Final Battle: Iron Bartender

Aspen’s drink gurus have been showing their stuff, using Grand Marnier as an element in creating delicious concoctions in the Terrace Bar at The Little Nell each Sunday from 5:30 to 6:30 for the past few weeks.

And now it’s here. The final round of Iron Bartender.

Each guest gets one vote with the purchase of a featured cocktail. The bartender with the most votes at the end of the night will be declared Aspen’s best bartender and will win a  trip to “Tales of The Cocktail” in New Orleans to party with some of America’s greatest cocktail creators.

And the finalists are? NATE HARNISH from Pacifica Restaurant and Oyster Bar vs. ERIN HARRIS of Jimmy’s, An American Restaurant and Bar

Here’s the skinny on these two talented mixologists:

Erin Harris 

What is your favorite drink to make at your bar?

La Otra Palabra – Vida Mezcal, Chartreuse,  luxardo maraschino liquor, hint of agave

Meaning: The Other Word, the cocktail is a contemporary version of a classic gin cocktail called the Last Word. La Otra Palabra was created by Eric Alperin who owns The Varnish in Los Angeles. It is served there, at the 44 at the Royalton in NYC, Sable in Chicago and at Jimmy’s in Aspen.

If you could sit down and have a drink with 3 people living or dead who would it be?

Harlen Coben, Aretha Franklin, Chelsea Handler

In your mind, what is one of the most underrated spirits?

Mezcal. Even though Mezcal has gained popularity in the past few years, it is still a spirit that is widely unknown outside the circle of worm-loving collegiate groups that do not understand that Mezcal is actually a very high-end, hand-crafted and organic spirit. Jimmy’s has been on the forefront of the Mezcal movement for the past 15 years, which has created a familiarity with the spirit that few establishments nationwide have experienced. I very much enjoy exposing this wonderful spirit to the uninitiated.

What is something you would never be caught drinking?

I would say any cocktail that Will Rutledge would make for the girl(s)  of the moment. Other than that, A Bar Mat Shot…..YUK!!

Nate Harnish 

What is your favorite drink to make at your bar?

Singapore Sling

If we were to buy you a drink what would it be?

“Otra Palabra” at Jimmy’s (Last Word made with Mezcal.) (Editor’s note: This should be interesting!) 

In your mind what is one of the most underrated spirits?

Licor 43

If you could sit down and have a drink with 3 people living or dead who would it be?

Jerry Thomas, Dave Attell, Adam Carolla

If you’re still not convinced you should come, check out this video:

Iron Bartender from Aspen/Snowmass on Vimeo.