Tales of the Cocktail Announces Spirited Awards Winners

totc2015NEW ORLEANS, LA – July 19, 2015 – Following the largest nomination pool in the history of the show and a rigorous judging process by some of the most respected members of the cocktail industry, Tales of the Cocktail® is proud to announce the winners for each category of the 9th Annual Spirited Awards®. All winners were announced live last evening at the Sheraton Hotel New Orleans. In addition to this year’s judged award winners, Jonathan Downey and Steve Mannan were also honored for their professional achievements..

“2014 was an exceptionally fertile year for drink books and drink writing in general, with extremely difficult choices to make in each of the four writing categories,” said David Wondrich Writing Committee Chairman. “As far as the judges are concerned, each of the finalists is a true winner and would have dominated the field in an average year. It was humbling to have to choose among them.”

For the past nine years, the Spirited Awards® have recognized the year’s best bars, bartenders, writers and experts, becoming the cocktail industry’s most prestigious and coveted award program. Winners were voted on by a panel of more than 100 industry experts, led by Simon Ford (Chairman), Jackson Cannon (U.S. Judging Committee Chairman), Jacob Briars (International Judging Committee Chairman), and David Wondrich (Writing Committee Chairman). Voting was a weeklong process that required extensive knowledge in each category. The votes were verified by the Super Committee and tallied to determine the Top 10, Top Four and ultimately this year’s winners.

“I couldn’t be more proud of the effort of the American judges of this years Spirited Awards,” said Jackson Cannon, American Judging Committee Chairman. “Their thoughtful, determined approach has parsed the incredibly worthy field down to those most deserving of the highest honors this year. A toast to the winners, they truly are the best of the best!”

This year, the sponsoring partners of the 9th Annual Spirited Awards® were Bacardi USA, BarSmarts, Beefeater Gin, Bleu Dry Bar, Caña Brava, Chivas, Cognac Ferrand, Courvoisier, House of Angostura, Luxardo, Mountain Valley Spring Water, Nicolas Feuillatte, The Perfect Purée of Napa Valley, Rums of Puerto Rico, Mezcal El Silencio and William Grant & Sons.

“The Second ‘Golden Age of the Cocktail’ continues to spread around the globe, as bartenders, bar owners and ambassadors continue to set ever higher standards internationally. It’s wonderful to see traditional strongholds like London and Melbourne sharing nominations with the resurgent bar scene in Paris, and to see the rise of great bars in places like Singapore and Dubai being recognized too,” said Jacob Briars, International Judging Committee Chairman. “I’m grateful to our 50 International Committee judges for their hard work and dedication in distilling thousands of nominees down to our finalists and award winners, who represent the very best in the global industry. There has never been a better time to be a cocktail lover around the globe.”

For more information about the Spirited Awards®, to view past winners or to learn more about all the week’s spirited events, visit SpiritedAwards.TalesoftheCocktail.com or call 504-948-0511. 

2015 Spirited Awards® Winners

American Categories

Best American Bar Team
Employees Only (New York)

American Bartender of the Year

Ivy Mix (New York)

Best American Brand Ambassador

Brooke Arthur (House Spirits)

Best American Cocktail Bar

Williams & Graham (Denver)

Best American High Volume Cocktail Bar

Employees Only (New York)

Best American Hotel Bar

The Broken Shaker (Miami Beach)

Best American Restaurant Bar

Eastern Standard Kitchen & Drinks (Boston)

Best New American Cocktail Bar

ABV (San Francisco) 


International Categories

Best International Bar Team

28 Hong Kong Street (Singapore)

International Bartender of the Year

Ryan Chetiyawardana (London)

Best International Brand Ambassador

Claire Smith-Warner (Belvedere Vodka)

Best International Cocktail Bar

Artesian (London)

Best International High Volume Cocktail Bar

The Black Pearl & The Attic (Melbourne)

Best International Hotel Bar

Beaufort Bar, The Savoy (London)

Best International Restaurant Bar

Blind Pig at Social Eating House (London)

Best New International Cocktail Bar

Dandelyan (London)


Writing Categories

Best Cocktail & Spirits Publication


Best Cocktail & Spirits Writer

Dave Broom

Best New Cocktail/Bartending Book

Liquid Intelligence: The Art and Science of the Perfect Cocktail by Dave Arnold

Best New Spirits Book

Whisky: The Manual by Dave Broom


Overall Categories

Best Bar Mentor

Jim Meehan (Portland)

Best New Spirit or Cocktail Ingredient

Amaro di Angostura

World’s Best Cocktail Menu

Dead Rabbit (New York)

World’s Best Spirits Selection

Canon (Seattle)

World’s Best Bar

Dead Rabbit (New York)


Special Recognitions 

Lifetime Achievement Award

Jonathan Downey

Sam Guarino Citation

Steve Mannan

About Tales of the Cocktail®

The Spirits Are Calling. Will you answer? They’re calling you to New Orleans for five days of seminars, tastings, product launches, competitions, networking events and so much more at the world’s premier professional cocktail event. By just being a part of this spirited gathering you’ll help your fellow cocktail professionals around the world. Funds from Tales of the Cocktail® are invested back into the industry through scholarships, tuition reimbursements, training programs and financial aid. So join us as the international spirits community answers the call, returning for another spirited round of Tales of the Cocktail®.

About the New Orleans Culinary and Cultural Preservation Society

The New Orleans Culinary and Cultural Preservation Society (NOCCPS) is a non-profit organization committed to preserving the unique cocktail culture in New Orleans and around the world through education and outreach. Every year the NOCCPS produces a number of events including Tales of the Cocktail®, Tales of the Cocktail® on Tour, and Tales of the Toddy® with proceeds being invested back into the international spirits community through educational programs, scholarships, training programs and financial aid.