For the Love of the Cocktail is well on the way to building a legacy. Every year since its conception, For the Love of the Cocktail’s attendance numbers have grown and the event has gained much acclaim. It is a continuation of the legacy of Helen David, and supports breast cancer awareness, while doing it with a lot of style.
This year the Las Vegas chapter of the USBG is again a proud partner with For The Love Of Cocktails which now has expanded from one event to a three-day long cocktails-for-charity festival. It brings together minds from all over the world with our own vibrant beverage community, all in support for a vital community program.
Out of the many happenings, one of the most alluring events is the USBG Downtown Bar Crawl and Food Truck Cocktail War. It is sure to delight both casual cocktailians as well as bona fide cocktail nerds with a one-of-a-kind culinary/mixological experience.
It is taking place Thursday, February 11th in Downtown Las Vegas. With leadership from our very own chapter of the United States Bartenders’ Guild, this unparalleled event brings together booze slingers from some of the top bars in the city with Las Vegas-based world class chefs. It will be an all out food truck smackdown equipped with savory sippers, tantalizing tangy tasters and all of the competitors will be sure to bring the goods!
The chefs and mixologists are already strategizing for this culinary feat of strength; I spoke with one of the teams which includes Gina Marinelli of D.O.C.G. and USBG member Julian Luna. Gina, who is a very talented and veteran competitor exclaimed, “I am very excited to participate in this event. My game plan is to stay focused and have a lot of fun with this competition. I believe my experiences in previous competitions will help me settle any nerves and keep me calm. I love cooking on food trucks and enjoy great battles. This keeps me young and on my toes!” Her partner Julian Luna added, “I think our game plan will be to learn about who we are as a people and to play off our individual styles. Of course, hospitality will be a huge focus. We need to make sure we create a show with a warm inviting atmosphere. I won’t call it a preview, but just know that anything we do will catch your eye and cause you to think!”
While cocktails and food pairings are under-utilized in the culinary and beverage world, USBG and BackBar realize this and are again pushing the boundaries regarding the craft of bartending. They realize that the opportunities for flavor proliferation and acceleration are astounding. The use of spice and flavors, compounding together has the potential to bring you to the pinnacle of flavor but if not used correctly can fall flat on their face. Julian Luna added, “I think this event is necessary to revitalize restaurants in general; many are one sided and to win this event you have to showcase a marriage between the two: restaurant and bar; good, good and good drinks!”
For all those who attend, the chefs will be serving samples of their culinary delights paired with the cocktails of the mixologists. The truck as a team will be judged on the pairings and all six teams will be vying for the perfect pairing as well as the Grand Prize of $1500. The three judges will be comprised of front & back of the house and a very special guest. There is also a crowd favorite prize of $500 bucks for the team that can most successfully woo the crowd!
The event will also include a multi-venue bar crawl and drinks made by cocktail god and champion for the cause, Tony Abou-Ganim. The Vegas icon will be preparing Helen David’s famous Tom & Jerry Cocktail! This unique cocktail is a blend of a brandy, spiced rum and holiday spices and is served hot. All proceeds from the Tom & Jerry stand will go directly to the Helen David Relief Fund. Ticket sales proceeds will go to the USBGLV and $5 of every ticket will go directly to the Helen David Relief Fund.
For ticket sales and information, click here.