Tony Abou-Ganim

Mixologist

Las Vegas

Tony Abou-Ganim is the author of the books Vodka Distilled: The Modern Mixologist on Vodka and Vodka Cocktails and The Modern Mixologist: Contemporary Classic Cocktails. You may recognize Abou-Ganim from Iron Chef America, where he tag-teamed with Mario Batali to clinch the 2007 competition. Often a guest on the Fine Living Network program Raising the Bar: America's Best Bar Chefs, he grew up in the bar business, learning the craft from his cousin Helen David at the Brass Rail Bar in Port Huron, Mich. Though he got an appreciation for a well-made cocktail using the freshest ingredients at Jack Slick's Balboa Café in San Francisco. In 1990, he helped open Harry Denton's, a legendary Fog City hangout. Then in 1993, he moved to New York City, where he worked with Batali at Po in the West Village. He returned to San Francisco in 1995 to open Harry Denton's Starlight Room atop the Sir Francis Drake Hotel. It was here that Abou-Ganim crafted his first specialty drink menu featuring several of his original recipes, including the Cable Car and Starlight. Steve Wynn handpicked the mixologist to create the cocktail program at his Bellagio resort in 1998. Today, the Las Vegas resident operates his own beverage consulting firm and serves as the national ambassador of the United States Bartenders' Guild.