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Sipsmith creates UK cocktail contest

Beam Suntory-owned gin brand Sipsmith has launched a new advocacy programme and cocktail competition for bartenders in the UK.

Sipsmith Strawberry Smash
Sipsmith created a gin using Wimbledon strawberries in 2021

The new Bar of Smithery advocacy programme includes educational seminars, interactive workshops, and a new bartender competition.

The programme has been designed to inspire and introduce bartenders of all levels to the brand.

Sipsmith will host a series of seminars and workshops in partnership with So Let’s Talk, an organisation that provides health and wellbeing sessions for the hospitality industry.

Sipsmith master distiller Jared Brown and head of innovations Ciarán Russell will host talks on topics such as the new history of gin and the science of flavour in distillation.

The seminars will be held from 12.30pm-4pm in London’s Coupette on 24 January, Manchester’s Science & Industry on 31 January, and Edinburgh’s Summerhall Drinks Lab on 8 February.

As part of the advocacy programme, Sipsmith has created its biggest competition to date, called the Cygnus Cocktail Competition.

Open to bartenders in the UK, entrants must create a cocktail representing the concept and style that they would want to adapt into their own gin.

Entries will be judged on flavour combination, technique (e.g. ferment, flavour extraction), and inspiration behind the creation.

Seven finalists will be selected and hosted at tennis tournament Wimbledon. The winner of the competition will create their own gin in collaboration with Sipsmith, as well as keep a percentage of profits.

Sipsmith’s head of advocacy, Rich Hamer, said: “This is the largest series of seminars and UK cocktail competitions that Sipsmith has ever hosted.

“The unique opportunity to not only spend a day hosted at the Wimbledon Championships as a finalist, but also collaborate with Sipsmith to create a bespoke liquid and launch it through our website, all whilst keeping a percentage of the sales, provides a real standout opportunity within the UK on-trade.”

To enter, bartenders should attend the Bar of Smithery seminar for tips prior to uploading their creations on Instagram and tagging @Sipsmith. They must also use the hashtag #CYGNUS2023.

Entrants must also email the drink to

In April 2021, Sipsmith gin launched a strawberry-infused bottling to mark its partnership with the Wimbledon tennis tournament.

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