Slocum & Sons, in collaboration with Hotaling & Co., hosted a bartending competition featuring Japanese import Nikka Coffey Gin at Olives and Oil in New Haven on June 25. The competition started with a twist: Seven local bartenders took part in a Bodega Dash to College Convenience & Deli, where they were each given $20 to buy ingredients for their cocktails. They returned to Olives and Oil, where they had 20 minutes to create, build and test their creations before the competition began. They then re-created their cocktails for the judges’ panel: Paige Shelton, Regional Sales Manager Northeast, Hotaling & Co.; Gena Bestman, Bar Manager, The Owl Shop; and Conrad Meurice, Owner, Cocktail Poetry. The winners were first place: Carlee Carvalko, Elm City Social; second place: Zach O’Brien, Max Fish; third place: Ozzy Casco, Craft 260; and People’s Choice: Lucas Oliveira, Via Gastrobar. Nikka Coffey Gin, distributed in Connecticut through Slocum & Sons, is crafted in Japan using a continuous-style still created by Aeneas Coffey in Ireland in the 1800s. The gin is infused with 11 botanicals, including juniper, angelica, lemon peel, coriander, orange peel and apple juice, with a unique blend of Japanese ingredients such as yuzu, sansho pepper, kabosu, amanatsu and shequasar.