Las Vegas Review-Journal: Mixologists Compete for Ultimate Las Vegas Cocktail

From Las Vegas Review-Journal:

We asked Las Vegas mixologists to create the Ultimate Las Vegas cocktail, and we ended up down for the count.

Which isn't as bad as it sounds, because Down for the Count - created by J.R. Starkus, lead bartender at Rick Moonen's RM Seafood at Mandalay Bay - is the winner of the $200 prize.

The basis for Starkus' creation?

"This cocktail not only symbolizes our huge boxing and (Ultimate Fighting Championship) events, but also pays respect to Count Niccolo Branca, the fifth-generation recipe holder of this wonderful Italian elixir, Fernet Branca," Starkus said on his entry.

The competition was judged by Andrew Pollard, beverage development specialist for Wirtz Beverage Nevada and vice president of the United States Bartenders Guild Las Vegas; Robert Crawford, digital activation coordinator for Wirtz Beverage Nevada; and our own Doug Elfman, entertainment columnist and bon vivant, who described the winning cocktail as "manly, best, tastes good. Will get you Vegas trashed, but the Fernet keeps you refreshed."

Pollard said the field "was kind of an intermix of skill sets."

"People work within their comfort zone as to what they're used to, what their demographic is," he said. "You can't necessarily blame them for that. It was fun to do. You live and learn from these competitions."

Pollard said he didn't think any of the cocktails truly captured the spirit of Las Vegas.

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For full article visit, Las Vegas Review-Journal.