Jimmy’s bartender third in national contest

Michael Appelgate
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO, Colorado

ASPEN – One Aspen bartender is bringing home national bragging rights after finishing in a tie for third in a female bartending competition Thursday in New York City.

Erin Harris, 29, bartender at Jimmy’s an American Restaurant and Bar, competed in a cocktail-making competition called Speed Rack. The Speed Rack finals consisted of 16 female bartenders across the nation to recognize women in the profession and to raise money for breast cancer research.

Harris qualified to be one of the 16 finalists out of 185 by being the top vote-getter in a two-week-long online poll in April.

In the first round of Thursday’s finals, Harris faced seven others in making four cocktails and was judged on speed and quality. She placed third out of eight and then moved on to head-to-head competition in the quarterfinals. Harris beat another bartender from Boston and then lost in the semifinals to one from Houston making a Singapore swing cocktail.

“It was pretty intense,” Harris said. “There are so many people in there, and there are cameras everywhere.”

Added Jimmy Yeager, owner of Jimmy’s: “It was a heartbreaker when she lost, but I’m so proud of her. It was the first competition of its kind for breast cancer research.”

One of Yeager’s and Harris’ goals was to raise $5,000 for breast cancer research. With a number of Aspen residents contributing, Yeager and Harris presented a check to Speed Rack for more than $5,000.

“I did everything for a good cause,” Harris said. “I got to know a lot of girls across the country, and I can walk into a bar anywhere and know someone.”