Seven reasons to lift up a glass

1. The Maloof family apparently has fond memories of Mama’s red velvet cake—so much so, they’re backing a flavored, four-times-distilled vodka that proposes to give you a taste of her cooking. Launching September in Las Vegas, Zing Red Velvet vodka will retail for about $25, and comes in a hexagonal bottle that lights up. Taste the Maloof-iness.

2. Las Vegas will play host to a sort of mini-Tales of the Cocktail on Oct. 8, when Precision International presents bartenders, industry members and committed cocktailians with the inaugural Beverage Blowout, a day of spirits seminars, cocktail competitions, a pool party, downtown pub crawl and a gala dinner complete with a roast of “The Modern Mixologist,” Tony Abou-Ganim.

3. Over at Delmonico Steakhouse in the Venetian, barman Max Solano has a treat for you whiskey lovers: The fourth edition of his Book of Whisky is out, and with 435 whiskies, it’s a hefty tome. His four cocktail menus (including the secret one!) have all been overhauled, and 17 flights have been added to the program, as well as ice spheres and 2-inch-by-2-inch cubes. Gentlemen, welcome to the rock!

4. If you feel guilty hauling the weekend’s damage in spent wine and beer bottles to the curb every other week, you’re not alone. Green-minded businesses are having the newly founded company Bottles & Wood come pick up their glass, which is then up-cycled into functional glassware. That bachelor party’s bottle of Grey Goose? Now a tumbler glass. That bucket of Coronitas? Now a round of shot glasses. And decomissioned wine barrels become your next party platter! [Vegas Seven parent company WENDOH Media is a partner in Bottles & Wood.]

5. Big news from Big Dog’s Brewing Co.: As of Aug. 23, select Big Dog’s brews (including Dirty Dog IPA and Red Hydrant ale!) are available in 22-ounce bottles! While the program rolls out to local restaurants and bars, you can get ’em at Whole Foods locations and a number of 7-Eleven and Lee’s Discount Liquor stores.

6. Tickets are on sale now for the inaugural Downtown Brew Festival, Oct. 20 at the Clark County Amphitheater. The event will feature more than 40 breweries presenting more than 150 beers, plus live music by Tribal Seeds. The event runs 2-6 p.m., but with your VIP ticket ($42) you get in an hour early—totally worth it, in my humble opinion. $32 general admission,

7. And finally, Sage in Aria and bars in the Cosmopolitan will likely be among the first 50 venues in Las Vegas to offer Templeton Rye when it becomes available Sept. 1. Templeton was Al Capone’s whiskey of choice, and he was secretly a distributor, giving San Francisco, New York and Chicago a taste for “the Good Stuff.” Too bad Las Vegas never got in on that action! A historical wrong that will shortly be made right.

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Las Vegas Claims Its Steak

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After more than 10,000 years of domestication, you wouldn’t think there’s much left to discover about a cow’s anatomy. At the Protein Innovation Summit in April, a team of meat scientists announced the “discovery” of the so-called Vegas Strip Steak. The new cut ( was actually developed by Tony Mata, principal of Mata & Associates, and Oklahoma State University, which is trademarking the name, applying for a patent on the process for carving the cut from the carcass and overseeing its licensing.