The North West’s Bar talent goes head-to-head to win trip to San Francisco
Bartenders from the North West have put their mixology skills to the test in the latest heat of the No.209 Gin Duel, aiming to win trip to San Francisco.
The top three contenders from the contest, held at the Walrus Canteen & Lounge in the centre of Manchester, go through to the London final, to be held at the Graphic Bar in Golden Square, London on November 22nd. The final will be presided over by No.209 Gin Master Distiller Arne Hillesland – known as The Ginerator.
The three Manchester winners join three confirmed finalists from the London heat in September. Three more ‘wild card’ places will be awarded to three bartenders selected by the judges from both heats.
Contenders had 209 seconds to prepare and serve an original aperitif-style cocktail recipe, made using No.209 Gin.
The winners in Manchester were:
First: Jamie Jones, Amber Lounge, Knutsford. Drink: July 28th
Second: Kingdom Thenga, BarLounge Chester. Drink: Quincey Time
Third: Ryan Williams, Oddfellows, Chester. Drink: Blue Lady At No 209 Lombard St
Jamie Jones’ winning drink was named July 28th, which is the 209th day of the year. He said: “I like to make drinks that are memorable, and I try to take the customer on a journey through the heritage of the brand. I used some intense flavours, such as fresh red grapes juice, jasmine and ground ginger, complementing the botanicals in No 209 Gin without masking its flavours.”
The judging panel included Sarah Mitchell, bar manager at Graphic, which will host the London final. Sarah said: “The standard in Manchester was as high as in London. I was very impressed by the preparation the guys had done. They’d really thought about their drinks. The final is going to be fantastic.”
Other Manchester judges included Andy Ives, editor of BarlifeUk.com, Ian Bayliss of Hi-Spirits, and industry journalist John Porter.
The top two mixologists from the London final will win a four-night, five-day trip to San Francisco and the Napa Valley region. The trip, in March 2011, will also see the winners face-off at Presse restaurant in Napa Valley, home of the No.209 cocktail, in a final duel of gin-mixing ability.
There will also be places on the trip for a bartender from each of the two UK bars which sell the most No.209 Gin during the peak Christmas and New Year sales period. Bars can register by email to email@example.com.
About No. 209 Gin: Registered Distillery No. 209 was founded in the Napa Valley in the 1880s and won numerous accolades, including awards at the in 1889’s 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 the renowned No. 209 Gin, created by Arne Hillesland.