Tales of the Cocktail announces Top Four Spirited Awards finalists


Tales of the Cocktail ​has announced 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 21 at 7 p.m. 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.”

The current sponsors of the 12th Annual Spirited Awards include Bacardi USA, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, G.H. Mumm, Gra’it Grappa, Italicus, Japan Shochu and Sake Maker 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 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, 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 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 Shochu and Sake Maker 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


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, The Washington Post and more
Matt Pietrek, Cocktail Wonk
Noah Rothbaum, The Daily Beast
Robert Simonson, The New York Times

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


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.

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,

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