New York is brimming over with worthwhile cocktail bars, relaxing wine bars and grungy dive bars, so how do we narrow the field down to the best of the best? That’s where Time Out New York’s 2017 Bar Awards come in—for this year’s awards, we rounded up some of the biggest names on the drinks scene to tell us the venues, menus and bar teams that wowed them in 2017. Along with Eating & Drinking Editor Christina Izzo and Assistant Editor Alyson Penn, here are the industry panelists of the 2017 Time Out New York Bar Awards.
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Meet the panelists
Sam Anderson is currently the beverage director at Mission Chinese, which won the Best Restaurant Bar Program award at the 2016 Time Out New York Bar Awards. He has also created or consulted on the cocktail programs at Hotel Delmano, Sel Rose, Vinegar Hill House, the Breslin, Salvation Taco, Cafe Colette and Fig 19. Current additional projects include creating cocktails program for RBMA '17 performances in NYC. He is also runs marathons avidly and is a fixture of the downtown running scene in NYC.
Meaghan Dorman is currently the bar director of New York City’s Raines Law Room (both locations), Dear Irving and the Bennett. Meaghan is proud to be a founding member of the New York City chapter of LUPEC, which plans to enhance the community of local women in the bar/spirits industry through charity work, education and events.
Eben Freeman is one of the most recognizable figures in the cocktail industry. After participating in the Molecular Mixology Seminar in Paris in 2005, Freeman has become widely known as one of the founding fathers of molecular mixology; he also possesses a thorough understanding of classic cocktails, as seen in his Emmy-nominated series of cocktail tutorials (which has over 2 million views on YouTube). Most recently, he spearheaded the opening of cult favorite bar GENUINE Liquorette in 2015, and in late 2016, he helped AvroKO Hospitality Group, alongside Nacho Jimenez, concept and launch Ghost Donkey, a mescal and tequila-focused bar.
Hailing from Portland, Oregon, Eryn Reece has worked in the restaurant industry since she was 16. She’s had the opportunity to work in some of the most celebrated bars in the city, with a long stint at Mayahuel, where she found her love and harnessed her knowledge of agave, followed by her tenure as head bartender at world-renowned Death & Company. She is currently the bar director of the Wooly Public in the historic Woolworth Building.
Upon finishing school in 2000, Sam Ross collaborated with his mother and sister to open Ginger, a cocktail bar in Melbourne, Australia that garnered great success as one of the country’s pioneers of cocktail culture. After moving to New York in 2004, he began working with Sasha Petraske at Little Branch, East Side Company Bar and Milk & Honey, while also bartending with Audrey Saunders at Pegu Club. Sam is currently the co-owner of Attaboy and Diamond Reef.
Karin Stanley knew she wanted to bartend from an early age, and started experimenting with the craft as early as high school. Having put in time at acclaimed destinations including Milk & Honey and Little Branch, Stanley brought her brand of serious craft cocktailing to Long Island City with the opening of Dutch Kills, where she is a partner. Today, she can be found behind the bar at Little Branch and Suffolk Arms. Her favorite cocktail is a daiquiri.
Best American Brand Ambassador, two times Golden Spirit Award winner at Tales of the Cocktail and recognized by the James Beard recognition for contribution to mixology, Charlotte Voisey is the Director of Advocacy for William Grant & Sons USA. Host of The Proper Pour with Charlotte Voisey, Charlotte has cocktail recipes published and placed on menus across the world including New York’s famed PDT, the iconic Dorchester Hotel in London and Whitechapel in San Francisco.
Jillian Vose is the bar manager at the acclaimed Dead Rabbit Grocery & Grog. Previously, Vose was the bar manager at Death & Co., a whiskey ambassador for Campari America, where she helped manage its Women & Whiskies initiative, and manager at Clover Club. She received her Level One Court of Master Sommeliers certificate at the age of 24, and was named a 2013 Rising Star by Star Chefs.