Drink Up!

Ginsmith Cocktail Competition

When: Mon., Aug. 29, 6 p.m. 2016

For the second year in a row, Detroit City Distillery hosts the region’s finest bartending talent for the Ginsmith of the Year Cocktail Competition. The competition will feature “Shopkeeper’s Gin,” a new gin created by Chas Williams from The Oakland Art & Novelty Company, the winner of the inaugural competition last year. On Monday, August 29, at 6 pm Williams will join a panel of judges and a thirsty public to choose the bartender that will make Detroit City’s next small batch gin. Competitors include Nate Bonkowski of Chartreuse, Beaux Carin of Sugarhouse, James Downs of Selden Standard, Dorothy Elizabeth of Standby, Roger Fruin of the Oakland and Drew Pompa of Katoi. “Chas is such a talented bartender. It was amazing to see how those skills translated to making a truly versatile and unique gin,” said JP Jerome, master distiller at Detroit City Distillery. “And it makes for some amazing cocktails too.” Shopkeeper’s Gin features five ingredients - grapefruit, juniper, coriander, orris root and cinnamon. “I wanted to create a gin that was both citrusy and spicy while staying true to what a traditional gin should taste like, “says Williams. “I wanted to limit myself to a few botanicals, but I wanted to create something that was complex in the process.” The name was inspired by the bartender’s family ties to Detroit, that go back almost 100 years. “My great grandfather owned a store at the end of Leicester Court, the same block where he lived in Detroit. It was in an old Jewish neighborhood, one that had a Purple Gang presence. The shop was only a few doors away from The Oakland Sugar House, a speakeasy whose name has inspired the name of a couple great local cocktail bars, one of which I work at.” “I really loved creating a gin that could tell my personal story and what I stand for,” says Williams. “It offers something for everyone. And that is mark of a great shopkeeper.”