Friends With Benefits: Jason Jerge
Some people can only handle one career. Jason Jerge had the smarts and drive to have two. A graduate of the University of Southern California, Jerge stayed in L.A., and began a career as a talent agent, working with athletes and actors while also working in the food and beverage industry as both a bartender and manager. After many years of doing both, “It was a choice between two careers,” said the Memphis, Tenn., native. “… I kind of had a Jerry Maguire moment where you look around and think about where you want to be in 10 years. I decided to go all-in in the food and beverage industry.”
So, in 2014, he moved to Las Vegas and landed at Stratosphere, where he worked his way up the ladder from beverage supervisor to pool manager and, last year, was promoted to beverage director. “I knew Vegas offered a lot of opportunity,” he said. “It was a goal to succeed here.”
And success Jerge has found. He helps oversee the beverage programs at many of the property’s bars, including Level 107 SkyLounge. “It’s an exciting time—we’ve beefed up our selection,” Jerge said. “Our specialty and signature cocktails have more garnishes, more modern ingredients and twists, variations on classics. We’re modernizing the Stratosphere.”
Jerge couldn’t be more amped for the future: “I still have that drive. I am a firm believer that I never want to fail. There’s that fire in me. I do whatever it takes.”
Jerge and Stratosphere’s corporate beverage team recently introduced 15 new specialty cocktails at 107 SkyLounge. “I like the creative aspect of beverages,” he said. “It makes you feel good when you create something, and people enjoy it.” One of the new cocktails that has people buzzing is the Bibiana, which in Latin means “full of life.” The cocktail is mixed with Don Julio Añejo tequila, Pama Pomegranate liqueur, agave nectar, lime juice and hellfire bitters. “The drink definitely is full of life and has a nice smoky tone, yet is refreshing with the pomegranate— and has a spicy kick at the end,” he said.