Back Bar USA Hosts Fifth Annual “For the Love of Cocktails” Grand Gala in Las Vegas

Back Bar USA Hosts Fifth Annual "For the Love of Cocktails" Grand Gala in Las Vegas
Back Bar USA’s “For the Love of Cocktails” 
celebrated its fifth year of honoring Las Vegas’ cocktail culture last night at the annual event’s grand gala, held at Skyfall Lounge and Rivea on the 64th floor of Delano Las Vegas (Pictured: Dakota Nate, Robiee Ziegler, Jason Bornstein, Hunter Welch and Melissa Talvite – Photo credit: Mona Shield Payne)

Kaitlin White, Tyler Halpin, Tim Haughinberry, Eric Stys, Alex Smith and Marcala Obregon
Kaitlin White, Tyler Halpin, Tim Haughinberry, Eric Stys, Alex Smith and Marcala Obregon at “For The Love of Cocktails”

Photo credit: Mona Shield Payne

Presented in partnership with MGM Resorts International and the United States Bartenders’ Guild, “For the Love of Cocktails” was held from 7-11 p.m., hosting hundreds of attendees buzzing with excitement while sampling the latest cocktails trends. The event showcased specialty cocktails from more than 45 mixologists, each created with a sponsored spirit.

Gillian and Scott Shepherd at "For The Love of Cocktails"
Gillian and Scott Shepherd at “For The Love of Cocktails”

Photo credit: Mona Shield Payne

This year’s lead mixologists were Derick Baumgartner from Lago by Julian Serrano at Bellagio and Derek Crow from Libertine Social at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. Baumgartner’s featured drink was the Shot At The Night, made with Bombay Sapphire gin, Bénédictine, Orange Oleo, orange juice and lemon juice; and Crow served his Sabor Del Amor made with Herradura Silver Tequila, Grand Marnier infusion, Licor 43 and Absinthe, garnished with a dehydrated orange wedge and Moroccan nuts.

Sherice Parish and Michael Rasp at "For The Love of Cocktails"
Sherice Parish and Michael Rasp at “For The Love of Cocktails”

Other featured mixologists included Sarah Delgado-Rith from Rosina at The Venetian Resort-Hotel-Casino; Jair Bustillos at District One Kitchen & Bar; Cesar De La Rosa from Skyfall Lounge at Delano Las Vegas; Gary Schneck from Parlor Lounge at The Mirage Hotel & Casino and Garth Lutsko from Bavette’s Steakhouse and Bar at Park MGM Las Vegas. Other highlights of the evening included gourmet cuisine from Alain Ducasse’s Rivea and live entertainment from The Moonshiners, all set to the backdrop of stunning views of the Las Vegas Strip.

The gala concluded with a check presentation by Back Bar USA to Tony Abou-Ganim’s Helen David Relief Fund, a non-profit organization that assists bartenders affected by breast cancer. “For the Love of Cocktails” has donated the proceeds to the Helen David Relief Fund since its inception, having raised more than $100,000 to date.