University of Bristol: Historian receives top honour at the 2021 Spirited Awards

Anistatia R. Miller and her husband Jared Brown are the latest recipients of the Tales of the Cocktail Foundation accolade, which recognises the impact of an individual and his or her body of work and its contribution to the global hospitality industry over a long and industrious career.

Anistatia and Jared have written about the history of drinks and spirits since 1995 when they first launched their website Shaken Not Stirred®: A Celebration of the Martini which was converted into a book by the same name and published by HarperCollins the following year. Their thirty-four subsequent books on the history of drink and other subjects include the two-volume award-winning Spirituous Journey: A History of Drink and most recently The Distiller of London. Under their publishing imprint, Mixellany Limited, they have revived classic cocktail titles such as the Café Royal Cocktail Book.

In 2004, they co-founded the Museum of the American Cocktail with Dale and Jill DeGroff and, between 2007 and 2009, they refurbished Exposition Universelles des Vins et Spiritueux, a private wine and spirits museum in southern France. They organised educational programmes for the London Bar Shows from 2007 to 2010 and the Havana Club Cocktail Grand Prix in Cuba from 2012 to 2019. The couple have also developed a wide range of spirits including gin, vodka, and ruou de (a traditional Vietnamese spirit) as well as consulted on rums, whiskies, and vermouth and currently curate a free digital library of vintage cocktail books.

They have written thousands of articles for a wide range of publications in the United States and Europe and have made TV appearances in the UK on The Hairy Bikers and Tony Robinson’s History of Great Britain.

“History has always been my passion—and obsession,” said Anistatia. “I am humbled and honoured to receive acknowledgement for delving into drinks history and educating both drinks industry professionals and the public about this rich, complex subject.

“Progress only transpires with a firm understanding of the past. Thanks to the University of Bristol I’m honing my research skills even further so I can provide them with an even stronger portrait of what was and what could be.”

Previously, Anistatia was the historical consultant for the content of London’s Beefeater Visitor Centre and an archivist for the historical records of Plymouth Gin. After a 43-year break from academia, she earned an MA in History and completed an MsC in English Local History from the University of Oxford. Currently, she is teaching early modern history while finishing her PhD thesis at the University of Bristol on sixteenth through eighteenth-century English brewing.

Tales of the Cocktail CEO Eileen Wayner said: “It is our honour to recognize Jared Brown and Anistatia Miller with the Tales of the Cocktail Foundation Helen David Lifetime Achievement Award.

“Jared and Anistatia work tirelessly to uncover the mysterious and intricate truths of our industry, reviving nearly forgotten cocktail elements and sharing their discoveries through newly distilled creations.

“Naming Jared and Anistatia as the recipients of the 2021 Helen David Lifetime Achievement Award, a recognition that honours those who have made lasting impacts on the hospitality industry, was an easy decision for our Spirited Awards committee, and we look forward to following along with their continued contributions to the cocktail community.”

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