Newsletter 55: No. 209 Gin

A big thank you to our friends at Playground, Jarred Dooley & Joe Valdovinos for hosting a wonderful meeting and a fun mix-off with No. 209 Gin!

We were honored to have Mr. Arne Hillesland, the “ginerator” for Distillery 209, who talked us through the production of No. 209 Gin, from the 100% Iowa corn distillate, to the botanicals added to their still named “Rosie”. He also tasted us on the original spirit as well as the Sauvignon Blanc aged and Cabernet aged varieties.

We were treated to awesome cocktails from the Playground bar including a mind-blowing Rootbeer Float that had everyone feeling like a kid again!

Thanks to OCBC members Brittney Musgrave and Joel Bean, we used awesome custom portable bars from Raise The Bar for our friendly mix-off. Ten bartenders mixed up original No. 209 Gin cocktails and presented them to our panel of judges, including OCBC board members, Gabrielle Dion, Matt Ellingson and Jason Schiffer, Arne the ginerator, and OCBC member Daniel Rubalcava. They tasted a lot of great drinks and the unanimous winner was Mr. Dan Oliver with his gin & beer collins topped with an egg white foam! Dan is now a two time mix-off champion, look out! Runners up were Joel Caruso (2nd place) & Greg Bayer (3rd place), recipes are included below:

Dan Oliver

Dan Oliver – Two Time Mix-off Champion!


Rosie Collins
by Dan Oliver – Red O
2 oz. 209 Gin
1 oz. Lemon Juice
¾ oz. Simple
1 oz. IPA Beer
Shake all ingredients above, dbl strain over ice into Collins. Additionally Shake 1 egg white with 1 oz. of IPA Beer and use that foam to top. Garnish Grapefruit peel.

Joel Caruso

Joel Caruso

2nd Place

Negroni Cello
by Joel Caruso – Pizza Ortica
1 oz. 209 Gin
1 oz. Contratto Bianco
1 oz. Gran Classico
Stir and strain over 1 large rock into a dbl old fashioned glass. Garnish lemon peel

Greg Bayer

Greg Bayer

3rd Place

West Coat Collins
by Greg Bayer – Uva Bar
1 ½ oz. 209 Gin
½ oz. Lemon juice
½ oz. Simple Syrup
½ oz. IPA Beer
2 cardamom pods
2 orange peel
Muddle pods and fruit. Shake with remainder ingredients and dbl strain into dbl old fashioned glass. Garnish with grapefruit peel


Our November meeting will be held on Monday, November 3rd at 7pm in Costa Mesa. Our sponsor is the super tasty Amaro Montenegro! We will be presenting a How-To discussion on running a bar program, for those who would like to, for those already in the position and also for owners. The discussion will focus on what a bar manager should be expected to do to develop and run a lasting program and how to leverage those duties to earn fair compensation.

As always, to maintain the quality of service, presentation, space, food and drink we are limiting the capacity to 40 and must insist on RSVPs. Please get your RSVP in early and send it to Let us know if something comes up so we can make your spot available to someone else if you can’t make it.

Hope to see you there!

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