Tales of the Cocktail Announces 2010 Spirited Award Nominees

New Orleans, LA-- In just a few short weeks the international community will converge on the city where spirits live 24/7. Shaken from their slumber within the bottle, the spirits will take on a life of their own at Tales of the Cocktail 2010.

Tales of the Cocktail brings together the best and brightest of the cocktail community—award-winning mixologists, authors, bartenders, chefs and designers—for a five-day celebration of the history and artistry of making drinks. Each year offers a spirited series of dinners, demos, tastings, competitions, seminars, book signings, tours, and parties all perfectly paired with some of the best cocktails ever made.

Through its annual Spirited Award Ceremony, Tales of the Cocktail provides recognition to those individuals and establishments that have shown an outstanding talent for advancing the craft of the cocktail. To embody the ideals with which Tales of the Cocktail was originally founded, these awards will recognize both national and international honorees who will receive exclusive Riedel Crystal awards.

Pernod Ricard USA is proud to be the sponsor of this year’s 4th Annual Spirited Award Ceremony for the company’s third year in a row- recognizing industry leaders and innovators.  For the last 8 years, Tales of the Cocktail has brought together an incredible group of suppliers, bartenders, writers and the most authoritative experts in the industry- all acting as partners in the celebration and appreciation of cocktail culture.  In presenting the Spirit Award Ceremony and as the industry leader in bartender education, Pernod Ricard USA applauds each participant and nominee. Also, as part of the evening’s celebration, Beverage Media Group, Inc. will recognize 10 Up & Coming Mixologists, selected from participants of the Tales of the Cocktail Apprentice Program.

Awards to be announced at the Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Award Ceremony and Dinner on Saturday, July 24, 2010 in New Orleans. Tables can be purchased online at www.TalesoftheCocktail.com.

The 2010 Spirited Award Ceremony has two Judging Committees is comprised of the following members:

Committee Chairman:
Simon Ford, Chairman

USA Judging Committee:
Alia Akam
Bridget Albert
Natalie Bovis Nelsen
Wayne Curtis
Dale DeGroff
Camper English
Simon Ford
Robert Hess
Francesco Lafranconi
Ryan Magarian
Jim Meehan
Tal Nadari
Julie Reiner
Aisha Sharpe
Dave Wondrich

International Judging Committee:
Stephan Berg
Henry Besant
Jacob Briars
Wayne Collins
Tony Conigliaro
Dale DeGroff
Peter Doreli
Phillip Duff
Simon Ford
Eben Freeman
John Gakuru
Jim Meehan
Sean Muldoon
Linden Pride
Angus Winchester

Award Categories and Criteria and Shortlist (In no particular order):

Best American Cocktail Bar
Criteria: This award recognizes the influence on cocktail trends within the United States and seeks to award the country’s best cocktail bar.     
·      The Clover Club, Brooklyn
·      Death & Co, NYC
·      Rickhouse, San Francisco
·      The Varnish, Los Angeles

World’s Best Hotel Bar
Criteria: The classic ‘American Bar’ played an important role in the history and development of cocktail culture. The judges are looking for hotel bars, which uphold this tradition (but are not necessarily old) and offer five-star service and consistently well made drinks.
·      The  Artesian at the Langham, London 
·      The Bar  at The Connaught Hotel, London 
·      Florida  Room at The Delano, Florida 
·      Hemingway Bar, Paris

Best Cocktail Writing
Criteria: Great journalism is one of the best ways to communicate to the general public the value and significance of great cocktails and related products. This award is for any non-book journalism (Magazine, Newspaper, Website, etc) which promotes bars, bartender, or cocktails in general. 
·      CLASS magazine
·      Gary Regan
·      Jared Brown and Anistatia Miller
·      Naren Young

Best New Product
Criteria: This is awarded to what the judges consider to be the best new cocktail ingredient (spirit, liqueur, syrup or juice) or piece of cocktail equipment (muddler, shaker etc.). To qualify products must be on general retail sale in at least three US states.
·      Celery Bitters, The Bitter Truth
·      Cocktail Kingdom’s barware
·      Crème Yvette by Cooper Spirits
·      Meehan Cocktail Bag by Jim Meehan

Best American Brand Ambassador
Criteria: An award that recognizes the importance of personality in the promotion of drinks brands across America.
·      Charlotte Voisey, Hendrick’s Gin
·      Jacques Bezuidenhout, Partida
·      Jamie Gordon, Absolut
·      Tals Nadari, Bols

World’s Best Drinks Selection
Criteria: A venue stocking an outstanding range of spirits and liqueurs. The judges will favor discernment as well as sheer numbers of bottles stocked.
·      Artesian Bar at The Langham Hotel, London
·      Bar Lebensstern in Café Einstein, Berlin
·      Macao Trading Co, NYC
·      Widder Bar, Zurich

American Bartender of the Year
Criteria: From Jerry Thomas onwards, American bartenders have been amongst the most influential on drinks styles and cocktail culture in general. This award seeks to recognize the most influential American bartender today. The winner should be proficient at making all recognized classic drinks and also have created contemporary cocktails, which have been copied by his/her peers.
·      Eric Alperin, The Varnish
·      Kenta Goto, The Pegu Club
·      Murray Stenson, Zig Zag
·      Sam Ross, Milk & Honey

Best New Cocktail/Bartending Book
Criteria: The best book published in 2008 regarding cocktails, liquor, bars, bar design or bartending in general. New editions of existing works may also be nominated.
·      Beachbum Berry Remixed
·      Gin Compedndium by Gaz Regan
·      MudPuddle Books by Greg Boehm
·      Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails by Ted Haigh

World’s Best Cocktail Menu
Criteria: The judges seek to reward innovative and thirst inducing cocktail menus. Both the design and content will be considered.
·      Death & Co, NYC
·      Lonsdale, London
·      Mayahuel, NYC
·      Rickhouse, San Francisco

International Bartender of the Year
Criteria: The absolute best drinks mixer in the world. The winner must have received international recognition of their work with their own recipes crossing borders to appear on cocktail menus in numerous countries. (US citizens are not excluded.)
·      Agostino Perrone, The Connaught Hotel, London
·      Brian Miller, Death & Co, NYC
·      Salvatore Calabrese, London
·      Sam Ross, Milk & Honey, NYC

World’s Best New Cocktail Bar
Criteria: Only bars, which opened after 1st March 2009 may be nominated. This award aims to reward new creativity and ideas as well as well executed drinks.
·      Cure,  New Orleans 
·      Dutch  Kills, Queens 
·      Mayahuel, NYC 
·      Rickhouse, San Francisco 

World’s Best Cocktail Bar
Criteria: Only truly world-class bars will be considered for this illustrious title. Some bars attain worldwide recognition and this award recognizes the very best of the best.
·      69 Colebrooke Row, London
·      The Cocktail Bar at The Merchant Hotel, Belfast
·      Death & Co, NYC
·      Quo Vadis, London

Best International Brand Ambassador
Criteria: An award which recognizes the importance of personality in the promotion of drinks brands and their creative use of brand communication to engage the trade and their ability to execute compelling education and seminars. This person will work in an International capacity or in a Country other than the USA.
·      Angus Winchester, Tanqueray
·      Dan Warner, Beefeater
·      Jacob Briars, 42 Below
·      John Gakuru, Sagatiba

Best Bar Mentor
Criteria: Not everybody who is having an impact on the quality of the cocktails we drink are working behind the bar as bartenders. There are many people who are creating fine bar programs, training the next generation of great bartenders, and playing an active role in designing the bars we all love to drink in. This award is to recognize those individuals who, in their professional life, play a crucial role in raising the quality of bars, bartenders, and cocktails without currently working as a bartender.
·      Dale DeGroff
·      Robert Hess
·      Sasha Petraske
·      Tony Abou-Ganim

Helen David Lifetime Achievement Award
Criteria: The impact that some people have on the general cocktail community can span over the course of many years. There are individuals who have worked long and hard to change the industry and educate the public. This award is to provide special recognition to these individuals and the wonderful efforts they have undertaken.
·      Brian Rea
·      Gary Regan
·      Murray Stenson
·      Tony Abou-Ganim

For more information on Tales of the Cocktail, visit the website at www.TalesoftheCocktail.com or call 504-948-0511. TABLES ARE GOING FAST!

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