Mixologist Aisling Gammill spent years crafting cocktails behind the bar before making a move to Boise, Idaho. With a degree in culinary arts and beverage management — as well as being a Certified Cider Professional, Certified Specialist of Spirits and Executive Bourbon Steward — her experience in the industry dates back to 2010. Prior to moving to Boise, she ran a bar in Austin, Texas, which was named the best cocktail bar in the city. “I feel like I mastered my craft there,” she says.
That experience and passion for cocktail bartending earned her a spot to compete on Netflix’s new show Drink Masters, which debuted at the end of October.
Gammill is currently the taproom manager of Meriwether Cider’s Garden City, Idaho, location. In that role, she wears many hats, all in the service of producing and serving Meriwether Cider. She’s behind the tasting bar several days per week and also helps with bottling. But when it comes to flexing her creative abilities? She’s the master behind the popular cider slushies served at Meriwether, along with getting creative with mulled ciders and cider cocktails.
Drink Masters is the first show of its kind, pitting mixologists against each other in a competition series. They’re tasked with different cocktail challenges each episode, all competing to win a $100,000 prize.
On the show, Gammill crafted unique cocktails that wowed the judges. “Every time I tried to push myself and make things I’d never done before, instead of sticking with what I know, to really utilize the creative opportunity and allow myself to learn,” Gammill says.
We won’t spill the details on which place Gammill took home from the show, but overall she was incredibly thankful for the experience. “I got something out of it and came back a better bartender. And I met a lot of other bartenders,” she says.
One of the most important things she discovered in competing on the show was that she had a great team and a job to return to. Being selected to compete on television series, leaving your day-to-day life behind for six weeks for shooting, can be tricky to manage. But Gammill says everybody at Meriwether was incredibly supportive, which she was very thankful for.
“I don’t know if I could have done this if I worked for someone else,” she says. “They were super supportive of it all.” Gammill left to go film, but because of the non-disclosure agreement signed for the show, she couldn’t share much of what she was up to. “I basically said I need to mysteriously disappear for six weeks and nobody can know why,” says Gammill. “But they were supportive of me doing it and being able to have a job to come back to.”
3 Creative Cider-enhanced Cocktails
Add a flavorful twist to your cocktails this Thanksgiving. Aisling Gammill believes cider can enhance a drink in a variety of ways – here are three of her favorite swaps for easy cider cocktails.
- Top a classic Vodka-Cran with Meriwether’s seasonal Cranberry Crosscut cider.
- Add complexity to a Moscow Mule by swapping out ginger beer for a ginger cider.
- Add fresh-pressed juices to sparkling cider, such as Meriwether’s Foothills Semi-Dry or Hop Shot, to create a unique brunch beverage.