Downtown Grand Hotel & Casino held a cocktail contest among its property bartenders on Monday, Oct. 27, to commemorate its first anniversary. The winning cocktail, named The Purple Gang and created by S+O Restaurant bartender Brian Hannis, will be served at all property bars through the end of November.
Hannis’ win earned him a spot in the upcoming Second Annual Boss of the Bars cocktail competition, to be held at The Mob Museum’s Repeal Day Party on Friday, Dec. 5.
A concoction combining bourbon with fresh blackberries, basil leaves, vanilla simple syrup and freshly squeezed lemon, The Purple Gang was named for the infamous Detroit Mob faction active beginning in the early 20th century. Known hijackers and bootleggers, the gang effectively self-destructed due to infighting by the 1930s. Entrants in the Boss of the Bars contest are encouraged to create cocktails inspired by Prohibition-era libations.
The cocktail was evaluated on three primary criteria: taste, mixology (specifically, how well the ingredients enhanced one another and combined to create a unique libation); and appearance. Judges were Rob Kachelriess, news producer, Fox 5 Vegas; Anthony Bender, director, casino marketing, Downtown Grand; Hilary Billings, Las Vegas insider and red carpet hostess, USA Today; and Jonathan Ullman, executive director, The Mob Museum.
Downtown Grand Hotel & Casino is offering a Repeal Day Hotel Package for Friday, December 5, including one room night for two, two admission tickets to the Repeal Day 2014 party at The Mob Museum, two signature cocktails and, the next day, two soothing bowls of Hangover Oxtail Soup—made from a tried-and-true traditional hangover-curing recipe—at S+O Restaurant. To allow guests to sleep their revelry off the next morning, the package also includes a 2 p.m. checkout. The price of the package is $189 for a Deluxe Room with two general admission tickets and $249 for a Premium Room and two VIP tickets. Repeal Day packages at Downtown Grand may be reserved by visiting http://www.downtowngrand.com/packages/repeal-day.