Bartenders do duel for No. 209 Gin crown

19 April, 2011

Two of London’s bartenders drew swords in San Francisco in the final of the No. 209 Gin Duel.

Ian Goodman of Oxo Tower was named the winner in a head-to-head with Alessandro Paludet of 22 Below, in in the final at Romolo bar in the North Beach district of the city.

The contenders reached the home of No. 209 Gin by competing in the London heat and UK final last autumn.

In the US final, the bartenders were asked to create San Francisco and London-themed cocktails, which they had to prepare and serve for judges in 209 seconds.

With no advance notice, they were also asked to collaborate with a local bartender to create a cocktail from scratch.

In a surprise decider, Ian and Alessandro made their favourite gin cocktail, with Goodman’s Aviator winning through over Paludet’s Martini.

Goodman said: “It was a close run contest, especially with the two additional surprise rounds. The bar was packed wall-to-wall, which made for a great atmosphere.”

Creator of No.209 Gin Arne Hillesland said: “It is great to see No.209 inspire such passion and flair among UK bartenders.

“What’s been interesting through the Gin Duel is the knowledge contenders have shown about different cocktail styles.”

Goodman’s San Francisco cocktail Summer of Love, included a shot of No. 209 Gin with elderflower, peach and ginger liqueurs, shaken with orange flower water and fresh lemon mix.

While Paludet’s San Francisco cocktail, Flowers in your Hair, was inspired by a San Francisco song. It was made with No.209 Gin, muddled raspberries and elderflower cordial.

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