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Defender Picks


The Hangover: Tales Photo Wrap

Photos by Dr. Bill Copen

Tales of the Cocktail has ended for 2015 leaving libations-lovers with visions of sugar  plum sours swimming in their heads. NoDef’s Dr. Bill Copen was there to cover all the action. Linked below, readers can catch up with his daily updates to check out what they missed (or forgot). Likewise, on Saturday (7.18), the winners of the annual Spirited Awards were announced. Check out who won titles like “american Bartender of the Year.”


State of the Art

Sylvain’s Lucinda Weed stirs up a “Sexy Whiskey Soda.”

Tales Begins

Royal Street was temporarily closed on Wednesday afternoon, and a crowd gathered to for Tales’ traditional opening toast.


Thursday at Tales

Tiki in Tremé? Totally, if Tales is in town! Each year, on the Thursday night of Tales week, participating restaurants across New Orleans offer “spirited dinners,” in which each course of a tasting menu is paired with a specially created cocktail that incorporates the products of one sponsor. This year, famed fried chicken haven Willie Mae’s Scotch House hosted Old New Orleans Rum’s spirited dinner. Arriving guests were treated to a frozen, blended welcoming cocktail (fittingly called “99 in the shade”), and the sounds of a live brass band.



Thursday’s reprise of one of last year’s most popular dynamic duo events brought together local bartending legend Paul Gustings and leading cocktail historian and author David Wondrich, at the Empire Bar at Broussard’s. More dynamic duo events will be taking place through Sunday night. Check the Tales website for details.

Final Photos

Some Tales treats would be difficult or impossible to find elsewhere. Where else could you find a popsicle with three flavors of liquor made by a hundred-year-old, family-owned Italian distillery?


Sprited Awards winners follow.


2015 Spirited Awards® Winners

American Categories

Best American Bar Team 

Employees Only (New York)

American Bartender of the Year

Ivy Mix (New York)

Best American Brand Ambassador

Brooke Arthur (House Spirits)

Best American Cocktail Bar

Williams & Graham (Denver)

Best American High Volume Cocktail Bar

Employees Only (New York)

Best American Hotel Bar

The Broken Shaker (Miami Beach)

Best American Restaurant Bar

Eastern Standard Kitchen & Drinks (Boston)

Best New American Cocktail Bar

ABV (San Francisco) 

International Categories

Best International Bar Team

28 Hong Kong Street (Singapore)

International Bartender of the Year

Ryan Chetiyawardana (London)

Best International Brand Ambassador

Claire Smith-Warner (Belvedere Vodka)

Best International Cocktail Bar

Artesian (London)

Best International High Volume Cocktail Bar

The Black Pearl & The Attic (Melbourne)

Best International Hotel Bar

Beaufort Bar, The Savoy (London)

Best International Restaurant Bar

Blind Pig at Social Eating House (London)

Best New International Cocktail Bar

Dandelyan (London)


Writing Categories

Best Cocktail & Spirits Publication


Best Cocktail & Spirits Writer

Dave Broom

Best New Cocktail/Bartending Book

Liquid Intelligence: The Art and Science of the Perfect Cocktail by Dave Arnold

Best New Spirits Book

Whisky: The Manual by Dave Broom


Overall Categories


Best Bar Mentor

Jim Meehan (Portland)

Best New Spirit or Cocktail Ingredient

Amaro di Angostura

World’s Best Cocktail Menu

Dead Rabbit (New York)

World’s Best Spirits Selection

Canon (Seattle)

World’s Best Bar

Dead Rabbit (New York)


Special Recognitions


Lifetime Achievement Award

Jonathan Downey

Sam Guarino Citation

Steve Mannan


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Renard Boissiere, Evan Z.E. Hammond, Naimonu James, Wilson Koewing, J.A. Lloyd, Nina Luckman, Dead Huey Long, Alexis Manrodt, Joseph Santiago, Andrew Smith, Cynthia Via, Austin Yde


Art Director

Michael Weber, B.A.


Listings Editor

Linzi Falk

Editor Emeritus

Alexis Manrodt

B. E. Mintz

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