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2012 Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Awards Finalists Announced

La Descarga - Tales of the Cocktail 2012 Spirited Awards Finalist

The Top 4 Finalists have been announced for the 2012 Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Awards, with perennial Los Angeles nominees Eric Alperin (American Bartender of the Year) and The Varnish (Best American Cocktail Bar, World’s Best Cocktail Bar) joined by La Descarga (Best High Volume Cocktail Bar, pictured above) and Rivera (Best Restaurant Bar). Celebrating its tenth anniversary this year, Tales of the Cocktail is an internationally acclaimed festival of cocktails, cuisine and culture taking place in New Orleans July 25-29, 2012. From the Tales of the Cocktail press release:

“Through its annual Spirited Awards®, Tales of the Cocktail® recognizes the bartenders, bars, writers and cocktail experts that continue to push the cocktail industry into new, exciting directions. To embody the ideals with which Tales of the Cocktail® was originally founded, these awards were developed to recognize both national and international honorees across 17 categories.”

Employee’s Only led the nominees for the 2011 Spirited Awards, taking home trophies for World’s Best Cocktail Bar and World’s Best Drinks Selection. This year, Brooklyn’s Clover Club is a finalist in three key categories: Best American Cocktail Bar, Best High Volume Cocktail Bar and World’s Best Cocktail Menu.

Top 10 Finalists - 2012 Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Awards

L to R: Dan Dunn, Steve Livigni, Lindsay Nader, Pablo Moix, Dave Stolte

When the Top 10 Finalists were announced in May, Los Angeles looked poised to make a strong showing at this year’s ceremony. Along with Alperin, Vincenzo “The Godfather” Marianella was named a finalist for American Bartender of the Year, while Harvard & Stone was a finalist in the same categories as The Varnish: Best American Cocktail Bar and World’s Best Cocktail Bar. Other finalists included La Descarga (Best American Cocktail Bar, Best High Volume Cocktail Bar), Rivera, Seven Grand (Best High Volume Cocktail Bar), and The Spare Room (World’s Best Hotel Bar). LA-based writer Dan “The Imbiber” Dunn (Best Cocktail Writing – Author, Best New Cocktail/Bartending Book) and Honorary LA Citizen Dave Stolte of Home Bar Basics (Best New Cocktail/Bartending Book) were also recognized.

Of that stellar group of Top 10 Finalists, Alperin, The Varnish, La Descarga and Rivera made the cut and received the coveted invitations to New Orleans. They’ll have plenty of support at the Spirited Awards, if the early reports about the LA crew that’s preparing to invade the Big Easy hold true. The sixth annual Spirited Awards ceremony will take place on Saturday, July 28th.

For more information and to purchase tickets to the Spirited Awards, visit www.talesofthecocktail.com.

After the jump, a complete list of the top four nominees according to category.

PDT Cocktail Book - Tales of the Cocktail 2012 Spirited Awards Finalist

One of the 300+ reasons the PDT Cocktail Book is a Spirited Awards Finalist.

American Bartender of the Year

  • Eric Alperin
  • Charles Joly
  • Jeffrey Morganthaler
  • Joaquin Simo

Best American Brand Ambassador

  • Erick Castro
  • Elayne Duke
  • Jamie Gordon
  • Jim Ryan

Best American Cocktail Bar

Best Bar Mentor

  • Bridget Albert
  • Wayne Collins
  • Francesco Lafranconi
  • Steve Olson

Best High Volume Cocktail Bar

Best Cocktail Writing – Author

  • Gary Regan
  • Robert Simonson
  • Dave Wondrich
  • Naren Young

Best Cocktail Writing – Non Book

Best International Brand Ambassador

  • Jacob Briars
  • Ian Burrell
  • Claire Smith
  • Angus Winchester

Best New Cocktail/Bartending Book

  • The American Cocktail by the Editors of Imbibe
  • Bitters: A Spirited History of a Classic Cure-all
  • Gaz Regan’s Annual Manual for Bartenders 2011
  • PDT Cocktail Book

Best New Product

  • Chairman’s Reserve Spiced Rum
  • Cognac Pierre Ferrand 1840 Formula
  • Lillet Rose
  • Perlini System

Best Restaurant Bar

International Bartender of the Year

  • Zdenek Kastanek
  • Alex Kratena
  • Sam Ross
  • Dushan Zaric

World’s Best Cocktail Bar

World’s Best Cocktail Menu

  • Black Pearl – Melbourne, Australia
  • Callooh Callay – London, United Kingdom
  • Clover Club – Brooklyn, New York
  • Mayahuel – Manhattan, New York

World’s Best Drinks Selection

World’s Best Hotel Bar

World’s Best New Cocktail Bar

  • Aviary – Chicago, Illinois
  • Candelaria – Paris, France
  • Canon – Seattle, Washington
  • The Zetter Townhouse – London, United Kingdom
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