Hackney contest celebrates cocktail creativity

Published 5:23 pm Thursday, April 30, 2020

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“1,000 Days of Solitude” may sound like the title of a new bestselling coronavirus-themed novel, but it’s actually something a little tastier, and perhaps slightly easier to digest. The ingredients are simple — fresh mint, a slice of cucumber, lime juice, simple syrup, club soda, and finally, at the heart of the mix, an ounce and a half of 1,000 Piers Gin, lovingly crafted at The Hackney in Washington.

With folks spending more time at home, the downtown restaurant and gin distillery is encouraging local residents to unleash their inner mixologist and share their quarantine drink creations in the 1,000 Piers Gin COVID Cocktail Challenge.

“The basic premise is, everyone’s stuck at home sometimes looking for things to do to entertain themselves,” said Hackney owner Nick Sanders. “One vice everyone can get on with and enjoy is having a seasoned drink.”

With creative names like “Quarantini” and “The Bushwick Spice Trade,“ entries range from slight twists on traditional classics to entirely new creations. Showcasing equal parts creativity and experimentation, the drinks shared so far range from sweet to savory, offering options to suit various tastes.

“A lot of people are learning new skills — baking, cooking, learning languages,” Sanders said. “I think an extension of that is if people can’t get out and get a cocktail, some people are experimenting with their cocktail-making skills, so we thought we would put some oil on that fire.”

The rules for the contest are as follows:

  • Entrants must be 21 or older to participate and win
  • Cocktails must be made with 1,000 Piers Gin (can be purchased at The Hackney or local ABC stores in eastern North Carolina)
  • Cocktails cannot be presented in other alcohol company branded glassware

Entering the contest is as easy as snapping a photo of your finished product and posting it to Instagram or Facebook under the hashtag #1000piersgin. Participants are encouraged to come up with a cool name for their drink, as well as share their recipe in the post.

Once “we get closer to that light at the end of the quarantine tunnel,” The Hackney staff will pick some of their favorite entries and post them to social media for public voting. The overall winner will receive a gift basket with a bottle of 1,000 Piers Gin, a set of Hackney highball glasses and other goodies.

In addition to the COVID Cocktail Challenge, Sanders has also been staying busy producing hand sanitizer for local medical facilities, first responders and sale to the public. So far, the distillery has produced 520 gallons of the homebrewed sanitizer. Though Sanders says he, like other restaurant owners, has had to reduce staff considerably, the restaurant remains open for takeout.

To keep up with what’s going on at The Hackney, visit them on Facebook @TheHackneyWashingtonNC. To check out some of the delicious cocktail recipes submitted so far, visit the @1000piersgin Facebook and Instagram pages.