The gin industry has all eyes on St. Louis after an exciting announcement this week.
Natasha Bahrami, owner of The Gin Room and founder of Ginworld, which hosts gin events in cities around the country, has been inducted into Gin Magazine's Gin Hall of Fame. Not only is she the first American to be given the honor, but she is only one of nine with the title.
“I find such joy in working to expand the knowledge and experience of the gin spectrum, and I am absolutely humbled by this accolade,” Bahrami said in a release announcing the honor. “For the past seven years it’s been my privilege to help ignite a movement for gin appreciation. The EU and the UK are rightfully considered the powerhouses of the gin world, but the United States is one of the most powerful consumer markets for gin, and that’s growing every day.”
In an interview with Feast, Bahrami attributed much of her success in the gin world to the city of St. Louis and the cocktail scene that exists here.
"All of this is a massive group effort from the bars and restaurants," she says.
When Bahrami began Gin Week St. Louis, the first glimpse of what Ginworld would go on to do, 60 different restaurants and bars participated.
"St. Louis did this together," she says. "We lifted it up together. And every time we've ever won an award for anything, I'm like, 'Look, St. Louis! Look what we did! We did this. Look, Missouri! Look what we were able to accomplish even though everyone looks at us like we're not the center of trend-making.' Yet we've really become one of the largest growth markets for gin in the U.S."
Bahrami was inducted into the Hall of Fame alongside Lesley Gracie, master distiller at Hendrick’s Gin; Jean-Sébastien Robicquet, of France’s Maison Villevert; and spirits writer and judge David T. Smith.
"St. Louis did this, and that's why it's important to me," Bahrami says.
The Gin Room, 3200 S. Grand Blvd., Tower Grove East, St. Louis, Missouri, 314.771.3411, natashasginroom.com