Cedd Moses' downtown drinking den The Varnish took the title of Best American Cocktail Bar at the Spirited Awards at Tales of the Cocktail on Saturday night. It was a big win for Los Angeles, which was well represented in nominations, and one that brought L.A.'s influence on the national cocktail scene into clear focus.
An elated Moses took to the stage at the rowdy awards accompanied by the Varnish crew including mixologist Eric Alperin (who was also nominated in the category of American Bartender of the Year).
"Seven years ago I came out here and everybody was laughing about the bars in L.A.," said Moses later. "And I said I was going to do great cocktail bars in L.A. The redemption is good."
The Varnish beat out three other bars in the final stages of the competition including Brooklyn's Clover Club, Washington D.C.'s Columbia Room and Anvil Bar & Refuge in Houston. It was also in the running for World's Best Cocktail Bar, but that award went to London.
The celebrations following the awards soon spread to all corners of the French Quarter with many of L.A.'s finest bartenders and bar owners in a feel-good state of mind.
Photo: Eric Alperin, center, enjoys the L.A. win with Cedd Moses, left. Credit: Jessica Gelt / Los Angeles Times.