It goes without saying that when America's Next Top Bartender, aka, “On the Rocks,” held auditions in Vegas, the turnout was heavily female. Their next stop was Los Angeles, which yielded a heavy male showing. What was surprising was the turnout in SO CAL = small.
After hours of shooting the shit with the affable Simon Ford of Pernod-Ricard, and Seven Grand's mile-a-minute-GM, David Fleischer, a conclusion was drawn that Los Angeles cocktailians were of two minds; one, they were bartenders, not performers, or conversely, they were performers, nee actors, and not bartenders.
Be that as it may, a handful of Los Angeles' shakers showed their pretty mugs and surrendered to questions like, “If you could serve any celebrity, who would it be and what would you make?”
'On The Rocks' will be televised this November on KNBC immediately following SNL. As Simon Ford explains, the contest isn't just about who can make the best drink, but contenders will be judged on forgotten barman skills like sociability and a gift for conversational shuck and jive.
In London, getting a delicious stirred cocktail while the bartender lays down some wisdom to the sounds of The Jam are par for the course – we here in America are still learning. For this reason, it's lucky for us that Mr. Ford, an “Industry Visionary” who has opened some of England's most lauded cocktail bars, is heading up 'On The Rocks.'
With a tempting $100,000 pot shimmering on the horizon, keep your eye trained here for updates about winners, losers, drunkards, and other such sordid cocktales.