UK bars up for global awards at Tales of the Cocktail


Zetter Townhouse barUK bars and bartenders have made it through to the finals of the international Spirited Awards being held in New Orleans this weekend as part of Tales of the Cocktail.

After announcing 10 nominees in each category on May 17, the organisers have whittled them down to four finalists each. Although the USA dominates, the UK is a finalist for several key awards.

Callooh Callay in Shoreditch, east London, is a finalist for world’s best cocktail bar, up against Candelaria in Paris, Drink in Boston and The Varnish in Los Angeles.

Two London bars, The American Bar at The Savoy and the Nightjar, are up for the award for world’s best cocktail menu alongside two New York City bars, Pouring Ribbons and The Dead Rabbit.

Finalists for the title of world’s best hotel bar include the Zetter Townhouse bar (pictured) in London, which is in competition with The NoMad Hotel bar in New York City, Eastern Standard Kitchen and Drinks in Boston and Clyde Common in Portland, Oregon.

Simone Caporale (pictured below) from the Artesian Bar at London’s Langham hotel is up for the title of international bartender of the year, facing competition from Zdenek Kastanek who was at Quo Vadis in London until moving to 28 Hong Kong Street in Singapore in January this year. The other finalists are Jack McGarry from The Dead Rabbit in New York City and Hidetsugu Ueno from Bar High Five in Tokyo.

Finalists for the category of best new book include The Tequila Ambassador by Tomas Estes, co-owner of La Perla and Café Pacifico in London, and Drinks by Tony Conigliaro, co-founder of 69 Colebrooke Row, Zetter Townhouse bar and Grain Store in London. They are up against bartender Tony Abou-Ganim’s Vodka Distilled and Philip Greene’s To Have and Have Another: A Hemingway Cocktail Companion.

The nominees for best international brand ambassador are Claire Smith of Belvedere Vodka, Giuseppe Gallo of Martini, rum ambassador Ian Burrell and Jacob Briars from Bacardi.

Finalists for the award for best new product are Dale DeGroff’s Pimento Aromatic Bitters, which is distributed by Sip Or Mix in the UK, and Pierre Ferrand Dry Curaçao, which is handled by Instil Drinks Co in the UK. Other finalists are Dorothy Parker Gin and Fords Gin.

Paul G Tuennerman, co-founder of Tales of the Cocktail, said: “The nomination and selection process for the Spirited Awards is an arduous task, by a committee of the nominees’ peers. It is certainly an honour to be recognised as one of the top four in your respective category.”

The annual Tales of the Cocktail drinks festival is running in New Orleans until July 21.

Simone Caporale

Full list of finalists

International Bartender of the Year
Hidetsugu, Ueno Bar High Five, Tokyo, Japan
Jack McGarry, The Dead Rabbit, New York, New York, USA
Simone Caporale, Artesian Bar at the Langham, London, England, UK
Zdenek Kastanek, 28 Hong Kong Street, Singapore

World’s Best Cocktail Bar
Callooh Callay, London, UK
Candelaria, Paris, France
Drink, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
The Varnish, Los Angeles, California, USA

World’s Best Cocktail Menu
American Bar at the Savoy, London, UK
Pouring Ribbons, New York, New York, USA
The Dead Rabbit, New York, New York, USA
The Nightjar, London, UK

World’s Best Drink Selection
Canon: Whiskey and Bitters Emporium, Seattle, Washington, USA
Mayahuel, New York, New York, USA
Saxon + Parole Restaurant, New York, New York, USA
The Dead Rabbit, New York, New York, USA

World’s Best Hotel Bar
Clyde Common, Portland, Oregon, USA
Eastern Standard Kitchen and Drinks, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
The NoMad Hotel, New York, New York, USA
The Zetter Townhouse, London, United Kingdom

World’s Best New Cocktail Bar
Experimental Cocktail Club, New York, New York, USA
Pouring Ribbons, New York, New York, USA
The Dead Rabbit, New York, New York, USA
The NoMad Hotel, New York, New York, USA

Best International Brand Ambassador
Claire Smith, Belvedere Vodka
Giuseppe Gallo, Martini
Ian Burrell, rum ambassador
Jacob Briars, Bacardi portfolio

Best New Book (Cocktail/Bartending)
Drinks by Tony Conigliaro
The Tequila Ambassador by Tomas Estes
To Have and Have Another: A Hemingway Cocktail Companion by Philip Greene
Vodka Distilled by Tony Abou-Ganim

Best New Product
Dale DeGroff’s Pimento Aromatic Bitters
Dorothy Parker Gin
Fords Gin
Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao

Best Restaurant Bar
Island Creek Oyster Bar, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
No. 9 Park, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Saxon + Parole Restaurant, New York, New York, USA
The NoMad Hotel, New York, New York, USA

Best High Volume Cocktail Bar
Clover Club, Brooklyn, New York
Harvard and Stone, Los Angeles, California
Sable Kitchen and Bar, Chicago, Illinois
Saxon + Parole Restaurant, New York, New York

American Bartender of the Year
Charles Joly, The Aviary, Chicago, Illinois
Eric Alperin, The Varnish, Los Angeles, California
Leo Robitschek, The NoMad Hotel, New York, New York
Sean Kenyon Williams & Graham Denver, Colorado

Best American Brand Ambassador
Elayne Duff, Diageo Portfolio
Jamie Gordon, Absolut Vodka
Neyah White, Yamazaki
Todd Richman, Sidney Frank Portfolio

Best American Cocktail Bar
Anvil, Houston, Texas
Clover Club, Brooklyn, New York
Cure, New Orleans, Louisiana
The Hawthorne, Boston, Massachusetts

Best Bar Mentor
Bridget Albert, Chicago, Illinois
Dushan Zaric, Los Angeles, California
Francesco Lafranconi, Las Vegas, Nevada
Julie Reiner, Brooklyn, New York

Best Cocktail Writing – Author
Gary Regan
Ian Cameron
Paul Clarke
Robert Simonson

Best Cocktail Writing – Publication
Australian Bartender Magazine
Bar Magazine Digital, Slovakia
DiffordsGuide.com, UK
Imbibe Magazine, USA

Click here for May’s story on the shortlisted nominees.

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