Barrel-aged gin cocktail competition offers San Francisco prize

No 209 Gin

Bartenders have a chance to win a trip to San Francisco in a new competition that invites them to create a barrel-aged cocktail with Gin No 209.

Using the premium Californian gin, they are asked to create a long or short drink that would be enhanced by being barrel aged.

The bars of the shortlisted entrants will be visited by a team from Gin No 209’s UK distributor, Hi Spirits, and given a wooden barrel to age their recipe. Cocktails must be aged for at least five days.

The finalists will then present their unaged cocktail, alongside the aged cocktail to demonstrate the benefits of barrel ageing, in front of a panel of industry judges in June.

The winning bartender will enjoy an all-expenses-paid trip to San Francisco, including a VIP visit to the No 209 Distillery later this year.

The deadline for entries is May 18, via

Dan Bolton, managing director of Hi-Spirits, said: “Gin is right at the heart of cocktail culture in both the UK and USA, and interest in gin cocktails is very strong amongst both bar professionals and consumers.

“Gin No 209 has been developed and distilled with mixability firmly in mind, and so we wanted to add an extra element to the challenge by including barrel ageing.

“Our previous No 209 cocktail competitions have seen real ingenuity demonstrated by bartenders, and this time we’re testing their talents even further.”

Registered Distillery No 209 was founded in California’s Napa Valley in the 1880s and won numerous accolades, including awards at 1889 Grand Exposition in Paris.

Having been shut down by Prohibition, the distillery remained dormant until it was reborn at the start of the 21st century in its current location on Pier 50 in San Francisco. Its flagship spirit is Gin No 209, created by master distiller Arne Hillesland.

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