Tales of the Cocktail Foundation (TOTCF) is honored to share the final round of winners for the 14th annual Spirited Awards®. Founded in 2007, the Spirited Awards recognize beverage professionals, products, and establishments across every facet of the global spirits and cocktail community. The award categories celebrate a range of talent ㄧ from bartenders, brands and ambassadors to journalists and media ㄧ to ensure each aspect of the industry is well represented and recognized for their contributions.
For the first time in history, the Spirited Awards occured in an exclusively digital format as part of Tales of the Cocktail®’s free global conference. This year’s conference bears the theme “catalyst,” meaning “to spark change,” and this year’s winners represent a global class of changemakers. The first round of winners were announced by Overall Chair Charlotte Voisey on Monday, September 21 at 9:30AM CT on the Foundation’s digital platform. The Raise a Glass: 2020 Spirited Awards Preshow was hosted today, September 24, at 3PM CT, featuring engaging discussions and live Q&As with nearly all of the Spirited Award winners, hosted by Ian Burrell and Lynnette Marrero.
The Spirited Awards ceremony was hosted at 4PM CT today and those recognitions and winners are featured in full below.
Philanthropy Recognitions presented by Santa Teresa 1796 Rum
Hope & Sesame — Guangzhou, China
Restaurant Workers’ Community Foundation — New York, NY
COVID19 Employee Assistance Directive — Melbourne, Australia
Best American Bar Mentor presented by BarSmarts
American Bartender of the Year presented by Pernod Ricard
Kevin Diedrich — Pacific Cocktail Haven, San Francisco, CA
Best International Bar Mentor presented by Tales of the Cocktail Foundation
International Bartender of the Year presented by Martini & Rossi
Kelsey Ramage — Supernova Ballroom, Toronto, Canada
Pioneer Award presented by Diageo Bar Academy
Timeless American presented by Q Mixers
Angel’s Share — New York, NY
Timeless International presented by Tales of the Cocktail Foundation
Boadas Cocktails — Barcelona, Spain
Helen David Lifetime Achievement presented by William Grant & Sons
The Dame Hall of Fame ceremony, in partnership with Spirit Forward by Bacardi Womxn in Leadership, was hosted at 12PM CT today and those recognitions and winners are featured in full below.
Dame Hall of Fame 2020 InducteesAmerican Inductee
“Congratulations to this year’s winners,” shared Caroline Rosen, Tales of the Cocktail Foundation President. “In a year that has caused us to all contemplate so much, there is no question that these individuals and establishments are worthy of celebration on a global stage. Their contributions are advancing this industry forward at a much needed time for change and we are honored to have the opportunity to recognize them.”
A number of changes were applied to this year’s Spirited Awards. For the first time in Tales history, the Pioneer Award Winner and the Dame Hall of Fame American and International inductees, historically part of Dame Hall of Fame®, were announced during the Spirited Awards. Dame Hall of Fame is a celebration of leaders who have made unique and lasting contributions to the global hospitality industry. Established in 2012, it serves to acknowledge and encourage mentorship throughout the beverage and hospitality industries. In an effort to make the Dame Hall of Fame more inclusive to the LGBTQIA+ community and other marginalized groups within the global drinks community, Tales of the Cocktail Foundation has chosen to move towards use of the word individual as opposed to woman. In 2020, Tales of the Cocktail Foundation® and Ladies United for the Preservation of Endangered Cocktails (LUPEC) made the decision to elevate the awards on the mainstage by naming one American Inductee, one International Inductee, and one Pioneer Award Winner who has positively impacted the hospitality industry through this unprecedented time on the main stage during the annual Spirited Awards.
Separately, the Foundation updated its Spirited Awards eligibility rules to no longer allow repeat winners. This means that if an individual has won a specific Spirited Award in the past, they are no longer eligible to win that same award in the future. The goal in enacting this change is to acknowledge that past Spirited Award winners have received honor and recognition for their achievement, and at the same time, provide more opportunities for others to be awarded for their work. This policy went into effect after this year’s Top 10 announcement; therefore,any Top 10 nominees who had previously won in that category became ineligible for the Top 4 list. This new rule does not apply in the same way to media and writing categories, which focus on specific bodies of work versus individuals.
In addition, the Foundation made the decision not to name a winner this year for the Spirited Awards World’s Best Bar category. Lockdowns and travel restrictions during the pandemic presented challenges for judges who were less able to visit the finalists in the running for this award. This decision supports the Foundation’s commitment to ensuring that the Spirited Awards are equitable and fair this year and beyond.
“The winners announced today represent such talent and hard work in our industry. Today we celebrate their excellence as well as the opportunities to spread their knowledge further, through mentorship, to more communities within the bar world,” added Overall Spirited Awards Chair, Charlotte Voisey.
The Foundation’s Digital Playbill articulates changes to this year’s awards, provides highlights on this year’s nominees and provides insight on the judging process from Spirited Awards Co-Chairs. For more information, please visit www.talesofthecocktail.org