Our Friends at the Spirited Awards 2017
Tales of the Cocktail’s Spirited Awards is a very important date for our industry. Although it’s by no means the definitive yardstick by which achievements are measured, it is, without the shadow of a doubt, a momentous occasion that sees bartenders, bar owners, mentors writers and brand get together and honor some of the best persons, places and products in our little world. At Bar News, we’re always very proud to see our friends get the nod and this year’s Awards ceremony will once again see people dear to our heart crossing their fingers in the hope of winning the big one.
In one month, we will know who are the winners of each and every category. Ahead of the event, we’d like to congratulate a few people — even if you don’t win it, being among the finalists is such a huge achievement…
First, shout outs for some of our ex Grand Prix competitors. We’re very pleased to see perennial finalists Black Pearl from Sydney once again multi-nominated. With Best International Cocktail Bar, and Best International Bar Team nods, we expect Chris Hysted (who placed third at the 2012 Grand Prix) and Nathan Beasley (finalist at the 2014 Grand Prix) to have already celebrated, Australian style. Our 2010 winner (was it that long ago?!?) Marcis Dzelzainis will also be delighted with his top 4 spot with Sager + Wilde, for Best International Restaurant Bar. We’ll tell you more about that fantastic place very soon. The Grand Prix judges didn’t rest on their laurels either, with Ian Burrell once again nominated for Best International Brand Ambassador — shouldn’t that man be in a category of his own, really?
The Grand Prix is not everything, we also meet fantastic people when we’re travelling around to learn investigate stories. We did this recently in Edinburgh, where we went to Panda & Sons (Best International High Volume Cocktail Bar) to attend the Havana Club party with BlackTail (Best New American Cocktail Bar and World’s Best Cocktail Menu). So it’s very exciting to see a few bars we’ve already covered at Bar News get rewarded for their hard work and we strongly urge you to read the stories we wrote about them. In that category, congrats are in order for Cane & Table (Best American Restaurant Bar), The Dead Rabbit (World’s Best Cocktail Menu), Bramble (Best International Cocktail Bar) and Trailer Happiness (Best International High Volume Cocktail Bar) — we talked with owner Sly Austin only last week, remember?
Finally, we had the tremendous opportunity to accompany some of the finest and brightest of the cocktail world on an amazing educational trip to Cuba last month. Some of them also made it to the Top 4. Watch out for stories soon on the following amazing ladies and gents: Kelsey Ramage from Dandelyan (Best International Bar Team + Best International Hotel Bar), Edmund Weil, owner of Oriole (Best International High Volume Cocktail Bar) and Swift (Best New International Cocktail Bar), Philip Bischoff from the Manhattan Bar (Best International Hotel Bar) in Singapore, Davide Segat from the Punch Room in London (Best International Hotel Bar) and, last but not least, Carina Soto Velasquez, owner of Mary Celeste (Best International Restaurant Bar).
Of course, Tales of the Cocktail is not just about the Spirited Awards. It’s an incredible educational opportunity for all the attendees and you should attend at least once, if you can. At Tales, they also like to celebrate the history of the cocktail and one of this year’s posters does just that: it’s specially made to commemorate the 200th anniversary of El Floridita. So this year’s edition really feels like home…
For the full list of the Spirited Awards finalists, see the Tale of the Cocktail website.
Artwork by Robert Rodriguez for Tales of the Cocktail