Tales of the Cocktail® Calls for 2013 Spirited Awards® Nominations

Held annually during Tales of the Cocktail®, the Spirited Awards® recognizes the year’s best bars, bartenders, cocktail experts, writers and more

NEW ORLEANS – February 1, 2013 – Tales of the Cocktail®, the world’s premier cocktail festival, has recognized members of the cocktail industry with its annual Spirited Awards®. This year, the awards show returns to honor another round of bartenders, bars, cocktail experts, writers and more on July 20, 2013 as part of the 11th Annual Tales of the Cocktail®. Nominations for 17 categories are now being accepted online at TalesoftheCocktail.com.

This year’s American and International judging committees are chaired by Simon Ford and comprised of 32 of the world’s most respected minds on mixology. Winners will once again take home the coveted Riedel Crystal awards. In addition to the awards being given out, Beverage Media Group, Inc. will recognize 10 Up and Coming Mixologists, selected from participants of the Tales of the Cocktail® Apprentice Program Presented by Cointreau. These rising stars in the cocktail world will also appear on the cover of the September 2013 issue of Beverage Media and its member publications.

“We have chosen the venue.  We have picked the judges.  Now it’s time for everyone to nominate the best bars, restaurants, hotels, bartenders, products and writers for this years Spirited Awards. These Awards are about celebrating the people and places that and that set the standards, as well as, innovate and push our industry forward,” said Simon Ford, Chairman of the Spirited Awards and Co-Founder of the 86 & Co.  “We are celebrating our craft and the people that are at the forefront of changing it, so on behalf of the Awards Committee I ask you to get nominations in for anyone that you believes deserves to win.  I look forward to seeing everyone at this year’s Spirited Awards.”

The Spirited Awards® is just one of the many exciting events happening at the 2013 Tales of the Cocktail. The five-day festival celebration, in New Orleans, will feature its largest schedule of events yet with a spirited mix of seminars, tasting rooms, parties, competitions, luncheons, dinners and more. Tickets for the Spirited Awards® and all the other events will be available online at TalesoftheCocktail.com in March 2013.

The 2013 Spirited Awards® is comprised of the following members into two Judging Committees:

Committee Chairman:

Simon Ford, Chairman

USA Judging Committee

  • Tony Abou-Ganim*
  • Jacques Bezuidenhout
  • Jacob Briars*
  • Jackson Cannon
  • Kit Codak
  • Laura Cullen
  • Dale DeGroff*
  • Daniel Djang
  • Dan De Oliviera
  • Philip Duff*
  • Doug Frost
  • Adam Harris
  • Ted Kilgore
  • Ryan Magarian
  • Jim Meehan*
  • Steve Olson*
  • Chris Patino*
  • Gary Regan*
  • Jim Ryan
  • Audrey Saunders*
  • Joaquin Simo
  • Charlotte Voisey*
  • Daniel Warner*
  • Angus Winchester*
  • David Wondrich*

International Judging Committee

  • Tony Abou-Ganim*
  • Henry Besant
  • Jacob Briars*
  • Jason Crawley
  • Thierry Daniel
  • Dale DeGroff*
  • Philip Duff*
  • John Gakuru
  • Alex Kratena
  • Jim Meehan*
  • George Nemec
  • Steve Olson*
  • Chris Patino*
  • Gary Regan*
  • Audrey Saunders*
  • Shawn Soole
  • Charlotte Voisey*
  • Daniel Warner*
  • Angus Winchester*
  • David Wondrich*

*Please note:  Judges listed on both USA and International Judging Committees will judge on all award categories.

Award Categories and Criteria

American Bartender of the Year
Criteria: From Jerry Thomas onwards, American bartenders have been amongst the most influential on drinks styles and cocktail culture in general. This award seeks to recognize the most influential American bartender today. The winner should be proficient at making all recognized classic drinks and also have created contemporary cocktails that have been copied by his/her peers. Nominees must actively be working behind the bar.

2012 Winner: Joaquin Simo of New York, New York

Voted on by:  USA Judging Committee

Best American Brand Ambassador
Criteria: An award which recognizes the importance of personality in the promotion of drinks brands and their creative use of brand communication to engage the trade and their ability to execute compelling education and seminars. This person must be working as an Ambassador full time in the USA. Nominees must NOT be working behind the bar.

2012 Winner: Jim Ryan of New York, New York

Voted on by:  USA Judging Committee

Best American Cocktail Bar
Criteria: This award recognizes the influence on cocktail trends within the United States and seeks to award the country’s best cocktail bar. Menu, bar teams, atmosphere and cocktail quality are all considered.

2012 Winner: The Varnish of Los Angeles, California

Voted on by:  USA Judging Committee

Best Bar Mentor
Criteria: Not everybody who is having an impact on the quality of the cocktails we drink are working behind the bar as bartenders. There are many people who are creating fine bar programs, training the next generation of great bartenders, and playing an active role in designing the bars we all love to drink in. This award is to recognize those individuals who, in their professional life, play a crucial role in raising the quality of bars, bartenders, and cocktails without currently working as a bartender. Nominees must NOT be working behind the bar.

2012 Winner: Steve Olson of New York, New York

Voted on by:  USA and International Judging Committees

Best High Volume Cocktail Bar
Awarded to the bar that consistently delivers top quality cocktails at bars with 100 seats or more. This award celebrates those bars that deliver cocktail culture to the masses efficiently. Cocktails, lists, bartending and service are all considered.

2012 Winner: Eastern Standard of Boston, Massachusetts

Voted on by:  USA and International Judging Committees 

Best Cocktail Writing (Author and Publication)
Great journalism is one of the best ways to communicate to the general public the value and significance of great cocktails and related products. This award is for any non-book journalism (Magazine, Newspaper, Website, etc) that promotes bars, bartender, or cocktails in general. Please attach samples below. This award is split into two sub-categories: non-book author and non-book publication.

2012 Winner: Best Cocktail Writing Author: Dave Wondrich of New York, New York

for his writing on Liquor.com; Best Cocktail Writing Non Book: Liquor.com

Voted on by:  USA and International Judging Committees

Best International Brand Ambassador
An award which recognizes the importance of personality in the promotion of drinks brands and their creative use of brand communication to engage the trade and their ability to execute compelling education and seminars. This person should work in an International capacity or in a country other than the USA. Nominees must NOT be working behind the bar.

2012 Winner: Angus Winchester of London, United Kingdom

Voted on by: International Judging Committee

Best New Cocktail/Bartending Book
The best book published in 2012 regarding cocktails, liquor, bars, bar design or bartending in general. New editions of existing works may also be nominated.

2012 Winner: PDT Cocktail Book by Jim Meehan & Chris Gall

Voted on by:  USA and International Judging Committees 

Best New Product
This is awarded to the best new cocktail ingredient (spirit, liqueur, syrup or juice) or piece of cocktail equipment (muddler, shaker etc.). To qualify products must have been launched after March 2012 and must be on general retail sale in at least three US states as of March 31, 2013.

2012 Winner: Cognac Pierre Ferrand 1840 Formula of Bonbonnet, France

Voted on by:  USA and International Judging Committees 

Best Restaurant Bar
This award is for the restaurant bar that is dedicated to creating a great cocktail experience for their dining guests. Considerations will go to the approach they have to aperitif and digestive drinks, how well they work with the kitchen to pair cocktails with food as well as general bartending and mixing excellence.

2012 Winner: Slanted Door of San Francisco, California

Voted on by:  USA and International Judging Committees

International Bartender of the Year
The absolute best drinks mixer in the world. The winner must have received international recognition of their work with their own recipes crossing borders to appear on cocktail menus in numerous countries. (US citizens are not excluded.)

2012 Winner: Alex Kratena of London, United Kingdom

Voted on by: International Judging Committee

World’s Best Cocktail Bar
Only truly world-class bars will be considered for this illustrious title. Some bars attain worldwide recognition and this award recognizes the very best of the best.

2012 Winner: The Connaught Bar of London, United Kingdom

Voted on by: International Judging Committee

World’s Best Cocktail Menu
The judges seek to reward innovative and thirst inducing cocktail menus. Both the design and content will be considered. Nomination requires inclusion of PDF or JPEG copy of the menu being nominated. Please attach samples below.

2012 Winner: Callooh Callay of London, United Kingdom

Voted on by: International Judging Committee

World’s Best Drinks Selection
A venue stocking an outstanding range of spirits and liqueurs. The judges will favor discernment as well as sheer number of bottles stocked.

2012 Winner: Salvatore’s at The Playboy of London, United Kingdom

Voted on by: International Judging Committee

World’s Best Hotel Bar
The classic ‘American Bar’ played an important role in the history and development of cocktail culture. The judges are looking for hotel bars that uphold this tradition (but are not necessarily old) and offer five-star service and consistently well-made drinks.

2012 Winner: Artesian at The Langham of London, United Kingdom

Voted on by: International Judging Committee

World’s Best New Cocktail Bar
Only bars which opened after March 31, 2012 may be nominated. This award aims to reward new creativity and ideas as well as well executed drinks.

2012 Winner: The Zetter Townhouse of London, United Kingdom

Voted on by: International Judging Committee

Any person or establishment that won an award at last year’s Spirited Awards® is not eligible for nomination in the category for which it won. Also, no person or establishment can win an award more than twice in the same category.

About Tales of the Cocktail®

This summer, the industry’s most influential bartenders and spirit lovers from around the globe will drink in every ounce of cocktail knowledge and culture at Tales of the Cocktail® 2013. The world’s premier cocktail festival returns to New Orleans with another non-stop schedule of educational seminars, tasting rooms, Spirited Dinners®, Spirited Awards®, competitions and more. You won’t leave thirsty at the 11th Annual Tales of the Cocktail®, July 17-21, 2013.

For more information about drinking it in with us this summer, visit www.TalesoftheCocktail.com.

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 culture of cocktails and cuisine in New Orleans and beyond. Since its founding in 2006, the NOCCPS has supported members of the hospitality industry through programs such as the Apprentice Aid Fund, which provides financial assistance to former apprentices in times of medical need; the Cocktail Apprentice Scholarship Program; the Flo Woodward Memorial Scholarship, as well as, the production of Tales of the Cocktail®.

For more information on Tales of the Cocktail®, visit the website at TalesoftheCocktail.com or call 504-948-0511.

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