2023 Spirited Awards Nominations Are Now Open!

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Tales of the Cocktail Foundation | February 01, 2023

The 17th Annual Spirited Awards celebrate global excellence in the drinks industry, culminating in a celebration at Tales of the Cocktail on July 27, 2023

NEW ORLEANS, LA (February 1, 2023) — Tales of the Cocktail Foundation (TOTCF) is pleased to announce the opening of the 17th annual Spirited Awards® nomination period from February 1 to February 22, 2023. Founded in 2007 to celebrate excellence in the drinks industry, the Spirited Awards have become one of the most internationally recognized accolades, honoring beverage professionals, products, establishments, journalists, and media across every facet of the globe. In partnership with Forbes, the Spirited Awards’ official media partner, Tales of the Cocktail Foundation will celebrate recipients during the Tales of the Cocktail® (TOTC) conference, which is taking place in New Orleans from July 23-28, 2023.

The Spirited Awards are comprised of industry accolades, both domestic and international, writing and media awards, and overall awards that transcend regionality, including World’s Best Cocktail Bar and World’s Best Cocktail Menu.

“Since their inception in 2007, the TOTC Spirited Awards have set out to recognize the talent, creativity, and drive that continues to move the cocktail industry forward,” said TOTCF Board Member, Claire Warner. “The Spirited Awards have become a catalyst for positive change, providing a platform to those who are generating momentum, and in doing so, helping to motivate and inspire others. The TOTC Spirited Awards demonstrate not only our industry’s ability to reach new heights, but also how the beverage community continues to lift each other up. And that is always worth celebrating.”

2023 Spirited Awards Changes and Updates 

In an effort to continually evolve alongside the dynamic cocktail community, the Spirited Awards Committee has thoughtfully reviewed the awards program and has implemented a number of changes to the 2023 process. This year’s Spirited Awards have expanded the “World’s Best Spirits Selection” to include a venue’s expertise and focus on a specific spirit or a category of spirits. In addition, to qualify for “Best (International or U.S.) Brand Ambassador,” an individual must have worked in that position for at least 1 year or since January 1, 2022.

Moving forward, for “Best New Spirit or Cocktail Ingredient,” a product must have been launched before January 1, 2022, under one of the following classifications for it to still be eligible for nomination in this category as long as it established distribution in at least 3 states or countries between January 1, 2022, and December 31, 2022. The following classifications include: Non-Commercial Special Occasion Launch, whereby a product has been made for gifting and/or educational purposes and not released for general sale, and Distillery Release, whereby a product is made available for purchase at the distillery where it is made for the immediate geographical area only.

As an additional change in 2023, the “Pioneer Award” will now be called the “Visionary Award” and is accepting nominations.

Additionally, Tales of the Cocktail Foundation will be celebrating the launch of the Spirited Awards nomination period by bringing Singaporean bar, ATLAS, to Forbes on Fifth in New York on February 6th. To learn more about the partnership with Singapore Tourism Board and the event please visit: https://talesofthecocktail.org/destinations/spirited-awards-presents-atlas/

In light of the ongoing global events with the Russian government’s invasion of Ukraine, Tales of the Cocktail Foundation’s policy will remain unchanged for the 2023 Spirited Awards. The Spirited Awards Committee and Tales of the Cocktail Foundation Board will not consider nominees from Russia for this year’s awards, nor will the Spirited Awards ​committee include any Russian-based judges.

The Foundation stands in solidarity with colleagues and friends in the hospitality industry in Ukraine and to all citizens impacted by this catastrophic invasion. And, the organization acknowledges industry colleagues in Russia who do not support this war, but also have minimal ways to protest this war without risking their own personal safety.

Nominations, Timeline, and Categories

The open-call nomination period for the “establishments,” “people,” and “writing & media” categories will run from February 1 to February 22, 2023. The Regional Honoree list will be announced in April, and the Top 10 lists will be announced in early June, with the Top 4 Finalists announced in late June.

The 17th annual Spirited Awards ceremony will take place on Thursday, July 27, 2023, in partnership with the Tales of the Cocktail 2023 host venue, The Fillmore. Additional details will follow.

2023 Spirited Awards Categories Open for Public Nomination:

  • (International/U.S.) Bartender of the Year
  • Best (International/U.S.) Bar Mentor
  • Best (International/U.S.) Brand Ambassador
  • Best (International/U.S.) Bar Team
  • Best (International/U.S.) Cocktail Bar
  • Best (International/U.S.) Hotel Bar
  • Best (International/U.S.) Restaurant Bar
  • Best New (International/U.S.) Cocktail Bar
  • Timeless (International/U.S.) Award
  • World’s Best Cocktail Menu
  • World’s Best Spirits Selection
  • Best New Spirit or Cocktail Ingredient
  • Best Cocktail & Spirits Writing
  • Best Cocktail & Spirits Publication
  • Best Broadcast, Podcast, or Online Video Series
  • Best New Cocktail or Bartending Book
  • Best New Book on Drinks Culture, History, or Spirits
  • Visionary Award

The nomination form, which is also open for self-nominations, can be found on the Tales of the Cocktail Foundation website. It only takes one nomination to be considered for the 2023 Spirited Awards, and all nominations are accepted and encouraged.

Spirited Awards Committee 

Spirited Awards® Committee Members are a collective group of respected bartenders, bar owners, educators, and writers from across the globe, entrusted with the meaningful decision of evaluating nominees based on a set of structured criteria. Bringing their years of experience and knowledge of the current work happening locally, nationally, and internationally, the committee judges come together and evaluate nominees from near and far to ensure that the Spirited Awards represent the magnitude of the global drinks industry. The Spirited Awards are not based on popular vote and all nominations are evaluated by their respective judging committees, even a single vote carries equal weight in the evaluation process.

“We are very excited to kick off nominations for the Spirited Awards once again,” said Spirited Awards Overall Chair Charlotte Voisey. “Given that 2022 was an inspiring year to look back on across the world in our industry with a tremendous amount of hard work, creativity, and excellence to reward, I expect the number of nominations we receive will continue to soar!”

Winners will be selected by a panel of over 100 industry experts, led by the following Chairs and Co-Chairs:

  • Spirited Awards Overall Chair
    • Charlotte Voisey
  • Spirited Awards International Chair
    • Jacob Briars
  • Asia Pacific Co-Chairs
    • Lorenzo Antinori
    • Pankaj Balachandran
    • Sam Bygrave
    • Charmaine Thio
  • Canada Co-Chairs
    • Kate Boushel
    • Sabrine Dhaliwal
  • Europe Co-Chairs
    • Roberta Mariani
    • Nicola Riske
  • Latin America & Caribbean Co-Chairs
    • Carlos Aguinsky
    • Jean Trinh
  • Middle East & Africa Co-Chairs
    • Stephen “KOJO” Aidoo
    • Cassandra Eichhoff
    • Caitlin Hill
  • U.S. Central Co-Chairs
    • Steva Casey
    • Lynn M. House
  • U.S. East Co-Chairs
    • Jackson Cannon
    • Laura Cullen
  • U.S. West Co-Chairs
    • Jason Asher
    • Mary Palac
  • Timeless Co-Chairs
    • Jared Brown
    • Anistatia Miller
  • Writing & Media Co-Chairs
    • Sandrae Lawrence
    • François Monti
    • Matthew Rowley

To learn more about the Spirited Awards Committee and awards criteria, please visit the Tales of the Cocktail Foundation’s Spirited Awards page.

Tales of the Cocktail Foundation Spirited Awards® and Forbes 

Tales of the Cocktail Foundation is pleased to share that Forbes is returning as the official media partner for the 2023 Spirited Awards and currently partners with the organization on editorial exploration of the Spirited Awards directory, as well as key themes and industry trends for the year.

TOTC 2023: Join Us in New Orleans for a Celebration of “Vitalize”

This year, for the 21-year anniversary, the conference will return with a curated lineup of seminars, events, and, of course, imbibing all in the name of this year’s official theme, “Vitalize”. Chosen to encapsulate the hospitality community’s vibrancy and adaptability, “Vitalize” showcases the kinetic energy that brings so much life to our shared industry.

As a gracious offering to guests who want to join in celebrating 21 years of cocktail education and networking, Tales of the Cocktail’s 2023 official host hotel, The Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans has provided a room block and special rate for attendees. The online reservation platform can be accessed via the Marriott website, here.

Please follow along for additional information on the Tales of the Cocktail Foundation websiteInstagramTwitter, and Facebook.

About Tales of the Cocktail Foundation:

Tales of the Cocktail Foundation is a non-profit organization that educates, advances, and supports the global hospitality industry and creates lasting impact in our host communities. Tales of the Cocktail Foundation is the global leader in spirits education and a platform to tackle issues facing the industry. The pillars of the Foundation are to Educate, Advance, and Support the hospitality industry through programs that benefit individuals and organizations in the community and to make a lasting impact in communities that host our events.

About Forbes

Forbes champions success by celebrating those who have made it, and those who aspire to make it. Forbes convenes and curates the most influential leaders and entrepreneurs who are driving change, transforming business and making a significant impact on the world. The Forbes brand today reaches more than 150 million people worldwide through its trusted journalism, signature LIVE and Forbes Virtual events, custom marketing programs and 44 licensed local editions in 77 countries. Forbes Media’s brand extensions include real estate, education and financial services license agreements.