members to determine the top finalists in each category.

“These finalists are representative of the best and brightest in our industry and it’s incredible to see their accomplishments recognized,” says Neal Bodenheimer, Board Member of Tales of the Cocktail Foundation. “We look forward to welcoming them to New Orleans and celebrating their contributions to the industry.”

Tales of the Cocktail Foundation invites you to the beautiful Orpheum Theater to memorialize our grand host city’s 300th year! In a venue which is as glamorous as the city of New Orleans, herself, we encourage you to emulate its elegance in your best formal attire as we recognize the best bars, bartenders, distillers, writers and more from the past year. Tickets are now available at

The current sponsors of the 12th Annual Spirited Awards include Bacardi USA, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, G.H. Mumm, Gra’it Grappa, Italicus, Japan Sake and Shochu Makers Association, Maison Ferrand USA, Maverick Drinks, Peroni, Pernod Ricard, Royal Dutch Distillers, The House of Angostura, William Grant & Sons, and Woodford Reserve.

Please see below for the complete top four finalists in each category.

American Categories

American Bartender of the Year presented by Bacardi USA

Kevin Diedrich, Pacific Cocktail Haven – San Francisco, CA

Marcovaldo Dionysos, ABV – San Francisco, CA

Yael Vengroff, Spare Room – Los Angeles, CA

Jillian Vose, Dead Rabbit – New York, NY

Best American Brand Ambassador presented by Tales of the Cocktail Foundation

Tim Cooper, The 86 Co.

Lynn House, Heaven Hill

Anne Louise Marquis, Campari America

Robin Nance, Beam Suntory

Best American Bar Team presented by William Grant & Sons

Columbia Room – Washington D.C.

Drink – Boston, MA

Herbs & Rye – Las Vegas, NV

Sweet Liberty – Miami, FL

Best American Cocktail Bar presented by Pernod Ricard

Anvil – Houston, TX

Bar Goto – New York City, NY

Lost Lake – Chicago, IL

PDT – New York City, NY

Best American High Volume Cocktail Bar presented by William Grant & Sons

Drink – Boston, MA

Polite Provisions – San Diego, CA

Harvard & Stone – Los Angeles, CA

The NoMad Bar – New York City, NY

Best American Hotel Bar presented by Bacardi USA

Compère Lapin at The Old No. 77 Hotel & Chandlery – New Orleans, LA

Midnight Rambler at The Joule – Dallas, TX

The Broken Shaker at The Freehand – Miami, FL

The Spare Room at The Roosevelt Hotel – Los Angeles, CA

Best American Restaurant Bar presented by Woodford Reserve

Clyde Common – Portland, OR

Gramercy Tavern – New York City, NY

Nopa – San Francisco, CA

Silver Dollar – Louisville, KY

Best New American Cocktail Bar presented by Maison Ferrand USA

Attaboy Nashville – Nashville, TN

Broken Shaker LA – Los Angeles, CA

Navy Strength – Seattle, WA

The Aviary NYC – New York City, NY

International Categories

International Bartender of the Year presented by Bacardi USA

Roman Foltan, ATLAS – Singapore

Tess Posthumus, Flying Dutchmen Cocktails – Amsterdam

Remy Savage, Artesian – London

Joe Schofield, Tippling Club – Singapore

Best International Brand Ambassador presented by G.H. Mumm

Ian Burrell, Global Rum Ambassador

Dickie Cullimore, Bacardi

Joe McCanta, Grey Goose

Nicola Riske, Macallan & Edrington Malts

Best International Bar Team presented by The House of Angostura

Licoreria Limantour – Mexico City

The American Bar, The Savoy – London

The Clumsies – Athens

The Connaught Bar – London

Best International Cocktail Bar presented by Pernod Ricard

ATLAS – Singapore

Happiness Forgets – London

Le Syndicat – Paris

Licoreria Limantour – Mexico City

Best International High Volume Cocktail Bar presented by Rutte Gin

The Baxter Inn – Sydney

Callooh Callay – London

La Factoria – San Juan

The Clumsies – Athens

Best International Hotel Bar presented by Japan Sake and Shochu Makers Association

Fifty Mils at Four Seasons Hotel – Mexico City

Manhattan Bar at Regent – Singapore

Punch Room at London Edition – London

The American Bar at The Savoy – London

Best International Restaurant Bar presented by Mandarine Napoléon

Danico – Paris

Hawksmoor Spitalfields – London

Sager & Wilde – London

Sexy Fish – London

Best New International Cocktail Bar presented by Maison Ferrand USA

Coupette – London

Scout – London

The Mint Gun Club – London

Two Schmucks – Barcelona

Writing Categories

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

1806 Magazine

Neat Pour

The Daily Beast Half Full Section

Whisky Advocate

Best Cocktail and Spirits Writer presented by Fairmont Hotels & Resorts

M. Carrie Allan, Imbibe Magazine

Matt Pietrek, Cocktail Wonk

Noah Rothbaum, The Daily Beast

Robert Simonson, Imbibe Magazine

Best New Cocktail or Bartending Book presented by Gra’it Grappa

Gin Tonica by David T. Smith

One-Bottle Cocktail by Maggie Hoffman

Meehan’s Bartender Manual by Jim Meehan

3 Ingredient Cocktails by Robert Simonson

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

Beachbum Berry’s Sippin Safari by Jeff Berry

By the Smoke and the Smell by Thad Vogler

Mezcal by Emma Janzen

The Way of Whisky: A Journey Around Japanese Whisky by Dave Broom, Photography by Kohei Take

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

Bartender At Large

Life Behind Bars

The Speakeasy


Global Categories

Best Bar Mentor presented by Barsmarts

Bridget Albert, Southern Wine and Spirits

Ryan Chetiyawardana, Mr Lyan

Alex Kratena, Pour

Andy Seymour, Liquid Productions, INC

Best New Spirit or Cocktail Ingredient presented by Maverick Drinks

Creme de Banane, Tempus Fugit Spirits

Del Maguey Single Village Mezcal Jabali

MARTINI Riserva Speciale Bitter

Old Duff Single Malt Genever

World’s Best Cocktail Menu presented by Peroni

BlackTail – New York City, NY

Dandelyan – London

Dante – New York City, NY

The American Bar, The Savoy – Every Moment Tells a Story – London

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

ATLAS – Singapore

Sweet Liberty – Miami, FL

The Office – Chicago, IL

Whitechapel – San Francisco, CA

World’s Best Bar presented by Italicus

World’s Best Bar is awarded to one of the winners in the bar categories: Best American and International Cocktail Bar, Best American and International Restaurant Bar, Best American and International Hotel Bar and Best American and International High Volume Bar. The winner will be announced at the 2018 Spirited Awards.

Helen David Lifetime Achievement Award presented by William Grant & Sons

The recipient of the 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award will be announced soon.

To view the past Spirited Awards winners, click here. To learn more about Tales of the Cocktail, please click here.


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 an 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.

Media Inquiries:

Gia Vecchio, [email protected], 917.280.5043

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