Australia’s nominations for Tales Spirited Awards 2019

17 June, 2019 by Andy YoungTam Allenby

The nominations for the 2019 Tales Spirited Awards, the awards which form part of Tales of the Cocktail, have been announced, with Australia once again gaining recognition.

This year sees Australia gain six nominations across eight international award categories, including International Bartender of the Year, Best International Bar Team and Best International High Volume Cocktail Bar.

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The top four in each award are announced on 24 June, before the winners are revealed in New Orleans on Saturday 20 July as part of Tales of the Cocktail.

“The Spirited Awards are the equivalent of the Oscars for the cocktail and spirits community. As a Foundation, we are thrilled to shine a spotlight on national and international talent who continue to set the bar higher and higher each year,” said Neal Bodenheimer, Co-Chair of the Board of Directors of Tales of the Cocktail Foundation. “We extend our congratulations to all of this year’s nominees.”

  • International Bartender of the Year: Matt Whiley – Scout, Sydney, Australia
  • Best International Bar Team: Black Pearl – Melbourne, Australia
  • Best International High Volume Cocktail Bar: Black Pearl – Melbourne, Australia
  • Best International Restaurant Bar: Maybe Frank – Sydney, Australia
  • Best New International Cocktail Bar: Maybe Sammy – Sydney, Australia
  • Best New International Cocktail Bar: Scout at The Dolphin Hotel – Sydney, Australia

“Each year, the Top 10 nominees of the Spirited Awards® help recognize the richness of the cocktail culture in the USA and around the world. Thanks to all our judges who helped reveal new excellence as well as more established bars and bartenders and more. Congratulations to all our deserved nominees,” said International Spirited Awards Chair Jacob Briars.

Tash Conte, Director of Black Pearl was understandably delighted with the nominations.

Conte told BARS&clubs: “Being nominated for any award, let alone a Tales nomination is truly a breath taking experience, especially after 17 years.

“Being nominated or winning awards are not a part of our ethos at Black Pearl. We put enough pressure on ourselves to be the best version of ourselves in the venue daily.

“So if we are fortunate enough to be nominated for such an award , it means that much more to us because it was not part of an agenda.

“We are in amazing company being in the Top 10. To be in the Top 4 would literally give me heart palpitations. If we won either, you would probably hear me scream from my lounge room.”

Stefano Catino, co-owner of Maybe Frank and Maybe Sammy, was also delighted, telling BARS&clubs: “We are super happy for the nomination and we can’t believe both our venues are in the top 10 – it’s already an amazing result.

“Being nominated for these kind of awards makes everything we do worthwhile and it pushes us to be better year after year. Even if we don’t win, we love it.

“Once you make the top 10 in the world I believe everyone is a winner but who knows if we can ever bring a crystal plate home.”

Scout’s Matt Whiley described his bar’s nomination in the Best New Bar category as an “awesome achievement”.

“I have put my heart and soul into Scout Sydney and I am so proud of what we have accomplished in such a short space of time,” he said. “The team behind Scout Sydney is what makes the experience so special, I am so humbled everyday working with them.

“On a personal note, to be nominated for International Bartender of the year is seriously special and I am thrilled to be in this category amongst such incredible people. I would be truly humbled and honoured to win in either these categories but the nominations are truly special.”

The Spirited Awards also recognises Regional Top 10 honourees, and here Australia has performed very strongly winning 20 nominations across five of the six different Asia & Pacific categories.

The Australian Regional Top 10 Honourees are:

Best Cocktail Bar – Asia & Pacific

  • Above Board – Melbourne, Australia
  • Maybe Mae – Adelaide, Australia
  • PS40 – Sydney, Australia

Best High Volume Cocktail Bar – Asia & Pacific

  • Beneath Driver Lane – Melbourne, Australia
  • Black Pearl – Melbourne, Australia
  • Eau de Vie – Melbourne, Australia
  • Employees Only – Sydney, Australia
  • Maybe Mae – Adelaide, Australia
  • Opera Bar – Sydney, Australia
  • The Lobo Plantation – Sydney, Australia

Best Restaurant Bar – Asia & Pacific

  • Bar Torino – Adelaide, Australia
  • Long Chim Perth – Perth, Australia
  • Maybe Frank – Australia

Best New Cocktail Bar – Asia & Pacific

  • Cantina OK! – Sydney, Australia
  • The Hotel Esplanade – Melbourne, Australia
  • Maybe Sammy – Sydney, Australia
  • The Scout at The Dolphin Hotel – Sydney, Australia

Best Bar Team – Asia & Pacific

  • Black Pearl – Melbourne, Australia
  • The Gresham Bar – Queensland, Australia
  • The Lobo Plantation – Sydney, Australia

Charlotte Voisey, Spirited Awards Chairperson said: “This year, I am delighted to see more nominations from more people in every region of the world, recognising local talent and achievement. We want to continue this trend and encourage judges and individuals to raise the profile of their communities by nominating even more bars, individuals and teams.”