Congratulations to all!  Well deserved!

American Categories

Best American Bar Team
The NoMad Bar (New York, NY)

American Bartender of the Year
Jeff Bell of PDT (New York, NY)

Best American Brand Ambassador
Misty Kalkofen (Del Maguey)

Best American Cocktail Bar
Columbia Room (Washington, DC)

Best American High Volume Cocktail Bar
Sweet Liberty Drinks & Supply Company (Miami, FL)

Best American Hotel Bar
The Hawthorne at The Commonwealth Hotel (Boston, MA)

Best American Restaurant Bar
Dante NYC (New York, NY)

Best New American Cocktail Bar
BlackTail (New York, NY)

International Categories

Best International Bar Team
Dandelyan (London, UK)

International Bartender of the Year
Shingo Gokan of Speak Low (Shanghai, China)

Best International Brand Ambassador
Camille Ralph Vidal (St-Germain)

Best International Cocktail Bar
Black Pearl (Melbourne, Australia)

Best International High Volume Cocktail Bar
Trailer Happiness (London, UK)

Best International Hotel Bar
Dandelyan at The Mondrian (London, UK)

Best International Restaurant Bar
Tippling Club (Singapore)

Best New International Cocktail Bar
Swift (London, UK)

Writing Categories

Best Cocktail & Spirits Publication
Hot Rum Cow

Best Cocktail & Spirits Writer
Wayne Curtis

Best New Cocktail & Bartending Book
Smuggler’s Cove: Exotic Cocktails, Rum, and the Cult of Tiki by Martin & Rebecca Cate

Best New Spirits Book
Bourbon: The Rise, Fall and Rebirth of An American Whiskey by Fred Minnick

Global Categories

Best Bar Mentor
David Wondrich

Best New Spirit or Cocktail Ingredient
ITALICUS Rosolio di Bergamotto (Italy)

World’s Best Cocktail Menu
Trick Dog (San Francisco, United States)

World’s Best Spirits Selection
canon: whiskey and bitters emporium (Seattle, WA)

Lifetime Achievement Award
Charles Schumann

World’s Best Cocktail Bar

tequila-bottlesTequila has gotten itself a bad reputation over the years, being associated with hangovers, wild shot parties, and a myriad of fruity blenderized “margaritas”.  But, tequila is actually a fine spirit with a long heritage of high quality distillation.  Some might even say that it is the epitome of the craft as it takes 12 years for the Blue Weber agave plant to mature, and many small distilleries do much of the work by hand.  The best (and in my opinion) only tequilas worth drinking are made from 100% Blue Weber agave.  If you don’t see this on the bottle’s label, give it a pass.  Otherwise, you just may end up with a hangover.

Good Spirits News has reviewed many tequilas over the years.  Here are some for you to consider today, along with a few tequila related liqueurs.

1800 Milenio

1921 Tequila Cream

ArteNOM Seleccion


Casa Noble



Don Julio

Dulce Vida


Mariposa Agave Nectar

Milagro Unico

Olmeca Altos

Piedra Azul




Tequila Ocho

Tres Agaves

Kimo Sabe Mezcal, translated to “a trusted friend” is a family-crafted artisan mezcal imported from Oaxaca, Mexico. The company is run by father-daughter team Jim and Ashley Walsh, who bring years of experience in the agricultural production of food and drink flavors. Jim and Ashley oversee every step of Kimo Sabe production – from the cultivation of agave plants in both Oaxaca and Zacatecas, Mexico through its distillation process and all the way to consumers’ tables.

Since rolling out nationally over the last year in CaliforniaNevadaArizona and New JerseyKimo Sabe has helped mezcal impact the spirits industry in a way that hasn’t been seen since Buffalo Trace invigorated the resurgence of bourbon. Through education, approachability and creative mixology, mezcal has emerged as the fastest-growing spirits category and the second most trending alcohol on social media, offering consumers an alternative to tequila.

Mezcal is a Mexican spirit that captures the flavors of dozens of types of agave, versus only one (Blue Weber) used in the production of tequila. Although the two are often confused, mezcal offers more flavor and complexity. Kimo Sabe’s mezcals are a proprietary blend resulting from traditional and contemporary production techniques, including innovative ultrasound technology and a rare copper third distillation that achieves a balanced, refined flavor unlike conventional mezcal’s rustic taste.

Kimo Sabe Joven (86 proof)
Visual: Clear.
Nose: Medium wood smoke overlaying a light vegetal nose.
Taste: Light, breathable and yet earthy. A patina of smoke lies delicately over a clean, bright and fresh young distillate. A gateway into the world of mezcal.
Finish: Medium short with very little aftertaste, other than a slight fruitiness.
Overall: For beginners, or for those looking for a spirit to craft lightly smoked cocktails, this is a sure winner. Very smooth and easy-going.
GSN Rating: B+

Kimo Sabe Reposado (83 proof)
Visual: Pale yellow.
Nose: Agave and wood forward nose with a more subtle creosote essence.
Taste: Exceptionally smooth and nicely aged. Less smoke and more agave flavor with a juicy fruitiness and savory vegetal taste.
Finish: Medium long with everything slowly fading in concert.
Overall: A remarkable mezcal that is one of the most placid I’ve ever had. The smoke seems to have taken a vacation here, leaving the agave blend to shine. A true sipper that begs for just one more glass.
GSN Rating: A

For more information go to: Kimo Sabe Mezcal

San Francisco-based North Channel Distillery recently announced the debut of Frísco, the company’s inaugural craft spirit distilled from wine made from California grapes. “Little did I know that 20 years ago when I tasted my first Pisco that it would ignite a journey to creating Frísco right here in California,” says founder Charlie O’Connell.

Crafted in San Francisco from grapes sourced from neighboring California vineyards, Frísco is double distilled in a copper pot still in small batches, followed by a unique charcoal mellowing – a technique rarely used on this type of spirit.

Frísco is produced and bottled at Seven Stills of SF, a boutique, San Francisco-based state of the art distillery.

Frísco is owned and produced by North Channel Distillery. Established in 2016, the mission of North Channel Distillery is to deliver innovative, premium craft liquors responsibly produced locally in California.

Frisco Brandy (90 proof)
Visual: Clear.
Nose: Grape forward with a mouth-watering grape perfume. Clean, fruity and lively.
Taste: Round, full and with a good deal of vine fruit character. A fine distillate that has a somewhat dry and cooling effect on the palate. Quite tasty.
Finish: Medium long with a slight grapeskin tannic edge that cleanses the taste buds.
Overall: A very nice unaged brandy that has a cleaner and fruitier quality than most traditional South American brandies.  Eminently mixable in cocktails, and with a heft that will make it stand out against citrus.
GSN Rating: A

For more information go to: Frisco Liquor

Everyone loves a pop-up food and beverage event! For the sixth year in a row, Philanthropic Foodies will be hosting one of Central New York’s premier culinary showcases.  Over a dozen of the area’s best chefs will be serving samples of some of their amazing appetizers, main courses and desserts. But, that’s not all, you can refresh your palate with a variety of beverages featuring everything from local spirits, wine, beer and coffee.  

Here are some photos from last year’s event which took place at the Sky Armory in downtown Syracuse.


Here is the list of who is participating this year:
1911 Spirits
Anthony Donofrio, Modern Malt
Brandon Gore, Modern Malt Bakeshop
Chance Bear, Lincklaen House
Dr. Konstantin Frank Vinifera Wine Cellars
Danny Vault, The York
DeAnna Germano, Chef4Rent
Dick Benedetto, Smoke Incorporated BBQ
Empire Brewing
Eva Zaczynski, Eva’s European Sweets
Gannon’s Ice Cream
Jason Jessmore, Aster Pantry & Parlor
Life of Reilley Distilling and Wine Co.
Luke Szabo, Scratch Farmhouse Catering
Mark Bullis, Bull and Bear Roadhouse
Matt Riddett, Empire Brewing Company
Middle Ages Brewing
Peaks Coffee Company
Pizzaiolo John Vigliotti, Peppino’s Restaurant and Catering
Sam Mondello, Vince’s Gourmet Imports
Sarah Hassler, The Stoop Kitchen
Vine & Barrel

This year’s event takes place on Sunday, July 30 from 4:30 to 8 p.m., at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo, 1 Conservation Place. Advance sale tickets are $100 per person, or $125 at the door. For more information and to purchase tickets, click here.

In between sipping, sampling and socializing, attendees can also bid on silent auction offerings, many of them food-focused. For auction information go here.

Since 2012, Philanthropic Foodies has raised more than $200,000 for local nonprofits. This year’s proceeds are earmarked for the Friends of Dorothy House, a hospice house for people with AIDS, and GiGi’s Playhouse, a support center for people with Down syndrome and their families.

(Photos by Good Spirits News @2016)

Looking for a fantastic tiki-style rum drink to chill with this summer? The Powderkeg will blow your socks off!  Featuring three rums, Campari and bitters, this drink is an explosion in your mouth.

Crafted by Blair Frodelius (editor of Good Spirits News) as a tribute to the iconic Barrel O’ Rum served at the venerable Mai Kai restaurant in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, this drink hearkens back to the sultry and exotic days of 1950’s tiki culture.  Make one this week and enjoy a trip to the tropics, no matter where you are!

1 ounce fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/2 ounce fresh squeezed lime juice
1/4 ounce Campari
3/4 ounce Goya passion fruit cocktail
1/2 ounce rock candy syrup
2 ounces Montanya Platino Rum
1 1/4 ounces Montanya Oro Rum
3/4 ounce Cruzan Black Strap Rum
2 dashes Fee Brothers whiskey barrel aged bitters
1 ounce Orangina

Add all to barrel-shaped mug filled halfway with crushed ice. Top off with more crushed ice as needed and garnish with a straw and a lit candle (to represent a fuse).

Cocktail created by Blair Frodelius


Hemingway with his namesake Daiquiri

The Daiquiri is one of those golden age cocktails that gets a bad rap these days.  Especially in New Orleans where they are vibrant day-glo colors and flavored with artificial syrups.  Yet, a true Daiquiri is a thing of beauty.  Refreshing, elegant and transformatively balanced.

Daiquiri as a word hails from Cuba and is a place name, rather than a beverage.  The drink was created around the time of the Spanish-American war and quickly made its way from Cuba to Washington, DC to New York City.  Originally a stirred drink built in a Collins glass, it evolved into a shaken drink served in a Champagne flute.

Below are three versions of the Daiquiri worth trying today in honor of the holiday.  Each has its own character and flavor.  All are lovely on a hot summer’s day.

1.5 oz White rum
0.5 oz Simple syrup
1 oz Fresh Lime juice
Pour all ingredients into shaker with ice cubes. Shake well. Strain in chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with half a lime slice.

2 ounces White rum
0.75 ounce Fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon Sugar or simple syrup (or less, to taste)
1 teaspoon Maraschino liqueur
Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker (if using granulated sugar, stir to dissolve it in the lime juice before adding the other ingredients) and fill with ice. Shake well, and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a thin slice of lime.

2 oz Light rum
0.75 oz Fresh lime juice
0.5 oz Fresh pink grapefruit juice
1 tsp Sugar
1 tsp Maraschino liqueur
Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker and fill with ice. Shake, and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.


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