USBG Las Vegas
New York-born José Salinas has graced the Guild for over seven years. Like so many of us, he loves being part of the USBG for the sense of community and camaraderie it brings, but when asked he will jokingly add, “of course, we can’t forget the Christmas party!” José has been behind the stick for a multitude of years and has worked for numerous Strip celebrity chefs, downtown venues and even did a stint at Herbs & Rye. Now he has expanded his focus to event & cocktail photography. We spoke about how he relates bartending and photography and he exclaimed, “Well, I’ve always had a passion for art, and I have an almost insatiable appetite to create. So whether it’s with the art of the cocktail, hospitality or photography, I get to enjoy all of them and now get to bring them together with my camera.” His approach to bartending is a combination of making the register “purr like a kitten” and getting the guest to return. To be truthful, José is masterful at it; while his cocktails are impeccable, his ability to delight guests with a story or a joke are on the next level. When he is not “behind the lens” or at Zuma at The Cosmopolitan, he is with his lovely wife and beautiful child, Von-Juez. On a rare night off, you may encounter him at Echo & Rig, Sand Dollar or downtown at Freedom Beat enjoying some live music and a cerveza.
*In order to showcase his love the industry and the USBG José will offer any USBG member a photo shoot of themselves or their cocktails for $100. The shoot can help expand your professional portfolio and/or social media presence. For samples of his work, go to @ElBartographer on Instagram or email email@example.com.
2 oz Tanqueray
1 oz Lime Juice
.75 oz Thyme Simple Syrup
Fill with Soda
Combine ingredients (w/o soda) in a shaker with ice, shake & strain over fresh ice, fill with soda and garnish with lime wheels & mint.
“My love for history is what attracted me towards classic cocktails and the stories behind them. I’m a bit of a history nerd.”
~ Christopher Bellofato
Our Bartenders’ Guild is a microcosm of our fair city and has a great representation from all over the country. Among the many transplants from elsewhere, you can find a good number of locals, born and bred in Las Vegas. One of them is Christopher Bellofato, who joined our chapter last December and has worked at Vegas industry favorites such as Taco y Taco and Golden Tiki. Christopher loves the Guild for the multiple learning opportunities, the camaraderie and the people. You can find him savoring and sipping around town at places like Frankie’s, Sand Dollar and Oak & Ivy. Or go see him at Champagne’s for his delicious cocktail, the Hanging Garden.
The Hanging Garden
1.5 oz Ketel One
.75 oz Fresh OJ
.5 oz Lime
.5 oz Aperol
.5 oz Clove, Apricot, Benedictine Syrup
3 dashes of Cardamom Bitters
Add ingredients into a mixing glass, add ice, shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
About the USBG
The United States Bartenders’ Guild is comprised of spirit professionals dedicated to the art of the craft of Bartending. What was founded in 1948 has now spread all over the US with Las Vegas being the largest chapter in the country. Through events, charity, and education they support and enhance the great American living-art that is Bartending.
For information on how to join, please go to www.usbg.org.
November 7th-Sipsmith Gin Event
November 8th-Liquid Alchemist
November 14th-Agave Seminar & Whiskey Authority