Who’s the Best Bartender in Oklahoma?

OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLAHOMA -- If you ever find yourself sitting at a bar in Oklahoma there is a chance you might recognize some of these people.

They are actually among the best bartenders in the state, nominated by their employers, and today, competing to decide who's the best.

Lee Ann Miller works the bar at a place in Ardmore called the Santa Fé Cattle Company.

She was actually here last year.

"I was super shaky," she says. "But it's awesome to see everybody from all the different bars and restaurants and everything they create."

This is Chris Barrett's frist trip to the annual Cocktail Shakedown.

He's behind the bar at Ludivine most nights.

Chris says, "I've got a backlog of recipes and things you can take and twist a little bit."

Amber Harris of Whiskey Cakes in Oklahoma City rounded out the first heat.

Each of them got a few minutes of prep time and then ten minutes to make up a cocktail containing at least five ingredients, and a sponsor's ingredient, in this case, Ketel One Vodka.

Lee Ann combined her vodka with banana and peach schnapps, muddled raspberry and blackberry, a hint of cranberry, plus tonic to make something she called a Summer Set.

"I create my own version at home," says Lee Ann. "I didn't have all the ingredients but it still turned out pretty good."

Chris Barrett joined vodka, a local hibiscus strong tonic, plum bitters, local honey, Preseco, and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice for a champagne cocktail he called Feel No Pain.

Speaking on the pressure of the event versus the pressure of working every night, Barrett says, "I think even when you're behind the bar you're still in front of eager eyes."

The judges drank.

The rest of the crowd either took notes or wished a waitress would come for their order.

The winner of this 2nd Annual Cocktail Shakedown gets a $1,500 check, an Apple watch, a bag full of goodies, and a championship belt signifying their title as the very best at making us feel better after a long day.

The winner of 2016 Cocktail Shakedown was Amber Harris who works at Whiskey Cakes in Oklahoma City.

Second place went to Meghanna Hensley of the Pump Bar also in OKC.