The Awards, now run by Agile Media, made its comeback at One Marylebone in London, after six years of absence.
Dandelyan, run by Iain Griffiths and Ryan Chetiyawardana, was the overwhelming choice of the Class collective - the 85 nationwide experts that voted in the Awards.
Aidan Bowie, head bartender at Dandelyan and a past winner of Diageo World Class, topped the Bartender of the Year vote, ahead of James Bowker of The Edgbaston in Birmingham and Marcis Dzelzainis of Sager + Wilde, Bethnal Green, London.
Edmund Weil and Rosie Stimpson, owners of London music and cocktail venues Nightjar and Oriole, saw a number of their team win supporting awards. Oriole’s Ivana Popovic was named Front of House Star of the Year and the bar’s Ivano Filippi took Bar Back Star.
A third award for Oriole came in the form of Bar Food Menu of the Year, with its South American-Asian themed menu edging ahead of that of Liverpool’s Filter + Fox and Oskar’s Bar of London. While Nightjar won Best Social Media Initiative.
Weil and Stimpson also celebrated with their partners at Swift, Bobby Hiddleston and Mia Johansson, after the venue took New Bar of the Year, ahead of Bath’s The Dark Horse and London’s Black Rock. Bobby Hiddleston too won an individual award, taking home Bar Manager of the Year for his work with Callooh Callay in 2016 and latterly as a co-creator of Swift.
The Emerging Bartender of the Year category was won by Dominic Whisson of the American Bar, London, ahead of Joe Wild from El Bandito in Liverpool and Daniele Bresciani of The Churchill Bar & Terrace, London.
Cocktail of the Year, also contended by Dandelyan’s Concrete Sazerac, was won by Robusto Negroni at Bar Termini. Devised by Tony Conligiaro’s Drink Factory for the Soho bar, the Robusto Negroni uses the sous-vide technique to achieve a mellow and elegant Negroni.
Specialist Bar of the Year went to whisky venue Black Rock, owned by Tom Aske and Tristan Stephenson, taking the gong ahead of Manchester’s tequila and pizza venue Crazy Pedro’s and, Italian station-themed coffee and cocktail spot, Bar Termini.
Restaurant Bar of the Year was awarded to London’s Hawksmoor Spitalfields, beating off capital competition in the form of The Blind Pig and from Edinburgh’s Bon Vivant.
Ending the night was the Lifetime Achievement award, which went to Jake Burger from bars The Distillery and Portobello Road. With venues in Leeds and London, a gin museum and gin brand, Jake Burger has spent 20 years at the forefront of the drinks business.