A Bar Team, an Ambassador & a Brand. All winners in New Orleans.

August 2, 2022
By Melissa Parker

The announcement of the winners at the 16th Annual 2022 Spirited Awards presented at the 20th anniversary of the Tales of the Cocktail Foundation (TOTCF) conference in New Orleans was a nod to Australia’s global standard for hospitality skills and beverage innovation.

Our very own Martin Hudak won the Best International Brand Ambassador for Mr Black Spirits, while his Sydney bar, Maybe Sammy, won Best International Bar Team. Australian Non- Alcoholic brand Lyre’s won Best New Spirit or Cocktail Ingredient for its Italian Orange.

The Spirited Awards recognises excellence in the global drink industry and awards top professionals, organisations, and establishments.

This year, Spirited received an extraordinary number of submissions across all categories, a testament to the hospitality industry’s continued participation in recognising hard work and achievement.

Paul Gloster, CMO for Lyre’s, was on the ground in New Orleans to accept the award for Best New Spirit and Cocktail Ingredient.

“To be showcasing our brand at the prestigious Tales of the Cocktails was an amazing experience for the Lyre’s team, so to also be recognised as the best new Spirit and Cocktail Ingredient was an absolute honour,” Gloster said.

“It highlights how our industry globally recognises the role that a non-alcoholic brand such as Lyre’s will play in the future, so anyone anywhere can enjoy their favourite cocktail in low or no strength.”

Martin Hudak was also on the ground to receive the award, and Drinks Trade spoke to him fresh after he touched down in Australia. He had two reasons to celebrate; receiving an individual award for Best Brand Ambassador for Mr Black and on behalf of his team at Maybe Sammy for Best International Bar Team.

“I’m so happy; I can’t wait to celebrate with my team,” Hudak exclaimed. “It’s been incredible. It was amazing to be there after such a long time and to see people from around the world. Everyone knew who we are and what we do, which was very flattering when we are so far away.”

Maybe Sammy opened in 2019, and that year the bar won the Best New International Cocktail Bar at Spirited, the venue’s first international award.

“When they announced the bar team, it was the award we really hoped for the most. Building a team takes a set of skills to be functional, fun and unique, and I think we did it. In my opinion, we built a team that is talented, unique and true to themselves. What I like about this award is that it does not celebrate the individual but every single person. It means a lot to us.

“My award was unexpected. I have been with Mr Black for four to five years. Getting this award means a lot to me and the whole Mr Black team. It’s a small brand coming from Australia, and it has a positive impact on the coffee cocktail culture globally because of its quality and because it’s delicious.

Being able to represent a brand on the global stage and then be recognised for it? I am honoured, humbled, and inspired to be better and deliver more in the future.”

Since its inception in 2007, the Spirited Awards has become one of the most globally recognised accolades, recognising beverage professionals, brands, media, journalists, and establishments across all areas of the cocktail industry. In partnership with Forbes, the Spirited Award’s official media partner, TOTCF honoured the Spirited Awards recipients during an in-person celebration at the conference’s 2022 host venue, The Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans.

Recognised through the lens of this year’s conference theme, “Progress”, chosen for its appreciation of the nimble and adaptive development of the drinks community, the winners of the 2022 Spirited Awards have made strides in progressing the beverage industry forward.

Honouring writers and brand ambassadors alongside bartenders and bars, the Spirited Awards showcase talent on a global stage. The evening’s award recipients were carefully considered by a panel of over 200 industry experts, led by Charlotte Voisey, the Spirited Awards Overall Chair. 

“The Spirited Awards celebrates excellence in our industry, and this year’s winners embody that standard so well,” says Charlotte Voisey, Spirited Awards Overall Chair. “After a difficult few years, it is truly inspiring to gather together once more and see what these recognitions mean to everyone nominated.”

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