An international spirits competition bringing wider recognition to fine spirits among top-flight bartenders worldwide.

Tales of the Cocktail Foundation is pleased to be a presenting partner of the New Orleans Spirits Competition – a new global call for evaluating spirits to recognize the best being produced today — craft brands as well as legacy brands.

Held this year in coordination with Tales of the Cocktail®’s 20-year anniversary, the New Orleans Spirits Competition was open to all classes of spirits, domestic and international – whiskey, gin, brandy, vodka, rum, agave spirits, liqueurs – as well as the emerging class of non-alcoholic spirits. 

The inaugural New Orleans Spirits Competition kicked off July 22, when three dozen prominent spirits professionals converged in New Orleans to taste and rate spirits from around the world. This was the first blind judging affiliated with Tales of the Cocktail in the 20 years since the annual cocktail conference was created. The competition aims to become one of the world’s most prestigious spirits judgings anywhere, proudly representing a city famous for its drinks culture, and an organization synonymous with quality craft cocktails and spirits.


The inaugural competition will take place in New Orleans July 22-24, just prior to the start of Tales of the Cocktail 2022, which is returning for an in-person celebration in New Orleans from July 25-29, 2022. During the three-day judging event, which is not open to the public, judges will be seated in four-person panels and served flights of spirits without identifying information other than class of spirit and proof. The panels will rate and provide tasting notes for each sample, awarding medals for Silver, Bronze, Gold, and “Best of Class” Category, as well as “Whisky of the Year,” “Vodka of the Year,” etc. for each class of spirit.


Featuring preeminent craft bartenders, distillers, spirits journalists, and more, we’re excited to kick off this inaugural international spirits competition to determine the best spirits being produced today with a panel of spirits experts with decades of experience in the industry.

Tiffanie Barriere - The Drinking Coach - Cocktail Consultant & Educator

Jeff Berry - Owner, Beachbum Berry's Latitude 29

Laura Cullen - Founder, Liberty Consulting

Paul Clarke - Executive Editor, Imbibe

Alex Day - Chief Operating Officer, Gin & Luck; author, Cocktail Codex, Death & Co Welcome Home, Death & Co

Dale DeGroff - Partner, DDMD Ventures, Bitters Company

Elana Effrat - Director of Marketing, One Eight Distilling

H. Joseph Ehrmann - Proprietor, Elixir

Rhiannon Enlil - Bartender

Touré Folkes - Founder and Executive Director, Turning Tables

Andrew Friedman - Founder, Industry Spirits

Chris Hannah - Bartender

Matthew Hofmann - Co-Founder and Managing Director, Westland Distillery

Karen Hoskin - Owner/Founder

Christian Huber - Master Distiller, Starlight Distillery

Monique Huston - VP Spirits Portfolio

Lynnette Marrero - Co-Founder, Speed Rack

ms. franky marshall - Modern Bartender ~ Educator

Jim Meehan - Beverage Director, Snow Peak USA

Virginia Miller - Food & Drink Writer/Editor/Judge

Lauren Mote - Co-founder Bittered Sling & Nightcap Media

Peggy Noe Stevens - PNSA Founder and President

Lauren Patz - Head Distiller, Redwood Empire Whiskey and Benham's Gin

Brett Pontoni - Specialty Spirits Buyer

Henry Preiss - President, Preiss Imports

Matthew Rowley - Writer

Keli Rivers - Sipsmith Sr Ambassador

Kellie Thorn - Beverage Consultant and Spirits Educator

Michael Vachon - Co-Founder, Maverick Drinks

Geoffrey Wilson - Leadership Staff, Turning Tables NOLA & Bartender, Peychaud's, Cane and Table, Beta

Richard Wolf - Owner, Wolf Consulting LLC


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