Blush Boutique Nightclub honored National Bourbon Month by hosting the Cocktail Divas Mixology Competition on Thursday, September 9, 2010 in partnership with Beam Global, their new line extension to Maker's Mark, Maker's 46 and Meghan Leary, author of Whiskey for Women. The competition accepted open recipe submissions from Las Vegas' top female bartenders before selecting the five best to create their cocktail live for the judges and general public. Judging the competition was America's first woman of whiskey, Meghan Leary, Beam Global Master Mixologist, Bobby Gleason, and Mixologist for Wynn Las Vegas and Wynn Encore, Patricia Richards.
The tone for the night was upbeat and lively as the women batched their cocktails under the watchful eye of an excited public eager to taste delicious bourbon-based cocktails. Blush's beautiful outdoor patio served as host for the competition, where each woman was given twenty minutes to create a full-sized cocktail for the esteemed judges panel before serving samples to the public. Each participant took a different approach with the competition using different preparation methods, glassware and ingredients to ensure all five cocktails were drastically different. "The level of professionalism and creativity of the cocktails demonstrated by all of the ladies was outstanding and really showcases the cocktail culture in Las Vegas," Gleason proudly noted. "All of the ladies showed the world that class, barmanship, and beauty can all be combined to make great cocktails!"
"Whiskey is one of the truest entrepreneurial embodients found in American culture, particularly cocktail culture," says Meghan Leary, author of Whiskey for Women. "There are many phenomenally talented female mixologists practicing their craft in Las Vegas and we view this as a great opportunity to showcase their own entrepreneurial cocktail spirit. The sultry taste profile of the all-new Maker's 46 Bourbon and the seductive ambiance of Blush Boutique Nightclub, truly brought class to the glass at this innovative and interactive event."
The grand prize the women were competing for was a trip for two to the Makers Mark distillery in Loretta, Kentucky, being featured on the cover of a special edition re-print of Leary's Whiskey for Women and a full bar set from Uber Bar Tools. The winner Mariena Mercer, mixologist from the upcoming Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, won the top prize with her cocktail 'The Libertine' barely edging out former Rhumbar top mixologist and new house mixologist at the Cosmopolitan, Kristen Schaefer and her cocktail 'The Blue Grass Shuffle'. Second runner-up, who along with Schaeffer will be featured inside Leary's book and also won a Boston Bar Roll from Uber Tools, was Sense Rose Mixologist Heidi A. Welniak with her cocktail 'The Iron Angel'. Each mixologist was also assisted during the event by a female apprentice from the Crescent Bartending School in Las Vegas.