Every day I wake up to booze … sort of. Waiting in my inbox is my morning blast from Caskers.com. This members-only portal grants you access to small-batch, limited-production and regional liquors—it’s like being handed the keys to the craft-spirit kingdom: hopped whiskey, Malaysian lime gin, Hawaiian rum. Caskers’ advantage is its quick reaction time; the very day the Ultimate Spirits Challenge announced its first 100-point spirit, there was Highland Park 25-Year single-malt Scotch on Caskers, and for less than other sites. Give it a go.
A huge thank you to the Las Vegas bartenders who donated their tips to Just One Shift, an industry-led movement to fund Wine to Water’s worldwide mission to bring potable drinking water to those without. Participating in the inaugural effort, cofounded by author, barman and spirit educator Gaz Regan, was Wendy Verdel-Hodges and Cynthya Halog, who donated $670 from their shift at the Palazzo, and Jason Hughes of the Cosmopolitan, who donated $60.
Nick Palmeri of Henderson’s Gaetano’s Ristorante will host his second four-course bourbon-pairing dinner May 3, this time featuring the Small Batch Bourbon Collection: Baker’s, Knob Creek, Booker’s and Basil Hayden’s. 7 p.m., $90, 361-1661.
2013 is off to a great start for Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas wine director Will Costello, the Far West Regional Winner in February’s national 2013 Best Young Sommelier competition, sponsored by the Société Mondiale du Vin USA. Costello, 30, will compete against eight other regional winners ages 21-35 in the May 4 national finals in Sonoma, California. Costello followed up that win by taking first place in Ruinart Champagne’s fourth annual Sommelier Challenge on April 8 at MOzen Bistro in Mandarin Oriental. Catherine Morel, a sommelier at Sirio in Aria, was the first runner-up.
For more scene stirrings and shake-ups, visit VegasSeven.com/Cocktail-Culture.