Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2011 | 3:33 p.m.
When it comes to rum, Las Vegas knows—or at least two Las Vegans do.
Locals Jessica Fesler and J.R. Starkus are two of 20 finalists in Tommy Bahama’s nationwide search for its first-ever “rumologist.” That is the fancy made-up word for the person paid to help create and promote new rum-based drinks at the retail/restaurant chain, or, as the company puts it, an “ambassador of rum culture and crafted cocktails.” Tommy Bahamas are located across the country, including one right here in Las Vegas, at Town Square.
To get to that coveted title—and to score the grand prize of $50,000—Fesler and Starkus must collect online votes through Tommy Bahama’s Facebook fan page, where each contestant states their case in short videos. Fesler, a bartender at Double Helix Wine & Whiskey Bar at Town Square, notes in her video that she’s participated in rum competitions before and says she has an “absolute love and passion for all things spirit, especially rum.” Meanwhile, Starkus, currently the lead bartender at RM Seafood at Mandalay Bay, talks up his mixology skills and says he can make a rum cocktail that will please any kind of drinker.
Once voting ends on Thursday, September 8, the current field of 20 candidates will be narrowed down to the top 10 based off votes. From there, Tommy Bahama judges will select the top five, and voters will vote for the winner. That voting is expected to begin September 12, with the Tommy Bahama Rumologist to be announced October 6.