Hapusa Gin debuts Forager’s Championship

Indian gin Hapusa has launched a new cocktail competition with a trip to the brand’s home in the Himalayas up for grabs.

The inaugural Forager’s Championship is open to bartenders in four countries: India, Italy, the UK and Thailand.

To enter the competition, bartenders must submit a video pitching a cocktail recipe containing Hapusa Himalayan Dry Gin as its main ingredient, as well as one foraged local ingredient. The serve must also be listed on the participant’s bar’s menu for a minimum of one month.

Ten finalists from each country will then be invited to compete in local heats, with the competitors also acting as judges for each other’s serves. The 10 finalists will be announced on 1 June, with the UK final to be held on 10 June.

One winner from each country will be selected as a ‘champion’ and invited to India in September.

The four winners will embark on an all-expenses-paid four- to five-day trip to the Himalayas, where they will forage ingredients to create a cocktail inspired by the mountain range. The cocktails will be presented during a takeover at one of India’s leading bars.

To enter the competition, bartenders in the participating countries can register through a form on the @hapusagin Instagram page. Entries will be accepted until 15 May.

Hapusa Himalayan Dry Gin is produced by Nao Spirits, which secured investment from the Indian arm of Diageo in 2022.

Nao Spirits was founded in 2016 by Anand Virmani. The firm’s Greater Than Gin is made using nine Indian botanicals, while Hapusa Gin contains botanicals including foraged Himalayan juniper, fresh turmeric, gondhoraj peel and raw mango.

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Author: Nicola Carruthers