The Tasting Panel magazine

August 2018

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Page 34 of 132

34  /  the tasting panel  /  august 2018 L as Vegas' Palms Casino Resort remained open during the first phase of its $620-million, property-wide renovation, which brings multiple exciting new bars, clubs, and restaurants to the Sin City institution. Recently opened steakhouse Scotch 80 Prime, named for the city's tony Scotch 80s neighborhood, maintains a whiskey focus along with a com- prehensive cocktail program. Scotch 80 joins two new nightlife concepts at the Palms: Camden Cocktail Lounge and Apex Social Club, both of which opened over Memorial Day weekend (read more on these venues on page 108). Scotch 80 Prime's formidable whiskey selection rests in the hands of Cody Fredrickson, who joins Station Casinos as Scotch Master following his tenure as Bar Manager at Sparrow + Wolf in Chinatown and Lead Bartender at Bound by Salvatore Calabrese in The Cromwell. "Scotch Master is a role that is living and breathing at this point; it's constantly evolving," Fredrickson says. "As Scotch 80 Prime's whiskey sommelier and specialist, I'm working nightly on the floor, assisting with food pairings, suggestions. and tableside cart service. My main objective is to have a whiskey program that is approachable to everyone. This isn't just your granddaddy's spirit anymore, and I have a dram for anyone who walks in the door." Looking beyond the Palms, Bacardi USA scored big when Senior Portfolio Ambassador–National Accounts Chris Hopkins (formerly of Wynn Resorts and The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas) lured Mike Doyle away from Breakthru Beverage Nevada, where Doyle had been the Beverage Development Manager and Brown-Forman Whiskey Specialist. In his new role as National Accounts Portfolio Ambassador, Doyle supports Bacardi's on-premises team with innovative cocktail and menu development, as well as brand/category education. "These accounts range anywhere from Soho House and Hilton Worldwide to Buffalo Wild Wings," Doyle explains. Beyond having the privilege of working with his favorite spirit portfolio, Doyle says he especially cherishes his team interactions. "To be involved in a brainstorming session with people like [Chris] Hopkins, Heidi Hinkle Vargas, and [Bacardi Ambassador] Gary Hayward, to name a few, is mind-boggling to me," he adds. "The only thing that surpasses everyone's work ethic and knowledge is their willingness to keep pushing themselves to be better." Another new member of the Bacardi USA team, Julian Luna, has jumped out from behind the bar to become Bacardi's man on the ground in Las Vegas as a Brand Activation Manager. Formerly Lead Bartender at Vesper in The Cosmopolitan, Luna now creates cocktail menus for numerous bars in addition to hosting events citywide, including Bombay Sapphire's Most Imaginative Bartender competition. "I think this role gives back to our community because it brings a lot of education and support to the industry," Luna says. "I'm looking forward to using this position to help our up-and-coming bartenders get ready for cocktail competitions." Shakers on the Move Cody Fredrickson recently joined Station Casino as Scotch Master at Scotch 80 Prime. Mike Doyle is the new National Accounts Portfolio Ambassador for Bacardi USA. MEET THE "BOYS OF SUMMER" STEPPING UP AND MAKING WAVES ACROSS LAS VEGAS by Xania V. Woodman SIN CITY Sips

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