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9 items found for ""

  • How @sipwithme_lv came to be

    Hey everyone (or the four of you that read this, haha)! It's been a while since I wrote a blog on here. I haven't been particularly motivated to, but I figured a question I get asked pretty regularly is how I started this whole thing, so that's where I'm going! When I moved to Vegas a little over five years ago, I had checked out Instagram for all the cool places to hit out here. There was a TON of great foodie pages, but I couldn't really find anything about the bars, breweries, and other fun spots to drink. I thought, "well maybe I should make my own page!" Then Covid happened and literally everything got shut down for months. When things opened back up, it was even more so of a passion to help promote and support local businesses, which is how @sipwithme_lv came to be! Since I was already going to a bunch of different bars and lounges, I figured I might as well snap a few shots of the drinks while I was there. My first post was 12/6/2020, and I've been posting nearly every day since. It's crazy to look back at the old posts and photos and see how BAD they are... yikes! Not that my super old i-Phone did me any justice, but my photography skills have improved greatly over the years! Cigars started trickling in on my page about a month later. My husband had smoked cigars for years, not regularly, but it was something he'd do when we were still tourists visiting Vegas. Once we moved here, we'd go to cigar lounges more often, and soon enough I wanted my own cigar. I started with flavored cigars (ACID Blondie was a favorite, Tatiana's and Drew Estate Java were also in my rotation). After a few months, I got tired of the same sweet, artificial flavors, and craved some REAL flavor! I just recently started a separate page @smokewithme_lv which is just focused on cigar content since it's become such a big part of my life. I'm currently working towards becoming a Cigar Sommelier. Home bartending became an addition to my page in June 2021, with my cocktail Reels starting a year later in 2022. Bartending has always been a passion of mine, and I went to bartending school back in California many years ago. After I became certified, my husband and I ran our own mobile bartending business as a side hustle for a while. We did weddings, business functions, parties, etc., and we had a blast! We eventually got out of it because we didn't have the time, storage, or transportation to build the business, but the passion for making drinks was still in me, so this has been a nice way to experiment and mix up some unique drinks! Las Vegas always remains the focus, LV is in the handle after all. I sprinkle in some of my shots of the city here and there, and I continue to support local small businesses, and drag my butt to the Strip when necessary, HA! I do love what I've created for myself, and I never would have thought that my idea to start a silly IG page would have come this far. I've met a ton of great people, made lots of friends, went to some incredible events, and have worked with so many amazing companies. It's really just the start, and I can't wait to see where it goes from here. Cheers!

  • Vegas Strip Hotels That Have It All (Part 1)

    Although my website and IG primarily focuses on drinks, a big part of it is Las Vegas too! I've stayed at quite a few hotels as a tourist and local (and will talk more about my favorite rooms and stays another time), but this blog will be about my top hotels and casinos that have the most going for it in terms of bars, lounges, cigar spots, and restaurants. You can literally spend your entire vacation in these resorts without ever leaving the hotel. Cosmopolitan. While this hotel is smack dab in the center of the Strip, there's so many great things in the Cosmo that it's location doesn't even really play a factor. If you've seen my Bar & Lounges page, Cosmo is home to multiple speakeasies. Ghost Donkey is one of my favorites, when the timing is right anyway. It can get packed in the small space hidden inside the food hall, but if you go during the weekday or outside of peak hours, it's a great stop for some tequila or mezcal cocktails. The Barbershop is a speakeasy with, you guessed it, a barbershop that you must enter through to access the bar. Once inside, the space is huge and home to a large stage for live music. The Ski Lodge is a dimly lit, cozy, cabin-like speakeasy adjoined to restaurant Superfrico. The Chandelier bar is without a doubt, the focal point of the hotel's interior. Dripping with crystals, it's a stunning bar with multiple levels with a different feel and experience on each. The first floor is the most casual and allows cigar smoking. The second and third levels take you inside the chandelier and offer their own unique menus and a more luxurious vibe. Another great lounge is Vesper bar. It's a sexy, 007-style lounge on the casino floor with a secret menu (just ask the bartender about it, and they'll give you a UV light to find it). If you're looking for a break from the booze, there is also a Juice Standard, a local pressed juice shop that makes amazing, fresh juices. Cosmopolitan's food hall is home to some tasty quick bites (Hattie B's, Lardo to name a few), and Wicked Spoon is one of the few (and best) buffets left in Vegas. Superfrico has to be my favorite restaurant at Cosmo. It has a fun atmosphere with different performers moving throughout the restaurant while you dine. Their chicken parmesan is incredible! If you're not so keen on being a part of the performer's acts, I recommend sitting at the bar. I've also enjoyed my visits to Jaleo by Jose Andres, a Spanish tapas restaurant with flavorful small plates and some of the best Gin & Tonics I've had in Vegas. They also have Secret Pizza, a somewhat hidden New York pizza-by-the-slice spot which is perfect for late-night munchies or taking up to your room. While they have plenty more food options, those are the only that I've tried. If you have a favorite bar and/or restaurant inside the Cosmopolitan that I didn't list, let me know so I can give it a try!

  • 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!

  • Springtime Events in Vegas

    With better weather comes more Las Vegas events! Here's a quick peek at some of the upcoming Spring festivities heading to Vegas. 3/16/24- New Vista Brew's Best Craft Beer Festival Time: 2:00pm-6:00pm Location: The Lawn at Downtown Summerlin Cost: $50-$60 3/19/24-3/21/24- FoodieLand Night Market Time: 3:00pm-10:00pm Location: Las Vegas Motor Speedway Cost: $4-$6 for entry 3/23/24- Wine Walk Wish benefiting Make-A-Wish Southern Nevada Time: 6:00pm-9:00pm Location: Tivoli Village Summerlin Cost: $60-$225 3/23/24-3/24/24- Pirate Fest LV Time: 10:00am-7:00pm Location: Craig Ranch Park Cost: $20-$30 3/23/24-3/24/24- Tacos and Tamales Festival Time: 10:00am-10:00pm Location: Desert Breeze Park Cost: $35-$75 3/30/24- Boulder City Beerfest Time: 1:00pm-7:00pm Location: Wilbur Square Park Cost: $35-$60 4/6/24- Great Vegas Festival of Beer Time: 2:00pm-7:00pm Location: Downtown Las Vegas Cost: $50-$60 4/13/24-4/14/24- Las Vegas Highland Games Time: 9:00am-5:00pm Location: Craig Ranch Park Cost: $15-$110 4/17/24-4/19/24- The Nth Universal Whisky Experience Time: 6:30pm Location: Wynn Las Vegas Cost: starting at $595

  • Getting Smoky at TPE

    Have you ever been to TPE before? It's a yearly tradeshow held at the Las Vegas Convention Center, and stands for Total Product Expo (used to be Tobacco Products Expo back in the day). It focuses on all things tobacco, cigar, and vape related, and is only open to those in the industry. This was my first year attending, and I was honestly impressed with how much there was to see. It does lean heavier on the vape and alternative products over cigars, but there was still a decent cigar presence with a good mix of smaller, boutique brands as well as big names. It is a three-day tradeshow, and I just made it for one day (the last day on Feb. 2nd), but that was enough time for me to make it through all the cigar vendors. If you really want to check everything out though, I would give yourself two days. They have the whole expo floor as well as an upstairs level to explore. The last day was a quieter time to go, and gives you an opportunity to take a little more time and talk to the owners and reps from the various companies. Smoking is allowed, which is definitely a plus! I walked out with quite a few cigars to try out, and I'm looking forward to lighting them up and reviewing them. Some of the newer brands (to me) that I'm excited to try include Founders Cigar Co., Blackbird Cigar Co., Artista Cigars, and Warfighter Tobacco. Other great brands that were there included: ZR, SOMM, La Sirena, La Palina, Drew Estate, Kristoff, Plasencia, J. London, Sinistro, Montecristo, Oscar Valladares, Perdomo, JM's, and Espinosa to name a few. It was definitely a fun time seeing a lot of friends, and meeting some new people in the industry. I can't wait to see what's to come next year!

  • Keeper's Heart Irish Coffee

    I was recently gifted an Irish Coffee Kit from Keeper's Heart and asked to create my own version of an Irish Coffee for Instagram. The whiskey itself is a unique blend of three whiskies: an Irish grain whiskey, Irish pot still whiskey, and American rye whiskey. It's aged 4 years and 86 proof, but an easy drinker and good every day pour. I get oak, vanilla, and a bright fruity, citrusy profile, layered with those rye baking spices on the finish. It's great on it's own, but can work really well in a cocktail (make sure to check out my previous ones in my Mixology section). I thought a fun spin on it would be to somehow incorporate an Irish stout into the drink, so I made an Irish Stout simple syrup. The syrup only requires two ingredients: Guinness and sugar. It really brought an added layer of depth and a nice malty sweetness to the Irish Coffee. Irish Stout Syrup: 1 12 oz bottle of Guinness 1.5 cups sugar Combine both ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir gently until sugar dissolves (you won't be able to see it, but you can feel it with your spoon). Allow it to come to a simmer and continue stirring occasionally for 30 minutes. Remove from heat and pour into a mason jar. Syrup will thicken as it cools. Once cooled, keep in the refrigerator. This syrup works great in cocktails or even over ice cream! I finished it off with a homemade whiskey-infused whipped cream. This allowed the whiskey to remain the star of the show and incorporate those oak, vanilla, and spiced notes in a decadent, creamy layer on top. Keeper's Heart Whiskey Whipped Cream: 1 cup cold heavy whipping cream 1 oz Keeper's Heart whiskey 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 6 tablespoons powdered sugar Combine all ingredients in a mixer and mix on medium speed. Once incorporated, increase speed slightly and beat until stiff peaks form (be careful not to overmix). To make your Keeper's Coffee add 1.5 oz of Keeper's Heart Irish + American Whiskey to your Irish coffee mug, followed by .75 oz Stout Syrup, then top with hot coffee and stir. Finish with whiskey whipped cream and shaved chocolate on top. This is definitely my kind of coffee, and I hope you enjoy it too. Cheers!

  • Brew Festivus Beer Fest

    Festivus for the rest of us! Well if that includes endless beer pours and lots of dogs, count me IN! Brew Festivus is a Las Vegas beer fest put on by the Nevada Craft Brewers Association in December. The weather was a little chilly outside (according to Vegas standards), but The Lawn at Downtown Summerlin was still the perfect venue for the fest. Festive sweaters were encouraged, and a few firepits placed throughout the lawn kept you nice and cozy. The fest featured exclusively Nevada breweries: Crafthaus, Able Baker, Astronomy, HUDL, Great Basin, Big Dog's, and the Depot to name a few. Of the dozens of breweries, each offered at least two different beers to sample. I was really impressed by the range in styles offered. From Pilsners, to IPAs, to Sours, and Imperial Stouts, there was something to please every palate. They also had a few vendor booths selling everything from clothing to jewelry, candles, and cookies, as well as a couple food trucks. The VIP ticket offered early entry, a special tasting glass, giant pretzel, and a can of Crafthaus's Hopswell non-alcoholic sparkling hop water. Proceeds benefited the Nevada Craft Brewers Association as well as Michael's Angel Paws, a local non-profit that provides training to service and therapy dogs for those who cannot afford it. The Nevada craft beer scene has been growing over the last few years, and the quality and passion for the craft is evident in every sip. This was really a fun beer fest that celebrated the local scene and community. The holidays are a great time to visit Vegas with all the festive events and decorations throughout the valley. If you're a beer lover, make sure you add Brew Festivus to your holiday itinerary!

  • WhiskyFest Las Vegas

    I recently had the pleasure of attending my second year of WhiskyFest in Las Vegas! This annual event is put on by Whisky Advocate magazine, and is held at Resorts World on the Strip. I've been to quite a few whisky "fests" over the years, and this is always one of the best in Las Vegas. Their VIP ticket provides access to rare and exclusive pours one hour prior to the start of the actual event. If you're a big whisky buff, this extra hour is something you don't want to miss! Here were my overall favorite pours of the night: Widow Jane Lucky 13 Blackened x Rabbit Hole Cask Strength Uncle Nearest Single Barrel Frey Ranch Smoked Single Malt Compass Box Art & Decadence Seven Seals Age of Scorpio Bulleit Bourbon 10 Year Middle West Ported Pumpernickle Rye Traverse City Whiskey Co Port Barrel Finish One thing that sets this fest apart from others is their food selection. They have a wide variety of food options served buffet-style throughout the night that's included with the cost of the ticket. Pizza, dim sum, sliders, meat carved to order, and tiramisu were some of the delectable choices we snacked on throughout the evening. Here are my top 10 tips and helpful hints if you're planning to go next year: Don't eat a big meal beforehand! You don't want to show up hungry, but just make sure you save room for some of the food while you're there. Everything was actually pretty tasty, you're paying for it with your ticket, and it helps you pace yourself throughout the night. The dress code is business casual, so look nice but no need to get too fancy! Make sure you're comfortable because you'll be doing plenty of walking since there's over 60 brands and multiple booths to try. It is held in December which tends to be colder, but the event is inside with endless whisky so you'll stay warm! Look up the whisky list ahead of time so you can plan for the ones you don't want to miss. This is especially important if you're going for the VIP hour. Sometimes their stock is limited, so get it while you can! There's no way you could try EVERYTHING at the fest. In order for me to enjoy my time without drinking too much, I avoid things I've tried before. Once you get your pour it's polite to step away to let the next fest-goer get theirs. There are a lot of people and lines do tend to form at certain booths, so if there is a line, be respectful and let others get their turn. Come back to schmooze with the reps or try other offerings when there isn't a line. Stay hydrated!! This is one of the most important! There are multiple water stations throughout the fest, so make sure you drink plenty of water throughout the night. There are spirits besides whisky, but not many. I did see a few booths with gin, rum and tequila, but it is primarily just a whisky event. You receive a WhiskyFest Glencairn when you arrive. They do have a booth set up towards the front with WhiskyFest merchandise, where they also sell lanyards to hold your glass for a few bucks. This was a nice hands-free option while we enjoyed food and between drinks. I highly recommend getting a room at Resorts World or taking a ride share to and from the fest due to the high volume of liquor you'll be consuming! You can sign up for Resorts World's free Genting Rewards program which offers discounted room rates as well as free parking for their members. My biggest takeaway is to pace yourself and have fun! It's 3 hours of non-stop drinking (4 with VIP tickets), so you have plenty of time to take your time. You can get drunk very easily, so eat food, drink water, be choosy with your pours, talk with people and reps. It's not a race, so enjoy yourself!

  • Welcome to my website!

    For those of you seeing this, welcome to my website and first blog post! This has been a long time coming... Seven months in the making to be exact. I wanted to create a space to build my brand, as well as to backlog some of my photos for if, or when, my Instagram is no longer. Living in a popular tourist destination, I also get asked frequently of places I would recommend. I thought having my own "guide" to Sin City would be easier then rambling on in DMs! I am by NO means a technologically-savvy person, so literally creating my website from scratch has been quite a feat. In hindsight, I probably should have hired a professional! However, I made it, and it's all my own; every photo, every recipe, every word, and that feels pretty damn good. I am open to feedback and edits, so please feel free to let me know if you see something that should be fixed or added! There's still SO many places I need to visit in Vegas, so if your favorite spot isn't featured here, tell me and I can add it to my list. Thank you for visiting, and I hope you found something new or inspiring here. Cheers!

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