Wednesday 27 March, 2013

Pooling Talents: Social Mixology Four

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Bar Magic bigwig Tobin Ellis assembled his latest Social Mixology (number four) summit last week at perhaps the most unexpected location yet: a strip club. Well, not just any strip club, but Sapphire Las Vegas, which claims to be the world’s largest (and at 70,000 square feet, how could you argue?). And well, not really […]




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sm2013-4Bar Magic bigwig Tobin Ellis assembled his latest Social Mixology (number four) summit last week at perhaps the most unexpected location yet: a strip club. Well, not just any strip club, but Sapphire Las Vegas, which claims to be the world's largest (and at 70,000 square feet, how could you argue?). And well, not really in the strip club, but adjacent to it, in Sapphire's new deluxe daytime swim club.

Ellis uses the party as a celebration of the mixology 'industry' (if that's the right word for it), with a wide selection of creative cocktails achieved using some of the newer spirits on the market. Not every cocktail is thus a slam dunk--some become a distinct improvement on their orignal product (the Ghostrider made with Jim Beam's new indistinguished Jacob's Ghost white whiskey), some suffered the flaw of trying waaay too hard (the Mary Mary, combining Ultimat vodka with complex pho broth, wasabi, sesame oil and sriracha--way too rich and yet flat).

Inbetween were lots of other interesting tipples, the best made with Pyrat XO rum and Milagro Tequila (courtesy Gaston Martinez). Dustin Drankewicz, Wendy Hodges, Mariena Mercer and every other esteemed mixologist who could make it was there. Call it a little junior Tales of the Cocktail West. Other brands included Cedilla açai liqueur, Patron XO Cafe Cocoa, Dolin vermouth...and a few others I didn't photograph because, um, whatever. 😉

As with all Social Mixology parties, Ellis ordained a costume theme for the party, though this time it was inclusive: the theme was any theme, just not, you know, your own ordinary clothes. Many executed this very impressively (that girl who was the human Lichtenstein painting), some really bunted. I think I rested somewhere in the middle, coming dressed for a different theme party (the Playboy Mansion's Midsummer Night Scene).

I can't say this was my favorite of the venues Ellis has used for the event: Not only was the atmosphere somewhat cold and vibeless, but hosts Sapphire pulled the typical classy move of providing shuttles TO the party from the Strip, but balking on letting folks shuttle BACK for free. I was about to complain about this to Ellis when I got sidelined by a gang of Venetian chefs who ended up taking me to Honey Pig instead. Cost more than a cab ride, but it was worth it.

Bar Magic

Sapphire Las Vegas


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