Opening Act

As created by Andrew Pollard and served at Noir Bar, $12

At the recent Domaine de Canton Bartender of the Year competition, held in the French West Indies on St. Martin, Andrew Pollard presented the best cocktail of the entire event—in the very first round. Although his Opening Act—a tangy ginger-tonic aperitif—impressed the panel, which included Canton owner John Cooper himself, the acclaimed Pure Management Group mixologist didn’t walk away with the $10,000 grand prize. He did, however, earn second place, and he has since been named Canton’s Las Vegas brand ambassador and Bartender of the Month.

  • 2 ounces Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur
  • ½ ounce Campari
  • ½ ounce fresh lime juice
  • 4-6 fresh mint leaves, extra for garnish
  • tonic water (preferably Hansen’s)
  • caramelized Angostura orange bitters*

Method: Combine the Canton, Campari and lime juice in a mixing glass. Clap mint leaves between your hands to release the essential oils, then add, along with some ice, and shake. Double-strain into a chimney glass over fresh ice, top with tonic water and give it a light stir. Finish with bitters and garnish with a large sprig of fresh mint.

*To caramelize bitters, pour a small amount into an atomizer/mister ($15 at bar supply stores), then, from six inches away, spray three clouds over the flame of a brûlée torch, allowing the caramelized mist to fall over the top of the drink.

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Before I dive into the abyss of superficiality that surrounds the 72 hours of madness known as Memorial Day weekend in Las Vegas, allow me to commemorate here the men and women who have given their lives for our country, and commend those who continue to keep our shores secure. It is important to remember why there’s no work on Monday. Or why the barons of this city’s nightlife import exciting talent. And why Southwest Airlines is booked solid. Though for The Captains of Industry, it simply means our crème loafers are acceptable again, at least until Labor Day.