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Winners from Tales of the Cocktail’s 16th Annual Spirited Awards are Announced

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Tales of the Cocktail, the annual symposium for the Bar and Spirits industry that takes place in New Orleans each July, announced the winners of its Tales of the Cocktail Foundation Spirited Awards® recognizing excellence within the fields of production, education, and hospitality this past week. The theme of this year’s awards was “progress,” in regcognition of the industry’s strength of character – and steadfast response to the work environment created by the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Tales of the Cocktail, holding its first live gathering since the pandemic’s start, was attended by industry members from all over the world and the mood was one of celebration – both at the awards ceremony and at the various product showcases, seminars and events.

Domestic Winners included:

U.S. Bartender of the Year presented by Del Maguey

Chris Hannah — Jewel of the South, New Orleans, LA

Chris Hannah

Best U.S. Bar Mentor presented by BarSmarts

Sean Kenyon

Sean Kenyon

Best U.S. Brand Ambassador presented by Libbey

Lynn House — Heaven Hill

Lynn House

Best U.S. Bar Team presented by William Grant & Sons

Katana Kitten — New York, NY

Shawn Kelley of Bar Smarts (l.) with the team at Katana Kitten, also winners of Best U.S. Cocktail Bar

Best U.S. Cocktail Bar presented by Absolut Vodka

Katana Kitten — New York, NY

Best U.S. Hotel Bar presented by Grey Goose

Silver Lyan at the Riggs — Washington, DC

The winning team of Silver Lyan at the Riggs in Washington, D.C.

Best U.S. Restaurant Bar presented by Maison Ferrand

Jewel of the South — New Orleans, LA

Double Award-winner Chris Hannah with Best U.S. Restaurant Bar co-winners from Jewel of the South

Best New U.S. Cocktail Bar presented by Aviation Gin

Happy Accidents — Albuquerque, NM

The winning team at Happy Accidents

And last but certainly not least, the Helen David Lifetime Achievement Award was given to longtime industry legend and mentor, Julie Reiner. Reiner helped kickstart the cocktail renaissance when she founded NYC’s Flatiron Lounge and Peju Club in the 1990s, (the latter with Audrey Saunders), and is Co-founder & owner of Brooklyn’s The Clover Club and Leyenda, Social Hour Cocktails and Mixtress Consulting.

Helen David Lifetime Achievement Award presented by William Grant & Sons

Julie Reiner — Co-Founder Clover Club, Leyenda, Social Hour Cocktails, & Mixtress Consulting

Helen David Lifetime Achievement Award winner Julie Reiner

As a sometime resident of New Orleans, I was thrilled to see local legend and bartender extraordinaire Chris Hannah take home honors for Best Restaurant Bar and Bartender of the Year!

But wait, there’s more! Here is a list of international winners – just in case you take a trip abroad and get thirsty.

International Bartender of the Year presented by Patrón Tequila

Remy Savage — 🔶🟥🔵 A Bar with Shapes for a Name, London, UK

Best International Bar Mentor presented by Lyre’s Non-Alcoholic 

Lauren Mote

Best International Brand Ambassador presented by Lyre’s Non-Alcoholic

Martin Hudak — Mr Black Spirits

Best International Bar Team presented by House of Angostura

MAYBE SAMMY — Sydney, Australia

Best International Cocktail Bar presented by Tequila Fortaleza

Tayēr + Elementary — London, UK

Best International Hotel Bar presented by Perrier

Lyaness at Sea Containers London — London, UK

Best International Restaurant Bar presented by Amaro Montenegro and Select Aperitivo

Sexy Fish — London, UK

Best New International Cocktail Bar presented by Stranger & Sons

🔶🟥🔵 A Bar with Shapes for a Name — London, UK

London definitely took the lion’s share of awards in the international category, so you may want to head there, first!

More information on Tales of the Cocktails and the Spirited Awards can be found at www.talesofthecocktail.org

All photos credited to Cory Fontenot

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