It was late Saturday night UK time when the annual Spirited Awards started streaming from Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans .
There, the best of the global cocktail industry had gathered to hear the results, with those left to hold the fort back home glued to screens in bars, anxious to find out whether or not one of the coveted awards was coming home.
Certainly, for London, the glass plate collection headlining the results would have to be the World’s Best Bar, scooped up by The American Bar at The Savoy Hotel. It also won Best International Bar Team and Best International Hotel Bar.
‘This is an incredible achievement and a real tribute to every member of our team, who work so hard and in such a collaborative way to ensure the success of The Savoy’s American Bar,’ said Declan McGurk, bar manager. ‘We are proud of the worldwide reputation the American Bar has established over the years, and being recognised at such a prestigious event demonstrates that we are succeeding in our efforts to continue to position it as a forerunner in the industry.’
Dandelyan, no stranger to the Spirited Awards, continued its winning streak with World’s Best Cocktail Menu – an award it previously picked up two years ago, showing that the much-lauded bar was not resting on its laurels.
‘We were fortunate to pick this award up two years ago for a menu that we were super stoked with, and we praised the system we had of involving all the team in the process. It’s extra special to pick up this shiny plate in the new iteration of TOTC for our "Modern Life of Plants" menu — not only does it reward the amazing efforts, creativity and passion of our 32 strong team, it also reflects our want to explore the future of farming and have what we think are the important tougher conversations,’ wrote Ryan Chetiyawardana on social media.
Hoxton Square’s Happiness Forgets won Best International Cocktail Bar while its east London neighbour Coupette was awarded Best New International Cocktail Bar.
Best International Bar Team - The American Bar, The Savoy, London
International Bartender of the Year - Joe Schofield, Tippling Club, Singapore
Best International Brand Ambassador - Ian Burrell, Global Rum Ambassador
Best International Cocktail Bar - Happiness Forgets, London
Best International High Volume Cocktail Bar - The Clumsies, Athens
Best International Hotel Bar - The American Bar, The Savoy, London
Best International Restaurant Bar - Sager & Wilde, London
Best New International Cocktail Bar - Coupette, London
Best Bar Mentor - Andy Seymour, Liquid Productions
Best New Spirit or Cocktail Ingredient - Del Maguey Single Village Mezcal Jabali
World’s Best Cocktail Menu - Dandelyan, London
World’s Best Spirit Selection - Sweet Liberty Drinks & Supply Co., Miami
World’s Best Bar - The American Bar at The Savoy, London
Helen David Lifetime Achievement Award - John Lermayer
Another victory for Bethnal Green saw Sager + Wilde Paradise Row announced as Best International Restaurant Bar, prompting bar manager Marcis Dzelzainis to turn to social media and say ‘what a humbling achievement that frankly rests on the shoulders of many people… Michael Sager you dare to do what others don’t and that’s why I’m honoured to be your business partner.’
Ian Burrell, global rum ambassador, was the deserving recipient of Best International Brand Ambassador, prompting this response from Bacardi’s Jacob Briars: ‘One of my favourite parts of the Spirited Awards is when the judges decide to recognize someone who has been doing what they do, and doing it well, for years. Ian Burrell is the ‘Rum Ambassador’ and has been promoting rum around the world for more than 20 years, except for a brief musical interlude (which I urge you to research). Last night Ian deservedly won the Spirited Award for ‘Best International Brand Ambassador’ after many years as a finalist. This recognition was, and is, incredibly well deserved. Ian has been a tireless advocate for the rum category and has done more than almost anyone to popularize rum around the globe…’