2024 competition
2024 competition

Hayman's The Original Gin Competition 2024

Hayman's is challenging professional bartenders around the world to create Original Gin cocktails, and, as an incentive, they are offering cash prizes and an all-expenses-paid trip. Simply create a tasty cocktail and upload it to Difford's Guide! You've little to lose and potentially a lot to gain. Plus, your cocktail will be recorded for posterity on Difford's Guide - surely reward enough!

The aim is to find new contemporary classic cocktails which both bartenders and home cocktail enthusiasts worldwide can make. Hence, the ingredients must be easily available without the need to pre-combine ingredients. I've produced an extensive list of commonplace ingredients, and along with any of these, naturally, cocktails must be based on at least 30ml (1oz) of Hayman's Gin: Hayman's London Dry Gin &/or Hayman's Old Tom Gin &/or Hayman's Sloe Gin.

Cocktails may be in the form of long or short drinks (not shots) with a minimum of 90ml (3oz) liquid volume.

Cocktails based on less than seven ingredients are preferred, including fruit juices, syrups, drops, or dashes. Solid garnishes are not considered ingredients. If citrus fruit zest is specified as a garnish, it is acceptable to spray it over the drink.

This competition is open to professional bartenders only, working anywhere in the world.


The winner receives £1,000 and an all-expenses paid trip to the Hayman's Distillery in London, England, to include a 3-night stay in a boutique hotel. (If the winner is UK-based, then they will receive a whopping £2,500 to make up for the lack of expensive jet-propelled travel) plus a two-night hotel stay (no jet lag!).

In addition, two runner-ups will receive £500 each.


1. The competition is open to professional bartenders worldwide.

2. Recipes entered must be the original creation of the competitor, and if a competitor is thought to have plagiarised a known, existing cocktail, they will be disqualified. [Please use Difford's Cocktail Finder to check for combinations of the same ingredients.]

3. Ingredients must be easily available the world over and cannot be homemade.

4. Batching, infusing and pre-combining of ingredients is not permitted.

5. Recipes must be submitted with an accompanying photograph, which will be included in the judge's evaluation and contribute to scoring.

6. Cocktails may be hand-stirred, hand-shaken, thrown or blended, served hot, straight-up, or over cubed, cracked or crushed ice.

7. Garnishes must be edible but may be mounted on sticks, skewers, straws, forks or other such common bar accessories. Use of edible fruits, herbs, leaves and spices may include sprigs, peels, barks, fruit shells etc. Any flowers and petals used must be of an edible variety.

8. By entering this competition, competitors agree to assign the copyright of their recipe and drink name to Hayman's.

9. Drink names, including rude, lurid, sexual words or words associated with narcotics or motor vehicles, are prohibited.

10. By entering this competition, competitors confirm they do not hold beliefs, nor have expressed beliefs in public or private, which contradict the stated values of Hayman's Gin.

11. The competition organisers reserve the right to make the final decision on any matter relating to the competition's judging.

12. The 15 finalists will be required to film the making of their cocktail to be shared on Hayman's and Difford's social platforms (1-minute maximum).

For more information, please see FAQs and Ts & Cs

Key Dates

24-February-2024 – Competition opened for entries

30-April-2024 midnight G.M.T. – Competition closed for entries

21-May-2024 – Shortlist of top 50 announced

12-June-2024 – Top 15 Finalists announced

01-July-2024 – Live final at the Hayman's Distillery ( Competitors not present - Alexa Farrow, Hayman's Brand Ambassador, will make the recipes submitted for the judges to assess.)

02-July-2024 – Winner and runners-up announced

Judges & Judging

James Hayman - Fifth generation gin distiller.
Giulia Cuccurullo - Head Bartender of London's Artesian Bar.
Sandrae Lawrence - one half of the couple who are jointly The Cocktail Lovers.
Simon Difford - yours truly

At the final, held at Hayman's Distillery, all 15 finalist's cocktails will be made by Alexa Farrow, Hayman's Brand Ambassador, to be assessed by the judges who will also consider the accompanying one-minute videos.

The most delicious yet easy-to-replicate recipes will receive the highest scores, awarded for:
Taste = out of 50 points
Ease to replicate = out of 20 points
Name = out of 10 points
Photo/video = out of 10 points
Broad appeal/potential to become a contemporary classic = out of 10 points

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