Bartender Spirits Awards

  • Enter Now
  • My Account

Judging Process

Judged By Bartenders, Bar Managers and Off-Premise Managers For The On-Premise Industry

Bartender Spirits Awards will recognize, encourage, promote and celebrate excellence in the U.S. drinks industry. 

Each spirit brand will be scored based on:

1. Mixability

How well the product is blended or combined for your cocktails.

2. Balance and Versatility

Balance of the spirit refers to the flavour and aroma. A well-rounded, full-flavored, and balanced spirit is a much more desirable stocking option for the back-bar.

3. Taste, Mouthfeel and Finish

Physical sensation drink creates in the mouth, including the tongue and the roof of the mouth. The sensory impact of the spirit after it has been swallowed (or spat).

4. Package

Creative design, label quality, label details, back-bar appeal, and functionality (including shape, size, weight, and ease of pouring) should be considered.

5. Price

The objective is to understand how well a particular spirit is priced and what value it offers, Greater the quality offered for the price, greater the price score should be.

Step 1: Blind Tasting

Blind tasting samples are presented by category based on their style and origin. Each spirit brand is reviewed on the basis of mixability; balance and versatility; taste, mouthfeel, and finish. Top bartenders within the industry review all blind tasting samples, ensuring that every entrant receives unbiased consideration by top influencers within the industry.

Step 2: Price Score Evaluation

The price score creates a strong reference tool for the bar industry and consumers. Following the blind tasting, judges are presented with the price of the spirit to analyze the price score. The objective is to understand how a particular spirit is priced vis-à-vis its peers. In today’s competitive marketplace, relative value is a very important consideration.

Step 3: Packaging Evaluation

In the final assessment for packaging, judges are asked to evaluate bottles by their creative design, back-bar appeal, and functionality (including shape, size, weight, and ease of pouring).

Judging Panel

The judging panel of the Bartender Spirits Awards will consist entirely of top bartenders at U.S. restaurants, bars, pubs, and clubs. In order to be selected as a judge, bartenders need to provide evidence of their expertise within the on-premise industry. In some cases, these bartenders may also be cocktail consultants for on-premise establishments or play an important buying role for their on-premise establishment.