Back Bar USA Brings Las Vegas Showcase To Tales of the Cocktail

Back Bar USA Brings Las Vegas Showcase To Tales of the Cocktail®
“Las Vegas Invades Tales of the Cocktail” will bring some of Las Vegas’s most renowned mixologists and venues to New Orleans for one special evening. 
Tales of the Cocktail®, the world’s premier cocktail festival, is bringing Las Vegas to New Orleans for one special evening event that will expose 1,500 attendees to the best of Las Vegas bartending. Sponsored and coordinated by Back Bar USA, a wine, beer and spirits marketing, consulting and design firm, “Las Vegas Invades Tales of the Cocktail” will feature some of the best Las Vegas mixologists and venues during a night that will epitomize the spirit of Las Vegas with Rat Pack-style entertainment, showgirls and restaurateurs.
“Those of us in Las Vegas know that it is a significant place in the world of mixology,” said Tim Haughinberry, founder of Back Bar USA. “This is our chance to highlight the best of the best and prove our position to industry leaders who are under-exposed to the city’s top-quality offerings.”
“Las Vegas Invades Tales of the Cocktail” will be held Thursday, July 17 from 5-8 p.m. at the Masquerade Nightclub inside Harrah’s New Orleans. The event features prominent mixologists, such as “Modern Mixologist” Tony Abou-Ganim and Francesco Lafranconi from Southern Wine and Spirits. Strip resort mixologists will display their techniques and talents in creating signature cocktails made with the world’s leading spirit brands and the freshest ingredients.
“Tales of the Cocktail is the elite bartender event of the year and I am thrilled to see Las Vegas have a strong presence this year to show off the talent and creativity that this wonderful city has to offer,”  said Abou-Ganim.
Mixologists and Properties
  • Craig Schoettler, ARIA Resort & Casino
  • Nectaly Mendoza, Herbs & Rye
  • Alenrry Iniguez, Herbs & Rye
  • Raul Faria, Gordon Ramsay’s Pub & Grill
  • Mariena Mercer, The Cosmopolitan
  • Max Solano,Emeril Lagasse’s Delmonico Steak House & Venetian Palazzo
  • Ricardo Murcia, The Bellagio
  • Tony Abou-Ganim, Modern Mixologist
  • Francesco La Franconi, Southern Wine and Spirits
  • Andrew Pollard, Wirtz Beverage
Spirit Sponsors
  • Absolut Elyx Vodka
  • Hennessy Cognac
  • Sauza 901 Tequila
  • Hangar 1 Vodka
  • Bacardi Superior
  • Bulleit Bourbon
“Las Vegas has always been on the forefront of what’s next for the bartending industry,” said Ann Tuennerman, Founder of Tales of the Cocktail®. “I’m so happy that spirits professionals from around the world will have a chance to experience what Las Vegas bartending is all about.”
“Las Vegas Invades Tales of the Cocktail” is one of more than 200 industry-focused events being held throughout the 12th Annual Tales of the Cocktail®, being held in New Orleans July 16-20, 2014. For more information or to get tickets to “Las Vegas Invades Tales of the Cocktail” or any of the other seminars, tastings and special events, visit
About Back Bar USA
Back Bar USA is a full-service marketing, consulting and design 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
About Tales of the Cocktail®
Tales of the Cocktail® is the world’s premier cocktail festival, bringing together the international spirits community for five days of what’s now, what’s new and what’s next in bartending. Held annually in New Orleans, Tales of the Cocktail® has something for bartenders and spirits professionals with opportunities to mix and mingle with the brightest minds in mixology during an always-spirited schedule of seminars, dinners, competitions, tasting rooms and new product launches. Join us in New Orleans July 16-20 for the 12th Annual Tales of the Cocktail® where for five days the cocktail reigns supreme. All Hail the Cocktail!
About the New Orleans Culinary and Cultural Preservation Society
The New Orleans Culinary and Cultural Preservation Society (NOCCPS) is a non-profit organization committed to preserving the unique cocktail culture in New Orleans and around the world through education and outreach. Every year the NOCCPS produces a number events including Tales of the Cocktail®, Tales of the Cocktail® on Tour, and Tales of the Toddy® with proceeds being invested back into the international spirits community through educational programs, scholarships, training programs and financial aid.

Chat On Twitter With ARIA Property Mixologist Craig Schoettler

Chat On Twitter With ARIA Mixologist
Craig Schoettler

ARIA Resort & Casino Property Mixologist Craig Schoettler will answer cocktail questions during a live online Twitter chat Friday, April 18 at 2 p.m. PST. The one-hour chat will give followers the opportunity to learn more about the day-to-day operations of a resort property mixologist while providing secret tips and tricks for preparing a variety of refreshing cocktails. Followers are encouraged to ask Schoettler cocktail questions by tweeting to ARIA’s Twitter page using @ARIALV and #AskARIA.

Friday, April 18
2-3 p.m. PST

ARIA Resort & Casino Twitter Page


ARIA Resort & Casino Debuts Exclusive “Brass Tacks” Craft Beer

ARIA Resort & Casino - Exterior
Stillwater Artisanal Ales and ARIA Property Mixologist Craig Schoettler
Create Signature Saison Golden Ale for Las Vegas Resort

ARIA Resort & Casino will expand its award-winning food and beverage program with the debut of Brass Tacks, a craft beer brewed exclusively for the AAA Five Diamond Resort in Las Vegas. Created by ARIA’s highly acclaimed Mixologist Craig Schoettler and Baltimore’s Stillwater Artisanal Ales Founder and Brewer Brian Strumke, Brass Tacks, a Saison Golden Ale, will be available exclusively at ARIA beginning Monday, March 10.


Brass Tacks will appeal to all the senses of craft aficionados as well as the casual beer drinker, offering a sophisticated yet approachable beverage option. Its light and crisp body is comprised of pilsner malt and wheat, accented with herbal and grassy German hops, resulting in a rich color and earthy aroma.


“As interest in craft beer continues to grow, we wanted to offer a beverage that was unique to Las Vegas,” said ARIA’s Mixologist Craig Schoettler. “Collaborating with Stillwater Artisanal Ales on this project will do that and more, elevating our beverage program and providing a new experience only available at ARIA.”


Strumke added, “We are excited to partner with ARIA on this project and hope it will help further elevate Las Vegas’ growing craft beer scene. I commend Craig’s efforts in pushing the boundaries of the drink culture in one of America’s favorite destinations.”


ARIA guests who order the brew will notice a light fruitiness in flavor, which is a result of the Belgian yeast strain used for fermentation, and its dry finish will leave them yearning for another sip. Comparable to most crafts at six percent alcohol content, the thoughtful brewing process behind Brass Tacks yields a refreshing taste while exuding an array of subtle complexities.


The name Brass Tacks is inspired by Schoettler and Stillwater’s commitment to nailing down the art and principles of craft brewing. Its 12 oz. bottles feature an elegant vintage-looking label. ARIA’s personal brew also will be available on tap throughout the resort’s restaurants, bars and lounges.
ARIA - Beverage Program - Brass Tacks Beer Label
ARIA - Property Mixologist Craig Schoettler


ARIA Resort & Casino is a stunning AAA Five Diamond resort on The Strip featuring spectacular amenities, high-end service, premium meeting and convention space,striking architecture and sustainable design,. Combined with its unparalleled offeringsincluding the luxurious Shopsat Crystals and the first-of-its-kind public Fine Art Collection, ARIA introduces a new generation of resort experiences, unlike anything Las Vegas has ever seen.  ARIA and its neighboring properties within CityCenter are a joint venture between MGM Resorts International > (NYSE: MGM) and Infinity World Development Corp, a subsidiary of Dubai World. For more information and reservations, visit or call toll free at (866) 359-7757; also find ARIA on Facebook and Twitter.

Photos: FOOD & WINE All-Star Weekend Kicks Off with Star-Studded “First Course” Event


Food Festival Starts Strong with Sold-Out Event at ARIA Resort & Casino

Culinary superstars took over ARIA Resort & Casino last night for the 4th Annual FOOD & WINE All-Star Weekend’s sold out “First Course” kick-off event. 

View Bar, the AAA Five Diamond resort’s main lobby bar, was swarmed with award-winning chefs, sommeliers and mixologists including ARIA’s Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Masa Takayama, Julian Serrano, Shawn McClain, Sirio Maccioni, Marco Maccioni, Anthony Amaroso, Craig Schoettler and Kim Wood; MGM Grand Chefs Joël Robuchon, Steve Benjamin, Claude Le-Tohic, Heather Zheng, Scott Irestone, Steve Barr, Vincenzo Scarmiglia, Heath Cicerelli, Ho Chee Boon and Anthony Schutz; and Bellagio’s Akira Back, Jason Smith, Hiew Gun Khong, Ricardo Murcia and Patrick Lee.

The gastronomic icons took photos and mingled with the guests, while nibbling on delicious selections from ARIA’s extraordinary restaurants. Shawn McClain’s ASage served up Kushi Oyster with aged tequila Mignonette and tobacco pearls; Crispy Meyer Lemon Risotto with whipped triple crème; Braised Veal Cheeks with bone marrow flan and smoked polenta and Absinthe Macaroons for dessert.

Guests raved over the offerings from Julian Serrano’s eponymous ARIA restaurant, including Bomba, a spicy meatball made with Veal & Pork tenderloin; Rabo de Toro, created with Oxtail, Iberian pork and creamy mashed potatoes; and Coca Vegetarian, a Spanish Pizza with aioli, tomato, onion and pisto.

Masa Takayama wowed the crowd with his incredible Sushi Canape made with truffles, Tuna Toro Caviar and Oyster Shooters soaked in cucumber cilantro vinaigrette.

Champagne glasses were filled with 2004 Moet & Chamdon, 2004 Veuve Cliquot Rose and 2004 Dom Perignon. Guests could also try a selection of ARIA’s signature cocktails, including “A Vegas Sunset,” mixed with Grey Goose Cherry Noir, house made grenadine and orange, or a Martini created with Bombay Sapphire, Noilly Prat Dry Vermouth and house orange bitters.

FOOD & WINE All-Star Weekend festivities continue today with Burger Bash at MGM Grand’s Pool, Syrah that Will Change Your Life at Jasmine in Bellagio, Far Niente Dinner with Michael Mina at Bellagio’s Grand Patio and Six-Course Bliss with Joël Robuchon at his eponymous MGM Grand restaurant. The event concludes tomorrow with an incredible brunch at Jasmine, hosted by Bellagio’s vast array of Asian Chefs.

Joel Robuchon






Photo Credit: Red Carpet Photos – Brenton Ho, MGM Resorts International
Event Photos – Al Powers, MGM Resorts International