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July can be a difficult time for big city bars (oceanside margaritas anyone?), but it’s also the month to crown the world’s best. The 12th annual Tales of the Cocktail will take place on Wednesday, July 16 – Sunday, July 20 in New Orleans this year. Known as the world’s premier global education event for the bartender community, Tales features seminars, dinners, competitions, tasting rooms and new product launches. Over 20,000 people were part of last year’s festivities, making it the largest global gathering of bartenders. Professionals from all seven continents attended.

One of the big events at Tales of the Cocktail is The Spirited Awards, the bartender equivalent of the James Beard Foundation Awards. Our own columnist and leading drinking authority Simon Ford (he has also co-hosted the awards) has written about the importance of these awards to the bartender community. This year’s finalists were announced over the weekend, and New York represents well in awards that include “Best American Bar,” “American Bartender of the Year” and “Best American Restaurant Bar”. We were also pleased to see several Midwestern and West Coast cities receive their proper due. Meanwhile, London once again dominates the names listed in several of the “International” categories. Take a look at the nominees below and be sure to check out the festival’s official website for a full list that includes writing and other drink awards.

AMERICAN CATEGORIES:

American Bartender of the Year
Jeff Bell (New York)
Erick Castro (San Diego)
Marcovaldo Dionysos (San Francisco)
Bobby Heugel (Houston)
Sean Kenyon (Denver)
John Lermayer (Miami)
Ryan Maybee (Kansas City)
Ivy Mix (New York)
Jeffrey Morgenthaler (Portland)
Pamela Wiznitzer (New York)

Best American Brand Ambassador
Brooke Arthur (House Spirits)
Colin Asare-Appiah (Bacardi)
Elayne Duff (Diageo Reserve)
Jamie Evans (Oxley gin)
Bernie Lubbers (Heaven Hill Distilleries)
Freddy May (Glenfiddich Single Malt Scotch Whisky)
Chris Patino (Pernod Ricard USA Portfolio)
Nick van Tiel (Plymouth Gin / Beefeater)
Neyah White (Suntory Japanese Whiskies)
Angus Winchester (Tanqueray Gin)

Best American Cocktail Bar
Anvil Bar & Refuge (Houston)
The Aviary (Chicago)
canon: whiskey and bitters emporium (Seattle)
Cure (New Orleans)
The Dead Rabbit (New York)
Noble Experiment (San Diego)
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)
The NoMad (New York)
Polite Provisions (San Diego)
Sable Kitchen & Bar (Chicago)
Saxon + Parole Restaurant (New York)
Three Dots and a Dash (Chicago)
Trick Dog (San Francisco)

Best American Restaurant Bar
320 Main (Orange County)
Bestia (Los Angeles)
Clyde Common (Portland)
Gramercy Tavern (New York)
No. 9 Park (Boston)
The NoMad (New York)
nopa (San Francisco)
OAK at fourteenth (Boulder)
The Rieger Hotel Grill & Exchange (Kansas City)
The Silver Dollar (Louisville)

Best American Hotel Bar
Bellocq (New Orleans)
Bemelmans Bar (New York)
The Broken Shaker (Miami)
Carousel Bar at the Hotel Monteleone (New Orleans)
Clyde Common (Portland)
The Hawthorne (Boston)
The Regent Cocktail Club (Miami)
Sable Kitchen & Bar (Chicago)
The Spare Room at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel (Los Angeles)
Vesper Bar (Las Vegas)

Best New American Cocktail Bar
Attaboy (New York)
Cane & Table (New Orleans)
Celeste (Chicago)
Golden Cadillac (New York)
Half Step (Austin)
Kimball House (Atlanta)
Mockingbird Hill (Washington, D.C.)
Multnomah Whisk{e}y Library (Portland)
Three Dots and a Dash (Chicago)
ZZ’s Clam Bar (New York)

Best American Bar Team – New Category
Attaboy (New York)
Clyde Common (Portland)
The Dead Rabbit (New York)
Drink (Boston)
Eastern Standard Kitchen & Drinks (Boston)
Employees Only (New York)
The NoMad (New York)
The Regent Cocktail Club (Miami)
Trick Dog (San Francisco)
Williams & Graham (Denver)

INTERNATIONAL CATEGORIES:

International Bartender of the Year
Marian Beke (London)
Monica Berg (London)
Simone Caporale (London)
Ryan Chetiyawardana (London)
Mario Kappes (Hamburg)
Zdenek Kastanek (Singapore)
Tim Phillips (Sydney)
Hidetsugu Ueno (Tokyo)
Tom Walker (London)
Jason Williams (Sydney)

Best International Brand Ambassador
Ian “Rum Ambassador” Burrell
David Cordoba (Bacardi)
Giuseppe Gallo (Martini & Rossi)
Tim Etherington Judge (Diageo Reserve)
George Nemec (Becherovka)
David Piper (Hendrick’s Gin)
Claire Smith (Belvedere Vodka)
Manuel Terron (Midori Melon Liqueur)
Camille Vidal (St-Germain Elderflower Liqueur)
Maximilian Warner (Chivas)

Best International Cocktail Bar
28 Hong Kong Street (Singapore)
69 Colebrooke Row (London)
Bramble Bar (Edinburgh)
Buck and Breck (Berlin)
Bulletin Place (Sydney)
Candelaria (Paris)
Chainaya.  Tea & Cocktails (Moscow)
Door 74 (Amsterdam)
Eau De Vie Melbourne (Melbourne)
Happiness Forgets (London)

Best International High Volume Cocktail Bar
Big Easy Covent Garden (London)
Black Angel’s Bar (Prague)
The Attic at the Black Pearl (Melbourne)
The Cufflink Club (Singapore)
Dvars (Amsterdam)
Eau De Vie Melbourne (Melbourne)
Frank’s (Buenos Aires)
The Lobo Plantation (Sydney)
London Cocktail Club (London)
Schumann’s American Bar (Munich)

Best International Restaurant Bar
The Red Bar at Bam-Bous (London)
The Bon Vivants (Edinburgh)
Delicatessen (Moscow)
The Gilbert Scott (London)
Spitalfields Bar at Hawksmoor (London)
Hix Soho (London)
The Lui Bar at Vue De Monde (Melbourne)
Oblix Restaurant (London)
Porteno Restaurant (Sydney)
Blind Pig at Social Eating House (London)

Best International Hotel Bar
Artesian at the Langham (London)
Bar at Home Hotel (Buenos Aires)
Beaufort Bar at The Savoy Hotel (London)
Black Angel’s Bar (Prague)
Clive’s Classic Lounge (Victoria)
Connaught Bar at the Connaught (London)
Ohla Boutique Bar at Ohla Hotel (Barcelona)
Punch Room at The London Edition (London)
Scarfes Bar at Rosewood London (London)
Widder Bar at the Widder Hotel (Zurich)

Best New International Cocktail Bar
The Barber Shop (Sydney)
Blind Pig at Social Eating House (London)
Hello Sailor (Sydney)
Holmens Kanal (Copenhagen)
Imperial Craft Cocktail Bar (Tel Aviv)
The Liquor Rooms (Dublin)
Little Jumbo (Victoria)
NOLA (London)
Punch Room at The London Edition (London)
White Lyan (London)

Best International Bar Team – New Category
28 Hong Kong Street (Singapore)
The American Bar at The Savoy (London)
Artesian at the Langham (London)
The Baxter Inn (Sydney)
The Black Pearl (Melbourne)
Blind Pig at Social Eating House (London)
Connaught Bar at the Connaught (London)
Le Lion – Bar de Paris (Hamburg)
The Nightjar (London)
Ruby Cocktail Chronicles (Copenhagen)

Read past Tales of the Cocktail coverage on Food Republic: