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Tales of the Cocktail® Announces Sustainable Spirit Award Recipients

2016 Sustainable Spirit Award Recipients, Claire Sprouse and Chad Arnholt of Tin Roof Drink Community.
2016 Sustainable Spirit Award Recipients, Claire Sprouse and Chad Arnholt of Tin Roof Drink Community.

This year Tales of the Cocktail® will hand out the first-ever Sustainable Spirit Awards to recognizing bars and restaurants and the people behind them for leading the sustainability charge by using a number of green practices while encouraging others to follow their lead. Tales is proud to announce the inaugural winners of the Sustainable Spirit Awards: White Lyan in London, Jimmy’s American Restaurant & Bar in Aspen, Colorado, Tin Roof Drink Community, Mario Batali’s Carnevino Italian Steakhouse in Las Vegas, and Demerara Distillers Limited (DDL) in Guyana, South America. Representatives from each establishment will receive their award during the 2016 Toast to the Tales, being held Wednesday July 20 at 2 pm in front of the Hotel Monteleone.

“The ingredients that make up the cocktails we love to drink come from the Earth. So it only makes sense that we as an industry do everything we can to protect it,” said Ann Tuennerman, Founder of Tales of the Cocktail. “We were so energized by the ideas that people are bringing to the table to make sustainability a standard in our industry.”

Criteria for this award was left intentionally open-ended as there are countless ways that bars can show a commitment to the Earth and many costlier sustainable practices might not be an option for all bars. Ultimately, the awards committee looked for bars, restaurants and distilleries that have shown a commitment to sustainability efforts while instituting innovative ideas that could serve as a model for bars around the world. The winners used a wide range of techniques to reduce waste, conserve energy and use less water.

Griffiths and Chetiyawardana made White Lyan the first bar in the world void of perishables with ingredients made in-house including Chetiyawardana’s own spirits, tinctures, cordials and distillates. Jessica Lischka and the team at Jimmy’s are taking sustainable measures such as removing tablecloths, using hand-made ice, installing energy-efficient lighting, purchasing locally-grown produce and products, and growing herbs for summer cocktails and reducing the collective trash pick ups by 75%.

Claire Sprouse and Chad Arnholt created The Tin Roof Drink Community and launched sustainability efforts in 2014 through projects, beverage programming, education, individual consultations, and community outreach. Tin Roof Drink uses smart bar design and equipment choice to minimize the water used in ice and cocktail production. For instance in developing the beverage program at The Bywater in Los Gatos, CA, they built the drink program around pebble and “Big Shot” machines, which use as much as 50% less water than other ice machines.

“We are absolutely floored that we have been chosen for this award,” said Claire Sprouse and Chad Arnholt, Founders of the Tin Roof Drink Community. “More importantly, this year’s inaugural Sustainable Spirit Award signifies an inspiring trend. In a short time, we can look back and say that the movement towards sustainability is here to stay.”

Mario Batali’s CarneVino Italian Steakhouse and Las Vegas Culinary Director Nicole Brisson was selected for using low-flow sinks, recycling grease soap, using biodegradable straws, composting food waste, and featuring a monthly farmer’s market cocktail. Demerara Distillers Limited (DDL) uses an anaerobic digester and co-generation plant for converting their spent wash into energy for distillation. They also use a CO2 capture and scrubbing system on their fermenters to make pure CO2 for use in their sparkling beverages. The distillery also reduces the amount of energy required to distillate by increasing the alcohol percentage of their wash.

Demerara Distillers Limited (DDL) is a beacon of hope in Guyana,” said Josh Miller, rum enthusiast and the person that nominated Demerara Distillers Limited (DDL) for the award. “They are one of the major employers in Guyana, and they are doing amazing things to increase their sustainability. Many rum producers in the region still discharge their waste directly into the ocean, but DDL wastes nothing.”

Tales of the Cocktail returns to New Orleans July 19-24 with an all-new lineup of seminars, tastings, networking events and more. To see the entire schedule of events and to get your tickets, visit

About Tales of the Cocktail®
Founded in 2002, Tales of the Cocktail® has grown from a small gathering of cocktail lovers into the world’s premier cocktail festival. Each year the international spirits industry is welcomed to New Orleans for a week of seminars, tastings, networking events and much more. With 200+ annual events developed specifically for bartenders, distillers and other spirits professionals, Tales of the Cocktail® is the industry’s annual meeting place for the exchange of new ideas, products and techniques.

Tales of the Cocktail® also produces a number of other events and programs such as Tales of the Cocktail® on Tour, Tales 365®, Tales of the Toddy® and New Orleans Daiquiri Month, all to further the mission of supporting and growing the international cocktail community.

About the New Orleans Culinary & Cultural Preservation Society
Tales of the Cocktail® is produced by the New Orleans Culinary & Cultural Preservation Society (NOCCPS), a non-profit organization committed to supporting, promoting and growing the cocktail industry in New Orleans and around the world. In addition to offering opportunities to learn and acquire new skills through Tales of the Cocktail® events and Tales 365®, the NOCCPS invests the proceeds back into the spirits industry. Since 2008, the NOCCPS has invested more than $600,000 into programs like the Cocktail Apprentice Program, a tuition reimbursement program, the Apprentice medical aid fund, educational scholarships and a new health and wellness program for members of the hospitality industry.


Ann Tuennerman, 504-948-0511,

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