The third time will almost certainly be a charm for For the Love of Cocktails, Las Vegas’ burgeoning cocktail week, which though it began as a one-night affair, will now be celebrated citywide over three days and nights, February 10-12 (ForTheLoveOfCocktails.com).
The Back Bar USA event wastes no time, diving in Wednesday night with Meet the Masters of Mixology, a cocktail reception at Bound bar in the Cromwell hosted by Salvatore Calabrese, Tony Abou-Ganim and Francesco Lafranconi (6-9 p.m.). The beverages continue to flow at Meet the Masters of Wine, a five-course pairing affair at Giada, also in the Cromwell (8-10 p.m., $250 for both events).
On Thursday, keep your charitable efforts local with a Downtown Bar Crawl that will take you to up to 17 spots for cocktails and bites beginning at 5 p.m. at Park on Fremont. Then, at 9 p.m., witness the debut of the Food Truck Cocktail War at Gold Spike. Six competing bartenders have been paired with chefs and assigned a food truck home base. Each team will serve samples of its cocktail and paired dish, both made from produce by sponsor Get Fresh; guests vote on the best truck for the $500 People’s Choice Award, and judges will select the $1,500 Grand Prize winner. To keep you warm while you wait for the results to be tallied, Tony Abou-Ganim will be on hand, preparing his cousin Helen’s famous hot Tom & Jerry cocktail. Tickets are $50 for both events.
Friday’s third annual For the Love of Cocktail Gala at SkyFall Lounge will be one for the record books. The evening begins with a pre-party at the Franklin cocktail lounge in the Delano. Then, head up to the 64th floor, where you can sample 25 original cocktails—representing everything from sweet, savory and spicy to smoky, bitter and bubbly—prepared by bartenders from all over the city as well as bites from the kitchen at Rivea by Alain Ducasse (7 p.m., $250 VIP; 8 p.m., $150 general admission).
Proceeds from the entire event benefit the Helen David Relief Fund for bartenders affected by cancer. But, adds co-founder Abou-Ganim, “above and beyond everything, it’s about celebrating the cocktail craft here in Las Vegas.”