Bourbon O Bar at the Iconic Bourbon Orleans Hotel Is Home to Two ‘Mixologist of the Year’ Award-Winning Bartenders

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Unprecedented, Consecutive Awards from New Orleans Magazine Have Recognized Bartenders at the Same Bar, Bourbon O, a Popular Destination in the Heart of the French Quarter

Cheryl Charming and Steven Lemley, Jr. with Bourbon O bar

Award-winners Cheryl Charming and Steven Lemley, Jr. with the Bourbon O bar

The Bourbon Orleans Hotel‘s classy bar, the Bourbon O, located on one of the city’s most famous corners of Orleans Avenue at Bourbon Street in the heart of the French Quarter historic district, is the recipient of an unprecedented honor. For two consecutive years, the judges of the prestigious New Orleans Magazine have selected their “Mixologist of the Year” for the city of New Orleans from the Bourbon O.

In 2013, Steven Lemley, Jr., a native of Bossier City, Louisiana was selected for his wizardry in crafting elixirs of delight. His entry into the craft cocktail business began when he took a temporary job helping at a friend’s bar in the French Quarter. His interest in what was in the variety of bottles at the back of the bar led him to be “amazed at all the chemistry that went into the construction of a good drink. Every ingredient had to bring something to the mix and every 'something' had to remain in balance,” said Lemley. He soon began creating new concoctions in his own time at home.

Today, he can be found mixing a combination of sweet, savory, sour – maybe even bits of fresh fruit or herbs – and bringing about an enjoyable result in his position behind what is known as the freshest bar on Bourbon Street. “Balance with fresh ingredients is the achievable goal with everything I do,” he said.

Following Lemley's success this past year, his own Bar Director, Cheryl Charming, earned the coveted title of Mixologist of the Year 2014 as announced in the December 2014 issue of New Orleans Magazine. The honor will stay with her and Bourbon O through 2015 until a new winner is named, and for long after, as there is only one winner a year, in a city that boasts more than 6,500 bars and some 25,000 bartenders.

Charming “is the consummate hostess, a master storyteller, a tour guide of drinks and a terrific mixologist," according to local food and drink historian, journalist and radio host Tim McNally. Charming writes, edits, art directs and publishes a monthly newsletter that explains to Bourbon O bar patrons the current offerings of drinks, new creations and stories about origins and location, interspersed with trivia and facts. She has published more cocktail and bar related books that anyone else in the nation and regularly teaches cocktail classes for private groups. Most famous, perhaps is her book “Miss Charming’s Book of Bar Amusements” by Random House. Her insistence on using only the freshest ingredients is her guiding force, and has led to the Bourbon O’s moniker in the industry as the “Freshest Bar on Bourbon Street.” Charming likes to tie the local area into her drinks – and the Touchdown Jesus Bloody Mary is a nod to the bar’s proximity to St. Louis Cathedral’s statue of Jesus with arms raised.

About the Bourbon Orleans Hotel
The Bourbon New Orleans Hotel is part of the prestigious New Orleans Hotel Collection. Located on the most coveted corner of the French Quarter, the Bourbon Orleans Hotel features a rich history and opulent French styling reminiscent of the early 1800s. The hotel’s ideal New Orleans location is just steps away from the famed St. Louis Cathedral, upscale shopping on Royal Street, local artists and performers of Jackson Square, and many restaurants, galleries and nightlife in between. The Bourbon Orleans Hotel is locally owned and committed to preserving the history and character of the hotel for generations. For more information, visit the hotel’s website: http://www.bourbonorleans.com.

About the New Orleans Hotel Collection
The New Orleans Hotel Collection is a group of seven fine hotels in the New Orleans metropolitan region owned by local investors. Comprised of the Bourbon Orleans, Dauphine Orleans, the new Hotel Mazarin, The Whitney Hotel, Audubon Cottages, Crowne Plaza New Orleans Airport and the trendy Hotel Le Marais, these are boutique and small upscale meeting hotels in prime locations throughout the city. Collection hotels are the official recommended hotels for the Southern Food and Beverage Museum and the Museum of the American Cocktail. For more information, visit the website: http://www.neworleanshotelcollection.com

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