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These are the Best Bars and Bartenders in the World, According to Industry Leaders

Tales of the Cocktail announced its 2017 Spirited Award winners

Misty Kalkofen, winner of the award for best brand ambassador, at Tales of the Cocktail 2017

Tales of the Cocktail closed out its 2017 event by crowning leaders in the cocktail industry with Spirited Awards, which some call Oscars of the drinks world, at the Sheraton Hotel in New Orleans.

Without further adieu, here are this year’s winners.

  • The most coveted award of all, World’s Best Bar, went to Dandelyan in the Mondrian Hotel in London. The London bar also won for Best International Hotel Bar and Best International Bar Team. According to Eater’s newly launched London site, Dandelyan’s founder, Ryan Chetiyawardana, posted a picture to his Instagram page with the caption: “Holy hell. Best International Hotel Bar, Best International Bar Team and WORLD'S BEST MO FUCKING BAR.” Dandelyan was the winningest bar of all this year.
  • Charles Schumann, of Munich, was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award.
  • The NoMad Bar in New York actually closed down for the entire month of July this year to “replace the air conditioning,” and, likely, attend Tales of the Cocktail. The New York bar will reopen on August 1 with the title of 2017 Best American Bar Team.
  • Misty Kalkofen, of Del Maguey Single Village Mezcal, won the award for Best American Brand American Brand Ambassador.
Josh Brasted
  • Sweet Liberty Drinks and Supply Co., in Miami, Florida, won for High Volume Cocktail Bar. “The brain child of Miami bar legend John Lermayer, Sweet Liberty features a Miami Beach chic vibe complete with neon signs and flamingos on the wall, some of the best cocktails on the beach, and a kitchen that stays open to 5 a.m. nightly. And don't miss its bar food, which is just as good at the beginning of the night as it is at the end,” according to Eater Miami.
  • Dante, a New York institution that was open for over 100 years before closing and revamping in March 2015, was awarded Best American Cocktail Bar. Take a look around the restaurant here.
  • Jeff Bell won the award for American Bartender of the Year. Bell took over the day-to-day operations at PDT in New York after Jim Meehan left for Portland, Oregon in 2014.
  • Best American Cocktail Bar went to Columbia Room in Washington, D.C. What does one drink at the best cocktail bar in America? Eater DC recently named Columbia Room’s Atlantic Ocean elixir a top cocktail to try right now.
  • This year’s Best American Hotel Bar went to The Hawthorne at Hotel Commonwealth in Boston. “The Hawthorne opened in November [2011], a multi-room craft cocktail lounge in the Hotel Commonwealth decorated with antiques and assorted classy tchotchkes, like a vintage Russian vodka chiller,” according to Eater Boston.
  • BlackTail in New York won for Best New American Cocktail Bar. “The theme at Blacktail is that it's an homage to the American bars that transplanted to Cuba during prohibition,” says Eater NY. Take a peak around the bar here.
  • Camille Ralph Vidal of St. Germain was named Best International Brand Ambassador.
  • Trailer Happiness in London won for Best High Volume Cocktail Bar. Named one of the 15 essential London bars by Eater London, it’s “a licentious little joint that takes Portobello Road by way of Polynesia, Jamaica and that made-up land known as Tiki. New York bartending kind Dale deGroff had a hand in its conception, which is a mark of approval; think classic rum-based drinks, served to boho-posh fashion crowd with raffish wit.” [Eater London]
A scene from London Cocktail Week at Dandelyan
  • Tippling Club in Singapore is the Best International Restaurant Bar. Eater recently named it one of the 50 best restaurants in Asia.
  • Shingo Gokan of Shanghai won International Bartender of the Year. Among many other endeavors in the world of drinks, Gokan opened Speak Low, a speakeasy in Shanghai.
  • Black Pearl in Melbourne won Best International Cocktail Bar.
  • Swift in London won Best New International Cocktail Bar. “Old Compton Street has long been Soho’s naughtiest thoroughfare and, in Swift, it now has two world-class cocktail bars for the price of one. Upstairs is a sleek white space, ideal for an after-work/pre-theatre round of oysters and martinis. Downstairs is a cozy speakeasy-style basement you might slither into for the night. Swift is a joint venture from the founders of Milk + Honey (nearby on Poland Street) and Nightjar, and an ideal meeting of minds,” writes Eater London, which included it in its list of 15 essential London bars.
  • David Wondrich is the Best Bar Mentor.
  • Trick Dog in San Francisco has the World’s Best Cocktail Menu.
  • The Best New Spirit or Cocktail Ingredient is ITALICUS - Rosolio di Bergamotto.
  • Seattle has the best shopping for spirits. Its Canon: Whiskey and Bitters Emporium has the award for World’s Best Spirits Selection.

Here are some of the top cocktail books and publications worth reading this year, according to Tales.

  • Hot Rum Cow is the Best Cocktail and Spirits Publication. It’s based in the UK.
  • Smuggler’s Cove: Exotic Cocktails, Rum, and the Cult of Tiki by Martin and Rebecca Cate won for Best New Cocktail and Bartending Book.
  • Wayne Curtis, who spends his time in New Orleans, is this year’s Best Cocktail and Spirits Writer.
  • Bourbon: The Rise, Fall, and Rebirth of an American Whiskey by Fred Minnick is the Best New Spirits Books.