Absolut Crowns America’s Top BartenderMay 1, 2009 By: Nightclub and Bar Night Club and Bar Magazine
Amanda Gager is the inaugural season winner of “On the Rocks: The Search for America’s Top Bartender,” presented by Absolut and LX.TV. The 12-week series, which debuted on Saturday, November 8 on LX.TV, follows the search for the best and brightest master mixologists.
Hosted by nightlife impresario Pedro Andrade, the program involved 10 contestants from the nation’s most influential and innovative cocktail communities demonstrating their talent, knowledge, speed, accuracy and agility in the face of a teeming crowd of thirsty bar patrons who demand cocktail supremacy and service with style. Contestants were pitted against one another to serve up delicious libations possessing both substance and style, and were judged on tips scored, cocktail preparation and pairing cocktails with food and desserts created by top Las Vegas chefs. The judges for season one included nightclub marketing expert Cecile Raubenheimer, international nightlife visionary Fabrizio Brienza and Las Vegas casting guru Gregory Filler.
Gager hails from Strip Steak in Las Vegas, and judges lauded her passion for creativity and flair.
“Behind every great cocktail is a great bartender and Amanda has proven she belongs in the exclusive club of master mixologists,” said Ian Crystal, brand director of Absolut Vodka. “As the world’s most iconic vodka, we are proud to support innovative and stylish bartenders who have what it takes to bring the art of mixology to a bold new level. Absolut is thrilled to recognize Amanda as top prize winner for the first season, and we look forward to many more seasons and top bartenders to come.”
“We are raising our glasses to toast this great program and the skilled bartender who came away with the top prize,” said Morgan Hertzan, NBC Local Media senior vice president of programming and general manager of LX.TV. “We have distributed this show across all of our NBC Local Media platforms – on air, online and out of home so that folks who love to go out will be able to find time to watch this whenever and wherever they want.”