Insert Coin(s) Serves Up a Signature Cocktail Competition to Complete the New 2013 Menu
By Debbie Hall, contributing writer
Photography by Joe Buda
The Informer Media Group
Insert Coin(s) Videolounge Gamebar in the Fremont East District of Downtown Las Vegas held a friendly competition between four of its top bartenders Dec. 27 with the winning cocktail to be featured on its new 2013 signature cocktail menu.
Hosted by The Modern Mixologist, Tony Abou-Ganim, the judges included Susan Stapleton from Eater Vegas, Xania Woodman from Vegas SEVEN, Deanna Rilling from Vegas SEVEN, Sabrina Chapman from The Las Vegas Weekly, and Jolene Mannina from The Life is Beautiful Festival.
“The event was put on tonight to introduce Insert Coin(s) to a demographic that enjoys a more sophisticated feel and show that the bar as just not a Jack and Coke bar,” said Bree Delano, Program/Entertainment Director at Insert Coin(s). “It is a very youthful, very nostalgic, very fun venue and we have neighbors of some pretty amazing mixology bars. While we are not a mixology bar, we want people to understand we have very talented, creative bartenders and we draw a very interesting community of spirit enthusiasts who come here as customers on a regular basis and we want everyone to know we have a broad cocktail menu.”
Bartenders competing included Zach Saucier with experience in Rain, Ghostbar, Palms Pool, and Moon Nightclub. Sara Wisniewski has been in the bar and nightlife industry since early 2007. Jason Ryan Smith, a Las Vegas native, has been tending bar for ten years and his drink making creativity comes from both culinary training and curious/experimental nature. Justin Alferez also has ten years bartending experience, and started creating and developing cocktails while at V Bar as bar manager, and was also featured in the Venetian Hotel Magazine in 2009 for the cocktail menu he created.
Click here to view slide show of the competition
Each bartender showcased their talents behind the bar by creating two cocktails, one each featuring spirit sponsors Hennessy Black Label and Stoli Elite. The grading scale was a possible 15 points with five points for appearance, five points for taste and five points for creativity. The second round winners included Wisniewski for her Lady Killer cocktail made with Stoli Elite and Alferez for Need for Speed made with Hennessy Black. The two bartenders were allowed five minutes to create their best drink for Abu-Ganim to taste and decide the ultimate winner. Alferez’s Need for Speed won the title and will be a featured cocktail in 2013.
Insert Coin(s) features a combination of classic arcades, lounge service, console video gaming and world-renowned DJs. Insert Coin(s) offers more than 60 refurbished arcade cabinets including Tron, Frogger, Donkey Kong and Joust, 40 video game consoles, ranging from Atari 2600 to Super Nintendo to Xbox 360 and 44 large HDTVs. Insert Coin(s) Videolounge Gamebar is located at 512 Fremont Street. For additional information, visit www.InsertCoinsLV.com, facebook.com/insertcoinslv or twitter.com/insertcoinslv.