Monday, May 28, 2012

Tales of the Cocktail 2012 Update: Spirited Awards Nominations

The long awaited nominations are finally out for the 6th Annual Spirited Awards which will be handed out at during July’s cocktail lovers festival, Tales of the Cocktail, in New Orleans. Below is a press release from the Tales team. We also added the Loungerati predictions and our crew will be in attendance for the presentation of awards. 
 “Following a rigorous evaluation of hundreds of nominees, ten finalists for each award category have been chosen for the 6th Annual Spirited Awards®, recognizing the year’s best bars, bartenders, writers, experts and more. American and international judging committees comprised of the most respected minds in the cocktail industry selected the finalists for the 17 award categories. Winners will be announced Saturday July 28 at the Spirited Awards® ceremony being held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, as part of the Tales of the Cocktail® 10th anniversary celebration.

“The Spirited Awards® ceremony is the night when the cocktail industry can step out from behind the bar to receive the recognition it deserves,” said Ann Tuennerman, Founder of Tales of the Cocktail®.

Through its annual Spirited Awards®, Tales of the Cocktail® recognizes the bartenders, bars, writers and cocktail experts that continue to push the cocktail industry into new, exciting directions. To embody the ideals with which Tales of the Cocktail® was originally founded, these awards were developed to recognize both national and international honorees across 17 categories. From these top ten, the top four finalists from each category will be invited to attend the award ceremony on July 28, 2012. These top four finalists will be announced June 22, 2012. Each award recipient will receive an exclusive Riedel Crystal trophy.”

American Bartender of the Year

  • Eric Alperin
  • Jamie Boudreau
  • Derek Brown
  • Marcovaldo Dionysos
  • Charles Joly
  • Vincenzo Marianella
  • Ivy Mix
  • Jeffrey Morganthaler
  • Joaquin Simo
  • Naren Young
Loungerati prediction: Ivy Mix for her talented drink making and 'above and beyond' work on Speed Rack, a competition by female bartenders against breast cancer.

Best American Brand Ambassador

  • Erick Castro
  • Elayne Duke
  • Jamie Gordon
  • Guillaume Lamy
  • Gaston Martinez
  • Jackie Patterson
  • Todd Richman
  • Jim Ryan
  • Nick Van Tiel
  • Neyah White 
Loungerati prediction: Real tough one here between Todd Richman and Jim Ryan. We need to see the sales figures but our bet is on the ubiquitous Todd Richman whose territory for Sidney Frank seems to be EVERYWHERE!

Best American Cocktail Bar

  • Anvil Bar & Refuge – Houston, Texas
  • Bourbon & Branch – San Francisco, California
  • The Drawing Room – Chicago, Illinois
  • Dutch Kills – Queens, New York
  • Clover Club – Brooklyn, New York
  • Columbia Room – Washington, District of Columbia
  • Harvard & Stone – Los Angeles, California
  • La Descarga – Los Angeles, California
  • Mayahuel – Manhattan, New York
  • The Varnish – Los Angeles, California
Loungerati prediction: Anvil Bar & Refuge. This year maybe the year when the honors go to a non-coastal city bar. If it does, Anvil is the logical choice.

Best Bar Mentor

  • Bridget Albert
  • Sven Almenning
  • Julio Bermejo
  • Wayne Collins
  • Francesco Lafranconi
  • Chris McMillan
  • Steve Olson
  • Julie Reiner
  • Thad Vogler
  • Dushan Zaric
Loungerati prediction: So many inspiring bar mentors on the list but only one can win. We believe Julie Reiner (Clover Club, Flatiron Lounge, Lani Kai, Pegu Club) will take the honors - she is certainly due.

Best High Volume Cocktail Bar

  • Beretta – San Francisco, California
  • Clover Club – New York, New York
  • Craft & Commerce – San Diego, California
  • Eastern Standard – Boston, Massachusetts
  • Flatiron Lounge – New York, New York
  • La Descarga – Los Angeles, California
  • Macao Trading Co. – New York, New York
  • Sable Kitchen & Bar – Chicago, Illinois
  • Seven Grand – Los Angeles, California
  • The Tippler – New York, New York
Loungerati prediction: Jackson Cannon’s Boston crew from Eastern Standard will take this one.

 Best Cocktail Writing – Author

  • Jenny Adams
  • Jarden Brown & Anastatia Miller
  • Paul Clarke
  • Wayne Curtis
  • Dan Dunn
  • Gary Regan
  • Robert Simonson
  • Jason Wilson
  • Dave Wondrich
  • Naren Young
Loungerati prediction: Will this be another year when a blogger wins best cocktail writing? Well sort of, Robert Simonson who writes for the NY Times and "Make it Simple but Significant" blog will sneak by the favorites like “I’ll Have Another” at PIMLICO.

Best Cocktail Writing – Non Book

  • Barlife UK
  • Find. Eat. Drink.
  • Food Republic
  • Mutineer Magazine
  • Saveur
  • Tasting Panel
  • Time Out NY
Loungerati prediction: Shameless NYC support - If there was a standard bearer for the return of craft cocktails in the print media it would be Jordana Rothman bar/lounge editor of Time Out NY.

 Best International Brand Ambassador

  • Colin Asare Appiah
  • Jacob Briars
  • Ian Burrell
  • Tal Nadari
  • Matt Pomeroy
  • Jamie Terrell
  • Manuel Terron
  • Claire Smith
  • Angus Winchester
  • Brian Van Flandern
Loungerati prediction: If anyone is due it is Angus Winchester of Tanqueray. The Tonight We Tanqueray campaign has thrown some of the best parties of the year and kept the brand on everyone’s radar.

Best New Cocktail/Bartending Book

  • The American Cocktail by the Editors of Imbibe
  • Beta Cocktails
  • Bitters: A Spirited History of a Classic Cure-All
  • Gaz Regan’s Annual Manual for Bartenders 2011
  • Home Bar Basics
  • Living Loaded: Tales of S*x, Salvation and the Pursuit of the Never Ending Happy Hour
  • The Mixellany Guide to Vermouth & Other Apertifs
  • PDT Cocktail Book
Loungerati prediction: We would love nothing better than to have Gaz Regan’s Annual Manual for Bartenders 2011 win since one of Fredo’s cocktails is included in the 101 Best; however, the tide is with Jim Meehan's must have PDT Cocktail Book.

Best New Product

  • Bombay Sapphire East
  • Chairman’s Reserve Spiced Rum
  • Cocktail Kingdom’s Blue Blazer Mugs
  • Cognac Pierre Ferrand 1840 Formula
  • Fee Brother’s Gin Barrel Aged Orange Bitters
  • Lillet Rose
  • Perlini System
  • Redemption Rye
  • Steve Schneider’s Standard Issue Ice Mallet
  • Tomr’s Tonic Syrup
Loungerati prediction: What a year for great new bar products. From the iconic Standard Issue Ice Mallet for Steve Schneider to Lillet Rose and Tomr’s Tonic Syrup. Our bet is on Lady Lillet Amanda Boccato and her delightful rose.

Best Restaurant Bar

  • Bar Agricole – San Francisco, California
  • The Beagle – New York, New York
  • Beaker & Flask – Portland, Oregon
  • Heaven’s Dog – San Francisco, California
  • Lani Kai – New York, New York
  • No. 9 Park – Boston, Massachusetts
  • Rivera – Los Angeles, California
  • Sable – Chicago, Illinois
  • Saxon + Parole – New York, New York
  • Slanted Door – San Francisco, California
Loungerati prediction: The Beagle puts the cocktail in the forefront; it will be regaled on award night.

International Bartender of the Year

  • Massimo Greco
  • Misty Kalkofen
  • Zdenek Kastanek
  • Alex Kratena
  • Max Larocca
  • Sam Ross
  • Michael Madrusan
  • Shawn Soole
  • Phil Ward
  • Dushan Zaric
Loungerati prediction: Chances are Dushan Zaric (Employees Only, Macao Trading Co) will pick up where his bar left off last year and take the prize. But Michael Madrusan from Everleigh could be the surprise of the night.

World’s Best Cocktail Bar

  • 69 Colebrooke Row – London, United Kingdom
  • Black Pearl –Melbourne, Australia
  • Callooh Callay – London, United Kingdom
  • Clover Club – New York, New York
  • The Connaught Bar – London, United Kingdom
  • Drink – Boston, Massachusetts
  • Eau de Vie – Sydney, Australia
  • Mayahuel – Manhattan, New York
  • Nightjar – London, United Kingdom
  • The Varnish – Los Angeles, California 
Loungerati prediction: Last year Sydney, Australia stepped up with Eau de Vie, this year the honor will pass to London’s 69 Colebrooke Row.

World’s Best Cocktail Menu

  • Aviary – Chicago, Illinois
  • Bar le Forvm –Paris, France
  • Black Pearl – Melbourne, Australia
  • Callooh Callay – London, United Kingdom
  • Clover Club – New York, New York
  • Mayahuel – Manhattan, New York
  • Raines Law Room – Manhattan, New York
  • The Roosevelt – Sydney, Australia
  • Sable – Chicago, Illinois
  • Whistling Shop – London, United Kingdom
Loungerati prediction:  Clover Club, which continues to take nominations across all categories for good reason.

World’s Best Drinks Selection

  • Artesian at The Langham – London, United Kingdom
  • Canon – Seattle, Washington
  • Capri Lounge – Cologne, Germany
  • Daddy-O – New York, New York
  • Death & Co. – Manhattan, New York
  • Eau de Vie – Sydney, Australia
  • Sable – Chicago, Illinois
  • Salvatore’s at The Playboy – London, United Kingdom
  • Sanctuaria – St. Louis, Missouri
  • Widder Bar – Zurich, Switzerland
Loungerati prediction: I just think it would be fantastic if Daddy-O won this award. Phil has turned Steve Crane’s industry favorite into a true egalitarian bar that can satisfy NYU students to cocktail connoisseurs.

World’s Best Hotel Bar

  • Artesian at The Langham – London, United Kingdom
  • Clive’s Classic Lounge – Victoria, British Columbia
  • Clyde Common – Portland, Oregon
  • The Connaught – London, United Kingdom
  • Lantern’s Keep at The Iroquois Hotel – New York, New York
  • Roomer’s Bar – Frankfurt, Germany
  • Sable Kitchen and Bar at Hotel Palomar – Chicago, Illinois
  • The Spare Room at The Roosevelt – Los Angeles, California
  • Vesper Bar at The Cosmopolitan – Las Vegas, Nevada
  • The Zetter Townhouse – London, United Kingdom
Loungerati prediction: We love what Meghan Dorman and Theo Lieberman have done with Lantern’s Keep at the Iroquois Hotel.

World’s Best New Cocktail Bar

  • Aviary – Chicago, Illinois
  • Candelaria – Paris, France
  • Canon – Seattle, Washington
  • The Everleigh – Melbourne, Australia
  • Happiness Forgets – London, United Kingdom
  • Harvard & Stone – Los Angeles, California
  • Maison Premiere – Brooklyn, New York
  • Mother’s Ruin – New York, New York
  • Whistling Shop – London, United Kingdom
  • The Zetter Townhouse – London, United Kingdom
Loungerati prediction: Maison Premiere is not only our choice but yours as well. I mean oysters and absinthe, it is almost unfair to the others.

Tickets to the Spirited Awards® ceremony can now be purchased online at for $65.00 for individuals or $650.00 per table of 10 seats. The Spirited Awards® are just one part of the historic 10th Anniversary Tales of the Cocktail® being held in New Orleans July 25-29, 2012. Visit the Tales of the Cocktail® website to learn more about the week’s spirited schedule of events.

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