Sunday, November 21, 2010

Charles Joly Is 'On The Rocks' Winner!

(Photos: Martin Furrer)

Girl & The Goat's Stephanie Izard won "Top Chef" in 2008.

Frontera Grill's Rick Bayless took home the title of the first-ever "Top Chef Master" in 2009.

And Charles Joly of The Drawing Room proved once again in 2010 that Chicago is no flyover state when it comes to fine dining and nightlife.

The Drawing Room's managing partner Matt Lindner embraces Joly as he's announced as winner of "On The Rocks."

Saturday, the intense finale of the third season of NBC's "On The Rocks" aired, and by the end of it, Joly was crowned "America's Best Bartender." His prize?! A nice fat $100,000 check.

The final challenge was to create a cocktail utilizing brand-new product Absolut Wild Tea vodka. Joly's winning cocktail—named Absolut Tea Time—featured the base spirit double-strained with Plymouth Sloe Gin, grapefruit and lemon juices, agave syrup, egg white and grated ginger. (Hopefully, it'll be on The Drawing Room's menu soon!)

"On The Rocks" second season finalist Todd Appel (from left), master mixologist Bridget Albert, Joly and The Drawing Room Executive Chef Nick Lacasse

Since the beginning of the competition, The Drawing Room had been hosting viewing parties of the show so that Joly's fans could cheer him on. So it was no surprise that the Gold Coast venue held a finale event for what would turn out to be a mega celebration.

Among the revelers included many of Joly's highly regarded counterparts, including last season's finalist Todd Appel, master mixologist/author Bridget Albert, Daniel de Oliveira, Drinks Over Dearborn's Kyle McHugh and others.

Joly will appear on the "Today" show at 10am Tuesday during the "Kathy Lee & Hoda" hour to talk about his experience.

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