Local Company Looks for Northern Nevada's Best Bartender

RENO, NV - Mt. Rose Drinks is on a mission to find the area’s best bartender. They sponsored a contest Wednesday night at Bully’s Sports Bar and Grill in Sparks. About a dozen bartenders used Mt. Rose mixers to create a cocktail to wow judges and audience members.

“I’m excited I get to taste all these drinks and how creative the bartenders were with putting all the Mt. Rose mixers together in different ways I never thought of,” said Mt. Rose Drinks Owner Josh Damon. “Now I’ll have new recipes for the website and our facebook page.”

Mt. Rose Drinks produces and bottles its mixers in a Sparks warehouse. The line has grown from three flavors to more than thirty.

“We have the pomegranate blueberry margarita which is actually very good as a martini as well,” Damon said. “It’s one of my favorites. We have peach, strawberry, raspberry, pina colada, our product line has really grown so there’s plenty of ways to cool off this summer, put a mixer in the blender with some alcohol and relax.”

Bartender Cary Demars who works at The Knitting Factory and 3rd Street Bar was mixing up his signature cocktail for the competition.

“It’s called a Mt. Rose sunset and I use Patron Silver, raspberry and peach Mt. Rose mixers and a splash of soda and pineapple juice in a martini glass,” Demars said. “It looks like an orange sunset it’s really awesome.”

This is the first of a competition the company plans to sponsor every year.

“What was important to me was to make sure everyone understands how good of a mixologist Josh Damon really is,” Damon Enterprises CEO Dennis Bray said. “He makes the best mixers, he’s third generation and he’s been putting some great stuff together so this whole event is about bringing Reno together so they can see how good our all-natural product is.”

The contest drew a good sized crowd and the hope is it will grow in years to come.

“It’s a wonderful thing especially in a place where the economy is how it is,” Bray said. “Every dime that is spent with Mt. Rose Mixers stays here. The plant is in Sparks and all the personnel are here tonight to show their support.”

It’s a trend local bartenders hope continues through the summer.

“I’m really looking forward to a busy season I hope everyone comes out and supports our local bars and businesses,” Demars said. “That’s what this is all about so I’m really stoked to be a part of it.”

At the end of the night, Matt Blagen won best tequila drink, Cary Demars won best vodka drink and Elizabeth Weiss was the overall winner with her recipe for “Goose Juice.”

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