Just as chefs have the James Beard Awards, mixologists across the country hope for a nomination for the Tales of the Cocktail’s Spirited Awards. Last week, Kansas City’s cocktail cred went up a notch as two of the city’s drink craftsmen, Doug Frost and Ryan Maybee, were named finalists alongside The Rieger Hotel Grill & Exchange (1924 Main Street).
“The judges can’t vote for a place they haven’t been to,” Maybee says. “And now that they’ve been to our place, this shows that they regard it as highly as other places that people might have heard of around the country.”
Maybee is one of 10 nominees for American Bartender of the Year, while the Rieger is up for the Best American Restaurant Bar. Doug Frost earned a finalist spot in the Best Bar Mentor category. The finalists in the 23 categories, which recognize international and American bartenders and locations, will be narrowed from 10 to four names on June 6. The winners will be announced at the 8th annual awards ceremony on July 19 during the four-day festival held in New Orleans.[Image via Tales of the Cocktail]