World’s Best Bar: London’s Lyaness Wins Top Honor At The 16th Annual Spirited Awards

Food & Drink

London’s Lyaness roared to victory at the 16th annual Spirited Awards at Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans. Ryan Chetiyawardana—a longtime darling of the hospitality world awards circuit—bested Fifty Mils, Charles H. Seoul, and the American Bar at The Stafford, as his famed cocktail cathedral was named World’s Best Bar for 2022.

Lyaness, above, was also honored as the Best International Hotel Bar and Chetiyawardana received another shot of acclaim as his Washington D.C. outpost, Silver Lyan (which was awarded Best New American Cocktail Bar in 2020), was recognized as the Best U.S. Hotel Bar for 2022.

“We’ve been very fortunate with awards over the years—and they’ve covered everything from our teams, design, menus to spaces,” Chetiyawardana (aka “Mr. Lyan”) said. “But there’s also been lots of change. We closed Dandelyan to pave the way for Lyaness—and to challenge a new side of the world of food and drink that we thought was super important, and actually pay tribute to the success we’d had with the bar.”

Another feline-inspired watering hole—Masahiro Urushido’s Katana Kitten in Manhattan—was honored as the Best U.S. Cocktail Bar (topping New York’s Bar Goto, The Roosevelt Room in Austin, and Thunderbolt in Los Angeles). Urushido also took home prizes in two other major categories: Best U.S. Bar Team and Best New Cocktail or Bartending Book for his 2021 tome, The Japanese Art of the Cocktail.

Urushido and Chetiyawardana weren’t the only ones to take home multiple accolades. A Bar With Shapes for a Name in London was honored as this year’s Best New International Cocktail Bar—and its founder, Remy Savage, was celebrated as International Bartender of the Year. Locally, New Orleans’ beloved Jewel of the South was named Best U.S. Restaurant Bar and founder Chris Hannah won U.S. Bartender of the Year. Australia’s Maybe Sammy, a perennial awards favorite, won Best International Bar Team and its creative director, Martin Hudak, won Best International Brand Ambassador for Mr Black Spirits.

Geographically speaking, London dominated the awards in the international categories with five standout wins out of eight awards. In addition to Lyaness and A Bar With Shapes for a Name, Monica Berg and Alex Kratena’s Tayēr + Elementary in Shoreditch was named Best International Cocktail Bar (beating Pujol, Le Marie Celeste, and Danico). And Sexy Fish, the Asian hotspot in Mayfair, is this year’s Best International Restaurant Bar.

The Spirited Awards, which closed out the 20th annual Tales of the Cocktail festival, returned in person for the first time since 2019 and the audience in the ballroom at the Ritz-Carlton New Orleans celebrated the winners with multiple standing ovations throughout the night. (Full disclosure: Forbes is the official media partner of the Spirited Awards.)

“The ingenuity and resiliency of the drinks industry is absolutely unique and deserves to be celebrated,” said Eileen Wayner, CEO of the Tales of the Cocktail Foundation. “Bringing this community back together in New Orleans, the hospitality capital of the world, to commemorate 20 years of progress is going to be such a pivotal moment. I hope it serves as a reminder, that this industry provides not only a space to gather, find joy and community, but also to experience the innovation of bartenders and products across the bar around the world. Bringing back the Spirited Awards, after a necessary break due to Covid’s devastating impact, will reinforce the excellence and innovation of the bars, bartenders, writers and products that drive global hospitality trends.”

The evening’s big winner, Chetiyawardana, echoed that sentiment. “The nominations this year have been hugely important to us,” he said, “It helps cement for us that we’re making valuable decisions, and that it is resonating with our peers, but mainly for helping bolster that belief and excitement for our teams and all the hard work and passion they’re putting into doing something so different.

“All that is exacerbated by the pandemic,” Chetiyawardana continued. “To be able to come back through and have positives to celebrate is incredible. But the pandemic also fast-tracked a lot of the things we wanted to address with the venues, so it feels even more important to be getting that recognition and that booster to keep fighting for the issues we want to change and challenge.”

See the full list of winners from the 2022 Spirited Awards below:

TALES OF THE COCKTAIL SPIRITED AWARDS 2022

INTERNATIONAL CATEGORIES


International Bartender of the Year: Remy Savage, 🔵🟥🔶 A Bar with Shapes for a Name (London, UK)

Best International Bar Mentor: Lauren Mote

Best International Brand Ambassador: Martin Hudak, Mr Black Spirits

Best International Bar Team: Maybe Sammy (Sydney, Australia)

Best International Cocktail Bar: Tayēr + Elementary (London, UK)

Best International Hotel Bar: Lyaness at Sea Containers London (London, UK)

Best International Restaurant Bar: Sexy Fish (London, UK)

Best New International Cocktail Bar: 🔵🟥🔶 A Bar with Shapes for a Name (London, UK)

U.S. CATEGORIES


U.S. Bartender of the Year: Chris Hannah, Jewel of the South (New Orleans, LA)

Best U.S. Bar Mentor: Sean Kenyon

Best U.S. Brand Ambassador: Lynn House, Heaven Hill

Best U.S. Bar Team: Katana Kitten (New York, NY)

Best U.S. Cocktail Bar: Katana Kitten (New York, NY)

Best U.S. Hotel Bar: Silver Lyan at the Riggs Washington D.C. (Washington, D.C.)

Best U.S. Restaurant Bar: Jewel of the South (New Orleans, LA)

Best New U.S. Cocktail Bar: Happy Accidents (Albuquerque, NM)

WRITING & MEDIA CATEGORIES


Best Cocktail & Spirits Publication: VinePair

Best Broadcast, Podcast, or Online Video Series: The Cocktail Lovers Podcast

Best Cocktail & Spirits Writing: “Get Real: The bar world looks beyond feel-good measures on sustainability and climate change” by Max Falkowitz for Imbibe Magazine

Best New Cocktail or Bartending Book: The Japanese Art of the Cocktail by Masahiro Urushido and Michael Anstendig

Best New Book on Drinks Culture, History, or Spirits: The Oxford Companion to Spirits and Cocktails edited by David Wondrich with Noah Rothbaum

GLOBAL CATEGORIES


World’s Best Bar: Lyaness at Sea Containers London (London, UK)

Best New Spirit or Cocktail Ingredient: Lyre’s Non-Alcoholic Italian Orange

World’s Best Cocktail Menu: Little Red Door (Paris, France)

World’s Best Spirits Selection: Jack Rose Dining Saloon (Washington, D.C.)

Pioneer Award: Amanda Gunderson, CEO & Cofounder at Another Round Another Rally

Timeless International Award: Harry’s New York Bar (Paris, France)

Timeless U.S. Award: Bemelmans Bar at The Carlyle (New York, NY)

Helen David Lifetime Achievement Award: Julie Reiner, Cofounder at Clover Club, Leyenda, Social Hour Cocktails, and Mixtress Consulting

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