Britain’s bars and bartenders triumphed in the global Spirited Awards at the Tales of the Cocktail festival in New Orleans, winning nearly all the international categories.
Dandelyan (pictured top) at the Mondrian London Hotel on the South Bank was named best new international cocktail bar while Artesian (pictured below) at London’s Langham hotel won best international cocktail bar.
The title of international bartender of the year went to London-based Ryan Chetiyawardana who is behind Dandelyan as well as White Lyan in Hoxton and Henry at Manhattan’s Hudson Hotel.
The Beaufort Bar at The Savoy won best international hotel bar in a category where the other three finalists were also in London: The Savoy’s American Bar, London Edition’s Punch Room and Zetter Townhouse.
Best international restaurant bar went to The Blind Pig at Social Eating House in Soho in London which is part of the group headed by chef Jason Atherton with drinks led by bartender Gareth Evans.
The title of best international brand ambassador went to Claire Smith-Warner (pictured below), who has been head of spirit creation and mixology for Belvedere Vodka for 12 years after starting her career as a bartender in Nottingham.
Other winners in the international categories were The Black Pearl and The Attic in Melbourne for best high-volume cocktail bar and 28HongKong Street in Singapore for best international bar team.
The Helen David Lifetime Achievement Award went to Jonathan Downey who has run some of London’s best bars over the past 18 years. As founder of Rushmore Group, he currently owns Milk & Honey in Soho and Danger of Death in Brick Lane as well as a number of street food ventures.
Angus Winchester, vice president of education and training for consultancy Barmetrix, who presented the award, said: “JD is the epitome of the modern bar owner. His bars and the staff he employs have undoubtedly influenced the second ‘Golden Age of the Cocktail’ more than any other owner active today.”
Glasgow-born writer Dave Broom, whose current ventures include new website Scotchwhisky.com, took home two of the writing awards: he was named best cocktail and spirits writer while his latest publication, Whisky: The Manual, was named best new spirits book. New York bar owner Dave Arnold won best new cocktail book with Liquid Intelligence: The Art & Science of the Perfect Cocktail.
The award for best new spirit or cocktail ingredient went to Amaro di Angostura, a bitter spirit launched last year in the US by the makers of Angostura rums and bitters.
Other global winners were Canon in Seattle with world’s best spirits selection and The Dead Rabbit Grocery & Grog in New York City which won both world’s best bar and world’s best cocktail menu. Jim Meehan, who founded PDT in Manhattan, was named best bar mentor.
In the American categories, winners included bartender of the year Ivy Mix who heads new Brooklyn bar Leyenda, and Employees Only in Manhattan which won best American bar team and best American high-volume cocktail bar. Other winning bars were The Broken Shaker in Miami, Eastern Standard in Boston, ABV in San Francisco and Williams & Graham in Denver.
Jacob Briars, international judging committee chairman, said: “The second ‘Golden Age of the Cocktail’ continues to spread around the globe, as bartenders, bar owners and ambassadors continue to set ever higher standards internationally.
“It’s wonderful to see traditional strongholds like London and Melbourne sharing nominations with the resurgent bar scene in Paris, and to see the rise of great bars in places like Singapore and Dubai being recognised too. There has never been a better time to be a cocktail lover around the globe.”
The awards were held last night at the Sheraton New Orleans as part of the 13th annual Tales of the Cocktail festival. Each award recipient received a Riedel Crystal trophy. Click here for the list of finalists.
FULL LIST OF WINNERS
International bartender of the year: Ryan Chetiyawardana (Dandelyan and White Lyan, London)
Best international cocktail bar: Artesian, The Langham, London
Best international hotel bar: The Beaufort Bar, The Savoy, London
Best international restaurant bar: The Blind Pig at Social Eating House, London
Best new international cocktail bar: Dandelyan, Mondrian London Hotel, London
Best international bar team: 28 HongKong Street, Singapore
Best international high-volume cocktail bar: The Black Pearl & The Attic, Melbourne
Best international brand ambassador: Claire Smith-Warner, Belvedere Vodka
Overall categories (American and international)
Helen David Lifetime Achievement Award: Jonathan Downey (UK)
Best bar mentor: Jim Meehan (US)
Best new spirit or cocktail ingredient: Amaro di Angostura
World’s best bar: The Dead Rabbit, Manhattan, NYC
World’s best cocktail menu: The Dead Rabbit, Manhattan, NYC
World’s best spirits selection: Canon, Seattle
Sam Guarino Citation: Steve Mannan
American bartender of the year: Ivy Mix, Leyenda, Brooklyn, NYC
Best American bar team: Employees Only, Manhattan, NYC
Best American cocktail bar: Williams & Graham, Denver
Best American high-volume cocktail bar: Employees Only, Manhattan, NYC
Best American hotel bar: The Broken Shaker, Miami Beach
Best American restaurant bar: Eastern Standard Kitchen & Drinks, Boston
Best new American cocktail bar: ABV, San Francisco
Best American brand ambassador: Brooke Arthur (Brand Spirits)
Best cocktail and spirits publication: Punch (US)
Best cocktail and spirits writer: Dave Broom (UK)
Best new cocktail book: Liquid Intelligence: The Art & Science of the Perfect Cocktail by Dave Arnold (US)
Best new spirits book: Whisky: The Manual by Dave Broom (UK)
Updated July 19, 2015 with quotes from Jacob Briars and Angus Winchester.