July 21-25, 2010

The streets of the French Quarter were given a full shake and an Absinthe rinse for the 5-day fiesta that was the 8th Annual Tales of the Cocktail.

Bartenders, barbacks, barmaids, bar wenches and bar geeks invaded New Orleans once again this year for what has become the premier yearly gathering for spirit hounds.

Just to give you a sense of what hosting thousands of fans celebrating at the sacred altar of the cocktail entails, they tallied a brief summary from 2009:

13,884 mint leaves · 14,000 lemons · 11,250 limes · 192 pounds of sugar · 1,824 Driscoll’s Blackberries and Driscoll’s Blueberries · 74 Gallons Lime Juice · 82 Gallons Lemon Juice · 45 Gallons Grapefruit Juice · 21 Gallons Pineapple Juice · 25 Gallons Tomato Juice · 75 Gallons Simple Syrup · 950 Luxardo cherries · 450 cucumber wheels · 10 Gallons Rich Simple Syrup · 5 Gallons Honey Syrup · 3100 Driscoll’s Raspberries · 1400 Tropicana Orange twists · 1200 Lemon Twists · 1250 Lime Wheels · 940 Lemon Wheels · 400 Lemon Wedges · 430 Lime Wedges · 350 Stalks of Celery

Yeah, this list pretty much speaks for itself…it’s an onslaught of hedonistic fun, a celebration of the bartender as true artisan and a chance to honor those who are forerunners in the field.

With that in mind, for the fourth year running, a lavish dinner called the Spirited Awards was held on July 24th at the Roosevelt Hotel where the industry’s leading lights were saluted.  Sponsored by Pernod Ricard USA and voted on by a panel of thirty top professionals, fifteen awards were given out.

Here were this year’s winners (click on links for more info):

World’s Best Drink Selection
Bar Lebensstern in Cafe Einstein, Berlin

Best American Cocktail Bar
Death & Co., New York City

World’s Best Cocktail Bar
Death & Co., New York City

World’s Best New Cocktail Bar
Mayahuel, New York City

World’s Best Hotel Bar
The Connaught Bar, The Connaught Hotel, London

American Bartender of the Year
Murray Stenson (Zig Zag Cafe)

International Bartender of the Year
Agostino Perrone (Connaught Bar)

Best New Cocktail/Bartending Book
Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails by Ted Haigh

Best Cocktail Writing
CLASS magazine

Best New Product
Celery Bitters, The Bitter Truth

World’s Best Cocktail Menu
Death & Co., New York City

Best Bar Mentor
Dale DeGroff

Best American Brand Ambassador
Charlotte Voisey, William Grant & Sons Portfolio

Best International Brand Ambassador
John Gakuru, Sagatiba

Helen David Lifetime Achievement Award
Brian Rea

Congrats to the winners and to the organizers of this behemoth event.  I’m particularly stoked to see that with the growing success of the event that New Orleans rides high on it’s coattails.  Last year alone, the event brought in $9.7 million to the city (click here for the economic impact).

Stir it, shake it, sip it, slam it down, and then sit back and rest for a year…Tales will ride again soon…


5 Responses to “All Hail, the Tales of the Cocktail Award Winners”

  1. Wine Lover says:

    All Hail, the Tales of the Cocktail Award Winners: The streets of the French Quarter were given a full shake and a… http://bit.ly/dnlXqy

  2. 14,000 lemons, 10,000 mint leaves & enough ice to fill a schoolhouse. @TOTC stormed thru New Orleans. Read my latest: http://bit.ly/apjXR6

  3. 14,000 lemons, 10,000 mint leaves & enough ice to fill a schoolhouse. @TOTC stormed thru New Orleans leavin 15 winners: http://bit.ly/apjXR6

  4. Over 14,000 lemons, 10,000 mint leaves & enough ice to fill a schoolhouse. Tales of the Cocktail '10. Read my latest: http://bit.ly/apjXR6

  5. For those of you who gawk at anything and everything red carpet, I just came across this footage of the Spirited Awards. Now I could be wrong, but I think a lot of these people have been drinking…

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