GSN Alert: Ronald McDonald House Charities of Kentuckiana Raffling a Coveted Flight of 5 Pappy Van Winkle Bourbons

Back by popular demand, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Kentuckiana (RMHCK) is raffling five Pappy bottles packaged as a flight. The raffle, which typically sells out quickly, kicks-off Aug. 1.

Each ticket will be sold for $100 each and 100 percent of the proceeds will benefit families who stay at the House when they travel to Louisville for medical care for their children. All programs and services are free of charge to families.

“These five coveted bottles offered as a group directly support sick children and their families,” said Marc Abrams, a well-known bourbon expert based in Louisville. Abrams personally authenticated each bottle and recently appraised this raffle at $17,000. “This raffle has gained a cult following around the nation and I’m thrilled to help,” he said.

The flight includes one bottle each of Pappy Van Winkle 23 Year (2020); Pappy Van Winkle 20 Year (2021); Pappy Van Winkle 15 Year (2021); Van Winkle Special Reserve 12 Year, lot b (2019); Old Rip Van Winkle 10 Year (2020).

“We’ve chosen to sell 1,984 tickets to commemorate the year 1984, when Ronald McDonald House Charities of Kentuckiana first opened its doors to families,” said Hal Hedley, the organization’s CEO.

Through the years, this raffle has made an enormous impact on the organization. RMHCK’s Pappy raffle efforts have directly raised $825,000 for the organization since 2019, providing 7,638 nights of comfort for families who travel to Louisville for medical treatment for their children.

“When we sell 1,750 tickets, we will hit $1 million raised through our Pappy Raffle,” said Hedley.

The flight will be raffled at 11am, EDT, Sept. 29. Winner does not have to be present. To purchase tickets:

More details can be found at

Ronald McDonald House Charities of Kentuckiana

Founded in 1984, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Kentuckiana (RMHCK) is a Louisville, KY nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation that provides the home and support that allows families to stay together while they focus on the healing of their sick children at a critical time. In partnership with area medical facilities, RMHCK also operates Ronald McDonald Family Room Programs at Norton Children’s Hospital, Frazier Rehab Institute and Norton Women’s and Children’s Hospital where local families can seek respite. All programs and services are free of charge to families.

In 2021, RMHCK served 992 families for a total of 11,860 nights lodging. For more information, visit or connect with us at @RMHCKentuckiana on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

GSN Alert: Tales of the Cocktail Foundation announces 2022 Spirited Awards® Winners

Lauren Mote

Tales of the Cocktail Foundation (TOTCF) is honored to announce the winners of the 2022 Spirited Awards®Since its inception in 2007, the Spirited Awards have become one of the most globally recognized accolades, recognizing beverage professionals, brands, media, journalists, and establishments across all areas of the cocktail industry. In partnership with Forbes, the Spirited Awards® official media partner, TOTCF honored the Spirited Awards recipients during an in-person celebration at the conference’s 2022 host venue, The Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans.

Recognized through the lens of this year’s conference theme, “Progress” — chosen for its appreciation of the nimble and adaptive development of the drinks community, the winners of the 2022 Spirited Awards have made strides in progressing the beverage industry forward. Honoring writers and brand ambassadors alongside bartenders and bars, the Spirited Awards showcase talent on a global stage. The evening’s award recipients were carefully considered by a panel of over 200 industry experts, led by Charlotte Voisey, the Spirited Awards Overall Chair. 

“The Spirited Awards celebrates excellence in our industry and this year’s winners embody that standard so well,” says Charlotte Voisey, Spirited Awards Overall Chair. “After a difficult few years, it is truly inspiring to gather together once more and see what these recognitions really mean to everyone nominated.”

In celebrating the growth and achievements of the drinks industry, the Foundation is pleased to announce this year’s winners, broken into International, U.S., Media & Writing, and Global categories, along with announcing the winner of the Helen David Lifetime Achievement Award and World’s Best Bar. 

2022 Spirited Awards® Winners:


International Bartender of the Year presented by Patrón Tequila

  • Remy Savage — 🔶🟥🔵 A Bar with Shapes for a Name, London, UK

Best International Bar Mentor presented by Lyre’s Non-Alcoholic 

  • Lauren Mote

Best International Brand Ambassador presented by Lyre’s Non-Alcoholic

  • Martin Hudak — Mr Black Spirits

Best International Bar Team presented by House of Angostura

  • MAYBE SAMMY — Sydney, Australia

Best International Cocktail Bar presented by Tequila Fortaleza

  • Tayēr + Elementary — London, UK

Best International Hotel Bar presented by Perrier

  • Lyaness at Sea Containers London — London, UK

Best International Restaurant Bar presented by Amaro Montenegro and Select Aperitivo

  • Sexy Fish — London, UK

Best New International Cocktail Bar presented by Stranger & Sons

  • 🔶🟥🔵 A Bar with Shapes for a Name — London, UK


U.S. Bartender of the Year presented by Del Maguey

  • Chris Hannah — Jewel of the South, New Orleans, LA

Best U.S. Bar Mentor presented by BarSmarts

  • Sean Kenyon

Best U.S. Brand Ambassador presented by Libbey

  • Lynn House — Heaven Hill

Best U.S. Bar Team presented by William Grant & Sons

  • Katana Kitten — New York, NY

Best U.S. Cocktail Bar presented by Absolut Vodka

  • Katana Kitten — New York, NY

Best U.S. Hotel Bar presented by Grey Goose

  • Silver Lyan at the Riggs — Washington, DC

Best U.S. Restaurant Bar presented by Maison Ferrand

  • Jewel of the South — New Orleans, LA

Best New U.S. Cocktail Bar presented by Aviation Gin

  • Happy Accidents — Albuquerque, NM


Best Cocktail & Spirits Publication presented by Diageo Bar Academy

  • VinePair 

Best Broadcast, Podcast, or Online Video Series presented by Diageo Bar Academy

  • The Cocktail Lovers 

Best Cocktail & Spirits Writing presented by Diageo Bar Academy

  • “Get Real: The bar world looks beyond feel-good measures on sustainability and climate change” by Max Falkowitz for Imbibe Magazine

Best New Cocktail or Bartending Book presented by Lyre’s Non-Alcoholic 

  • The Japanese Art of the Cocktail by Masahiro Urushido and Michael Anstendig

Best New Book on Drinks Culture, History, or Spirits presented by Diageo Bar Academy

  • The Oxford Companion to Spirits & Cocktails edited by David Wondrich with Noah Rothbaum


Best New Spirit or Cocktail Ingredient presented by Tales of the Cocktail Foundation

  • Lyre’s Non-Alcoholic – Italian Orange 

World’s Best Cocktail Menu presented by Diageo Bar Academy

  • Little Red Door — Paris, France

World’s Best Spirits Selection presented by Beam Suntory

  • Jack Rose Dining Saloon — Washington, DC

Pioneer Award Presented by The Blend

  • Amanda Gunderson – CEO & Co-Founder, Another Round Another Rally

Timeless International Award presented by Jägermeister

  • Harry’s New York Bar — Paris, France

Timeless U.S. Award presented by Johnnie Walker

  • Bemelmans Bar at The Carlyle, A Rosewood Hotel — New York, NY

Helen David Lifetime Achievement Award presented by William Grant & Sons

  • Julie Reiner — Co-Founder Clover Club, Leyenda, Social Hour Cocktails, & Mixtress Consulting

World’s Best Bar presented by Tales of the Cocktail Foundation

  • Lyaness at Sea Containers London — London, UK

Spirited Awards Directory

Tales of the Cocktail is excited to share the Spirited Awards® Directory in partnership with marquee sponsor Diageo Bar Academy with support from Angostura, Bacardi Limited, CAMPARI, Elijah Craig, Hendricks Gin, Tequila Fortaleza, and The Blend. Giving discerning imbibers a comprehensive compendium of all 900+ Spirited Awards winners and nominees from the past 16 years, the Directory is an interactive, global map created to easily guide guests to officially recognized Spirited Awards establishments.

This resource will be updated year over year, making it an easy-to-use tool to plan which bars to visit at home or when traveling. Use the Spirited Awards® Directory today to explore award-winning bars, including 183 bars added this year.

The Spirited Awards Chairs and Co-Chairs

Below is a list of Spirited Awards® Chairs, responsible for overseeing the judging process this year:

  • Spirited Awards Overall Chair
    • Charlotte Voisey
  • Spirited Awards International Chair
    • Jacob Briars
  • Asia Pacific Co-Chairs
    • Lorenzo Antinori
    • Pankaj Balachandran
    • Hayley Morison
    • Charmaine Thio
  • Canada Co-Chairs
    • Evelyn Chick
    • Sabrine Dhaliwal
  • Europe Co-Chairs
    • Guiseppe Gallo
    • Nicola Riske
  • Latin America & Caribbean Co-Chairs
    • Camille Austin
    • Jean Trinh
    • Tato Giovannini
  • Middle East & Africa Co-Chairs
    • Cassandra Eichhoff
    • Richard Irwin
  • U.S. Central Co-Chairs
    • Bridget Albert
    • Steva Casey
  • U.S. East Co-Chairs
    • Laura Cullen
    • Andy Seymour
  • U.S. West Co-Chairs
    • Kiowa Bryan
    • Mary Palac
  • Writing & Media Co-Chairs
    • François Monti
    • Paul Clarke
    • Matthew Rowley
    • Sandrae Lawrence
  • Timeless Co-Chair
    • Christine Sismondo
    • Colin Asare-Appiah

GSN Alert: Seagram’s 7 Gives Back to America’s Dive Bars

Seagram’s 7 Whiskey is partnering with actor and comedian, Iliza Shlesinger, to celebrate Dive Bar Regulars across the Country by picking up their bar tab and giving back to Main Street Alliance with the NEW “Regulars’ Rules” sweepstakes.

As part of the platform, adults (21+) across the US can visit to submit their dive bar do’s and don’t’s for a chance to win $700, for the next 700 hours. About every 100 hours, Seagram’s 7 will select a new winner along with a new prompt for the next round–for 7 chances to win.

To help support these small businesses, which include dive bars that have been impacted over the past few years, Seagram’s 7 will donate $7 for every entry (up to $10,000) to Main Street Alliance, a nonprofit organization committed to supporting small businesses including dive bars.

Starting today, the Seagram’s 7 “Regulars’ Rules” National Dive Bar Day Sweepstakes is available for entry on until August 5, 2022 (full terms and regulations are available for reference on the Seagram’s website). Until then, fans 21+ can celebrate National Dive Bar Day by entering the sweepstakes before they head on over to their favorite local dive bar.

Seagram’s 7&7 Cocktail Recipe: 

  • 1.5 oz Seagram’s 7 Crown Blended Whiskey
  • 5 oz. 7UP
  • Slice of lime

How to Make:

  • Add Seagram’s 7 Crown Blended Whiskey and 7UP soda to a highball glass with ice
  • Stir Well
  • Garnish with a Lime Slice

GSN Alert: Historic Downtown Long Grove Welcomes Back One of Chicagoland’s Biggest Craft Beer Festivals April 30 

Historic downtown Long Grove will once again transform into the suburb’s biggest beer garden on Saturday, April 30 from 12 pm to 4 pm for Craft Beer Fest.  Situated conveniently in the spacious lot in front of the event host, Buffalo Creek Brewing, the annual Craft Beer Fest is a homage to Long Grove’s beer-loving history.  Attendees get a one-of-a-kind experience with dozens of Chicagoland’s most renowned breweries outside under the spring sun with a vintage village as a backdrop.  In addition to unlimited 3 oz. tastes of participating breweries, Craft Beer Fest also features live music and local food options. 

“We’re thrilled to bring back our first big festival of the year after postponing the last couple seasons due to the pandemic,” said Ryan Messner, a spokesperson with Craft Beer Fest’s organizing group, the Historic Downtown Long Grove Business Association.  “This is the tasting experience of the year in one of Illinois’ most historic towns!”  

Long Grove’s picturesque backdrop helps set this beer festival apart from the rest.  The event gives ticketholders the opportunity to visit any brewer’s stations as much as they’d like to sample freshly brewed suds and get brewing wisdom from the pourer.  Along with beers and local wines from participating vendors, Craft Beer Fest will feature live music and food vendor options from hometown favorites.  

Event Summary Detail: 

Tickets (21 and over):     
•    Full Access – $40 early bird in advance through March 31st or $50 thereafter, available through the website link below.  
•    Non-Drinker / Designated Driver – $10 (includes unlimited water) 

Location: Stempel Parking Lot in front of Buffalo Creek Brewing, 360 Historical Lane, Long Grove, IL 60047


GSN Alert: The USBG Foundation’s Wellspring Program is Back!

The USBG Foundation’s Wellspring Program is back and we are excited to announce that in August 2022 the program will be visiting the emerald isle itself, Ireland!

This program engages bar industry professionals in knowledge building and charitable activities around the world. Over several days in August 2022 participants will receive a locally-focused comprehensive alcohol beverage education, explore the culture of Ireland, and engage in charitable work to give back to the community they are visiting. 

If you are an active bar industry professional with alcohol beverage service experience, you are eligible to apply to attend and participate in the Wellspring Program. You do not need to be a member of the USBG to apply or participate in a USBG Foundation program. 

Apply today at Application is open March 1 – May 31, 2022.

GSN Alert: Lush Life East Coast Econo Tour This Spring

Econo is back!

We are hitting the road and bringing education, cocktails, and community to markets all over the country. The education and events in each city are offered cost-free thanks to our brand partners and friends in cities around the country. Please note that we will be observing each city’s Covid-19 regulations and guidance, along with our own policies which include the requirement for full Covid-19 vaccination including boosters.

Econo Mission

Econo aims to disrupt and challenge norms in the hospitality industry by bringing top-level educators and focused topics to bar professionals in their hometowns while simultaneously encouraging activism, creating safe spaces, advocating for labor rights, and arming hospitality professionals with the tools they need to progress in their careers.

Econo Goals

  • Reimagine what bar education can be and who gets access to it.
  • Democratize professional hospitality education through local offerings, free/low-cost events, and highlighting overlooked and marginalized individuals.
  • Disrupt current cocktail/bar programming by offering more accessible and thoughtful opportunities for our guests and partners.
  • Amplifying our work through social media, video and photo work, and sharing content from our time on the road.
  • Empower hospitality professionals to educate themselves no only on hospitality norms and culinary techniques but also diversify programming to include social issues, activism, and labor concerns.
  • Introduce bar professionals to spirits, techniques, and brands they may have less exposure to and experience with.
  • Provide networking opportunities for bar professionals both locally and across our network.
  • Establish the boundaries in the hospitality industry for gathering post-pandemic.
  • Offer a social outlet and some joy after two years without.

You can find tickets on the Econo Eventbrite page.

Where We’re Going 2022

Chicago 3/27
Louisville 3/29
Nashville 3/30
Atlanta 4/3
Charleston 4/4
Charlotte 4/5
Washington D.C. 4/10
New York 4/12

Daily Itinerary

9 am-10 am Coffee Pop-Up

10 am-4 pm Bar Education Classes + Wellness Opportunities

7 pm-10 pm Pop-Up Cocktail + Community Bar

#econo #lushlife

GSN Alert: Shochu Cocktail Week – Presented by Kagoshima, Miyazaki, Oita, Kumamoto Prefectures

To celebrate Japan’s original craft spirit, the Kagoshima, Miyazaki, Oita, Kumamoto Prefectures have partnered with some of the best bars across the country, and avid shochu admirers, to create a week dedicated to nothing but Shochu cocktails from March 1-14, 2022. 

One of the best-kept secrets from Japan, their native distilled spirit, shochu, has been taking the U.S. and its bartenders by storm. The participating bars will showcase their individual flavor and cocktail flair for Shochu Cocktail Week by incorporating shochu from different Japanese regionalities and ingredients into a special, limited-time cocktail menu unique to their venue. Those curious to experience Shochu Cocktail Week can visit any of the below locations during March 1-14 to order the unique shochu cocktails created. 

 The participating Shochu Cocktail Week 2022 Bars include:

  • Austin
    • Half Step (Chris Bostick)
    • Daijoubu at Drink.Well (Caer Maiko)
  • Chicago
    • Bar Kumiko (Julia Momose)
  • New York
    • Martiny’s (Takuma Watanabe)
    • Patent Pending (Nikola Nikoletic)
    • Rule of Thirds (Brian Evans)
    • Bar Goto (Kenta Goto)
  • San Francisco
    • PABU (Aaron Plein)
    • Kona Street Market (Kevin Diedrich)
  • Washington D.C
    • Silver Lyan (Vlad Novikov)

Shochu – not to be confused with the Korean spirit soju – is a distilled Japanese spirit produced and consumed in the country for over 500 years. Using up to 55 different raw and processed ingredients, the most common base for shochu is barley, rice, sweet potato, molasses, buckwheat, and brown sugar.

A highly versatile spirit, shochu is as nuanced as wine with unique flavor profiles stemming from the terroir and other factors. Traditional pouring styles range from being served straight, on the rocks, or long with tonic or soda. Bartenders are using shochu more and more in classic cocktails, particularly the Martini and Negroni. Its typical ABV of 25%-30% is another advantage for bartenders to experiment with flavor and simultaneously present a well-rounded cocktail without overwhelming alcohol content.

To learn more about Shochu Cocktail Week, the participating bars, and their shochu cocktails and recipes, visit for more details. 


GSN Alert: 2022 Bartender in Residence Accepting Nominations

In 2018, Punch launched the Bartender in Residence (BIR) program with a simple mission: Elevate and amplify rising talent in the bartending community through a combination of editorial coverage, social media, experiences and more. Since its inception, we’ve produced over two dozen events and spotlighted 35 bartenders who have gone on to create their own programs, advocate for a more inclusive industry and launch a variety of nonprofits.

We are now on the lookout for members to join the BIR Class of 2022, and for the first time ever we’re opening up the selection process to nominations. BIR endeavors to spotlight talented individuals—from dive bars to hotel bars—who are moving drink culture forward, both behind the bar and beyond it. They are, in short, the future of bartending.

Does this sound like someone you know? Nominate them! Does this sound like you? Nominate yourself! Fill out the forms by March 22, 2022. (Nominees must be based in the United States and at least 21 years of age.)

GSN Alert: Tales of the Cocktail Foundation opens nominations for the 2022 Spirited Awards

Tales of the Cocktail Foundation (TOTCF) is pleased to announce the opening of the 16th annual Spirited Awards® nomination period from February 15-March 8, 2022. Founded in 2007 to celebrate excellence in the drinks industry, the Spirited Awards has become one of the most internationally revered accolades, recognizing beverage professionals, products, establishments, journalists, and media across every facet of the global spirits and cocktail industry. In partnership with Forbes, the Spirited Awards official media partner, TOTCF will honor recipients during the Tales of the Cocktail® (TOTC) conference, which is returning for an in-person celebration in New Orleans from July 25-29, 2022.

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

“Each year it is our distinct privilege to recognize the ingenuity and excellence of the cocktail community by presenting the TOTCF Spirited Awards, and this year feels particularly poignant given how hard our industry has been working,” said TOTCF CEO Eileen Wayner. “We are so appreciative of the dedication and tenacity of the beverage community, and we are honored to continue shining a light on the achievements of our colleagues through this recognition of the Spirited Awards.”

2022 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 2022 process. This year’s Spirited Awards nomination process will return to recognizing the previously accredited categories such as the “establishments,” “people,” “books,” and “writing and media” categories; however, taking into consideration the impacts of COVID-19 over the past two years, the Spirited Awards Co-Chairs have agreed to retire the “Best International High Volume Cocktail Bar” and “Best U.S. High Volume Cocktail Bar” awards. Moving forward, bars that were previously considered for this category will now fall under either the “Best International/U.S. Cocktail Bar,” “Best International/U.S. Hotel Bar,” or “Best International/U.S. Restaurant Bar.” Additionally, while the Philanthropy Award has honored many outstanding efforts, it will also be retired from the Spirited AwardsAn overwhelming volume of remarkable people, organizations, brands and establishments have stepped up since the onset of the global pandemic to help the industry navigate this crisis; however, the TOTCF team recognizes that it’s so many more than could possibly be formally awarded. .

In August 2020, in the midst of nomination announcements, TOTCF made the decision to update its policy surrounding repeat winners. Recognizing that past Spirited Award winners have been honored for their achievements and will remain in the revered echelon of veteran winners, TOTCF decided to ensure that others who have not yet had this recognition would have the sole opportunity to be awarded for their work. Thus, previous Spirited Award winners are not eligible for a subsequent win for the same concept and category. Also, moving forward, if a bar has previously won “World’s Best Bar,” they are no longer eligible to win another Spirited Award, except for the “Timeless” award (which is selected through a different set of criteria).

As an additional change in 2022, the Timeless awards will now accept public nominations.

Nominations, Timeline, and Categories

The open-call nomination period for the “establishments”, “people”, and “writing & media” categories will run from February 15-March 8, 2022. The Regional Honoree list will be published in May, and the Top 10 lists will be announced in early June, with the Top 4 Finalists announced in late June.

The 16th annual Spirited Awards ceremony will take place on Thursday, July 28, 2022, in partnership with the Tales of the Cocktail 2022 host venue, The Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans. Additional details will follow.

2022 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
  • Pioneer 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 2022 Spirited Awards, and all nominations are accepted and encouraged. 

Spirited Awards Committee 

Spirited Awards® Committee Members are a collective of revered 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. Drawing on their years of experience and their knowledge of the current work happening locally, nationally, and internationally, together the committee judges and evaluates nominees from far and wide to ensure that the Spirited Awards represent the range and magnitude of the global drinks industry. The Spirited Awards is 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.

“The Spirited Awards are supported by a broad pool of industry judges from across the globe,” said Spirited Awards Overall Chair Charlotte Voisey. “We are so grateful for their professional opinion and their objectivity, which are so crucial to the process of celebrating excellence in all of its forms throughout the cocktail world.”

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
  • Timeless Co-Chair
    • Christine Sismondo
    • Colin Asare-Appiah
  • Asia Pacific Co-Chairs
    • Lorenzo Antinori
    • Pankaj Balachandran
    • Hayley Morison
    • Charmaine Thio
  • Canada Co-Chairs
    • Evelyn Chick
    • Sabrine Dhaliwal
  • Europe Co-Chairs
    • Guiseppe Gallo
    • Nicola Riske
  • Latin America & Caribbean Co-Chairs
    • Camille Austin
    • Jean Trinh
    • Tato Giovannini
  • Middle East & Africa Co-Chairs
    • Cassandra Eichhoff
    • Richard Irwin
  • U.S. Central Co-Chairs
    • Bridget Albert
    • Steva Casey
  • U.S. East Co-Chairs
    • Laura Cullen
    • Andy Seymour
  • U.S. West Co-Chairs
    • Kiowa Bryan
    • Mary Palac
  • Writing & Media Co-Chairs
    • François Monti
    • Paul Clarke
    • Matthew Rowley
    • Sandrae Lawrence

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 2022 Spirited Awards and currenly partners with the organization on editorial exploration of the interactive Spirited Awards Directory, as well as key themes and industry trends for the year.

TOTC 2022: Join Us in New Orleans for a Celebration of “Progress”

To toast the momentous 20-year anniversary of TOTC, the conference will return with a curated lineup of seminars, events, and, of course, imbibing all in the name of “progress” — the festival’s official 2022 theme. Chosen for its recognition of the nimble and adaptive development of the drinks industry, “Progress” showcases the transformative atmosphere and nature of the resilient cocktail community.

As a gracious offering to guests who want to join in celebrating 20 years of cocktail education and networking, Tales of the Cocktail’s 2022 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.

GSN Alert: Bar Ilegal kicks off February 11th in the Catskills of New York

Curious about what pairs best with mezcal? Beginning this weekend, Ilegal is bringing back Bar Ilegal, their international pop-up tour that transforms the space it’s in to look and feel like the brand’s birthplace – Guatemala’s famed watering hole and music hub – Café No Sé. 

Bar Ilegal kicked off February 11th in the Catskills at the Washington Irving Inn in Hunter, NY . For four weekends, Ilegal Mezcal will bring specialty food + beverages from top NYC accounts, live music, tattoo artists and everything you need to know about mezcal to one place. It is the ultimate Ilegal experience, and anyone (21+) is welcome to join to deepen their understanding of mezcal and the Ilegal lifestyle, and stay for the music and damn good drinks. 


  • February 11-12
    • Drinks and food by Ponyboy (Based in Brooklyn, NY)
  • February 18-19
  • February 25-26
    • Drinks and food by Aldama (Based in Brooklyn, NY)
  • March 4-5

After the month-long pop-up in the Catskills, Bar Ilegal will head to Florida, California, Texas and other U.S. cities for pop-ups over the next few months, which SUSU will also attend. Ilegal has put on Bar Ilegal since 2012 and looks forward to the opportunity to get more people excited about mezcal and the Ilegal lifestyle. 

Ilegal was founded with music at its core: CEO John Rexer founded the brand after years of smuggling small-batch mezcal from Oaxaca to Guatemala for Café No Sé, Rexer’s clandestine bar and music hub that features live music 365 days a year. 

Artistry is in everything Ilegal does, from how it’s made (“Sin Prisa,” meaning without rush or hurry), to what it stands for (creativity, freedom, adventure and compassion) and to what the brand supports (Ilegal helped SUSU record their first album and believes in the power of music + mezcal to break down borders between people).

GSN Alert: Finger Lakes Winter Carnival March 18-20, 2022

The First Finger Lakes Winter Carnival, highlighting the breadth and depth of the region’s appeal as a winter tourism destination will take place on Friday, March 18 through Sunday, March 20, 2022 in Canandaigua, New York. This three-day event celebrating winter, will be focused on the region’s unique appeals, including its robust local shops, food, and beverage offerings will be punctuated by ice bars, themed ice sculptures, live music, lakefront fire pits, and Friday night fireworks over the Canandaigua Lake. A host of family-friendly activities and a chance to meet the region’s small business owners, crafts makers, chefs, winemakers, and craft beverage innovators, whose creations spring from all the Finger Lakes.

Each day will showcase 20-25 Finger Lakes specialty businesses in the Lakeside Winter Carnival Barn. They will provide free tastings, demonstrations, giveaways, and special offerings from Winter Carnival Barn at The Lake House on Canandaigua.

Friday, March 18 – Theme: Shop the Finger Lakes

  • ·       Finger Lakes Shops featuring specials and extended hours
  • ·       Lakeside Winter Carnival Barn hosting Shop the Finger Lakes event
  • ·       Fireworks over the Lake
  • ·       Snowboarding demonstrations
  • ·       Food trucks

Saturday, March 19 – Theme: Sip the Finger Lakes

  • ·       Finger Lakes breweries, wineries, cider houses, and distilleries offering promotions
  • ·       Lakeside Winter Carnival Barn Hosting Sip the Finger Lakes event
  • ·       Food trucks
  • ·       Special lakefront igloo beverage experiences
  • ·       Northeast Freestyle Skiing Junior Championships at Bristol Mountain
  • ·       Winter Carnival Parade featuring Northeast Junior Freestyle Ski Athletes 

Sunday, March 20 – Theme: Taste the Finger Lakes

  • ·       Finger Lakes restaurants and bars, offering promotions and specials
  • ·       Lakeside Winter Carnival Barn Hosting Taste the Finger Lakes event
  • ·       Special Lakefront igloo dining experiences
  • ·       Ice bar beverage tastings

Finger Lakes Winter Carnival 2022 is a joint effort of Visit Finger Lakes, Canandaigua Chamber and BID, Bristol Mountain, Wine & Craft Beverage Trails. The Lake House on Canandaigua is the major underwriter of the event.


Carnival or event sponsorship opportunities: Chris at

Vendor signup (Finger Lakes businesses only): Shop, Sip, and Taste: Abbie at

To suggest an activity: Courtney at  

To Volunteer: Kelly at  

GSN Alert: 21st Amendment Brewery Hosts “SF Beer Week 2022 Kick Off Party (East Bay)” on February 11, 2022

21st Amendment Brewery hosts the official SF Beer Week 2022 Kick Off Party (East Bay) at its San Leandro brewery with 29 East Bay craft breweries pouring their latest releases this Friday, February 11, 2022. One of the biggest nights in California craft beer, the Bay Area Brewers Guild teams up with 21st Amendment and four other breweries across the greater SF Bay Area region for five epic parties on February 11 to represent each of the Guild’s five chapters (SF, East Bay, North Bay, Silicon Valley, Coast). The Kick Off events sub in for the annual Opening Gala to showcase Guild members within their local beer scenes while keeping the celebrations more intimate, and safe.

For the SF Beer Week Kick Off Party (East Bay), 21st Amendment Brewery opens up 11,000 square feet of indoor capacity plus their beer garden for the annual fundraiser for the Bay Area Brewers Guild. In addition to 29 breweries pouring unlimited tasters of their amazing beers, an array of food trucks (21A Food Truck, Square Pizza, Roadside Rotisserie) and live music (Charles Wheal Band) will ignite an unforgettable evening with hundreds of different beers available for attendees to taste.

The following breweries will participate in the SF Beer Week 2022 Kick Off Party (East Bay): 21st Amendment Brewery, Almanac Beer Co., Altamont Beer Works, Bruehol Benicia Brewing, Buck Wild Brewing, Calicraft Brewing, Canyon Club Brewery, Canyon Lakes Brewery, Danville Brewing, Del Cielo Brewing, Drake’s Brewing, East Brother Beer Co., Epidemic Ales, Faction Brewing, Federation Brewing, Fieldwork Brewing, Five Suns Brewing, Ghost Town Brewing, Gilman Brewing, Headlands Brewing, Heretic Brewing, Oakland United Beerworks, Ocean View Brew Works, Origin Brewer, Original Pattern, Pennyweight Craft Brewery, Shadow Puppet Brewing, Side Gate Brewery, andTemescal Brewing.

Along with a stellar lineup of East Bay breweries spotlighting their new beer releases, five Bay Area Brewers Guild SF Beer Week Collaboration Beers will also be available for tastings throughout the event: Red Whale (Tropical West Coast Red IPA), Hop Drip (Sour Fruit IPA), Juxtapose (DDH West Coast IPA), Pure Harmony (Cold IPA), and Intrinsic (Enhanced West Coast IPA).

21st Amendment Brewery pours many of its beloved beers at the SF Beer Week Kick Off Party (East Bay), including its latest small batch release in their Chalkboard Project: Double Happiness (Double IPA, 8.75% ABV). The Chalkboard Project features astonishingly fresh 21st Amendment limited-edition beers (16 oz. cans in 4-packs) that commemorate the creative minds behind chalkboard designs for thousands of beers at breweries across the country. Double Happiness is a Double IPA with big brash hop flavors and aromas of pineapple, tangerine zest and orange marmalade. Double Happiness is vibrantly packaged with a colorful label celebrating Valentine’s Day with candy hearts having fun phrases such as “Brew & Me,” “Luv U Beerly,” “Wheat Heart,” “Hoppy 4 You,” “Cheers 2 You,” “Hey Hop Stuff,” and more.

VIP and General Admission sessions are available for purchase online with VIP admission from 4:30pm – 6:00pm, and GA admission from 6:00pm – 10:00pm. To purchase tickets to the SF Beer Week Kick Off Party (East Bay), please visit Eventbrite. Please note that there will be no tickets sold at the door.

All attendees will be required to show proof of vaccination against COVID-19 (both doses for Moderna and Pfizer, single dose for Johnson & Johnson). Proof of vaccination is one of the following: CDC Vaccination Card (photos will be accepted) or a CA Digital Vaccine Card available at:

For more information, please visit:


GSN Alert: High West Takes Residence at Mammoth Mountain California this Winter

It’s time to hit the slopes with High West! The award-winning whiskey has teamed up with the highest lift-served summit in California for a brand-new experience at Mammoth Mountain

The High West Saloon in downtown Park City was the first ski-in gastro distillery in the world and is widely recognized as one of the best après-ski bars in the world.  Now, High West is bringing its signature après-ski experience to California,  traveling from its home in the Wasatch Mountains of Utah to the slopes of Mammoth Mountain. At 11,053 feet, Mammoth is a must for ski lovers, and with an exclusive High West bar presence, après-ski lovers too! Welcoming visitors now, the two High West pop-ups will be serving their whiskey and cocktails to thirsty skiers through March 13.

Blue Run to the Bar Crawler

For the real powder rippers and shredders, you can only reach this exclusive bar by taking the trail! Soak up the beautiful vistas from the new High West snowcat bar at The Outpost, while enjoying one of three specialty High West cocktails: Old Fashioned, Horse’s Neck, and of course, the Hot Toddy! Set against the snowy surroundings, it’s the perfect respite between runs to pop off your skis. Open every Thursday–Sunday from 11AM – 2 PM.

Après-Ski Sips

End your afternoons with a cozy cocktail at The Dry Creek Bar Deck at Mammoth Mountain Inn for more High-West style hospitality. The Western-inspired Whiskey Lounge features High West specialty cocktails onsite.Open every Thursday–Sunday from 3PM – 6PM.

Games & Giveaways

Try your hand at corn hole or grab your crew for a shotski round. Then, spin the wheel for a chance to win special prizes like headbands, flasks, candles, pins and keychains. Each drink purchase includes a raffle ticket so you’ll go home with a High West souvenir from your trip.

GSN Alert: San Antonio Icehouse Week, February 25 through March 6

Beginning February 25 through March 6, Bud Light presents the inaugural San Antonio Icehouse Week, benefiting San Antonio’s Lift Fund. The weeklong promotion will take place at more than 25 local icehouses, encouraging beer-loving locals to support San Antonio businesses for a good cause.

Conceived by local icehouse owners, Jody Newman (Bruno’s Dive and The Friendly Spot) and Kent Oliver (Dakota Eastside Icehouse), the duo seeks to support local, independent small businesses in the wake of the pandemic.

Originating in post-Prohibition Texas, icehouses began as modest, “open-air beer joint[s], a cross between a saloon and a convenience store,” as described by writer Rick Lyman in a 1998 New York Times profile about Texas icehouses.

The participating establishments in SAIW are a cross-section of the city’s most vibrant and unique indoor-outdoor bars and restaurants, including Big Hops, Brooster’s Backyard, Burleson Beer Yard, Brews Brother Ice House, Bruno’s Dive, The Cove, Cullum’s AttaGirl, Dakota East Side Icehouse, Elsewhere, El Camino, Ernie’s, The Friendly Spot, Hills & Dales Icehouse, Jamie’s Place, Joe’s Icehouse, La Tuna Icehouse & Grill, Lucy Cooper’s Texas Icehouse, Old Main Icehouse, Sanchez Icehouse, Sancho’s, Social Spot, Smitty’s, Social Spot, Willie’s Grill & Icehouse, Windmill Icehouse, Wurzbach Icehouse, and more added daily.

Each bar will feature specialty pricing, prizes, and giveaways from February 25 through March 6, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting San Antonio’s LiftFund, a local non-profit organization created to provide small business loans, grants, and resources to San Antonio startups and entrepreneurs.

For details on San Antonio Icehouse Week, including participating icehouses, directions, SAIW passport, and giveaway information, visit