Fusion Mixology Bar at Palazzo Las Vegas

  • 01 of 09

    Mix it up with a Mixologist at Fusion Mixology Bar at Palazzo Las Vegas

    Photo By Zeke Quezada

    Have you ever sat with a cocktail menu in your hand and realized that you really had no clue what they were trying to do with your alcohol. Listen, I was always the guy who only needed some bourbon and ice in a paper cup and I would be fine. All of a sudden I need infused vodka and pureed Lima beans just to make a drink special?

    Head to any bar in Las Vegas and you can get anything from a bartender with so much skill that they can practically read your mind and make you the perfect drink or the bartender that hands you an $18 mess of syrup and cheap vodka. You have to love Las Vegas.

    That is the beauty of Fusion Mixology Bar at Palazzo Las Vegas. Head to the bar and look at their menu and they'll have quite a few intriguing drinks but have a conversation with the mixologist and they'll have ​YOUR drink. Yes, the mixologist will talk to you and not because she's hoping you'll overlook her drink making skills and drop a huge tip. She'll talk to you and find out exactly where you're coming from. She wants to know what makes you tick. What it is that you like? When she finds that, she makes you a drink that blows your mind.

    I met Wendy Hodges at a restaurant while I indulged in too much wine and too much food. As our evening progressed her passion for the art of mixing a drink soon became all we were discussing. I was captivated with her discussion of technique and ingredients. Having a conversation with Mixologist Wendy Hodges was no different than discussing food preparation with "Chef of the Century" Joel Robuchon.

    The conversation turned to what I really enjoyed and I mentioned my love affair with kale. (Yes, I adore kale right now. Thanks to the Daily Kitchen and Wellness Bar for my addiction) A kale cocktail would combine my love for cocktails and my love for the bitter, leafy green that has a special place in my everyday life.

    The challenge to make a kale drink was put forth and the next few pages are an example of what I was treated to at Fusion Mixology Bar at the Palazzo Las Vegas. Wendy Hodges was very kind to lend her very own narrative of exactly what is going on with each cocktail.

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  • 02 of 09

    Pomadoro Asiago at Fusion Mixology Bar in the Palazzo Las Vegas

    Photo By Zeke Quezada

    This cocktail is such a surprise that I would love to see this on a menu at one of the many restaurants at the Palazzo Las Vegas. This is a cocktail that doubles as an appetizer. It shouldn't be this good but it is and when you taste that hint of cheese and tomato you'll be craving dinner.

    Wendy's Mixology Magic:
    This creation was inspired by an old favorite of mine as a kid...tomato soup and grilled cheese! The cocktail has a pureed tomato and basil soup as its' base, as well as Chopin, lemon, and a pinch of salt. The key to completing this cocktail is the Asiago foam. The epsuma was made with an asiago "milk", egg whites, foam stabilizer, and an isi whip container. Most people aren't going to take the time to make such a foam, but that's what I'm here for. I enjoy going above and beyond to both please and impress my guests at Fusion Mixology Bar.

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  • 03 of 09

    The Conductor's Stick at Fusion Mixology Bar in the Palazzo Las Vegas

    Photo By Zeke Quezada

    Let's say you just had a massage and you are craving a drink. Yes, that happens in Las Vegas all the time. The conductor's stick is a crisp and fresh approach to consuming your daily serving of vegetables. You will get a bit of that flavor that screams summer barbecue before you are soothed with that comfortable feeling of a relaxed afternoon.

    Wendy's Mixology Magic:
    The Conductor's Stick. It's made with Chopin Vodka...(my personal favorite). The cocktail was created originally for a challenge put forth by Xania Woodman. She was looking for a celery cocktail. Since my claim to fame is that I believe if you can eat it, I can make a drink with it, I welcomed such a challenge. washing the glass with a smokey single malt scotch added to the earthy and savory components in this cocktail. Topping it with celery bitters brought the smokiness of the scotch and the freshness of the celery together to make a complete and balanced cocktail.

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  • 04 of 09

    Pisco Sour well, really the Spirit Amber

    Photo By Zeke Quezada

    I can only describe this drink as the feeling I get when my wife kisses my neck. It slowly sends these very delectable chills down my spine. It transports me to a spot in my imagination that is a combination of sublime and mischievous. Two of these and I could possibly be convinced to do just about anything.

    Wendy's Mixology Magic:
    The Spirit in Amber. It is a twist on a pisco sour. I came in first place in a competition put on by Macchu Pisco and the Peruvian Government. The competition was in 7 cities across the United States. I won for Las Vegas and was flown to Lima, Peru to compete nationally where I placed second. In my version of one of my favorite cocktails, the Pisco Sour, I stayed true to the 3/1/1/1 ratio of ingredients that the Peruvians prefer. I simply did a "maserado" or infusion of the pisco and syrup. I infused the pisco with apricots and the simple syrup with chilis and rosemary. To top the cocktail I spray peach bitters and draw a whispy design with angustura bitters for the garnish.

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  • 05 of 09

    The Day Spa at Fusion Mixology Bar in the Palazzo Las Vegas

    Photo By Zeke Quezada

    If I could order a pitcher of the Day Spa I would find a spot at the pool with a full class and my feet in the cool water at the Palazzo Las Vegas pool. The truth is it should be offered as an amenity. I would pay for the ability to sit with this drink for hours at a time while my feet dangled into the shallow end of the pool. Simply refreshing, relaxing and the easiest way to recharge.

    Wendy's Mixology Magic:
    The Dayspa. A beautiful Hendricks gin based cocktail that gives everything to remind you of relaxing in a spa. Fresh-squeezed lemon juice, muddled cucumber, and lavender spice bitters make this a very refreshing cocktail.

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  • 06 of 09

    Kale Green Giant at Fusion Mixology Bar in the Palazzo Las Vegas

    Photo By Zeke Quezada

    I've have eaten a lot of kale in the last few months. I'm addicted. I'm enchanted with this leafy green. (my doctor must be proud)I'll juice it. I'll bake it. I'll eat it raw. The truth is if it was socially acceptable I would roll around on the carpet with kale much like a cat would do with catnip. Yes, I have a problem but I'm okay with it. When I met Mixologist Wendy Hodges I challenged her to create a kale cocktail and she nailed it. I watched her experiment. I took notes. I stared at her until she became uncomfortable with my glare. When she handed me this drink it was like a dream. It was as if someone actually cared what I wanted in a drink. Amazing!

    Now, I'm not sure she'll have kale when you show up but with the amount of ingredients they have at Fusion Mixology Bar at Palazzo I'm pretty sure you'll be excited.

    Wendy's Mixology Magic:
    The Kale Green Giant! This cocktail is another one of my challenges. It was created just for you Zeke! You put forth a challenge to me to create you a cocktail with kale and I took it very seriously. After you issued the challenge I went home and juiced a head of kale with fresh ginger and an apple to balance it out and cut the bitterness of the kale. The result was a cocktail that was both savory and sweet with everything you would expect from fresh juice. (I don't remember everything we put in it, but I do recall washing the glass with Laphroaig) LOL.

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  • 07 of 09

    Bloody Mary at Fusion Mixology Bar in the Palazzo Las Vegas

    Photo By Zeke Quezada

    This is a MUST DO if you are in Las Vegas. This Bloody Mary will allow me to do far more the night before because this is the reason to wake up with a slight hangover in Las Vegas. Yes, you can find a few Bloody Mary carts on the Las Vegas strip but I'm positive you will not find anther Bloody Mary that has this complex flavor and the ability to reset your body for another day of Vegas action.

    Wendy's Mixology Magic:
    Fusion Bloody Mary! The hand made 12 ingredient mix at our bar is my brain child. It is the result of 19 years in the biz. The thing that makes this bloody mary so special is the pepper and celery infused Tru Organic vodka. I infuse the vodka with jalepeno, anaheim, serrano, various bell peppers and celery. The mix alone is phenomenal, but when you add the infused vodka you take it to a whole other level. I like to equate it to having plain tomato juice or V8! Another thing I like to mention about the mix is that while it has a wonderful heat, it has NO Tabasco. Also, if you are fortunate enough to show up for bloody's on "tank" day you get strips of the "marinated" peppers as part of your garnish.

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  • 08 of 09

    Fusion Mixology Bar in the Palazzo Las Vegas

    Photo By Zeke Quezada

    If you happen to be at the bar on "Tank Day" you get to sample some of the magic. (Or so I'm told, I have not actually been fortunate enough to be there when the new stuff is brought in.) Wendy's Mixology Magic:
    infusion tanks. We currently have 13 different infusions on the bar. While 6 are on the menu full time, we love to change things up seasonally with the rest of them. The bartenders at Fusion are best known for hand crafting cocktails per individual guest. Sit down with us and let us show you what we do best! After a series of simple ​questions, we can create a cocktail just for you that is sure to please. I personally love when I see the look on my guests face after tasting one of my cocktails and they say they have never had anything like it! If you want a classic cocktail or something extreme, we aim to please.Fusion Mixology Bar

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  • 09 of 09

    Fusion Mixology at Palazzo Las Vegas

    Photo By Zeke Quezada

    While you might not meet Wendy at the bar you will be able to meet one of the Mixologist who will make you a drink that will make your toes tingle. Let them know what you like and you'll be surprised at what they come up with. Pop some money into the video poker machine and spend an afternoon talking drinks with a few people who really know what they are doing.

    Wendy's Mixology Magic:
    The most important thing we do at Fusion is make mixology fun. It doesn't have to be scary or pretentious. We were put on the casino floor to make great fresh cocktails accessible to all. Not just drink geeks and foodies! My personal approach to making cocktails is the K.I.S.S method...Keep It Simple Stupid! Fresh ingredients and quality spirits make for great drinks!

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