A Special Evening for the UK Tales of the Cocktail Winners (and a couple of hangers-on)

The UK’s clean sweep of the Spirited Awards International Categories celebrated at Jubjub Bar.

The winners

Having travelled a fair old amount with BarLifeUK over the last couple of years, I’ve visited some truly amazing cities and bars.

Both within and outside of the UK, there are dedicated, talented bartenders and operators continually pushing the cocktail industry forward, and as jobs go, documenting this is as good as it gets.

However, as much as we like to champion the rest of the UK’s drinking destinations, it has to be said that in terms of sheer scale and quality, London is a very special place when it comes to cocktail culture.

So much so, that at this year’s Spirited Awards at Tales of the Cocktail, London bars and bartenders won all of the International categories.*

This is an achievement of which everyone in the UK industry should be proud.

Two pretty ladies (Imagine this part said in Alex Kretana's voice) and Dan Priseman bartending at 500 MPH

Dan Priseman, bartender extraordinaire and brains behind excellent drinks website Bitters&Twisted, was BarLifeUK’s wingman and drinking comrade at Tales of the Cocktail, and he sat with us at the awards ceremony, watching with pride as UK winner after UK winner stepped on stage to collect their plates.

Dan decided it would be a good idea to have a special event back in London for these winners, and aided and abetted by James Triffo of the Spirit Cartel, organised a night of drinks and presentations at Callooh Callay’s Jubjub Bar.

Bank’s Rum kindly donated bottles of their limited edition, and very tasty, The Endeavour bottling to be handed to representatives of the UK winners:

  • Callooh Callay: World’s best cocktail menu
  • The Connaught Bar: World’s best bar
  • Alex Kretana: Best International bartender
  • The Artesian Bar: World’s best hotel bar
  • The Zetter Townhouse: World’s best new bar
  • Salvatore’s at The Playboy Club: World’s best drinks selection

Keen observers will notice that Alex Kretana was clutching two bottles of The Endevour at this point – for his individual award, and that of The Artesian Bar. He very kindly donated one (I’m guessing the Artesian’s) to be enjoyed by everyone in attendance.

Regular readers may know that BarLifeUK was also a finalist (Best Cocktail Writing, Non Book) at the Spirited Awards, for the second year on the trot as it happens, but were beaten to the post by Liquor.com.

Dan and James did Simon Webster and myself the great honour of presenting us a bottle of The Endeavour and a certificate, recognising BarLifeUK’s contributions to the UK cocktail industry. We would like to thank them both very much for this, and for the kind applause of the crowd at Jubjub. It means the world to us.

We recommend you visit Bitters@Twisted, and read Dan’s thoughts on the UK’s performance at Tales, and why he wanted to stage this event. Read all the drinks articles while you are there too, they are the best around.

Simon and I beg your indulgence for one more moment, while we replicate in part the certificate handed to us on the night:

“…BarLifeUK serves as a lighthouse of knowledge and industry information to the bartending community, both here in the UK and abroad. It is our intent to specifically recognize the hard work and commitment to quality BarLifeUK has applied to the industry over the past years and present to them this bottle of rum as a token of our heartfelt appreciation.”


*We are also claiming Angus Winchester (Best International Brand Ambassador) and Gaz Regan (Lifetime Achievement) due to the fact that they are both Brits.