With Tales of the Cocktail a mere nine days away you’ve surely got your schedule all set and your flight booked. But, do you know who you’ll be cheering for at the Spirited Awards dinner on Saturday night, and who you’re counting on to keep those cocktails and things running smoothly throughout the seminars, tasting rooms and various events?

Just in case you don’t know whose hands you are in, or who you could be applauding at the Pernod Ricard sponsored Bartender’s Breakfast, here’s a list of the industry’s best and brightest.
Come back to www.insidefandb.com throughout the year to check out more about these folks. With so many of your friends and family on this list we’re certain you’ll be cheering loudly for all of them.


The 2010 Spirited Award® Ceremony has two Judging Committees which 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, William Grant Portfolio
• Jacques Bezuidenhout, Partida
• Jamie Gordon, Absolut
• Tal 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 Compendium 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 is 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

Adam Robinson
Bradley Bolt
Bradley Farran
Brian Matthys
California Gold
Carie Fuller
Cassie Fellet
Chad Doll
Chris Hannah
Christine Nielsen
Christopher Churilla
Corey Bunnewith
Cristiana DeLucca
Cristina Dehlavi
Daniel de Oliveira
Don Lee
Eamon Rockey
Eric Simpkins
Erica Pearce
Eryn Reece
Evan Martin
Frank Cisneros
Franky Marshall
Hal Wolin
Jamie Kilgore
Jaren Schubert
Jeff Grdinich
John Deragon
Jonathan Armstrong
Kimberly Patton-Bragg
Leo Robitschek
Luis Bustamante
Matthew Eggleston
Meaghan Dorman
Michelle Peake
Mike Ryan
Naomi Schimek
Navarro Carr
Neil Kopplin
Nicholas Jarrett
Patrick O’Brien
Rachel Kim
Robert Leavey
Sharon Floyd
Sierra Zimei
Sudeep Rangi
Summer Voelker
Sylvia Cosmopoulos
Thomas Klus
Thomas Speechley
Tiffany Soles
William Dollard