Set your new year’s party on fire

They say that to get significantly happier you need to be friends with at least one super happy person. Happy to the point where their positivity spills over and splashes all over you, leaving you soaking and giggling. I only know a couple of people like that, but I think they have a secret code to the universal supply of happiness or maybe just have a well-stocked medicine cabinet. I don’t know. But I love them.

Passion is also contagious, and I know several people who will never have to fake it. It hums in them like a nuclear power plant. Take Tony, who is a mixologist in Las Vegas and the mastermind behind several famous cocktails. Several years ago we were doing a special on drinks and needed some good art. He volunteered to come over and mix up some of his concoctions at our kitchen counter, which is nice but not exactly Bellagio. He brought a duffel bag of equipment and ingredients, enough to survive a snowstorm and have a great time. He even brought a special orange peeler. Ever seen a $15 cocktail without a 3-inch rind curl? Right, they don’t exist.

Tony’s passion for his craft runs deep and after talking to him, you want to drop everything and learn to be a better cook just so that your food would make a better pairing with the contents of a glass. And yes, it erases any qualms of conscious about getting trashed because that’s not what it’s called when you are attempting to taste the intricacies of the flavor, taking very small sips and letting your taste buds have a blast.

From him you can hear things like, “”I am working on a drink for liquid brunch and I am infusing Belvedere vodka with chilies and peppers.”

I know you want some. Here’s a little holiday treat courtesy of Tony.



1 oz. Bombay Sapphire Gin

1 oz. Campari

1 oz. Cinzano Rosso Sweet Vermouth

Directions: In an ice filled mixing glass (Martini pitcher), add Bombay Sapphire gin, Campari and Cinzano Rosso. Stir until well blended. Strain into a chilled Cocktail Glass. Garnish with a burnt orange twist.

PS. I just recently finished the giant bottle of vodka he had brought with him that day. It took me several years. May be it’s time to get together again.


About annahuddleston

Business and travel writer based in Las Vegas.
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4 Responses to Set your new year’s party on fire

  1. batonchik says:

    Now i know where that Belvedere bottle in your kitchen came from… it always made me wonder… :)) :)) :))

  2. Monet says:

    Passion and laughter…don’t we need more of both! My sister is one of the most optimistic and happy people that I know…and my dad is a man of passion! I’m a lucky girl…but I wish I had a friend like Tony. This drink sounds so good! Thank you for sharing with me, my friend. I wish you and your family a happy and blessed new year!

  3. Having a friend like Tony will put colors in your life. Lucky you!

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