A Mountain of Crushed Ice is Rum Blogger of the Year 2013 UK Rumfest Golden Rum Barrel Awards

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How a Mai Tai should NOT be and how it should be

Demerara Rums from Guyana

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Demerara Rums Part Two

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Demerara Rums Part Three

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Cachaca and Rhum agricole, what`s the difference?

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CACHACA – Around Brazil in 40.000 Alembics

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Sugarcane!

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Tahitian Vanilla Syrup

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Hibiscus Grenadine

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Gomme syrup

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Learn how to easily open a coconut and mix up a tasty Coconaut.

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TOTC 2015 – CACHACA – Around Brazil in 40.000 Alembics

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“Around Brazil in 40.000 Alembics” is a seminar conducted by Felipe Jannuzzi, a journalist and researcher at Mapa da Cachaça, a reference about cachaça recognized as one of the best cultural projects in Brazil by the Federal Ministry of Culture, and Jean Ponce, one of the most respected mixologists in Brazil with experience commanding the bar at “DOM”, from the chef Alex Atala, elected as the seventh-best restaurant in the world. Felipe has been studying cachaça and traveling around Brazil discovering some of the best alembics in the country.

While tasting some outstanding cachaças, he is also creating content (videos, articles, infographics, music) to show what this sugarcane spirit is all about. Although cachaça is the third most consumed spirit in the world, very few is known about the artisanal cachaças – a category represented by thousands of alembic producers spread all around Brazil. Jean Ponce has been studying cachaças and Brazilian ingredients for the past fifteen years and will bring to the seminar his philosophy and approach concerning the use of the spirit in mixology.

This seminar will be an opportunity to share some of these stories mapped along the Brazilian alembics and a way to demonstrate all aspects involving cachaça, proposing a new look at its history, production techniques (industrial x artisanal), regional terroir, customs, flavors, cocktail recipes and its relations with the Brazilian culture, mixology and gastronomy.

This seminar was one of the most interesting to me during this Tales, they really went deep into the world of cachaca and had quite a few interesting things to show, not the least the different kinds of woods used to age the cachaca in imparting different flavors, smells and colors to this interesting sugarcane spirit.

cachaca seminar tasting 2

Moderated by Felipe Jannuzzi, speakers – Jean Ponce and Tony Harion and sponsored by Leblon.

There are 4000 registered labels of cachaca in Brazil and about 40 000 unregistered….and there`s about 1.7 billion litres of cachaca produced every year and of that only 1%, yes ONE is exported….so there´s a whole array of cachacas in Brazil to be discovered….

They also had very rare artisanal cachacas to try, among one, was a cachaca that had been aged in stone!!

What is Cachaca?

It`s a sugarcane spirit and has to be from Brazil, it is obtained by the distillation of the fermented juice of the sugarcane, it´s 38-48% ABV, you may only add 6g/sugar/liter unless it`s a so called cachaca adocada which allows up to 30g/sugar/liter added.

It`s aged in different woods, there`s industrial (column) cachaca and artisan (alembic) cachaca.

Cachaca is the spirit of Brazil and it has many many different names and it`s used in many different ways, one of the more unknown to us outside of Brazil is the use of cachaca in certain religious rituals where men shower in cachaca….

During the 17th century (around 1750-1770) was the gold rush and gold was mined in Minas Gerais and was brought to Europe and slaves were brought to Brazil, also sugarcane spirit was exchanged for slaves and during the “golden era” a lot of cachaca was spread around in Brazil.

The end of the gold-era came in the 1800th century when coffee replaced cachaca since it was considered a more “noble” drink.

The difference between industrial (column) and artisanal (alembic) cachaca:

Artisanal Cachaca:

Is produced in small quantities, (around 200 000 litres per year) and is made from manually selected and harvested sugarcane, without the use of burning techniques. It`s fermentated for 24 to 36 hours with wild or selected yeasts. No chemical additions are allowed.

It`s distillated in batches, in copper stills, which favors the formation of important congeners for adding aromas and flavors to cachaca and “heads and tails” are separated, only the “heart” is kept. It`s aged in different types of woods. The end product has complex aromas and flavors.

Industrial Cachaca

Produced in large quantities (millions of litres per year) Made with sugarcane grown in large areas and harvested by machines. It is common practice to burn the sugarcane crop before the harvesting.

Use of chemicals, such as amonium sulphate, and antibiotics. fermentation period is 8 to 16 hours. Made with continuous distillation in stainless steel columns and there is no separation of the “head”, the “heart”, and the “tail”.

Usually not aged, and when aged, caramel color is added to give it a yellow hue.

It is a standardized and controlled product, but loses in sensory complexity, in other words….it`s a very “soul-less” industrial mass-product.

Infused Cachaca

There`s infused cachaca with all kinds of fruits and spices, like the french makes their rhum arrangè and those I believe gotta be nice. Then one kind I find interesting and fun are those bottles you see that have whole crabs in them…..and yep these are drunk too…..even though they are said to be not very good….they more look cool….I would love having one of those hanging as decoration in my home tiki bar :-)

Here are a few pics of those kinds of infused cachacas. My guess is that the crab infused cachacas are mostly a tourist souvenir. I was always wondering how they got the whole crabs into the bottles, but what they do from what I heard is sawing the bottom of the bottles open and then insert the crab, then glue the bottle back.

Woods

Amendoim-bravo is a wood that is videly available in Brazil and it`s perfect for making storage barrels. It has a subtle scent and imparts a slight yellow tone and a mildly astringent taste to the cachaca. It also stabilizes the cachaca and enhances the aroma of sugarcane and also preserves the spirit. Cachacas stored in barrels made of this wood are perfect for making mixed drinks and caipirinhas.

Araruva or canarywood, also called araribà is indigenous to Southest and center-west regions of Brazil. Cachaca aged in this wood gets a slightly yellowish color and a delicate floral aroma. It`s distict difference from other Brazilian woods is that it imparts viscosity and oiliness to the cachaca.

Cabrèuva or Bálsamo

This wood can be found from southern Bahia to Rio Grande do Sul. It gives the cachaca very intense herbacious aromas due to it´s greenish-yellow coloration and also adds slightly astringent flavors. It is used in “blends” of cachacas aged in oak and/or cherry wood.

Amburana

Also known as cerejeira imparts an intense color, a distict characteristic aroma with notesof vanilla and a slightly sweet flavor. The cachaca aged in amburana is widely known and available in Brazil and is often used in “blends” of cachaca aged in European oak barrels intensifying the aromas and flavors.

Jequitibà

Widely found in Brazil and is suitable for barrels used to store cachaca as it releases almost unnoticeable flavors, aromas and colors. The jequitibà-rosa imparts a golden color, pleasant flavors and complex boquet comparable to those of American oak.

Oak

Oak is not native to Brazil but grows in temperate areas in the northern parts of the globe. Several species are used the most common are European and American oak. Oak barrels are widely used to age cachaca and the import of barrels that has been previously used to age other alcoholic products like wines, whiskeys and cognac imparts cachaca with even more various flavors and aromas.

Cachaca aged in American oak has a golden color and distinctive aromas of vanilla and coconut, mild flavor and complex aromatic boquet.

The ageing in European oak gives an amber color, intense aromas and flavors characteristic of almonds, toasted wood and tannins.

Tasting

tasting collage

They had some very interesting cachacas for us to try, some that we will never try again, like the one that was aged in stone, Sèculo XVIII which had a very deep flavorful taste, herbal and woody and I remember I was thinking, “where does the woody, spicy flavor come from if it`s rested in stone” ? a Brazilian mystery…..this cachaca was exceptional.

We tasted several cachacas that had been aged in the various woods and also the excellent Weber Haus Extra Premium which is aged in both oak and bàlsamo.

cachaca seminar tasting weber haus 2

We tried one called Anísio Santiago which was incredibly flavorful and very rare, it has been aged in bàlsamo wood. Then we tried “Maria Izabel”, made by a woman (Maria Izabel) who makes artisan cachaca in small batch…

It`s rested in jequitibà wood and wild yeast is used for fermentation. It has a floral, slightly sweet flavor and is very pleasant. They showed us a short video of it´s production.

Sanhacu was a very flavor cachaca, rested in amburana and had a lot of flavor from the wood.

Then they had made something called “Fecha Corpo” – a herbal infusion – a cachaca elixir….with cachaca that had been infused with various herbs that are good for your health and according to folk belief is a “holy medicine” against envy and the evil eye.

It tastes very herbal, as expected but not bitter.

woods

In the two small bottles are the Fecha Corpo cachaca elixir and the small wood squares are samples of different Brazilian woods used to age cachaca.

We also got Garapa – freshly pressed sugarcane juice….a very common drink in Brazil and I love it! sweet and fresh and soothing.

Rainforest Priprioca Root

And then there was a very interesting little thing….in a small dark brown spray bottle…

They told us to spray our cocktail glass containing the Amazonia cocktail 3 times in the glass to impart a slight fragrance of the rainforest into the cachaca cocktail….then spray some on our arms and rub it in, as a “rainforest perfume” of sorts…

Very interesting! this “root-spray” is made from a root called priprioca which is a medicinal and aromatic root from the Amazon rainforest. The priprioca root contains an incredible range of aromas similar to vanilla, but with another flavor nuance, with slight earthy and smoky hints and aromatic notes oscillating between herbal and woody.

This root is extensively used in cosmetics and is now also being used by culinary chefs, and now also finding it`s way into cachaca cocktails….

root spray

The priprioca root has a very interesting look…

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Freshly pressed sugarcane juice!

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Cachaca is fun! just like rum! :-) Felipe and Ponce.

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Tony Harion!

Please come back the next year!!

And here you can read all about Cachaca!

Photos: Mapa de Cachaca, Laura Godel and me.

TOTC 2015 – Tapping Rum`s Past for Rum`s Future and Clairin Rums of Rural Haiti

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There was a clear presence of rum at the Tales of the Cocktail and as a rum enthusiast and rum blogger I tried to get to them all…I almost managed….but here are two of the rum seminars and tastings, more will come:

Tapping Rum`s Past for Rum`s Future

This seminar was talking about rum’s history which spans centuries, and how its flavor and character have changed dramatically over the years. How rums used to taste long ago and whether it´s possible to reverse-engineer those styles of spirits, and improve on them for today. Talking about rum’s past —drawing inspiration from historic styles of the spirit, as well as from vintage menus, cocktail recipes, distillers’ notes and popular literature.

There was the deconstruction of the Plantation 3 stars and little did I know that the 3 Stars actually is made with four rums! I always thought it was 3….but it´s made with two white rums, one from Barbados, and one from Jamaica and then a dark Trinidad and then there`s an extra dark rum from Jamaica…

Surprise surprise!

Plantation rums collage

Then of course there was the Stiggin`s….this elusive pineapple rum that was first made last year by Plantation rums, and presented at last year´s Tales, which was meant to be an “experiment” and only making a short appearance….but causing such a global outcry in the rum and cocktail community that they decided to make more….and thank God for that!!

Now the Pineapple strikes back…coming back at this Tales in full force….and finally yours truly got hold a bottle! gonna hold on tight to that one…

Plantation Stiggins

So how did they make the Stiggin`s Pineapple rum and what does the name Stiggin´s mean?

In the 19th century England, Pineapple rum was considered a delicacy, so much that it was even immortalized by novelist Charles Dicken`s character, Reverend Stiggins. In England there was even a house built like a pineapple!

The first wild pineapples came from South America and they had a strong scent of raspberries and were smaller than the pineapples we see today and needed to be pollinated by birds. They were discovered by an indian tribe called Guarani and they made pineapple wine.

In 1654 the pineapple came to Madagascar and then it traveled all around the world. When it finally came to England around the 18-1900th century it was a big thing. The pineapple fruit was really precious and not for the common people to enjoy but was the fruit of the kIngs.

In 1778 Capt Cook brought it to Hawaii and those pineapples he brought must have come from the Kew gardens in England since that was the place they were grown in Europe.

Plantation distillate for the pineapple rum

So back to Stiggin`s – for 3 months the Plantation rum folks did eat pineapples for breakfast every morning….they wanted to find the best pineapple available today and finally they found it – the Victoria pineapple from La Rèunion island in the Indian Ocean and it`s one of the most expensive pineapples in the world.

So first the pineapples are peeled by hand – all of them!! then the rinds of the fruit are infused with Plantation 3 stars rum for one week and then they are distilled in a pot still. And separately the fruit is infused with Plantation dark rum for 3 months.

After that the two liquids are married together and left to age in casks for 3 months and the final product is then ready – Plantation Stiggin`s Fancy Pineapple Rum! anyone who have tried this rum knows how awesome it is!!!

Plantation pineapple drawings

And now we know how it was made! :-)

This seminar was presented by Paul Clarke, Jeff Berry, Martin Cate, Alexander Gabriel and was sponsored by Plantation Rum.

Clairin Rhums of Rural Haiti

CLAIRIN SEMINAR 6

A look inside the little known and rarely understood world of rural rhum production on the island of Haiti. Beyond the large brands such as Barbancourt and Vieux Labbe, most of the rhum produced and consumed by islanders in rural Haiti follows rustic, age-old production methods in the outer regions of this unique island. Slow, natural fermentation attracts the natural yeast of each micro-region, delivering a true snapshot of local DNA — true terroir — followed by a gentle distillation and simple finishing to produce a delightful, fresh cane spirit of fine quality.

In this intimate tasting seminar, we’ll sample some of the very best examples of Clairin from Haiti, which are now gaining greater appreciation in Europe thanks to the passionate efforts of Gianluca Gargano of Velier.

This was one of the exclusive tastings and one I was really looking forward to attend….and that`s because I`m a huge fan of Velier rums, I think their Demerara. Agricole and Caroni rums are absolutely one of a kind and completely outstanding….. I find the Clairin rums to be AMAZING! plus I find rums from Haiti extremely interesting….

The seminar/tasting was every bit as interesting as I thought it would be and all the Clairin rhums tastes fantastic! There are 3 Clairin rhums by Velier and they all have very different tastes and personalities and one thing they have in common is that they are incredibly flavorful and vibrant! very brilliant and lively rums!

This exclusive tasting was moderated by Robert Burr (Miami Rumfest) and presented by Luca Gargano (Velier), Ian Rum Ambassador Burrell (World Rum Ambassador), Alexandre Vingtier (Rumporter.com) and Peter Holland (The Floating Rum Shack)

clairin seminartasting

Luca Gargano and Velier

The tasting was led by Luca Gargano who in the 70s I became the brand ambassador of St James’s rhum from Martinique. One day he arrived in Martinique….this was in the old days before mass tourism had reached the island and he fell in love with this tropical island and it`s girls… :-) and of course, the RUM! At an age of 18 at the time he fell in love with rhum/rum and never looked back. When he was 27 he purchased the company Velier and started to import several brands of rums.

Rum geeks knows that he was the one who found a Damoiseu rum that was set apart because it contained a small percentage of molasses rum and because of that didn`t fit into the standard since they could only bottle pure sugar cane juice to obtain their AOC.

Well, that was damn lucky thing for us that he found that put away Damoiseau rum….which was distilled in 1980 at a full proof of 60.3 % and Luca found it to be exceptional – which I can attest it really is!! that rum is absolutely amazing! – so he bought all their stock (almost) and kept it all full proof. Later he discovered that they had kept some of their stock and released their own “1980 Damoiseau” the same year…hm….

But with the 1980 Damoiseau rum the “Fullproof” rum concept was born and then he started to work with the DDL in Guyana and their chairman Yesu Persaud and now more wonderful things happened because he became the ONLY one in the world who got access to the DDL rum stock and thus he could pick and choose among the old rum barrels at the DDL….which has been a REAL blessing to the rum lovers in this world!

And not only this, Luca did also find and bought up a whole heap of old Caroni barrels in Trinidad when Caroni had sadly been closed down and he let his rums age in the tropics because he believes that tropical ageing is the best! so his story cut in short – he and his outstanding rums has become a legend in the rum world and now he was there at this seminar with his new Clairin rhums from Haiti.

Rhum agricole or clear white pot still rhum in Haiti is called clairin and to obtain the Appelation Triple A the rhum must be produced following these rules:

CLAIRIN SEMINAR 4

So the sugarcane is grown very naturally together with herbs, trees and flowers, for example banana and the sugarcane varietes has to be indigenous not hybrids and also has to be organic. And in the rhum production wild natural yeast is used and fermetation has to be at least 120 hrs.

The juice has not to be dilluted with water. The distribution is small batch pot still or pot and small column and the source of heat is direct fire and the Clairin rhums has to be bottled at strength of distillation with no dilution and bottling is done on Haiti.

There are something like 5oo producers of these white/clear pot still rhums on Haiti, producing everything from “drink-at-your-own-risk-moonshine” to good rhums and these rhums are very different and they are organic and made the old fashioned way country-style, it´s the dink of the country!

Clairin Sajous, Vaval and Casimir

CLAIRIN RUMS

These are the three Clairin rhums by Velier that we tasted and they are ALL outstanding! I love their vibrancy and full proof strength! They are completely unique of it´s kind and of rums! The first one, the Sajous is made in Sajous by Chelo and bottled by Velier and it`s bottled straight from the still at 53.5 % ABV and is still the “mildest” of the three and a wonder of balance and vibrancy. But make no mistake by the term “mildest” – this stuff is pungent, it hits you right in your nose and stomach…..

You get hit by something that I can only describe as similar to the lovely but very special “kerosene” flavor you find in the overproof JWray (although this is not a molasses rum and it does not taste like JWrat at all) then you get hit by a whole array of wonderful and strong flavors, there`s nothing weak about this rhum. It`s herbal, grassy, floral, salty and sweet, strong and spicy but also smooth like butter….and I love it!

The next one, the Vaval is a rhum I also have at home, it´s a bit more temperamental and with an even stronger flavor…..its a heady rum….packed full of flavors and it`s distilled at the Arawaks distillery in the village of Cavaillon, Haiti.

The last one will kick your ass to the moon…..

Casimir is the first of these three rums I ever tried, that was last year, also at the Tales when I tried a sample brought to the Tales and then and there I fell in love with Velier Clairin rhums. Casimir is the most “difficult” of the three I´ve heard….it`s like to try to jump up and ride on a young horse or even a bull that have never had anyone on its back before…it will kick, it will run and it will try to give you trouble….

Well, my palate loved it at first sight….so I guess i`m safe :-) packed full of strong vibrant and unique flavors it dances around in your mouth in a frenzy! it`s double distilled at the Douglas Casimir distillery in the village of Baraderes. It`s herbal and rich, strong and wild….

If you love rum and vibrant agricole rhum I recommend you to try these rums!

Clairin rums bottles

Then we also tried another of Lucas rhums, the Rhum Rhum Liberation 2010. This rhum is made on Marie-Galante outside of Guadeloupe in collaboration with master distiller Capovilla.

It`s made from fermented pure sugar cane juice without any water added during a 10 day long fermentation period. So it`s just fermented sugar cane juice, nothing else.

This is pure rhum! and a very fine rhum, it`s aged about 2-3 years in casks that have contained french wines. The name “Liberation 2010” refers to that the rhum has been “liberated” from the cask and put together in 2010.

It´s balanced, tropical fruity and slightly spicy. it´s not a weak rhum but it has nothing to do with how the Clairin rhums attacks your senses….this is more like a mild but firm caress on your palate. It`s a wonderful expression of Rhum!

So this tasting has been very very memorable and pleasant, interesting and challenging…..I would do it again in a heartbeat!

Rhum Rhum Liberation 2010

Rhum Rhum, Liberation 2010.

clairin vaval

This my friends are some of the worlds very finest rums!

clairin the spirit of haiti

Pictures by Laura Godel and me.

TOTC 2015 – RUM – A Taste of 10 Rare Single Casks

plantation single casks rums

Rum is much more than a liquor in a bottle – it`s a lifestyle and the spirit of a people.

Here is a rare opportunity to experience some fine aged rums from a private collection, never before seen in the United States. Originally sourced in Caribbean casks, these select aged rums were further aged in special barrels in Europe over many years. This exclusive tasting event will be available for only twenty serious rum enthusiasts, featuring vintage rums from Guadeloupe, Belize, Guyana and Haiti, lovingly triple matured and rested in barrels from rare Sauternes, Pineau des Charentes and even Sherry casks.

At the Tales there are a few of these rare tastings and if you get the chance go to some, you will probably never get the chance to taste some of these spirits again. At this tasting there were 10 very rare single cask rums from Plantation rums and it was a privilege to be able to taste them.

Presented by Robert Burr, Paul McFadyen and Alexandre Gabriel and sponsored by Plantation rum and DrinkUpNY.com we were presented the philosphy and vision behind the Plantation rums, followed by tasting samples of these 10 rare single casks:

PLANTATION RUM SEMINAR

Cuba 1998 –  This rum was aged in Cuba. It has a sweet nose with hints of vanilla. A bit lighter rum, Cuban style with a bone structure of spicy cask. Notes of fruity apricot and vanilla with some spice. I found it to be an elegant and fresh rum.

plantation single casks cuba

Trinidad 1989 – This rum doesn´t exist anymore and is a blend of pot and column stills. It`s fruity and spicy, rounded and rich. A glimpse of the past….

Nicaragua 1998 – It has a faint nose, almost nothing but there´s slight notes of fruit. The taste is dry with a pleasant touch of wood. Not sure if I picked up a hint of cherry? I liked this rum a lot.

Barbados 1991 – Sweet, fruity, mellow and balanced made with 40% pot and 60% column stills with vanilla notes and french oak. A nice pleasant balanced rum.

Belize 9 yo – This rum is 100% column still rum. It has a very distinct coconut flavor, some hints of vanilla, it´s a very tropical rum.

Navy blend, Barbados, Trinidad, Belize – This was a very spicy strong bodied rum, woody, complex and rich! with a slightly fruity nose and of course one of my favorites…

Barbados 20 yo – Rare, only a few barrels are left. Spicy wood, smooth and balanced.

Guadeloupe 1998 –  One of my top favorites! incredible rum!! Rich, flavorful and outstanding! complex, wild and warm. Oh yeah……….

Jamaica 1998/Guyana 1988 –  My notes says “Flavor! Funky! Heavy! :-)

St Lucia 15 yo – Sweet and woody…..

plantation single cask collage

Then there was also a surprise rum, a very rare 1983 Jamaican, which was VERY flavorful and funky….a high ester bomb! tropical bananas, wood, raisin, tropical fruit….

The vision of Plantation rums is to capture the essence of what rum used to be, how it used to taste and roll upstream against the tide of column still, and to reflect the style of each island. The rums are double aged, first in their tropical climate and then in limousine and oak casks in France.

According to Plantation rums double ageing is the key to refinement in combination with “elevage” which means to nurture the rum like you would nurture a plant or a baby. If distillation is a science then ageing is an art and the blender works the symphony…

We were tasting the “treasure chest” of Plantation rums, rums that are not available to the public for various reasons, for example the Trinidad 1989 which doesn`t exist anymore in the way it was made. Every single barrel is unique and whether the rum is aged in humid or dry cellars affects the rum, for example you get a smoother rum in a humid cellar since there the alcohol evaporates first and in a drier cellar you will get a spicier rum.

Every rum has it´s own “sweet spot” which is the proof at which the rum shines the most.

This and a lot of other things we learnt at this tasting/seminar which I think was outstanding and very interesting! I`m happy I was there!

I´m sure we will see more of Plantation rums at the Tales next year! don´t miss it……..

plantation single casks 5

Paul McFadyen and Alexandre Gabriel, photos Laura Godel

Tales of the Cocktail Announces Spirited Awards Winners

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Saturday night, the year’s best bars, bartenders, writers and cocktail experts from around the world were recognized at the 9th Annual Spirited Awards® as part of Tales of the Cocktail® 2015.

NEW ORLEANS, LA – July 19, 2015 – Following the largest nomination pool in the history of the show and a rigorous judging process by some of the most respected members of the cocktail industry, Tales of the Cocktail® is proud to announce the winners for each category of the 9th Annual Spirited Awards®. All winners were announced live last evening at the Sheraton Hotel New Orleans.  In addition to this year’s judged award winners, Jonathan Downey and Steve Mannan were also honored for their professional achievements.

“2014 was an exceptionally fertile year for drink books and drink writing in general, with extremely difficult choices to make in each of the four writing categories,” said David Wondrich Writing Committee Chairman. “As far as the judges are concerned, each of the finalists is a true winner and would have dominated the field in an average year. It was humbling to have to choose among them.”

For the past nine years, the Spirited Awards® have recognized the year’s best bars, bartenders, writers and experts, becoming the cocktail industry’s most prestigious and coveted award program. Winners were voted on by a panel of more than 100 industry experts, led by Simon Ford (Chairman), Jackson Cannon (U.S. Judging Committee Chairman), Jacob Briars (International Judging Committee Chairman), and David Wondrich (Writing Committee Chairman). Voting was a weeklong process that required extensive knowledge in each category. The votes were verified by the Super Committee and tallied to determine the Top 10, Top Four and ultimately this year’s winners.

“I couldn’t be more proud of the effort of the American judges of this years Spirited Awards,” said Jackson Cannon, American Judging Committee Chairman. “Their thoughtful, determined approach has parsed the incredibly worthy field down to those most deserving of the highest honors this year. A toast to the winners, they truly are the best of the best!”

This year, the sponsoring partners of the 9th Annual Spirited Awards® were Bacardi USA, BarSmarts, Beefeater Gin, Bleu Dry Bar, Caña Brava, Chivas, Cognac Ferrand, Courvoisier, House of Angostura, Luxardo, Mountain Valley Spring Water, Nicolas Feuillatte, The Perfect Purée of Napa Valley, Rums of Puerto Rico, Mezcal El Silencio and William Grant & Sons.

“The Second ‘Golden Age of the Cocktail’ continues to spread around the globe, as bartenders, bar owners and ambassadors continue to set ever higher standards internationally. It’s wonderful to see traditional strongholds like London and Melbourne sharing nominations with the resurgent bar scene in Paris, and to see the rise of great bars in places like Singapore and Dubai being recognized too,” said Jacob Briars, International Judging Committee Chairman.

“I’m grateful to our 50 International Committee judges for their hard work and dedication in distilling thousands of nominees down to our finalists and award winners, who represent the very best in the global industry. There has never been a better time to be a cocktail lover around the globe.”

2015 Spirited Awards® Winners

 

American Categories

 

Best American Bar Team
Employees Only (New York)

 

American Bartender of the Year
Ivy Mix (New York)

 

Best American Brand Ambassador
Brooke Arthur (House Spirits)

 

Best American Cocktail Bar
Williams & Graham (Denver)

 

Best American High Volume Cocktail Bar
Employees Only (New York)

 

Best American Hotel Bar
The Broken Shaker (Miami Beach)

 

Best American Restaurant Bar
Eastern Standard Kitchen & Drinks (Boston)

 

Best New American Cocktail Bar
ABV (San Francisco)

 

International Categories

 

Best International Bar Team
28 Hong Kong Street (Singapore)

 

International Bartender of the Year
Ryan Chetiyawardana (London)

 

Best International Brand Ambassador
Claire Smith-Warner (Belvedere Vodka)

 

Best International Cocktail Bar
Artesian (London)

 

Best International High Volume CocktailBar
The Black Pearl & The Attic (Melbourne)

 

Best International Hotel Bar
Beaufort Bar, The Savoy (London)

 

Best International Restaurant Bar
Blind Pig at Social Eating House (London)

 

Best New International Cocktail Bar
Dandelyan (London)

 

Writing Categories

 

Best Cocktail & Spirits Publication
PUNCH

 

Best Cocktail & Spirits Writer
Dave Broom

 

Best New Cocktail/Bartending Book
Liquid Intelligence: The Art and Science of the Perfect Cocktail by Dave Arnold

 

Best New Spirits Book
Whisky: The Manual by Dave Broom

 

Overall Categories

 

Best Bar Mentor
Jim Meehan (Portland)

 

Best New Spirit or Cocktail Ingredient
Amaro di Angostura

 

World’s Best Cocktail Menu
Dead Rabbit (New York)

 

World’s Best Spirits Selection
Canon (Seattle)

 

World’s Best Bar
Dead Rabbit (New York)

 

Special Recognitions

 

Lifetime Achievement Award
Jonathan Downey

 

Sam Guarino Citation
Steve Mannan

Congrats to all the winners!

Aloha Strawberry!

Aloha Strawberry

I saw a very tasty looking strawberry drink the other day and decided to make one similar and sort of “Tikify” the style of it and also swap the ginger beer for the hotter Pimento drink…

The original recipe (adapted from voyagevixens.com) was fresh strawberry puree, Angostura rum, ginger beer and a couple dashes Angostura bitters, simple and tasty.

Pimento is a ginger beer type of drink (it´s not an actual ginger beer) but with added chili pepper, it´s made with ginger, tonic and hot pepper natural flavors and it is fizzy and strong!! it`s like a ginger beer with a chili bite……

I like it a lot! I also like Angostura rums and bitters and of course, lime and strawberries!

Aloha Strawberry

¼ cup Strawberry purée

4 oz Angostura Single Barrel Rum (1919 works good too)

A small squeeze of fresh lime juice

Splash of Pimento

A few dashes of Angostura aromatic Bitters

Fill a Hurricane glass with ice, strawberry purée and a small squeeze of fresh vibrant lime juice, pour in rum, then top with Pimento and bitters. Stir and serve. Garnish with a fat juicy strawberry, red Hibiscus and Bouganvillea flowers, fresh mint, add a long and thick colorful straw….

Pimento can be found in various countries, you may check out their website and I know that in Sweden it`s available through Renbjer & Magnusson.

Bring on more heat and sun!

Now this blog takes a little break until it´s time to report what`s going on this year at the Tales of the Cocktail!

Aloha!

Aloha Strawberry 2

St Aubin Melon Liqueur – Bring on the Summer!

St Aubin liqueur melon

I`ve been waiting for the warmer temps to arrive for my review of St Aubin melon liqueur which I think is just perfect for those fruity refreshing and a bit lighter summer drinks. Melon is to me – summer…..it´s such a refreshing fruit to eat in the heat.

St Aubin plantation located on southern Mauritius has been cultivating sugarcane since 1890 and takes it´s name from one of it`s first owner Pierre de St Aubin. On the estate there`s both artisanal and a traditional rums made but they make more than rums….

They also have a tea plantation, Bois Chéri and a vanilla plantation and that`s the vanilla they use in their vanilla flavored rums. The water used in the rum making comes from their own spring water from Bois Chéri. It`s all local produce here which is something i like.

And now they also have a melon liqueur!

The liqueur smells like fresh cut up honeydew or cantaloupe melon…….and the taste is light and fruity and not too sweet, I like that! it can even be drunk neat and still be refreshing. In cocktails it shines and i`m sure it would go very well in all kinds and types of cocktails.

Before i made drinks I decided to follow the advice on the bottle – serve on the rocks, and with a litttle ice and melon garnish it`s the quintessential summer refreshener! and here are a couple of fresh and fruity summer cocktails, tropical style:

Mauritius Exotique

Mauritius Exotique

0.5 oz fresh lemon juice

0.5 oz fresh lime juice

1.5 oz pineapple juice

0.5 oz vanilla syrup

0.5 oz St Aubin Liqueur Melon

2 oz St Aubin 50% White Rum

Dash Boy Drinks World passion fruit bitters

Shake with ice cubes and strain into a goblet with cracked ice and garnish with mint and tropical flower. Top off with a dust of grated nutmeg.

This drink turned out very fruity and refreshing, perfect for hot summer days!

Sundown

A cocktail for the setting of the sun…..

Sundown

1 oz grapefruit juice (yellow)

1 oz pineapple juice

0.5 oz fresh lime juice

0.5 oz St Aubin Liqueur Melon

2 oz St Aubin White Reserve Rum

0.5 oz grenadine, preferably hibiscus grenadine, home/house made or BG Reynold`s.

Float of JWray overproof (optional)

Muddle 2-3 lime wedges with grenadine and 8-10 mint leaves in a shaker. Add the muddle mix into a tall glass and add crushed ice almost to the top. Shake the rest of ingredients, strain and pour into the glass. Give it a little stir and add more crushed ice to fill.

Top with a little Club Soda, and if you wish, add a float of JWray on top.

Garnish with mint and orchid.

The melon is not obvious but it`s there and this drink is very refreshing.

Ti Melon

Ti Melon

This drink has a French name, “Ti Melon” means simply “little melon” (petit melon) and is a fresh green fruity take on the Ti Punch with added melon liqueur, ice and more lime than you usually find in a Ti Punch, and the drink turned out very tasty!

2 oz St Aubin 50% White Rum

0.5 oz St Aubin Liqueur Melon

0.25-0.5 oz sugarcane syrup depending on your taste

0.75 oz fresh lime juice

Stir with ice and garnish with a sugarcane stick and lime peel

Refreshing!

Seehuusens Coffee and Chocolate Bitters

Seehusens Bitters bottle

Seehuusens Coffee and Chocolate bitters is made by a Swedish bartender, Daniel Seehuusen. They are new on the market in Sweden (for now) and I must say, these bitters are very good!

Here is his story:

Taste has always been something that has interested me, and when I received Saturday candy as a child I always thought it was very interesting to first take a red candy, then a yellow and finally take one red and one yellow to see if it got better together.

I got interested in cooking early, something that today is still a great passion and usually is what I do to unwind and relax. After high school I knew I wanted to work in a restaurant, but I was unsure if it was in the kitchen I wanted to be or in the bar, but as an 18 year old it was easy to pull up to the bar’s magical world. I joined an intensive training and worked a few months.

But I realized quite quickly that my education didn`t really deliver what it promised so I decided to take the other road into the bar, from the bottom and up. I worked a few years as a dishwasher and barback and began after a while to run the bar again.

Quickly I realized the beauty of working in front of the guest and to get feedback immediately. Cooking remained a hobby.

I have for many years macerated ingredients in spirits to to use in cocktails so making bitters turned out quite natural. I had it as pretty relaxed projects for quite a few years but for 1½ years ago I decided to make it more seriously, I started to weigh and measure, keeping records and I became interested in what alcohol proof worked best for each individual ingredient.

I began to think it was funnier to make new bitters than to use up my old. The problem that arose with too many bitters was simply solved by giving them away to friends and acquaintances.

Last summer I broke two fingers in a bicycle accident, and I got a quite a long sick leave but after a while I started “climbing the walls” and that`s when I decided to start my own business. Said and done, I started Seehuusen Spirits AB and sent samples to Systembolaget (The Swedish spirits retail shop, alcohol is state owned in Sweden) and won their request for a new cocktail bitters.

Part of the reason I began making bitters was because I felt that many of the available bitters on the market has a chemical taste, I simply doesn`t think everything out there tastes authentic and natural. And therefore it has been very important for me to use natural ingredients and not compromising on quality. The ingredients in Seehuusen’s Bitters are of course a secret, but the three main ingredients are coffee, chocolate and cocoa.

I have been extra careful and have only selected products that are produced in a sustainable and responsible manner and of course of really high quality. My goal is that Seehuusen’s Bitters Coffee & Chocolate should be entirely organic in 2016.

I have also chosen the bottle with care and the dark purple glass lets through very little light. As you probably already know, light break down flavors and reduce sustainability and so I picked this dark purple glass to be able to guarantee the highest quality and longest possible shelf life.

My plan with Seehuusen Spirit is to work as much as possible with the launch of the “Coffee & Chocolate”at Systembolaget, and in the fall / winter there will be new flavors that will only be sold to restaurants.

Seehuusen’s Bitters Coffee & Chocolate will be in the normal range in 70 Systembolaget shops. It is 200 ml, 35% and the price is 149 SEK. Systembolaget’s part number: 450 – http://www.systembolaget.se/dryck/sprit/seehuusens-bitters-45004

So, I tried the bitters in two drinks, one recipe created by Daniel and then a “bitterized” Shrunken Skull – since there has already been published classic and modern cocktails on the bitters website, someone needs to try them in a tiki drink too right? well somebody gotta do it….seems that somebody is me… :-)

But before I present the drinks, let me say what I think of the bitters:

First the bottle, it is a very nice looking one with a beautiful label in dark purple and gold to match the dark purple bottle and even the seal is beautiful. But it´s the inside that counts right? so first the nose, you get a whiff of coffee at first followed by warm cocoa, and the final impression is that it´s a yummy balanced smell of both cocoa and coffee.

Tasting a few drops of it reveals more of the coffee-cocoa flavor with a slight bitterness but it´s not more bitter than say Angostura, you can use this in larger quantities too if you want to make cocktails in the style of Trinidad Sour. But how much flavor a dash or two gives different cocktails is something to experiment with.

Here´s the two drinks:

Micedymac Flip (recipe Daniel Seehuusen)

Mickedymac collage

4 cl ( about 1.5 oz) Venezuelan rum and 2 cl ( about 0.75 oz) Trinidad rum

3 barspoons maple syrup

3 dash Seehusens  bitters coffee and chocolate

1 egg

Dry shake and then shake with ice, strain into a glass, dust a little cocoa on top, garnish with wrapped around vanilla beans.

This drink did really let the rum come forward….soft like velvet and somewhat “cool” for a lack of better word, and not too sweet! the cinnamon on top added that extra spice…

Very nice!

Shrunken Skull with a twist!

Shrunken Skull

1 oz fresh lime juice

1 oz grenadine

1 oz gold Puero Rican rum (instead, I used Denizen Rum Merchant`s Reserve)

1 oz demerara rum

Several good dashes of Seehuusen`s Coffee and Chocolate Bitters

Shake vigoriously with ice cubes and pour unstrained into a tiki mug.

As of recipe from the 1950s………it`s believed that the Shrunken Skull is a drink that was inspired by Don the Beachcomber’s Skull & Bones. As far as I know there´s only two tiki bars in the world still serving Donn Beach original Skull and Bones – Mai Kai and Tiki Ti.

The Seehuusens coffe and chocolate bitters added a rounded yummy touch to the drink! I submitted this one also for the Shrunken Skull Challenge on Instagram.

So, if you happen to live in Sweden (for now at least), give these bitters a try….you won`t be disappointed!

Seehusens Bitters seal

Here is the bitters webpage, Seehuusens Spirits.

UK Rumfest 2015 is on the way!

UK Rumfest rum glass

Get ready! the Rum is coming to London again!

RumFest is set to return again to London this year, with its most comprehensive offering to date. Rum aficionados and newcomers are invited to immerse themselves in one of the world’s best loved spirits with masterclasses, seminars, cocktail making and quality tastings.

Over 400 of the rarest and most diverse rums in the market will be showcased at the event, which has become the one-stop resource for rum lovers up and down the country for the past nine years. The Golden Tot returns in 2015 providing access to the ultra-premium rum offerings and new private and intimate tastings will give discerning drinkers the chance to discover the rarest rums from around the world.

The jam-packed programme will also feature cocktail making competitions, a Christie’s rum auction, incredible food and the party atmosphere of Carnival Hour.

Ian Burell at the UK Rumfest

The ninth annual RumFest is already on course for its best year yet, taking rum lovers on a voyage of discovery through the glorious world of rum. Launched by Global Rum Ambassador Ian Burrell, the The Rum Experience’s RumFest has become one of the biggest events on the rum calendar and caters for everyone who enjoys a tipple, from novices to fully fledged rum connoisseurs.

2015 will see RumFest soar to new heights thanks to a refined, rum-fuelled programme set to both educate and entertain. Whether a keen rum enthusiast, all-round spirit lover or new to the category, RumFest is the one-stop shop for all to embrace rum as a lifestyle choice.

A day ticket to RumFest gives attendees unrivalled access to try and buy over 400 different blends from around the world. Following the success of last year the Golden Tot tokens return. Available on the day for just £5, the Golden Tots open the doors to rum’s elite and allows the more serious rum enthusiast to try rums that usually retail for over £200 a bottle.

Seminars and workshops take place across the two days where brands, ambassadors and leading industry figures give an in-depth insight into the world of rum including rum and food pairing and the making of rums. Top blenders, mixologists and distillers will also be on hand to teach ticket holders the art of cocktail making as well as more ways to enjoy their favourite rums.

In a new move for 2015 RumFest’s trade sister show Boutique RumFest will make an appearance across the two days, giving the rum super fan unprecedented access to selected rums with private tastings that have previously been reserved only for those who work in the industry.

UK Rumfest Ian-at-auction

Other highlights for 2015 include the return of RumFest’s Auction in partnership with Christie’s auction house. A must see for this year, RumFest is hoping to smash last year’s grand total where over 20 precious and rare rum were sold off for charity.

The RumFest’s famous food offering will deliver mouth watering cuisine from exotic rum making locations and temperatures are set to rise with live stage demos showcasing rum pairings, cooking demos, cocktail competitions and more. Carnival Hour rounds off the RumFest experience each day in the ultimate party finale, featuring live bands and dancers that embrace the fun and social spirit of rum.

UK Rumfest Chef-Hassan

RumFest Founder and Global Rum Ambassador Ian Burrell is the leading name in rum. Dedicating his life to promoting rum and rum culture around the world, over the years Burrell has been recognised with a number of industry awards as well as regularly appearing as a rum expert at events and on television shows like Sunday Brunch, the Alan Titchmarsh Show and more.

Speaking about the return of RumFest Burrell says, “We’ve refined RumFest this year into something very special. We’ll be taking rum lovers on the UK’s biggest celebration of rum, showing them the fun side of the culture, while at the same time giving an insight into the spirit so they can take home what they’ve learnt, armed with a better understanding of the spirit.”

The RumFest takes place in London at the ILEC, 17th to 18th October 2015. Standard day tickets are now on sale at £49.95, which includes access to all areas of the the event and tastings from all exhibitors. VIP tickets are on sale from £75 and allow for early access of one hour ahead of standard ticket buyers along with a two course Caribbean lunch and RumFest goodie bag.

Golden Tot Tokens are £5 each and allow for additional access to the more premium rums on offer. One token can be exchanged for rum retailing £80 – £100 and more expensive rums will be available for additional tokens. Tickets to the new private rum tastings will be announced soon. For full information on RumFest and to buy tickets head to rumfest.co.uk.

See you there!

And here are the posts I made last year, if you wanna check out what`s going on at the UK Rumfest, and here`s all the posts from 2011-2014.

UK rum-experience-logo

Zombie Challenge 2015!

zombie challenge 2015 logo

If the Bum had not cracked the code of the 1934 Zombie we would not have known it……

……and WHO can resist a Zombie? ………not me……….. :-)

So here we go again with the next tiki drink challenge, the one and only, the Zombie! oh how I love that drink! and not only does it taste fabulous, it was this very drink that started the tiki craze and put Don the Beachcomber on the map! But tiki is so much more than just the drinks – which are just one piece of the puzzle that makes up the colorful and exotic “Tiki fabric” – but a very important one! and the Zombie is one of the most important of the drinks.

The Zombie is so popular that there´s even a whole book dedicated to just the Zombie, it´s history and what must be the worlds biggest collection of Zombie recipes! and in Sippin`Safari there`s a whole chapter about it´s history and how the Bum cracked the code. Because the original recipe was written in code. There´s tons of Zombie recipes out there, some good, some worse….but the best in my opinion is the original, the 1934 Zombie Punch by Donn Beach, which btw he kept tinkering with his whole life.

If you don`t know already, the Tiki drink challenges are taking place on Instagram where you post up a picture of the drink in question whether you make your own or order one at a bar! and feel free to play around! you can find all the submitted Zombies on the hashtag #zombiechallenge2015 and make sure to follow @el_nova_1 for updates.

Here`s a few recipes:

Zombie recipes collage

For my submissions I first picked the recipe from the 1950s at the Luau Room at Hotel Del Coronado and used rums that i had on hand:

Zombie Coronado

1 oz fresh lemon juice

2 oz passion fruit juice

2 dashes orgeat syrup

1.5 oz Boston Rum (whatever that is? I replaced it with Denzien Merchant`s Reserve)

0.75 oz Gold Puerto Rican Rum (here I used Lost Spirits Polynesian Inspired Rum)

0.75 oz Martinique Rum

1 dash 151 Demerara rum (float)

1 dash Pernod (I used Herbsaint)

Shake everything except the 151 demerara with ice cubes and pour into tall glass. Float 151 demerara on top and garnish with 1/2 slice pineapple, orange slice, cocktail cherry, pineapple leaf and mint.

Let the Zombie take over…..

Saving my favorite Zombie recipe for last, the 1934 Zombie Punch by Don the Beachcomber, it´s originally served in a chimney glass but since I used that for the first drink I decided to use one of the cool mugs I have that are made by Wild Thing Creations.

Now, the 1934 Zombie Punch…..this IS a drink!

Zombie Punch

Served in a cool mug made by Wayne Hoareau, owner of Wild Thing Creations……..! recipe for the 1934 Zombie Punch below:

Zombie recipe

TOTC 2015: Congratulations to the Top 4 Spirited Awards Nominees!!!

Totc Cuba

Tales of the Cocktail® Announces Top Four Spirited Awards® Finalists

The 9th Annual Spirited Awards® will recognize the year’s best bars, bartenders, writers and cocktail experts from around the world at a ceremony during Tales of the Cocktail 2015.

NEW ORLEANS, LA. – June 16, 2015 – Following the largest nomination pool in the history of the show and a rigorous judging process by some of the most respected minds in the cocktail industry, Tales of the Cocktail® is proud to announce the Top Four Finalists for each category of the 9th Annual Spirited Awards®. All award finalists are invited to attend the Spirited Awards® ceremony on Saturday, July 18 at the Sheraton New Orleans where the winners will be announced live and will receive the Riedel crystal trophies.

“The Spirited Awards continue to recognize the very best bars, bartenders, ambassadors and more. The standard continues to rise all over the world, both fuelled by Tales and recognized by it,” said Jacob Briars, the Chairman of the International Judging Committee for the Spirited Awards®.

“I am thrilled to see such wonderful international talent being recognized from around the globe, showing that the modern cocktail age continues to grow and expand. There’s never been a better time to enjoy a cocktail all over the world.

”Since 2007, the Spirited Awards® have recognized the year’s best bars, bartenders, writers and experts, becoming the industry’s most prestigious and coveted award. Finalists and winners were voted on by a panel of more than 100 industry experts and led by Simon Ford (Chairman), Jackson Cannon (U.S. Judging Committee Chairman), Jacob Briars (International Judging Committee Chairman), and David Wondrich (Writing Committee Chairman). Voting was a weeklong process that required extensive knowledge in each category. The votes were checked by the Super Committee and tallied to determine the Top 10 and ultimately the Top Four finalists.

“We live in an amazing time for better cocktails, enlightened service and beverage education,” said Jackson Cannon, the Chairman of the U.S. Judging Committee for the Spirited Awards®. “Congratulations and thank you to all the finalists for Spirited Awards this year for their hard work and professionalism. I raise my glass to their consistency in producing great drinks, exceptional experiences and for motivating and educating the next generation of hospitality professionals.”

The 9th Annual Spirited Awards® ceremony is bringing Cuban flavor to New Orleans with a colorful and festive event will pay homage to the unique sights, sounds and flavors of Cuba. Attendees are encouraged to come dressed in their best Cuban attire and the night will feature daiquiris and Cuban Jazz while celebrating the industry’s best. This year, the sponsoring partners of the 9th Annual Spirited Awards® are Bacardi USA, BarSmarts, Beefeater, Bleu Dry Bar, Caña Brava, Chivas, Cognac Ferrand, Courvoisier, House of Angostura, Luxardo, Mountain Valley Spring Water, Nicolas Feuillatte, The Perfect Purée of Napa Valley, Rums of Puerto Rico, Silencio Mezcal and William Grant & Sons.

“Congratulations to everyone who has made the final four nominees,” said Spirited Awards® Chairman, Simon Ford. “The impact you are making is being recognized by our industry the world over and you should be proud of your accomplishment whether or not you take home the Spirited Award.”

The Spirited Awards® are just one part of the exciting 13th Annual Tales of the Cocktail® taking place in New Orleans, July 15-19, 2015. For more information about the Spirited Awards®, to view past winners or to learn more about all the week’s spirited events, visit TalesoftheCocktail.com or call 504-948-0511.

2015 Spirited Awards® Top 4 Finalists

American Categories

Best American Bar Team
ABV (San Francisco)
Dead Rabbit (New York)
Employees Only (New York)
Williams & Graham (Denver)

American Bartender of the Year
Chris Hannah (New Orleans)
Bobby Heugel (Houston)
Ivy Mix (New York)
Jeffrey Morgenthaler (Portland)

Best American Brand Ambassador
Brooke Arthur (House Spirits)
Colin Asare-Appiah (Bacardi)
Jamie Gordon (Absolut Elyx)
Chris Patino (Pernod-Ricard)

Best American Cocktail Bar
Prizefighter (Emeryville)
Smuggler’s Cove (San Francisco)
Trick Dog (San Francisco)
Williams & Graham (Denver)

Best American High Volume Cocktail Bar
Employees Only (New York)
Flatiron Lounge (New York)
Harvard & Stone (Los Angeles)
Honeycut (Los Angeles)

Best American Hotel Bar
Sable Kitchen and Bar (Chicago)
Spare Room (Los Angeles)
The Broken Shaker (Miami Beach)
The Hawthorne (Boston)

Best American Restaurant Bar
Eastern Standard Kitchen & Drinks (Boston)
Gramercy Tavern (New York)
Nopa (San Francisco)
The Rieger Hotel Grill and Exchange (Kansas City)

Best New American Cocktail Bar
ABV (San Francisco)
Julep (Houston)
Latitude 29 (New Orleans)
The NoMad Bar (New York)

International Categories

Best International Bar Team
28 Hong Kong Street (Singapore)
American Bar at the Savoy Hotel (London)
Black Pearl (Melbourne)
Le Lion Bar de Paris (Hamburg)

International Bartender of the Year
Marian Beke (London)
Ryan Chetiyawardana (London)
Zdenek Kastanek (Singapore)
Hidetsugu Ueno (Tokyo)

Best International Brand Ambassador
Ian Burrell (Global Rum)
Dean Callan (Monkey Shoulder)
George Nemec (Becherovka)
Claire Smith-Warner (Belvedere Vodka)

Best International Cocktail Bar
Artesian (London)
Candelaria (Paris)
Happiness Forgets (London)
White Lyan (London)

Best International High Volume Cocktail Bar
Callooh Callay (London)
Eau de Vie (Melbourne)
The Black Pearl/The Attic (Melbourne)
Trailer Happiness (London)

Best International Hotel Bar
American Bar, The Savoy (London)
Beaufort Bar, The Savoy (London)
The Punch Room, The Edition Hotel (London)
Zetter Townhouse (London)

Best International Restaurant Bar
Blind Pig at Social Eating House (London)
Hawksmoor Spitalfields (London)
Tippling Club (Singapore)
Zuma (Dubai)

Best New International Cocktail Bar
Bar Termini (London)
Dandelyan (London)
Le Syndicat Cocktail Club (Paris)
The Clumsies (Athens)

Writing Categories

Best Cocktail & Spirits Publication
Difford’s Guide
Liquor.com
PUNCH
The Cocktail Lovers

Best Cocktail & Spirits Writer
Dave Broom
Camper English
Jeffrey Morgenthaler
Robert Simonson

Best New Cocktail/Bartending Book
Death & Co: Modern Classic Cocktails by David Kaplan, Nick Fauchald, and Alex Day
Liquid Intelligence: The Art and Science of the Perfect Cocktail by Dave Arnold
The Bar Book by Jeff Morgenthaler
The Old-Fashioned by Robert Simonson

Best New Spirits Book
Sherry by Talia Baiocchi
The Curious Bartender: An Odyssey of Malt Bourbon & Rye Whiskies by Tristan Stephenson
Thinking Drinkers: The Enlightened Imbiber’s Guide to Alcohol by Ben McFarland and Tom Sandham
Whisky: The Manual by Dave Broom

Overall Categories

Best Bar Mentor
Bridget Albert (Chicago)
Francesco Lafranconi (Las Vegas)
Jim Meehan (Portland)
Angus Winchester (London)

Best New Spirit or Cocktail Ingredient
Amaro di Angostura
J. Rieger & Co. Kansas City Whiskey
Mister Katz’s Rock and Rye
Suze Bitters

World’s Best Cocktail Menu
Artesian (London)
Beaufort Bar at the Savoy (London)
Dead Rabbit (New York)
Trick Dog (San Francisco)

World’s Best Spirits Selection
Canon (Seattle)
Multnomah Whiskey Library (Portland)
The Baxter Inn (Sydney)
Tommy’s Mexican Restaurant (San Francisco)

Goodluck to all the nominees!!