Pull out a candy-colored stool. Sit. Order a tiki drink to own all tiki drinks. Repeat.

Image: Navy Strength

Beverage pros from all over the globe descended upon New Orleans, the cocktail capital of course, for the 12th annual Tales of the Cocktail this past weekend. There were seminars and tastings, networking and the like, but on the final night: awards.The annual Spirit Awards recognizes bars, bartenders, and writers from all over the world. To receive such an accolade is huge. But after lots of deliberation—and presumably a fair amount of drinking—this year's winners included Seattle's own Navy Strength for Best New American Cocktail Bar.

It sounds all wonderful and impressive, and it most certainly is, but in more specific terms  "this award recognizes the American bar that sets the highest of standards in the industry and has influenced national cocktail trends," per the website's description. If you've bellied up to the long, arching bar at Navy Strength where a bartender's helped navigate you through an ocean of tiki drinks, always steering you in the right direction—and with owners Anu and Chris Elford's menu there may never be a wrong turn—then this description exactly fits what this Belltown bar regularly achieves.

In other exciting news, Rumba also received some due acknowledgment at Tales of the Cocktail this year, landing on a regional  Top 10 List for Best Cocktail Bar in the West, U.S. Ditto Zig Zag Cafe for Best High Volume Cocktail Bar in the West, U.S. And Heartwood Provisions for Best Restaurant Bar in the West, U.S.

Big congratulations to all our bars for proving what we in Seattle already knew to be true: We have some badass, world-class bars. 

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