The hospitality industry certainly looks mighty different these days, no thanks to the pandemic. Indoor dining and imbibing is now a health threat. Those lucky enough to have outdoor space to work with are navigating a whole new world—and its many new disinfecting protocols. And most bars (including some of today’s winners) are facing the very real possibility of a permanent last call.
But good work is good work—and it must be credited (on top of extending actual and tangible help to members of the spirits community.) And so we’re toasting to all the winners at this year’s Spirited Awards, which was held virtually by way of the U.K-based events platform, All In The Loop—presented by Charlotte Voisey, William Grant & Sons’ head of brand ambassador advocacy.
“This has been a year of disruption, devastation, and loss. Awarding excellence and voting for the best bars in the world amidst all this will not undo the damage—and this year, is not the priority,” Charlotte Voisey, who is also the overall chair of the Spirited Awards, said. “The priorities right now are the survival of the hospitality industry and the pursuit of racial equality. The Spirited Awards platform, however, does afford positive moments to congratulate and recognize the best of our industry so that we might learn from them and strengthen our communities going forward, through the mentorship they can provide.”
So now on to the winners…
San Francisco’s Pacific Cocktail Haven was named the Best American Cocktail Bar, topping three others in the category: Katana Kitten in New York City, Best Intentions in Chicago, and Raised by Wolves in San Diego.
Meanwhile, long-time darling of the spirits world, Ryan Chetiyawardana (of Lyaness fame) wins big again. This time, it’s the Best New American Cocktail Bar—for the entrepreneur’s work at Silver Lyan in Washington D.C., Chetiyawardana’s first Stateside endeavor.
As for the international stage (not to be confused with the awards’ global categories), Asia and the United Kingdom prevailed, with more than a single winner in each region. First up: In Asia, Singapore’s Native took home the honor of Best International Cocktail Bar—while Shanghai’s Sober Company won Best International Restaurant Bar.
In London, the awards abound: The Connaught Bar, Kwānt, and the Scarfes Bar at the Rosewood Hotel, won Best International Bar Team, Best New International Cocktail Bar, and Best International Hotel Bar respectively.
Scroll down to read the full list of Spirited Award winners.
Best American Bar Team: Café La Trova (Miami, FL)
Best American Brand Ambassador: Robin Nance, Beam Suntory
Best American Cocktail Bar: Pacific Cocktail Haven (San Francisco, CA)
Best American High Volume Cocktail Bar: ABV (San Francisco, CA)
Best American Hotel Bar: The Spare Room at The Hollywood Roosevelt (Los Angeles, CA)
Best American Restaurant Bar: The Silver Dollar (Louisville, KY)
Best New American Cocktail Bar: Silver Lyan (Washington, D.C.)
Best International Bar Team: The Connaught Bar (London, U.K)
Best International Brand Amassador: Camille Austin, Casa Lumbre Spirits
Best International Cocktail Bar: Native (Singapore)
Best International High-Volume Cocktail Bar: Licorería Limantour (Mexico City, Mexico)
Best International Hotel Bar: Scarfes Bar at the Rosewood Hotel (London, U.K)
Best International Restaurant Bar: Sober Company (Shanghai, China)
Best New International Cocktail Bar: Kwānt (London, U.K)
World’s Best Cocktail Menu: ATLAS Bar (Singapore)
World’s Best Spirits Selection: Amor Y Amargo (New York, NY)
Best New Spirit or Cocktail Ingredient: Tequila Fortaleza Winter Blend 2019
WRITING AND MEDIA CATEGORIES
Best Cocktail and Spirits Publication: Half Full
Best Cocktail and Spirits Writing: “JaNee: Where is She Now,” by Aaron Godfarb (PUNCH magazine)
Best New Cocktail or Bartending Book: The Martini Cocktail: A Meditation on the World’s Greatest Drink, with Recipes by Robert Simonson (Ten Speed Press)
Best New Book on Drinks Culture, History, or Spirits: Last Call: Bartenders on Their Final Drink and the Wisdom and Rituals of Closing Time by Brad Thomas Parsons (Ten Speed Press)
Best Broadcast, Podcast, or Online Video Series: WhiskyCast
**The awards for the Helen David Lifetime Achievement, Philanthropy, Timeless American, and Timeless International will be announced on September 24, 2020 during the digital Spirited Awards ceremony.