Tony Abou-Ganim

2010 marked a milestone for Las Vegas-based bartending legend Tony Abou-Ganim. His first book, The Modern Mixologist (Agate Surrey), finally debuted, the culmination of 10 years spent amassing the right 60 cocktails, the best stories and the essential techniques. “It’s not a novel,” Milagro brand ambassador Gaston Martinez says. “It tells a story of where he’s been, what he’s done, where he comes from, the style of cocktail he likes to do, and puts a finish to a project he’s been trying to do for a long time.” At Steve Wynn’s invitation, Abou-Ganim left San Francisco’s Starlight Room (bringing his signature Cable Car cocktail with him) to open Bellagio in 1998. There he effectively ushered in the modern era of bartending in Las Vegas by establishing then-unheard-of benchmarks of consistency, quality and technique through his property-wide cocktail program. Although he eventually moved on to consulting, Abou-Ganim’s Bellagio Cocktail—created for Elaine Wynn—is still available there, as is the modern classic, the Cable Car, the recipe for which can be found in his book. Abou-Ganim writes, “May the inspiration for your next favorite cocktail be found within.”