The top four Spirited Awards 2020 finalists

25th August, 2020 by Nicola Carruthers

Tales of the Cocktail has revealed the shortlist for its 14th annual Spirited Awards, with The Spirits Business named one of the top four finalists for Best Cocktail & Spirits Publication.

Swift in London’s Soho is one of the top four nominees for Best International Cocktail Bar

In May, Tales of the Cocktail (TOTC) revealed the top 10 nominees for each category in its Spirited Awards 2020. However, some of these nominees will no longer be up for the award they were nominated for.

This year there were a number of changes to the format of the Spirited Awards, including an update to its policy on repeat winners to ensure others have the opportunity to be recognised for their work.

The decision came following the announcement of the top 10 and will see a number of nominees now ineligible for the top four list.

In addition, previous winners in the World’s Best Bar category are no longer in the running to win another Spirited Award, except for the Timeless or Philanthropy Awards.

Tales of the Cocktail said the move will affect a handful of top 10 nominees, with the judges recasting their votes in the categories to select a new top four.

The decision was taken to ensure the Spirited Awards process is “more transparent, equitable and fair” and additional changes will be announced in the coming months to the submission and judging process to guarantee they are “more inclusive and accessible for all”.

The Tales of the Cocktail Foundation has also expanded the Best Bar Mentor category to include additional nominees. The Best Bar Mentor Award will be awarded to two people for the first time with one representing international and the other in the American category.

Furthermore, the Pioneer Award, which sits within the Dame Hall of Fame programme, will now be included in the Spirited Awards. The Philanthropy Award will now be used as a platform to highlight the work being done by individuals and companies amid the coronavirus pandemic.

‘Very difficult decision’

The Spirits Business was one of four nominees in the Best Cocktail & Spirits Publication category

“For many months now, we debated whether an awards ceremony is what the world needs right now,” said Caroline Rosen, president of the Tales of the Cocktail Foundation.

“Ultimately, we decided yes, we do need to continue to celebrate the resilience of our peers. Doubling down on philanthropic recognition and introducing categories that more accurately depict the range of voices contributing to the progress of our industry in meaningful ways – these are just a few of many steps forward we’re looking to make as an organisation.

“Changing policies mid-awards cycle and recasting votes was a very difficult decision that we do not take lightly, but our hope is that it will create a more equitable and fair structure for all nominees.”

The Tales of the Cocktail Foundation is planning to host this year’s festival from 21 to 24 September in a digital format for the first time due to Covid-19. The Spirited Awards ceremony will be held on 24 September, beginning with a pre-show at 3pm CST, followed by the awards presentation at 4pm CST.

The Spirited Awards will leverage social media and digital platforms to highlight changes to the event and insight into the judging process. The winner announcements will be spread out over the course of the online festival.

The awards will be rolled out in two phases, including the announcement of specific category winners on TOTC’s website on 21 September, followed by a pre-recorded online ceremony for select categories on 24 September.

The following accolades will be announced on 24 September during the digital Spirited Awards ceremony: Helen David Lifetime Achievement, presented by William Grant & Sons; Philanthropy, presented by Santa Teresa 1796 Rum; World’s Best Bar, presented by Tales of the Cocktail Foundation; and the Pioneer Award, presented by Diageo Bar Academy.

Click through to the following pages to see the Spirited Awards 2020 top four finalists in alphabetical order.

Leave a Reply

Subscribe to our newsletter