Big news, and a big thank you

Ahead of our first birthday next month, some big news from abroad.

Boothby turns one at the end of September this year, and it has been a big year already: we’ve covered lockdowns, reopenings, new bars, new drinks — 2021 has a lot going on.

And then last night I found out that Boothby was listed in the top 10 for Best Cocktail & Spirits Publications in the world at Tales of the Cocktail’s Spirited Awards.

The Tales of the Cocktail Foundation has released the nominees for the 2021 Spirited Awards — you can find the press release here. The awards are a big deal for the international bar community — a who's who of the best bars and bartenders. This year, however, is a little different.

Recognising that 2021 (and 2020) were tough years for bars, with many closed for extensive periods of time, and with judges for the awards often confined to their city (if not their street) for much of the year, this year they gave many of the awards for venues a rest.

“This is not the time to judge and award bars and bartenders, not when many could not even operate or had significant lapses in employment,” writes Charlotte Voisey, the Spirited Awards overall chair, in the 2021 Spirited Awards Digital Playbill.

Instead of awarding bars they brought their judges together virtually to discuss the bars doing good things in each region. Re in Sydney — a place you can read more about here — was recognised for its contributions to the drinks culture in our region and its emphasis on sustainability.

They did, however, decide to award a smaller number of awards this year, ones they felt could be judged and awarded. In the Playbill, they have announced the Top 10 nominees for the Writing & Media awards — and I’m very proud to say that Boothby is among the Top 10 for Best Cocktail & Spirits Publication.

Sitting here in the Sydney lockdown, it feels like a very big thing and also a kind of unreal thing. I found out last night, shared it on social media, had a small glass of wine and went to bed. Celebrations would have been different, it’s fair to say, if the city’s bars were open.

I love bars. I love bartenders — I used to be one — and though I haven’t been behind the bar for a long time, it’s around bartenders where I feel most at home. I love nothing more than talking to bartenders about bars, in bars, over a few drinks.

And Boothby wouldn’t exist without the bartenders and bars to write about. I genuinely believe Australia is home to the world’s best bartenders, with a style all our own, working in bars that hold their own against the very best in the world. It’s a pleasure to write about what you do. So thank you to everyone I’ve spoken to for Boothby, everyone we’ve photographed, filmed, and shared a drink with this year. I’m looking forward to lockdowns lifting and borders opening so we can do even more of it in the next year.

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