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Sipsmith announces winner of CYGNUS Cocktail Competition 2023 with plans for exclusive gin release

Sam Wilkes-Green

THE PIONEERS of the craft gin renaissance, Sipsmith, proudly announces Sam Wilkes-Green from Arcane in Manchester as the inaugural winner of the first-ever Cygnus Cocktail Competition 2023, showcasing the exceptional talent and creativity within the bartending community.

The Cygnus Cocktail Competition 2023 invited bartenders from around the UK to craft the ultimate Sipsmith cocktail. Participants were encouraged to submit their most imaginative cocktail recipes, reflecting their distinct flavours and botanical preferences. This exciting opportunity offered the chance to collaborate with Sipsmith in the creation of a signature gin, emphasising Sipsmith’s commitment to investing in the future of the bartending industry as well as celebrating the art of bartending. 

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Sam’s creation, “Dear Low Dykes,” proved to be a standout among the esteemed panel of judges, which included industry luminaries Erik Lorincz from Kwant, Joe Hoernig, Innovations Manager and Distiller at Sipsmith, and Nicola Carruthers from The Spirits Business. After careful evaluation, Sam’s drink beat the concoctions of five other highly talented bartenders, showcasing its unique flavours and creative approach. 

Inspired by Sipsmith Master Distiller Jared Brown’s historical investigations, Sam Wilkes-Green’s winning creation celebrates the rich distilling traditions of the UK. Drawing from his childhood at Low Dykes Barn, Sam crafted a cocktail made with homemade apple and bay leaf cordial, and sweetened with clover honey. The addition of a peppercorn distillate, expertly blended with Sipsmith V.J.O.P. and Sipsmith Lemon Drizzle Gin, brought zesty citrus notes and a touch of Clarin Agricola for herbal complexity and subtle smokiness. A sparkling finish of Cremant de Loire added brightness to this exceptional cocktail.

Sam Wilkes-Green’s accomplishment in the Cygnus Cocktail Competition 2023 grants him the unique opportunity to collaborate with Sipsmith Master Distiller Jared Brown and Innovations Manager Joe Hoernig in the creation of a bespoke gin. Together, they will carefully develop a gin that embodies all the remarkable flavours and botanicals from Sam’s award-winning recipe.

The release of the Cygnus Competition liquid is scheduled for early 2024. Limited to only 250 bottles, this exclusive gin will be available directly from the Sipsmith website, offering gin enthusiasts and connoisseurs the opportunity to experience the culmination of Sam’s talent and Sipsmith’s craftsmanship.

Rich Hamer, Head of Prestige and Advocacy at Sipsmith, said: “We are thrilled to announce Sam as the winner of the Cygnus Cocktail Competition 2023 and are excited to collaborate with him on crafting a bespoke gin that encapsulates the essence of his competition-winning cocktail.”

“Sipsmith’s dedication to excellence, creativity, and collaboration shines through in the competition, not only celebrating the talents of bartenders around the UK but also highlighting the ongoing commitment of Sipsmith to push boundaries and redefine the craft of gin-making.”

For more information about Sipsmith, the Cygnus Cocktail Competition 2023, and updates on the exclusive gin release, please visit

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