Tales of the Cocktail® Calls for 2014 Spirited Awards® Nominations

Tales of the Cocktail® Calls for 2014 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 6, 2014 – 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 Saturday, July 19, 2014 as part of the 12th Annual Tales of the Cocktail®. Nominations for 23 categories are now being accepted online at TalesoftheCocktail.com.

This year the judging process has been expanded with an increase of the number of judges assembled. The American judging committee is chaired by Simon Ford, Jacob Briars will head the selection of all International judges and Dave Wondrich, James Beard Award-winning writer and five-time Spirited Awards® winner, will govern a judging team dedicated to the writing awards. The American judging committee has been divided into three regional judging leaders. Erick Castro will chair the West Coast committee, Jackson Cannon will chair the East Coast committee and Sean Kenyon will chair the Central USA committee. The American and International team of judges will be comprised of 140 of the world’s most respected minds on mixology.

In addition, Tales of the Cocktail will give away a NEW Award: Best Bar Team (American and International). Developed to highlight the teamwork that goes into running a successful bar, this award will recognize one American and one International team of bartenders, bar backs and servers that deliver the highest quality cocktail experience. Additionally, the Best Cocktail Writing categories of years past have been renamed Best Cocktail & Spirits Writer and Best Cocktail & Spirits Publication to better define both awards.

“We are working with Emmy award winning writers, we have a professional production team at our disposal and LeJit are back on the streets filming more funny videos, oh and we have a time keeper who is promised the show will run on time. We are doing everything possible to run the most professional awards show yet and this year we think we have found the team to do so,” said Simon Ford. “Hope to see you there.”

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 Pernod Ricard USA and BarSmarts. These rising stars in the cocktail world will also appear on the cover of the September 2014 issue of Beverage Media and its member publications.

“Every year the Spirited Awards gets bigger and its audience wider. In response we have expanded our judging committee to an unprecedented 135 expert judges from all over the world, with each judges being picked by a trusted group of industry experts on strict criteria with consideration given to geographical representation. Today there is so much talent in our industry and judging these awards is only getting tougher and tougher which is why we have made these changes. It is important to us that these awards are run with credibility and integrity for both past and future winners,” said Simon Ford. “With that said everything begins with you, the people who nominate. It is the people and places you submit that end up being voted on by the judges. Please tell us who you think are the brightest and best people in our industry and the places that you believe are leading the way in hospitality and cocktails. You have to be nominated to win”

The Spirited Awards® is just one of the many exciting events happening at the 2014 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 2014.

The 2014 Spirited Awards® is comprised of the following members:

American Committee Chairman:

Simon Ford

International Committee Chairman:

 Jacob Briars

Awards Secretary

Claire Bertin Lang

Regional Committee:

Erick Castro, West Coast Chairman
Jackson Cannon, East Coast Chairman
Sean Kenyon, Central USA Chairman

Writing Chairman:

Dave Wondrich


Erick Castro                            San Diego

Tony Abou-Ganim                 Las Vegas

Brooke Arthur                                    Los Angeles

Jason Asher                            Scottsdale

Zahra Bates                             Los Angeles

Jacques Bezuidenhout                        San Francisco

Jen Prout Boelts                     Portland & Seattle

Lou Bustamante                      San Francisco

Andrew Calisterio                   Sacramento

Paul Clarke                              Seattle

Aidan Demarest                      Los Angeles

Daniel Djang                           Los Angeles

Dan Dunn                               Los Angeles

Trevor Easter                          Los Angeles

Camper English                       San Francisco

Ryan Fitzgerald                      San Francisco

Josh Harris                         San Francisco

Tracy Howard                           Portland

Justin Lew                              San Francisco

Ryan Magarian                       Portland

Virginia Miller             San Francisco

Lindsay Nader                                    Los Angeles

Andrew Pollard                       Las Vegas

Jon Santer                               Emeryville

Dave Stolte                             Orange County

Arsalun Tafazoli                     San Diego

Daniel Warrilow                      Los Angeles

Rocky Yeh                              Seattle


Sean Kenyon                           Denver

Bridget Albert                         Chicago

Neal Bodenheimer                   New Orleans

Chris Bostick                          Austin

Bryan Dayton                         Boulder

Daniel de Olivera                    Chicago

Josh Durr                                Louisville

Brian Ellison                           Dallas

Doug Frost                              Kansas City

Chad George                           Denver

Kate Gerwin                           Albuquerque

Chris Hannah                          New Orleans

Eric Hay                                  Chicago

Bobby Heugel                         Houston

Charles Joly                            Chicago

Sean Kenyon                           Denver

Nick Kosevich                                    Minneapolis

Chad Larson                            Minnesota

Michael Martensen                 Dallas

Ryan Maybee                         Kansas City

Bill Norris                               Austin

Mike Ryan                              Chicago

Jared Schubert                         Louisville

Matt Seiter                              St. Louis

Courtney Wilson                    Denver

Jimmy Yeager                         Aspen


Jackson Cannon                      Boston

Jenny Adams                          New York

Derek Brown                          Washington, DC

Dale DeGroff                          New York

Elayne Duff                            New York

Adam Fox                               Atlanta

John Gertsen                           Boston

Misty Kalkofen                      Boston

Kate Krader                            New York

Guillaume Lamy                     New York

Don Lee                                  New York

John Lermayer                        Miami

Jim Meehan                            New York

Galena Mosovich                    Miami

Steve Olson                             New York

Chris Patino                            New York

Dave Pickerell             Vermont & New York

Gary Regan                             New York

Julie Reiner                             New York

Todd Richman                                    Miami

Noah Rothbaum                      New York

Jim Ryan                                 New York

Andy Seymour                       New York

Robert Simonson                    New York

David Suro-Pinera                   Philadelphia

Charlotte Vosiey                     New York

Josh Wagner                            Miami

Liza Weisstuch                       Boston


Dave Wondrich                       New York

Fernando Castellon                 Lyon, FR

Beppi Crosariol                      Toronto, CA

Wayne Curtis                          New Orleans

William Grimes                       New York

Robert Hess                            Seattle

Alice Lascelles                        London, UK

Bryson Lew                            Philadelphia

Pat Nourse                              Sydney, AU

Gary Regan                             New York


Jacob Briars                            Global

Helmut Adam                         Germany

Sven Almenning                      Australia

Ben Belmans                           Benelux

Stephan Berg                           Germany

Arijit Bose                              India

Adam Brewer                          Hong Kong

Jared Brown                            London

Ian Burrell                               Global

Salvatore Calabrese                 London

Michael Callahan                    Singapore

Dean Callan                             Global

Kevin Chang                           Korea

Tony Conigliaro                      London

David Cordoba                        Global

Jason Crawley                                    Australia

Thierry Daniel                                    France

Simon Difford                         London

Philip Duff                              Netherlands

Adam Elmegirab                      Scotland

John Gakuru                           Australia

Tony Harion                           Brazil

Richard Irwin                          Africa/MEA

Tim Judge                               Africa

Alan Kavanagh                        Ireland

Nick Koumbarakis                  South Africa

Alex Kratena                           London

Max LaRocca                          Italy

Sandrae Lawrence                   London

Erik Lorinzc                            London

Simon McGoram                    Australia

Joerg Meyer                            Germany

Joseph Motera                                    Mexico

Bek Narzi                                Russia

George Nemec             Europe

Xavier Padovani                      Europe

Ago Perrone                            London

Dan Priseman                          London

Sebastian Reaburn                   Australia

Marcio Silva                            Brazil

Claire Smith                            Global

Shawn Soole                            Canada

Tim Stones                              Global

Hidetsuego Ueno                    Japan

Camille Vidal                           France

Frankie Walker                        New Zealand

Dan Warner                             London

Max Warner                            Global

Theo Watt                               China

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

Awards Categories and Criteria

American/International Bartender of the Year

This award recognizes the bartenders that have had the most influence on drinks styles and cocktail culture over the past year. The winner should be innovative, experienced, personable and possess extensive technical and practical skills and knowledge. The winner must have received national/international recognition for their work with their own recipes crossing borders to appear on cocktail menus in other areas. Nominees must be regularly working behind the bar. This award is not based on nationality but rather the location where the bartender works. The nominee must be in their current country for minimum of 12 months.

2013 American Winner: Charles Joly of Chicago, Illinois

2013 International Winner: Jack McGarry of New York, New York

Best American/International Brand Ambassador

This award recognizes the importance of personality in the promotion of drink brands and their creative use of brand communication to engage the trade as well as their ability to execute compelling educational seminars. This person must be working as an Ambassador full time. Nominees must NOT be working behind the bar.

2013 American Winners: Todd Richman

2013 International Winner: Jacob Briars of Bacardi Portfolio

Best American/International Cocktail Bar

This award recognizes the bars that set the highest of standards and influences cocktail trends by naming the best cocktail bar both internationally and in the United States. Menu, bar teams, atmosphere and cocktail quality are all considered. Nominees must be open for minimum of 12months as of March 31, 2014 in order to be considered for this award.

2013 Winner: Clover Club of Brooklyn, New York

Best American/International High Volume Cocktail Bar

This award recognizes the bar that consistently efficiently delivers top quality cocktail culture to the masses in a venue with a capacity of 100 people or more. Cocktails, menus, bartending and service are all considered. Nominees must be open for minimum of 12 months as of March 31, 2014 in order to be considered for this award.

2013 Winner: Clover Club of Brooklyn, New York

Best American/International Restaurant Bar

This award recognizes 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. Nominees must be open for a minimum of 12 months as of March 31, 2014 in order to be considered for this award.

2013 Winner: Saxon + Parole Restaurant of New York, New York

Best American/International Hotel Bar

The classic hotel bar has played an important role in the history and development of cocktail culture. The award recognizes the hotel bars that uphold this tradition (but are not necessarily old) and offer five-star service and consistently well-made drinks in a comfortable setting. Nominees must be open for a minimum of 12 months as of March 31, 2014 in order to be considered for this award.

2013 Winner: The NoMad Hotel of New York, New York 

Best New American/International Cocktail Bar

New bars are constantly opening and this award aims to reward those bars that make an immediate impact on cocktail culture and set new standards for the industry. This award recognizes creativity, décor and service as well as well-executed drinks. Only bars that opened between January 1, 2013 and March 31, 2014 will be eligible for this award.  Best New American Cocktail Bar is NEW to the 2014 award category.

2013 International Winner:  The Dead Rabbit, New York, New York, USA

Best American/International Bar Team - NEW

It is teamwork that often makes the difference in a world-class bar, from a tandem of two dynamic tenders who bring a unique, compelling chemistry to their small bar to the larger troupes that orchestrate the theater of a high-volume craft experiences. This NEW award recognizes the best collection of talent working in a bar today, including bartenders, barbacks, servers and front of house. Judges will look for those qualities that collectively contribute to the overall success of the bar, including professionalism, dedication, hospitality, consistency of service and high quality cocktails. Nominees must be open for a minimum of 12 months as of March 31, 2014 in order to be considered for this award.    

Best Bar Mentor

Not everyone who is having an impact on the quality of cocktails works behind the bar. There are many people who are creating outstanding bar programs, training the next generation of great bartenders and playing an active role in designing the bars that we all love to drink in. This award recognizes 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 currently working behind the bar.

2013 Winner: Julie Reiner of Brooklyn, New York

Voted on by: International and USA Committee Members

Best Cocktail & Spirits Writer

Great writing is one of the best ways to communicate to the general public the value and significance of great bars, bartenders, cocktails and related products. This award recognizes an outstanding author that highlights bars, bartenders, cocktails, spirit reviews and drink trends in the industry. To be considered for this award, a writing sample must be attached. Please attach writing samples below.

2013 Winner: Gary Regan

Voted on by: Writing Committee 

Best Cocktail & Spirits Publication

This award recognizes the outstanding non-book journalism (Magazine, Newspaper, Website, etc) that features bars, bartenders, cocktails, spirit reviews and drink trends in the industry. Judges will not only look at content but also at presentation, photography and collection of writers. To be considered for this award, a sample must be attached. Please attach article samples below.

2013 Winner: DiffordsGuide.com

Voted on by: Writing Committee

Best New Cocktail/Bartending Book

This award recognizes the best book published in 2013 regarding cocktails, spirits, bars, bar design or bartending in general. New editions of existing works may also be nominated. To be considered for this award, the book must have been released after January 1, 2013.

2013 Winner: Drinks by Tony Conigliaro

Voted on by: Writing Committee

Best New Product

This award recognizes the item that has made the most significant impact on the cocktail and bar industry in the past year. Up for consideration are products that a bartender might use at home or at their bar for improved cocktail service, including spirits, bar tools, equipment, ingredients and other innovations. To be considered for this award, products must have been launched between April 1, 2013 and March 31, 2014 and must be available for purchase.

2013 Winner: Fords Gin

Voted on by:  International and USA Committee Members

World’s Best Cocktail Menu

A comprehensive menu is the best way for a bar to communicate it’s capabilities to the guest and to show their creativity and individuality. Based on the physical menu itself, the judges will consider design, content (range of spirits and specialty cocktails), originality, diversity, research and styles of cocktails presented. To be considered for this award, a PDF or JPEG copy of the menu should be attached, if possible. Please attach the PDF or JPEG of the menu below.

2013 Winner: The Dead Rabbit of New York, New York

Voted on by:  International and USA Committee Members

World’s Best Drinks Selection

This award recognizes the venue stocking an outstanding range of spirits, liqueurs and cocktails. The judges will favor discernment, staff knowledge, number of bottles stocked, specialty and rare selections as well as an outstanding cocktail program. To be considered for this award, a PDF or JPEG copy of the drinks selection should be attached, if possible. Please attach the PDF or JPEG of the drinks selection below.

2013 Winner: Canon: whiskey and bitters emporium of Seattle, Washington

Voted on by: International and USA Committee Members

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®

Tales of the Cocktail® is the world’s premier cocktail festival, bringing together the international spirits community for five days of what’s now, what’s new and what’s next in bartending. Held annually in New Orleans, Tales of the Cocktail® has something for bartenders and spirits professionals with opportunities to mix and mingle with the brightest minds in mixology during an always-spirited schedule of seminars, dinners, competitions, tasting rooms and new product launches. Join us in New Orleans July 16-20 for the 12th Annual Tales of the Cocktail® where for five days the cocktail reigns supreme. All Hail 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. Every year the NOCCPS produces a number 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 scholarships, training programs and financial aid.

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

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