Ginworld is a platform created for the exchange and expansion of knowledge regarding the world of gin, a celebration of its ever growing spectrum and the elevation of the spirit category around the world.
Gin Week St. Louis Roots
Over 60 bars and restaurants participated in the cocktail and spirit focused Gin Week that preceded the Gin Festival, each establishment choosing a particular gin brand to host for the week. Each restaurant and bar placed a cocktail on the menu exemplifying their host gin brand and had the option to host an educational seminar and/or distillery meet and greet at their location. Ginworld is the third year extension of this Gin Week platform. Ginworld will be modeled after this successful prototype and extended to include the east coast’s District of Columbia, the west coast city of San Francisco and Oxfordshire, England in addition to St. Louis. Each city will highlight the Ginworld partners as well as the regional gin distilleries and brands that wish to join in the efforts to elevate the spirit of gin.
Ginworld flourished out of an annual Gin Week Gin Festival celebration started in St. Louis Missouri by The Gin Room in 2015. The second annual Gin Festival in 2016 gained press as the largest gin festival in the United States attracting distillers, brand ambassadors and spirits educators from around the country to travel to the Midwest city to introduce, teach and amplify the exposure to the spirit and spectrum of gin.
Meet the Ginworld Team
In the presence of these gems you experience our connectors, leaders and the most genuinely passionate team of industry professionals.
Ginworld Founder & Gin Girl
Natasha Bahrami fell in love with the spirit of gin after an eye-opening (and mouth pleasing) bout with a dirty gin martini in her early years as a restaurateur and has worked to expand the knowledge of, experience with and spectrum of the world of gin ever since. Elevation of the spirit of gin is her priority.
She currently owns The Gin Room in the Midwestern United States, St. Louis Missouri, a gin bar boasting hundreds of fine gins and monthly educational programs, seminars and workshops created specifically engage, convert and educate gin lovers and non gin lovers alike to the amazing world that is gin.
Jessica Weinstein started her career as a prep cook for a catering company while attending high school in New York State. As she learned about food and beverage she found interest in the front of the house and became a server at Againn in Washington, D.C.
In 2011 she worked her way up to bartender and in 2013 became the Training and Development Manager for Black Restaurant Group’s newest venture, Republic.
In the Fall of 2015 she joined JL Restaurant Group as part of the opening team for the Italian concept, Hank’s Pasta Bar. After great success, Jessica remained within the company and took over the bar program for their flagship restaurant, Hank’s Oyster Bar in Dupont Circle. Jessica currently resides as the Bar Manager for Hank’s Dupont, bringing her positive energy and passionate touch to each cocktail she creates.
Lover of wine, President of United States Bartender’s Guild Chattanooga and owner of Vinthusiasm wine consulting business, this distributor of cheer has made a career out of her passion.
Powerfully instrumental in bringing worlds together, her experience in the booze and hospitality creates relationships that last.
By nurturing and building connections, this ambassador of gin is poised to boost our already spirited community to new heights.
Perhaps best identified by an enchanting personality and signature mohawk, this Cocktail Club mastermind and distinguished author of “The Dive Bar of Cocktail Bars” is an inspiration to the team.
His propensity to quench thirsts came early in life and built his platform in the hospitality industry on education and engagement, remaining accessible, irreverent and refreshingly informative.
Seiter’s dedication and relentless pursuit of innovation resonates in any aspiration he takes on, expanding the world of gin being his most current and flavorful endeavor.
Erik Holzherr was born and raised in NYC. He witnessed the beginnings of the cocktail revival that began in Manhattan in the late 1990s. He graduated from the Air Force Academy and spent the
Ginworld Ambassador - Ginnoisseur
Keli Rivers started bartending in Tokyo’s Roppongi nightclub district and has lived on every continent except Antarctica. A veteran of some of San Francisco’s best cocktail bars, including Hard Water and Devil’s Acre, Rivers is currently the “Ginnoisseur” of the gin-centric bar Whitechapel.
Keli judges for the American Distilling Institute and lead a comprehensive seminar on the spectrum and history of gin and genever at Tales of the Cocktail 2016.
Keli rocks the juniper at all times.
David T Smith
Ginworld Ambassador - International Gin Writer and Consultant
International gin specialist, judge and author of “The Craft of Gin,” David has contributed to publications and other media including Imbibe Magazine, The Drinks Business and BBC radio.
Winner of the Think Gin: 2016 Communicator of the year, his hobbies are chairing the gin judging for IWSC, American Distilling Institute, Worlds Best Drinks and Gin Masters competitions.
He is known to make a mean jumping gin and tonic and throw drinks at times.
Ginworld Ambassador - Saint Louis
Kelli has been in the hospitality industry since she was 15, playing hostess after school at the restaurant her mother worked at as a server. Since then, she has worked at almost every front- of-house position, most recently as a venue manager at The Dark Room.
Kelli is the Secretary for the St. Louis Chapter of the USBG, an instructor for the Mid-American School of Wine, and constantly active within the St. Louis bar and restaurant community. Beer, wine, spirits, and hospitality aren’t Kelli’s hobby, or even career–they’re her lifelong passions. When she bellies up the bar, she’s as likely to order a Bud Light Lime as a fine Bordeaux.