When asked about their favourite cocktailbar, most people will name their preferred hang-out or perhaps the bar that is best known in their area. Most people don’t travel to visit special bars in other countries. Very unlike the good people in the drinks-industry: bartenders, big companies, journalists all visit cities around the world, not so much for the great architecture and culture, but for visiting other bars. And of course, as in any industry, things need to be put in perspective and be compared to eachother in order to say which is truly The Best.
Each year, the world’s largest event that fully revolves around spirits and cocktails is held in New Orleans. It’s called Tales of the Cocktail and is like the who-is-who in the world of creating spirits and mixing drinks.
One of the highlights of this booze-filled week are the Spirited Awards, the amazing awardshow that could be called the Oscar’s of the drinks-industry. Winning such an award is a great honour and competition is fierce in each category. Most awards are deserved by working very hard for years on end, although I believe no-one aims to win this award: the people in this industry do this for the love for spirits and of course for the hospitality industry. After all, the final outcome must be a satisfied customer, so without any you will never pick up one of these very much sought-after cristal plates.
The outcome of the 10th Spirited Awards, that were held yesterday at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, New Orleans reveal once again that travelling to London is a very good idea! I mean fish, chips, cup o’ tea, bad food, worst weather, Mary f*ckin’ Poppins London! Cocktails now must be added to this list.
World’s Best Cocktailbar: The Connaught
World’s Best Hotelbar: Artesian
World’s Best Cocktailmenu: Callooh Callay
World’s Best New Cocktailbar: The Zetter Townhouse
World’s Best Drinksselection: Salvatore at Playboy Club
World’s Best International Bartender: Alex Kratena (Artesian Bar)
Other awards that were handed out (watch the links below, you’ll like them!)
Best American Bartender: Joaquin Simo
Best American Cocktailbar: The Varnish in LA
Best restaurant/bar: Slanted Door, in San Fransisco
Best New Product: Cognac Pierre Ferrand 1840 Formula
Best Cocktailwriting: David Wondrich
Best Non-book Publication: Liquor.com
Best New Cocktailbook: PDT Cocktail Book – Jim Meehan
Best American Brand Ambassador: Jim Ryan
best International Brand Ambassador: Angus Winchester
Best Barmentor: Steve Olson
Best High Volume Cocktailbar: Eastern Standard, Boston
One special award was given to Gaz Regan, for he received the Helen David Lifetime Achievement Award. Gaz (formerly known as Gary) is an absolute legend in this industry and author of numerous book, including the book that all bartenders should have read: The Joy of Mixology. A post on twitter quoted him upon receiving the award: “I’m 60 years old, I have 40 more years to go, mother f*ckers.” Rockstar!
Congratulations to all winners, and to my readers: I hope you can visit one of these bars soon!