UK bars and bartenders nominated in global awards


callooh callayBritain’s bars and bartenders have been named finalists in the industry’s international Spirited Awards, run as part of Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans.

Ten finalists have been chosen in each of 18 categories, recognising the year’s best bars, bartenders, writers, experts and more, based on nominations from judging committees made up of leading figures in the American and international bar scene.

Callooh Callay (pictured) in Shoreditch, east London, is a finalist for the title of world’s best cocktail bar – the only UK bar in this category. It faces competition from the likes of Clover Club, Death & Co, Milk & Honey and The Dead Rabbit in New York, Black Pearl in Melbourne and Candelaria in Paris.

Callooh Callay’s Andrea Montague is a finalist for international bartender of the year alongside two other UK-based bartenders, Simone Caporale of the Artesian Bar at London’s Langham Hotel and Marian Beke of London’s Nightjar. They face other finalists such as Jack McGarry of The Dead Rabbit, Hidetsugu Ueno of Bar High Five in Tokyo and Zdenek Kastanek of 28 Hong Kong Street in Singapore, who was formerly at Quo Vadis in London.

Nightjar joins the American Bar at London’s Savoy hotel and 69 Colebrooke Row in Islington, north London, as finalists in the category for world’s best cocktail menu. They are up against the likes of The Dead Rabbit, Clover Club, Black Pearl and 28 Hong Kong Street.

Fluid Movement’s Worship Street Whistling Shop in London is the sole UK finalist in the category for world’s best drink selection. It is up against New Yorkers such as The Dead Rabbit, Mayahuel and The Hawthorne as well as bars in Seattle, New Orleans, Melbourne, Los Angeles and Boston.

In the category for best hotel bar, The Zetter Townhouse bar and the Beaufort Bar at The Savoy are both finalists, facing competition from bars across the US as well as Black Angels Bar at Hotel U Prince in Prague and The Widder Hotel bar in Zurich.

The finalists for best bar mentor include UK-based mixologist Wayne Collins, who is global manager of Mixxit, the training and cocktail development arm of drinks company Maxxium. Other finalists in this category come from around the world, including British expats Charlotte Voisey, based in New York, and Jason Crawley, based in Sydney.

Other categories include best cocktail writing, where finalists include Dan Priseman, who writes blog BittersandTwisted.com and is one of the owners of the new NOLA Bar which opened in Shoreditch last week.

Winners will be announced at a ceremony at the Hyatt Regency New Orleans on July 20 as part of Tales of the Cocktail which runs from July 17 to 21 and is now in its 11th year.

Paul G Tuennerman, co-founder of Tales of the Cocktail, said: “Clearly the nominees for the 2013 Spirited Awards represent the best of the best in our industry. Regardless of who the ultimate winner is, being recognised by one’s peers above all is, simply put, an honour in its own right.”

From the top 10, the top four finalists will be announced on June 7 and invited to be guests at the live ceremony in New Orleans. Each award recipient will receive an exclusive Riedel Crystal trophy. The sponsors include Bacardi USA, BarSmarts, Becherovka, Beverage Media Group, Fontainebleau Miami Beach, Imbibe Magazine US, Olmeca Altos, Tanqueray Gin and William Grant & Sons.

For a complete list of the top 10 finalists in all 18 categories, click here.

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