Where cocktail competitions are concerned, Las Vegas is no slouch. Routinely stern contenders in the most important and highest-profile competitions of the year, Las Vegas bartenders present the complete package: visually stunning cocktails of intriguing inspiration, balanced and delicious enough to warrant a second round. And when things don’t exactly go their way, the next time around, watch out! They come back swinging.
Such was the case for Rx Boiler Room lead bartender/bar manager Nathan Greene, who last year took second in the Tales on Tap Competition, sponsored by Drambuie at Tales of the Cocktail. He returned to New Orleans last month with something to prove, and did just that when he took first place and $5,000 for his Nuttin’ Honey recipe, now gracing Rx Boiler Room’s iPad cocktail menu. The stirred combination of honey-sweet Drambuie, nutty oloroso sherry and walnut bitters, and spicy Bulleit rye is relatively reserved for a restaurant with such a showplace menu. But it says a lot about Greene, who is still a relatively new bartender. “It says I love depth: in people, in food, in cocktails.”
As served at Rx Boiler Room in Mandalay Place, $14
In a mixing glass filled with quality ice, combine 2 ounces Bulleit rye, 1 ounce Drambuie, 5/8 ounce Dry Sack 15-Year olorosso sherry and 2 dashes Fee Brothers black walnut bitters. Stir to chill and strain into a chilled 6-ounce Nick & Nora cocktail glass (try TheBostonShaker.com). Express the oils of an orange swath over the drink, then drop the swath in the glass.