Broken Shaker takes home Best American Hotel Bar & we were there! But what is Tales of the Cocktail & The Spirited Awards?

There has been big news since last week about the award that was won by The Broken Shaker at The Freehand Hotel.

Courtesy of Camille Austin

Courtesy of Camille Austin

The Broken Shaker took home one of the big awards of the night which was Best American Hotel Bar.  We broke the news immediately on Twitter as the award went out.  We were seated next to the Broken Shaker team and it was a joyous and momentous moment at the Sheraton New Orleans on Canal Street.

But what is Tales of the Cocktails?  What are the Spirited Awards?  And what does this mean to Miami?

Tales of the Cocktail was formed in 2002 as a place for cocktail enthusiasts got together to network, learn and discuss cocktails and the industry as a whole.  It is now known as the biggest cocktail festival in the world and attracts thousands of industry tastemakers, leaders and even enthusiasts.

The festival, held in New Orleans, is five days full of events including seminars, tastings, networking events and some great parties.  Most of these are invite only and cater to bartenders and spirits professionals. Every year, the industry’s best come to learn from each other and discuss the evolving world of cocktails.

Year after year, Miami shows it relevance through its attendance, this year Miami’s spirits professionals were over 100 (Spirited Miami’s own estimation).  Here we saw the likes of John Lermayer hosting the Battle of the Sexes presented by Mandarine Napoleon, where men and women were put to the test as teams for best cocktails and a trivia challenge.

Host John Lermayer & Competitor Adam Delgiudice

Host John Lermayer & Competitor Adam Delgiudice


Philip Khandehrish competed in the Amaro Montenegro competition placing near the top three.

Julio Cabrera presented in seminar called All the Bar’s a Stage about performance, bravado and theatricality behind the bar with industry greats:  Joe McCanta (Global Brand Ambassador, Grey Goose), Jack McGarry (Co-founder, The Dead Rabbit Grocery & Grog) and Steve Schneider (Principal Bartender, Employees Only).


Steve Schneider's tools post-presentation

Steve Schneider’s tools post-presentation


Ezra Pattek from the Bon Vivants, hosted numerous events including the annual volunteer day where spirit professionals get together to lend a hand to the community in New Orleans and the ending party, Pig & Punch.

Courtesy of Matt Hirschenbein

Courtesy of Matt Hirschenbein

And the big news for Miami, is the award given for Best American Hotel Bar at the Spirited Awards for the Broken Shaker.  The Spirited Awards is a place to provide recognition to the best bars, ambassadors, writers, publications, books and new products in the spirits industry.  The recipients are chosen by a committee chosen by Tales of the Cocktail.  The award show is then held the Saturday of Tales of the Cocktail.  Think the Academy Awards meet the spirits industry.  These awards are highly coveted by industry professionals like Sean Muldoon (co-founder of Dead Rabbit Grocery & Grog), after winning World’s Best Bar, saying, “For five years all I’ve been thinking about is winning this award. So finally after five years I can go to sleep now. Thank you.”

Miami’s cocktail culture has only been growing and this is not the first time that Miami has been shortlisted, the Florida Room at the Delano was nominated and shortlisted in 2010 for World’s Best Hotel Bar.  That award was given to The Bar at the Connaught Hotel in London.

The Spirited Award for Best American Hotel Bar is a great achievement and continues to show Miami’s commitment to cocktail culture and the continuous dedication to hospitality.  In the spirits industry, Miami has already been on the map for years, this award just solidifies it.  A big congratulations to the Broken Shaker team, Bar Lab and the Freehand for continuing to raise the bar.