Vestinos Edges Alperin for Hendrick’s Cocktail Crown

Cocktail Competition Los Angeles

Last night at The Edison, Hendrick’s Gin hosted eight regional winners from around the country for the finals of the Hendrick’s Gin Limerick & Cocktail Competition. Peter Vestinos from Chicago’s Wirtz Beverage Group edged local favorite Eric Alperin (The Varnish) by three points to claim the grand prize, a trip to Scotland to tour the Hendrick’s gin distllery and vacation in Edinburgh.

The evening began with a reception that featured two kinds of punch: Rosebowl and Steampunk.

Each bartender dressed in their best “steampunk” outfit and presented cocktails to four judges, followed by a limerick, some dirtier than others. Every drink had to incorporate Hendrick’s Gin, and was designed to showcase at least one of the 11 botanicals in the liquor. The judges consisted of Bon Appetit features editor Hugh Garvey, Hendrick’s Gin brand ambassador Jim Ryan, Las Vegas cocktail legend Tony Abou-Ganim and John Gertsen, the bar manager from Drink in Boston, who wore a pickle suit.

Here’s a look at each competitor and the ingredients for their signature cocktails. While each bartender presented their entry, attendees were welcome to drink samples at The Edison bar.

Sean Bigley – The Bellagio – Las Vegas, NV
Cocktail Competition Los Angeles
1.5 oz Hendrick’s Gin
0.5 oz St. Germain
2 oz Sence Rose Nectar
dash of Sonoma pomegranate

When it comes to cocktails, Bigley said, “I like three things: simple, elegant, classic.”

Joy Richard – 647 Tremont – Boston, MA
Cocktail Competition Los Angeles
2 oz Hendrick’s Gin
1 oz wildflower honey infused with angelica root
0.75 oz celery juice
0.5 oz yellow chartreuse
0.5 oz fresh lemon juice

Sierra Zimei – The Four Seasons – San Francisco, CA
1.75 oz Hendrick’s Gin
0.5 oz cilantro infused simple syrup
.75 oz fresh grapefruit
0.25 oz fresh lime juice
cucumber chunks

Gabriel Orta – The Florida Room – Miami, FL
Cocktail Competition Los Angeles
1.5 oz Hendrick’s Gin
1 oz St. Germain
0.25 oz fresh lemon juice
red bell pepper chunks
soda splash

Peter Vestinos – Wirtz Beverage Group – Chicago, IL
Cocktail Competition Los Angeles
2 oz Hendrick’s Gin
0.5 oz fresh lemon juice
1 drop orange flower water
large tablespoon orange marmalade
2 oz caraway seed foam

Christian Gaal – Apothecary – Philadelphia, PA
Cocktail Competition Los Angeles
2 oz Hendrick’s Gin
1 oz Torani Amer Picon
0.75 oz Fee Brother’s Falernum
0.5 oz fresh lemon juice
5 drops rose water
1 egg white
15 drops tincture of yohimbe

Eric Alperin – The Varnish – Los Angeles, CA
Cocktail Competition Los Angeles
2 oz Hendrick’s Gin (fat washed with maple syrup, bacon and ghee)
0.75 oz fresh lemon juice
1 heaped bar spoon homemade rose jam

With each cocktail, Alperin presented a “crumpet” slathered with ghee and bacon fat, topped with cucumber, lemon zest and rose petal jam.

Mark Buettler – Dressler – New York, NY
Cocktail Competition Los Angeles
2 oz Hendrick’s Gin
1/3 oz Luxardo Maraschino
0.5 oz Vya Dry Vermouth infused with coriander and chamomile
dash of Fee’s Lemon Bitters
0.5 oz Long Island verjus


Joshua Lurie

Joshua Lurie founded FoodGPS in 2005. Read about him here.

Blog Comments

[…] Tremont 647 GM Joy Richard, aka Bourbon Belle of the Boston chapter of Ladies United for the Preservation of Endangered Cocktails, deserves a shout-out. She recently traveled to L.A. to compete in the Hendricks gin Marvelous Limerick & Cocktail Competition. […]


Stinger Cocktail Drink Recipe

[…] Food GPS » Blog Archive » Vestinos Edges Alperin for Hendrick’s … […]

ghee and bacon fat will NEVER FAIL.

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