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Spirited Awards names top 10 media nominees

The Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Awards has revealed the top 10 nominees in this year’s writing and media categories – and The Spirits Business has been listed in the Best Cocktail & Spirits Publication.

Spirited Awards
Tales of the Cocktail will take place from 20-23 September 2021

The writing and media categories cover: Best Cocktail & Spirits Publication; Best Broadcast, Podcast, or Online Video Series; Best Cocktail & Spirits Writing; Best New Cocktail or Bartending Book; and Best New Book on Drinks Culture, History or Spirits.

Founded in 2007, the Spirited Awards aims to celebrate the best beverage professionals, products and establishments across the global spirits and cocktail industry.

Now in its 15th year, the Spirited Awards ceremony will be broadcast live via a closed, invite-only format from Jewel of the South, in New Orleans, on 23 September at 4pm CT.

Eileen Wayner, Tales of the Cocktail Foundation CEO, said: “Tales of the Cocktail Foundation is honoured to recognise the tenacious spirit of our industry, one that inspired us to band together and embrace this year’s theme of community, by presenting the 15th annual Spirited Awards.

“As we continue to navigate many uncertainties, we are grateful for the opportunity to shine a light on the thought-leadership, innovation, collaboration and perseverance that is advancing the craft and culture of our beloved cocktail community.”

Directory offers interactive map

Furthermore, Tales of the Cocktail Foundation has released the 2021 Digital Playbill, which outlines changes to this year’s awards, nominee highlights and insights into the judging process.

Plus, Tales of the Cocktail Foundation has unveiled its inaugural Spirited Awards Directory in partnership with marquee sponsor Diageo Bar Academy.

The directory provides a comprehensive collection of more than 900 Spirited Awards winners, nominees and honourees from the past 15 years. It also includes an interactive, global map so guests can find recognised Spirited Awards establishments.

The annual Tales of the Cocktail festival will take place virtually, with some in-person events, from 20 to 23 September.

The 2021 theme will be ‘community’, chosen to bring the global drinks trade together to share knowledge and compassion.

Earlier this year, Caroline Rosen stepped down as president of the Tales of the Cocktail Foundation to become an entrepreneur.

See below for the full list of top 10 nominees in the Spirited Awards writing and media categories.

​​Best Cocktail & Spirits Publication presented by Diageo Bar Academy

  • Boothby
  • Class magazine
  • Difford’s Guide (
  • Discard the Zine
  • DRiNK Magazine
  • Epicurious
  • Imbibe 
  • The Spirits Business
  • VinePair

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

  • Agave Road Trip from Heritage Radio Network
  • Back Bar on Heritage Radio Network
  • Brown & Balanced
  • Life Behind Bars with Noah Rothbaum & David Wondrich
  • Radio Imbibe
  • Shōshin Art Club
  • The Liquid Antiquarian
  • The Modern Bar Cart Podcast
  • The Right to Drink
  • The Speakeasy on Heritage Radio Network

Best Cocktail & Spirits Writing presented by Tales of the Cocktail Foundation

  • “A Black Bourbon Writer Reflects on Representation in the Whiskey Industry” by Gabrielle Nicole Pharms, Uproxx
  • “A (Non-)History of Jamaica in British Navy Rum” by Matt Pietrek, Cocktail Wonk
  • “Becky Paskin On Sexism In Spirits And The ‘Whisky Bible’ Controversy” by Gabrielle Nicole Pharms, Uproxx
  • “El Futuro” by François Monti, Jaibol
  • “Fuck you, Pay Me” by Alex Kratena, Discard the Zine
  • “Montana’s Great Lost Barman” by Robert Simonson, Punch
  • “The Anti-Semites Who Pushed Prohibition on America” by Brad Japhe, Half Full
  • “The Myth of the Peaceful Plantation” by Wayne Curtis, Half Full
  • “The Night the Neon Went Dark” by Brad Thomas Parsons, Punch
  • “The True Cost of a Cocktail” by John deBary, Punch

Best New Cocktail or Bartending Book presented by Diageo Bar Academy

  • Difford’s Guide to Cocktails Fifteenth Edition by Simon Difford
  • Drink What You Want: The Subjective Guide to Making Objectively Delicious Cocktails by John deBary
  • Drinking French: The Iconic Cocktails, Apéritifs, and Café Traditions of France, with 160 Recipes by David Lebovitz
  • Easy Tiki: A Modern Revival with 60 Recipes by Chloe Frechette
  • Good Drinks: Alcohol-Free Recipes for When You’re Not Drinking for Whatever Reason by Julia Bainbridge
  • Happy Hour Handbook by Fiona Arnold and Jeffrey Knott
  • Home Bar Basics (and Not-So-Basics) 3rd Edition by Dave Stolte and Jason Schiffer
  • Spirited: Cocktails from Around the World by Adrienne Stillman Krausz
  • The New Craft of the Cocktail by Dale DeGroff
  • The United States of Cocktails: Recipes, Tales, and Traditions from All 50 States (and the District of Columbia) by Brian Bartels

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

  • A Long Stride: The Story of the World’s No. 1 Scotch Whisky by Nicholas Morgan
  • Behind the Bar: 50 Cocktail Recipes from the World’s Most Iconic Hotels by Alia Akkam
  • Gin: How to Drink It: 125 Gins, 4 Ways by Dave Broom
  • Give Me Liberty and Give Me a Drink! by C. Jarrett Dieterle
  • Soju: A Global History by Hyunhee Park
  • Spirits of Latin America by Ivy Mix with James Carpenter
  • The Definitive Guide to Canadian Distilleries by Davin de Kergommeaux and Blair Phillips
  • The Distiller of London, edited by Anistatia R. Miller and Jared M. Brown
  • Unvarnished: A Gimlet-Eyed Look at Life Behind the Bar by Eric Alperin and Deborah Stoll
  • Whisky: It’s Not Rocket Science by Mickaël Guidot

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