Tales Of The Cocktail Announces Top Four Finalists For The 16th Annual Spirited Awards

Food & Drink

After two years of celebrating the Spirited Awards virtually, the Tales of the Cocktail Foundation is finally ready to fete the year’s honorees and winners in New Orleans this July—much to the delight of the industry.

Long acknowledged as one of the hospitality industry’s top honors, the Spirited Awards has been recognizing the finest bars, bartenders, brand ambassadors, educators, and journalists around the world. It has also been known to propel winners to massive success and prominence in the mixology world.

“After we won the World’s Best Bar at the Spirited Awards in 2019, we saw a spike in business immediately following the award ceremony— especially during the daytime,” says Linden Pride, owner of Dante, the Greenwich Village institution renowned for its Negronis. “And there was constantly a crowd outside the restaurant during peak hours. It was humbling to receive such recognition from our peers and definitely helped open doors for new business opportunities and partnerships within the industry.”

But one important thing to note about this year’s upcoming ceremony is that bars and bartenders are once again included in this year’s award categories after being put on hiatus during the height of the pandemic because there was truly no way to judge them fairly given all the closures. (Last year, only writing and media awards were given out.)

“We realized that there really was no way to award bars or bartenders on an even playing field [in 2021],” Eileen Wayner, Tales of the Cocktail Foundation CEO, said of last year’s ceremony. “Bars were closed—some permanently—and many bartenders and staff were out of work for extended periods of time. And globally, the restrictions for bars varied drastically.”

Among this year’s list of finalists, you’ll see many of the usual suspects that have made a name for themselves in the awards circuit—namely, Katana Kitten in Manhattan, Two Schmucks in Barcelona, Maybe Sammy in Sydney, and The Clumsies in Athens.

But there are also a number of exciting new entries: A Bar with Shapes for a Name in London, Alquímico in Cartagena, Charles H. Seoul in Seoul, and Half Step in Austin.

See the full list of this year’s Spirited Awards top 10 nominees below.


International Bartender of the Year

● Lorenzo Antinori, ARGO at the Four Seasons Hotel (Hong Kong, China)

● Keith Motsi, Charles H. Seoul at the Four Seasons Hotel (Seoul, South Korea)

● Rémy Savage, A Bar with Shapes for a Name (London, UK)

● Matt Whiley, RE (Sydney, Australia)

Best International Bar Mentor

● Monica Berg

● Renato “Tato” Giovannoni

● Lauren Mote

● Agostino “Ago” Perrone

Best International Brand Ambassador

● Martin Hudak, Mr Black Spirits

● Daniyel Jones, House of Angostura

● Ricardo Nava, Bacardí Latin America

● Nicola Riske, The Macallan

Best International Bar Team

● Alquímico (Cartagena, Colombia)

● Maybe Sammy (Sydney, Australia)

● The Clumsies (Athens, Greece)

● Two Schmucks (Barcelona, Spain)

Best International Cocktail Bar

● Maybe Sammy (Sydney, Australia)

● Satan’s Whiskers (London, UK)

● Tayēr + Elementary (London, UK)

● Two Schmucks (Barcelona, Spain)

Best International Hotel Bar

● Charles H. Seoul at the Four Seasons Hotel (Seoul, South Korea)

● Fifty Mils at the Four Seasons Hotel (Mexico City, Mexico)

● Lyaness at Sea Containers London (London, UK)

● The American Bar at The Stafford London (London, UK)

Best International Restaurant Bar

● Danico (Paris, France)

● Le Mary Celeste (Paris, France)

● Pujol (Mexico City, Mexico)

● Sexy Fish (London, UK)

Best New International Cocktail Bar

● A Bar with Shapes for a Name (London, UK)

● ARGO at the Four Seasons Hotel (Hong Kong, China)

● Schofield’s Bar (Manchester, UK)

● SIPS (Barcelona, Spain)


U.S. Bartender of the Year

● Josh Davis, 16th Street Bar (Chicago, IL)

● Chris Hannah, Jewel of the South (New Orleans, LA)

● Masahiro “Masa” Urushido, Katana Kitten (New York, NY)

● Christine Wiseman, BarLab Hospitality Group (Miami, FL)

Best U.S. Bar Mentor

● Meaghan Dorman

● Sean Kenyon

● Nectaly Mendoza

● Jeffrey Morgenthaler

Best U.S. Brand Ambassador

● Chris Cabrera, Bacardí USA

● Tad Carducci, Gruppo Montenegro

● Vance Henderson, Hendrick’s Gin

● Lynn House, Heaven Hill

Best U.S. Bar Team

● Half Step (Austin, TX)

● Jewel of the South (New Orleans, LA)

● Katana Kitten (New York, NY)

● The Roosevelt Room (Austin, TX)

Best U.S. Cocktail Bar

● Bar Goto (New York, NY)

● Katana Kitten (New York, NY)

● The Roosevelt Room (Austin, TX)

● Thunderbolt (Los Angeles, CA)

Best U.S. Hotel Bar

● Dear Irving on Hudson at the Aliz Hotel (New York, NY)

● Hey Love at The Jupiter (Portland, OR)

● Little Rituals at the Residence Inn/Courtyard by Marriott (Phoenix, AZ)

● Silver Lyan at the Riggs Washington DC (Washington, DC)

Best U.S. Restaurant Bar

● Café La Trova (Miami, FL)

● Cleaver: Butchered Meats, Seafood & Classic Cocktails (Las Vegas, NV)

● Jewel of the South (New Orleans, LA)

● Kumiko (Chicago, IL)

Best New U.S. Cocktail Bar

● Double Chicken Please (New York, NY)

● Happy Accidents (Albuquerque, NM)

● Temple Bar (New York, NY)

● Yacht Club (Denver, CO)


Best Cocktail & Spirits Publication

● CLASS magazine

● Discard the Zine

● VinePair

● Whisky Magazine

Best Broadcast, Podcast, or Online Video Series

● Radio Imbibe

● Shōshin Art Club

● The Cocktail Lovers Podcast

● The Speakeasy Podcast

Best Cocktail & Spirits Writing

● “Get Real: The bar world looks beyond feel-good measures on sustainability and climate change” by Max Falkowitz, for Imbibe Magazine

● “Has the Coronavirus Pandemic Destroyed American Bar Culture?” by Jeffrey Morgenthaler, for Daily Beast

● “Meet the Eco-Packaging Innovations Transforming the Drinks Industry” by Betsy Andrews, for SevenFifty Daily

● “The Greatest Drinking Contest in History” by David Wondrich, for Daily Beast

Best New Cocktail or Bartending Book

● Death & Co: Welcome Home by Alex Day, Nick Fauchald, and David Kaplan

● The Cocktail Seminars by Brian D. Hoefling

● The Japanese Art of the Cocktail by Masahiro Urushido and Michael Anstendig

● The Way of the Cocktail: Japanese Traditions, Techniques, and Recipes by Julia Momosé with Emma Janzen

Best New Book on Drinks Culture, History, or Spirits

● Bourbon: The Story of Kentucky Whiskey by Clay Risen

● Drunk: How We Sipped, Danced, and Stumbled Our Way to Civilization by Edward Slingerland

● Girly Drinks: A World History of Women and Alcohol by Mallory O’Meara

● The Oxford Companion to Spirits and Cocktails edited by David Wondrich with Noah Rothbaum


Best New Spirit or Cocktail Ingredient

● Abasolo Ancestral Corn Whisky

● Citadelle Gin Jardin d’été

● Lyre’s Non-Alcoholic Italian Orange

● Nixta Licor de Elote

World’s Best Cocktail Menu

● Little Red Door (Paris, France)

● Lyaness at Sea Containers London (London, UK)

● Swift Soho (London, UK)

● Tayēr + Elementary (London, UK)

World’s Best Spirits Selection

● In Situ Mezcaleria (Oaxaca City, Mexico)

● Jack Rose Dining Saloon (Washington, DC)

● Sexy Fish (London, UK)

● Swift Soho (London, UK)

Pioneer Award

● Amanda Gunderson

Timeless International Award

● Harry’s New York Bar (Paris, France)

Timeless U.S. Award

● Bemelmans Bar at The Carlyle, A Rosewood Hotel (New York, NY)

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