For the Love of Cocktails, Fundraiser Co-Hosted by Back Bar USA and Tony Abou-Ganim

for the love of cocktails


Event will benefit bar workers affected by breast cancer


Top mixologists and spirits brands will combine forces for a pre-Valentine’s Day philanthropic event: For the Love of Cocktails, which will be held from 7-10 p.m. on February 13 at Mix in THE Hotel at Mandalay Bay. “For the Love of Cocktails,” co-hosted by Tony Abou-Ganim, one of the most pioneering and leading bar professionals in the world and author of The Modern Mixologist, and Back Bar USA, a wine, beer and spirits marketing and consulting firm, will have stations featuring innovative cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, and live music. The event is ticketed and limited to 450 guests. Tickets are $35 in advance and may be purchased at or $50 at the door. A VIP table package is also available for $150.


A portion of the proceeds from For the Love of Cocktails will benefit the Helen David Relief Fund, which was created by Abou-Ganim. The organization provides financial  assistance to those in the beverage industry who are affected by breast cancer. The inspiration for the organization is the memory of Abou-Ganim’s cousin, Helen David, who beat breast cancer twice during her lifetime. Abou-Ganim considers David, an iconic bar owner for decades in Port Huron, MI, to be his earliest influence in the world of spirits.


“Back Bar and Tony have a strong relationship,” said Tim Haughinberry, founder of Back Bar USA. “We are happy not only to showcase the best brands with the best mixologists in Las Vegas, but to also help a cause so close to his heart.”


Craft cocktails will be created from top brands including Absolut Citron, Belvedere Pink Grapefruit, Bombay Sapphire East, Chandon, Fernet Branca, George Dickel Tennessee Whiskey, Jim Beam Signature Craft, Maestro Dobel Tequila, Rèmy Martin V, Skyy Peach, Tito’s Handmade Vodka and Labrot & Graham Woodford Reserve Double Oaked. The brands represent high quality and diversity in their flavors.


The mixologists who will participate have strong pedigrees in the spirits industry and are members of the United States Bartenders Guild. They will create their own unique cocktails with the signature liquors. Mixologists scheduled to participate include:


  • Michael MacDonnell, Monte Carlo
  • Max Solano, Emeril Lagasse Group
  • Nathan Greene, Imperial Tacos & Beer
  • Darren West, Jean Georges Steakhouse
  • Bobby Gleason, Beam Global
  • Raul Faria, Gordon Ramsey
  • Mariena Mercer, Cosmopolitan
  • Alenrry Iniguez, Herbs and Rye
  • Ju Young Kang, Rose. Rabbit. Lie.
  • Kristen Schaefer, Pernod Ricard
  • Nikki Afable, Venetian
  • Ricardo Murcia, Bellagio
For more information about Back Bar USA, head to; for more information about Tony Abou-Ganim, visit; and for more about the Helen David Relief Fund, check out the Facebook page or Twitter handle @helendavidrf. Back Bar USA and its sponsors encourage guests to enjoy responsibly and to not drink and drive.


About Back Bar USA
Back Bar USA is a full-service marketing and consulting firm with more than 25 years experience in the beer, wine and spirits industries. Specializing in corporate and national account beverage programs with an emphasis on gaming, resorts, nightlife and fine dining, the company provides services ranging from menu development to ground-up venue concept, design and execution. Back Bar maintains an impressive portfolio of clients and brands that include Caesars Entertainment, MGM Resorts, Ketel One Vodka and Corona. For more information, visit www.BackBarUSA.Com.


About Tony Abou-Ganim
Tony Abou-Ganim is widely regarded as one of the pioneering and leading bar professionals in the world. He has made dozens of national TV appearances on shows including TODAY, Iron Chef America, Good Morning America, CNBC, Fox News and more.  Abou-Ganim is the author of The Modern Mixologist: Contemporary Classic Cocktails (Agate, 2010) which offers readers an in-depth look into spirits and ingredients available to today’s mixologist, both professional and amateur alike. This entertaining and informative journey will take readers from the early stages of the cocktail to what Abou-Ganim has come to deem “Modern Mixology.” Abou-Ganim also has a DVD to his credit, Modern Mixology: Making Great Cocktails at Home, and hosted the Fine Living program Raising the Bar: America’s Best Bar Chefs. Abou-Ganim has also won three Iron Chef America competitions; pairing cocktails with Iron Chef Mario Batali; with Iron Chef Jose Garces and most recently with challenger Chef Shawn McClain. His signature branded line of Modern Mixologist bar tools and his second book, Vodka Distilled (Agate, 2013), are available now at Keep current with news, appearances and special events at on Facebook and on Twitter @MdrnMixologist.

**PHOTOS** The Palazzo Las Vegas Hosts the 2012 Las Vegas Epicurean Affair

The Palazzo Las Vegas hosted the Las Vegas Epicurean Affair presented by the Nevada Restaurant Association featuring nearly 75 renowned restaurants and beverage purveyors last night. Approximately 1,800 guests mingled amongst the elegant Pools at The Palazzo and sampled culinary delights from local celebrated restaurants. Recognized as one of the city’s premier tasting events, this year’s sold out Epicurean Affair dazzled once again as world-class chefs tempted guests’ palates throughout the evening.

Guests started their culinary journey with chilled melon soup with bleu camen lemon grimala and citris gastrio from Lagasse’s Stadium and prosciutto-wrapped mozzarella and heirloom tomato salad from The Capital Grille before venturing to Bouchon’s short ribs and STK’s spiced pickled prawns.

Those looking for more exotic flavors didn’t have to travel far to find TAO’s tuna tenaki with wasabi salsa, Diego’s huitlacoche braised beef tacos and Bacio’s conchiglie con gamberi e arugula.

The three restaurants of celebrity chef and restaurateurs Mario Batali and Joe Bastianch, Carnevino, B&B Ristorante and Otto Enoteca, were combined into one booth while other favorites included Craftsteak’s beef tenderloin carpaccio with argula, parmesan and asparagus and Public House’s rabbit loin in porchetta with duck rillette fritter and raspberry passion fruit verrine.

Laguna Champagne Bar kept the bubbly flowing from the center bar with their signature Flower Eclipse champagne cocktail and a touch screen “Smart Bar” poured perfectly concocted libations. Diageo set up an ultra-lounge in Azure Pool’s rotunda where guests posed for silly photo booth pictures.

Sweet endings came from The Cupcakery’s mini cupcakes, Hash House a Go Go with strawberry shortcake and their ever-popular kiwi watermelon drink, Bouchon’s key lime pie parfait and Canyon Ranch Grill’s orange ginger mousse with praline.

Other participating restaurants included Mint Indian Bistro, Gilley’s Saloon, Delmonico Steakhouse, Maggiano’s, Origin India, Zine Noodles Dim Sum, Ferraro’s, FIRST Food & Bar, Double Helix, CUT by Wolfgang Puck, Postrio Bar & Grill, Aquaknox, Taqueria Canonita, Fogo de Chao, Beam Global, Il Mulino and SUSHISAMBA.





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