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Raising the Bar at the Vegas Bar & Restaurant Expo

While March brings better weather to Las Vegas, it also brings a host of conventions and expos, including one of my personal favorites, the Bar & Restaurant Expo. Passes are available to those only in the food/beverage/hospitality industry, and showcase new and upcoming trends in the restaurant and beverage world.

This year was bigger and better than ever! They continued the World Tea Expo and Japanese Food & Beverage Showcase from the previous year, but also added an Italian Apertivo Showcase, Cocktail Clubhouse, Pizza Zone and Fry Bar, cocktail competition, and an expanded Zero Proof Zone. There really is so much to take in, I recommend you give yourself both days to explore, sip, and taste!

My biggest takeaway from this year's expo is how much the non-alcoholic and mocktail scene is growing. I can say that I tried more of the NA options this year than alcohol, which in a way, made it much easier for me to try more things! Here were some of my favorites that I tried:

-Hive2o: Hard Honey Seltzers and Alcohol Free versions. So light and refreshing with a nice, honey sweetness. The NA ones are just as good as the hard version!

-Mishima Red Shiso Concentrated Cocktail Mixer: a great addition to a cocktail or mocktail. I loved it's deep berry color and sweet, herbaceous flavor.

-Sinensis NA Wine: Inspired by tea, these Australian zero-proof wines tasted very similar to wine but lighter in flavor.

-Seraphim Social Beverage: A NA mixer in Cassia and Cacao flavors. The cassia was my favorite and reminiscent of hibiscus.

-Amoretti Beverage Infusion syrups: There were so many flavors and options available! I loved the creative flavors that could lend well to cocktails, mocktails, coffee or tea drinks.

There were plenty of spirits on my list of favorites too! I noticed that ready-to-drink premade cocktails, as well as batched or dehydrated cocktail kits were also a big thing. It takes the guesswork out for those unfamiliar with creating cocktails, and the ease of a pour-and-go mixed drink is perfect for parties, camping, or enjoying while on vacation.

-Uncle Nearest Whiskey: Always a favorite of mine, their Single Barrel is incredibly smooth. They also offered samples of their core lineup as a standalone pour, or in a batched cocktail.

-Takara Sake: I loved their Hana Lychee Sake, so floral and sweet. Then when mixed with their dry MIO Sparkling Sake created a beautiful and simple drink.

-Middle West Spirits: I'm always pleasantly surprised by their unique take on whiskey finishes and how they continue to push the envelope.

-Amaro Lucano Limoncello: A perfect tart-sweet natural lemon flavor perfect for a spritz!

I also made sure to snack my way through the expo! I'm loving all the food options the show floor had this year. The Pizza Zone and Fry Bar were a nice addition and included slices of gourmet pizza and crispy french fries with a variety of different dipping sauces which were fun to try. I also enjoyed bites in the Japan Showcase including ramen noodle soup, octopus, and tempura shrimp.

I had a blast exploring the show and trying some new things. I know I didn't even get to see it all. If you're in the F&B industry and haven't been, start planning your trip for next year!

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04 abr

You sure covered a lot! Great post!

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