The 2019 Spirited Awards saw Australia’s take out two of the top awards at the ceremony, which was held in New Orleans over the weekend.
New York’s Dante – co-owned by former Rockpool bar manager Linden Pride – won World’s Best Bar; while Sydney’s Maybe Sammy was awarded Best International Bar.
Established in 2007, Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Awards recognise the best bars, bar talent, drinks writers and drinks products from the United States and around the world.
“To anyone that’s been there, thank you,” said Dante’s creative director Naren Young, accepting the top honour at the historic Orpheum Theater. “And to anyone that hasn’t, we look forward to welcoming you.”
Maybe Sammy opened a 1950s Vegas-inspired cocktail bar in The Rocks earlier this year and also owns two pizza joints in Surry Hills and Randwick.
Co-owner Andrea Gualdi is the group’s creative director and took out the 2017 Australian Bartender Of The Year award at the Diageo Reserve World Class Competition.
He was lost for words following the win, simply saying: “What an amazing night!”
Fellow co-owner Vince Lombardo added: “I couldn’t be any more proud of our team. The concept and execution of Maybe Sammy has taken a lot of hard work but it’s all been worth it. We knew we were creating something truly unique and we’re thrilled our peers, the industry and our customers appreciate it. It’s the icing on the cake to receive an internationally recognised award such as this.”
Co-owner Stefano Catino, Gualdi and fellow bartender Martin Hudak were all in New Orleans to collect the award (above).
The Spirited Awards ceremony was introduced by Emmy and Tony Award-winning actor Bryan Cranston, who just launched a mezcal called Dos Hombres with his Breaking Bad costar Aaron Paul.
Here’s the full list of winning bars & mixologists:
World’s Best Bar: Dante (New York, above)
Helen David Lifetime Achievement Award: Javier De Las Muelas
Philanthropy Award: Speed Rack
Timeless American Award: Napoleon House (New Orleans, LA)
Timeless International Award: El Floridita (Havana, Cuba)
Best Bar Mentor: Ivy Mix and Lynnette Marrero
Best New Spirit or Cocktail Ingredient: Fords Gin Officers’ Reserve
World’s Best Cocktail Menu: Trick Dog (San Francisco, CA)
World’s Best Spirits Selection: Atlas Bar, Singapore
American Bartender of the Year: Julio Cabrera (Cafe La Trova, Miami, FL)
Best American Brand Ambassador: Tim Cooper, Fords Gin
Best American Bar Team: Herbs and Rye (Las Vegas, NV)
Best American Cocktail Bar: Attaboy (New York, NY)
Best American High-Volume Cocktail Bar: Herbs and Rye (Las Vegas, NV)
Best American Hotel Bar: Compère Lapin at The Old No. 77 Hotel & Chandlery (New Orleans, LA)
Best American Restaurant Bar: Dante (New York, NY)
Best New American Cocktail Bar: Katana Kitten (New York, NY)
International Bartender of the Year: Monica Berg (Tayēr and Elementary, London, United Kingdom)
Best International Brand Ambassador: Joe McCanta, Grey Goose
Best International Bar Team: Licorería Limantour (Mexico City, Mexico)
Best International Cocktail Bar: Atlas Bar, Singapore
Best International High-Volume Cocktail Bar: Schumann’s Bar (Munich, Germany)
Best International Hotel Bar: Manhattan at Regent Singapore, Singapore
Best International Restaurant Bar: Hawksmoor Spitalfields (London, United Kingdom)
Best New International Cocktail Bar: Maybe Sammy (Sydney, Australia)
Dante’s Aussie connection
The famed Dante can’t get enough of Australia. In April it hosted Maybe Sammy for a pop-up.
Then the team headed Down Under to hold pop-ups of their own at Rockpool in Sydney and Melbourne.
The collaboration has been prompted by Dante co-owner Pride once being Rockpool’s bar manager, plus he’s also a longtime friend of Neil Perry.
Maybe Sammy photography by Daniele Massaci