Monday Night in Vegas… Not So Bad, Actually!

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My night tonight was the best so far. No strip clubs, no chicken wings, just a big group of real cocktail enthusiasts and three amazing locations.

I started my night at the Wynn hotel in a private suite fifty floors above the city, drinking Sagatiba Pura. It’s a brand-new cachaça here in the States, and I was honored to have received an invite to be one of the first to try it.

It’s a multi-distilled product, so the taste is clean and smooth, without the fire you’ll find in traditional cachaças.


I met up with Sean and Lisa Bigley, and we toured the innovative cocktail menu together. They introduced me to Jacques Bezuidenhout, a mixologist for Partida tequila and his girlfriend Gabrielle, a server at the fabulous Bourbon and Branch in San Francisco.


Once the party was over and the bar was closed, the five of us headed out for tapas at Firefly for some much-needed nourishment.


It was then decided that we all should head over to Sean’s bar, the Fontana at the Bellagio (see last night’s drunken entry) to hassle Darren West for Frenet Branca and Calvados Sidecars.

We were treated to an up-close view of the fountain show from the little patio off the back of Fontana.

Things took a six-degrees-of-separation turn when a couple of kids showed up to meet Sean to talk about the mixology competition tomorrow. The aspiring mixology contestant, named Zole Andahazy, lives in my hometown of Monterey, California and tends bar at the Bernardus Lodge – home of some of my favorite wines. Since I grew up about 5 miles from where they live now, and was there for dinner with my parents not a month ago, we had plenty to talk about.

The six-degree-ism came into play when Zole and I discovered that we had both tended bar at Marché Restaurant in Eugene. Small world, huh?

As the night wore on, Dale DeGroff stopped by to say hello, and I finally had the opportunity to thank him in person for the kind support he lent last December for Repeal Day. I’m going to listen to his keynote address tomorrow morning before the bar show, so look for some coverage of the whole day!

Thanks again for reading, I do appreciate it.

5 Replies to “Monday Night in Vegas… Not So Bad, Actually!”

  • Anonymous says:

    ok so this is pretty fun…
    we will try drinks at the bellagio next month…
    enjoy your day.

  • Sean Bigley says:

    Hi Jeff.

    Well, after a quite intoxicating 4 days I’m finally able to put my fingers on a keyboard again. I’m very happy that we got to meet and become friends this week. Lisa and I had a great time this week with you and I’m glad that we got to hang out together. I’m so glad you got to meet some of the “great ones” (Tony, Dale, Jacques, Julio et.) I’m sure that in the not to distant future it well help Repeal Day become a reality. Look forward to seeing you again soon.

  • John Gakuru says:

    Jeff, great blog. Thanks a lot! I hope you’ll be back up here again tonight!?

  • Wendolyn says:

    Being that I was the bar manager at Marche when Zol was there, I was totally amazed to learn that he was bartending at the time…hmmmm He was a great waiter, and his knowelege of wines was amazing, but his expertise in the bar was limited to deciding on what he would have for his after shift drink. Glad to hear he’s one of the “cool kids” now. I always thought he always had the heart, and soul of a bartender.

  • Dr. Bamboo says:

    I’ve never been to Vegas, but I’ve been dying to go for quite some time now. And now your trip diary is making me itch to check the airfares!

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