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Plymouth Gin Pour Off, Part 2

Photography by Mayaan Ben-Artzi

Wow, that was one dark video. I can assure you that things (including me) looked much better in real life--nothing became that pixelated until much later in the night.



At the competition, held at Sugar Cafe (whose own Justin Edwards can be seen topping off his Two-Tone Martinis, above), we judges (Nicole Grant of Yelp and Phil McGarr of nirvino.com) saw diverse Plymouth Gin cocktails that included ingredients like mint, manzanilla sherry, Campari, absinthe, hibiscus, strawberry purée and St.-Germain. Garnishes ranged from a swirling ribbon of orange zest candy-caning up a Champagne flute to a perfectly formed “rose” made of orange peel to a lone pink flower petal floating in a glass of Plymouth goodness.


Cassidy Wollenburg, of Le Club, garnishes a Touch of Grace cocktail.

I've judged dozens of cocktail competitions, but never have I experienced such artistry and sophistication across the board. It was an inspiring performance by the bartenders and, if last night is yet another barometer for the level of quality in the SF cocktails, the great scene in this town is getting better by the day.


Conduit's Reza Esmali

The winning recipe was one called the Mint Condition, by Orson’s Jackie Patterson. Here’s the recipe:

1.5 oz. Plymouth Gin
.75 oz. La Gitana manzanilla sherry
.5 oz. lemon juice
5 mint leaves plus one for garnish

Shake above ingredients on ice and strain into a chilled coupe glass. Garnish with a smacked mint leaf. Cheers!


A Two-Tone Martini and the winning Mint Condition

Thanks to Plymouth for lending the mojo and support of what is one of the world's best gins to the competition. And thanks to the bartenders for another stunning demonstration of the talent alive in the city. Happy cocktailing to all.