Best Bar in the World

06 August 2009

The five star establishment, set in the heart of Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter, was awarded the prestigious accolade at the recent world famous, internationally acclaimed Spirit Awards, as part of the ‘Tales of the Cocktail Festival’ in New Orleans.

The luxury hotel, regularly frequented by celebrities visiting the city, also walked away with the title of ‘World’s Best Cocktail Menu’ and ‘World’s Best Drinks Selection’.  The hat-trick of success means the hotel is the only venue globally, to win three world-class awards, in the history of the New Orleans event.

Tales of the Cocktail is an internationally acclaimed festival which brings together the best and brightest cocktail experts in the industry. The Spirit Awards, hailed the 'liquid Oscars' by bartending authorities throughout the globe, are held as part of the festival and provide recognition to those individuals and establishments that have shown an outstanding talent for advancing the craft of the cocktail. They are judged rigorously by top industry figures from all over the globe including bartending maestro and world renowned vintage Cognac expert, Salvatore Calabrese, well known drinks writer and publisher Simon Difford and ‘King of Cocktails’, Dale DeGroff.   TheDorchester, Paris Ritz and George V were also among the top industry stalwarts vying for the world titles.

Speaking about the recent global win, Sean Muldoon, Bar Manager and Mixologist at The Merchant Hotel said, “We are thrilled that The Merchant has become a world beater. This really puts Belfast and Northern Ireland on the world’s hospitality map.  To be the only hotel in Ireland and indeed Europe to achieve such acclaim is a credit to the talent that exists here, within the hospitality trade.  It also proves that this country can compete with the reputation of some of the world’s most respected hotels including the Paris Ritz and Dorchester, in the eyes of the world’s greatest authorities on mixology.  To come out on top with a list of awards will bring very obvious benefits for the tourist industry and is a massive coup for Northern Ireland.”

This is the fourth year of the Spirit Awards which are held annually in New Orleans, the birth place of the cocktail.

Book a hotel

Find a list of hotels.

Read more


Marketing Campaigns.

Read more

Hospitality Exchange

Annual Conference.

Read more