Sprited Awards 2016: Miami Beach’s Sweet Liberty wins Best New American Bar

The Collins Park Sour is among the notable drinks at Sweet Liberty, named Best New American Bar. (Handout)

America’s best new cocktail bar is in Miami Beach.

So said the judges in the annual Spirited Awards, which named Sweet Liberty the Best New American Cocktail Bar at their awards ceremony in — where else? — New Orleans, America’s adult play land.

RELATED: Cocktails in refined, laid-back space at beach’s Sweet Liberty

Every year, 110 judges honor some of the best bars and bartenders at the awards ceremony, which is held in the French Quarter. This time, it was the bar owned by John Lermayer which was chosen among four finalists.

John Lermayer (Seth Browarnik)

“There have been so many great bars opened by talented bartenders lately. It’s an incredible honor and one we will work hard to live up to,” Lermayer said.

Lermayer was a finalist separately in the category for American Bartender of the Year. Julio Cabrera of The Regent Cocktail Club was semifinalist.

A bar that “makes you feel at home” is what makes a great bar, Lermayer said. At Sweet Liberty, he said he likes making mint juleps to help his customers kick back. A great cocktail is a memorable one, he said.

“I am inspired by what guests want,” Lermayer said. “Our job is make them happy and satisfy what they want to keep them coming back .”

The awards have looked South Florida’s way before. Last year, the Bar Lab team led The Broken Shaker in the Freehand Hotel in Miami Beach to be named Best American Hotel Bar.

— Miami.com writer Amanda Mesa contributed to this report.

See a full list of the winners

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