Keep It Simple, Syrup

Photo by Jon Estrada

Photo by Jon Estrada

The punk-inspired bartender uniforms at Gordon Ramsay Pub in Caesars Palace are, in a word, cheeky. But they rather suit a place that has beer-keg walls and the U.K.’s iconic red phone-booths as a backbar. It also suits the bartenders, who are themselves a lively bunch. Barman Adam O’Donnell brought that playful spirit with him as a talisman going into the final round of the second annual Bols Best Bartender competition staged by Vegas Seven and Bols Bartending Academy last month at BLVD Cocktail Company in the Linq.

His final-round entry cocktail, Rye So Serious, is everything that’s right about mixology right now: simple in its construction, balanced in flavor and finish, and an original that is greater than the sum of its parts. “The Templeton rye and Bols elderflower create a great combination of big, bold spice and light, fragrant sweetness to engage a wider audience than if they were used separately,” O’Donnell says. He has to do this sort of self-evaluation on the regular as he and his Pub co-tenders have a cocktail competition among themselves nearly every Wednesday night. “The guys I work with all help create an environment where we push each other, root for one another and make work a more positive place to be.”

Rye So Serious
Created by Adam O’Donnell of Gordon Ramsay Pub at Caesars Palace

In a cocktail shaker, combine 1½ ounces Templeton rye, ½ ounce Bols elderflower liqueur, ½ ounce freshly squeezed lime juice and ½ ounce simple syrup. Add ice, cover, shake vigorously for 10 seconds and strain into a 9-ounce rocks glass over fresh ice. Top with a splash of soda water. Sink a lime wheel into the glass and garnish with an edible flower.

Watch the bartenders compete for the title of Best Bartender.


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