The Modern Mixologist
New York City
Abou-Ganim grew up in the bar business, learning the craft from his cousin Helen David at the Brass Rail Bar in Port Huron, Michigan. His initial introduction to the business was steeped in the tradition of classic cocktails and professional barmanship, teaching him the necessary steps to become a leader in the beverage industry. After graduating from college, Abou-Ganim further developed an appreciation for a hand-crafted cocktail using only the freshest ingredients while working at Jack Slick’s Balboa Café and then during the opening of “Harry Denton’s,” a legendary hangout in Fog City. In 1993 he moved to New York City and took a position as the opening bartender at Po, Mario Batali’s first restaurant.
Tony later returned to San Francisco to open Harry Denton’s Starlight Room atop the Sir Francis Drake Hotel and it was here that he developed his first specialty cocktail menu featuring several of his original cocktail recipes including the Sunsplash, Starlight and his most famous of them all, the Cable Car.
In 1998, Abou-Ganim was selected by Steve Wynn to develop the cocktail program at Bellagio Las Vegas. He not only implemented his philosophy of bartending and drink preparation, stressing both quality ingredients and proper technique, but also created several original cocktails for the resorts 22 bars. In 2002, he won the Bacardi Martini World Grand Prix – one of only two Americans to ever win this title.
In 2014, Abou-Ganim teamed up with Caesars Palace to develop the cocktail program at The Lobby Bar. There he collaborated on the menu development as well as assisted with training bar staff, stressing both quality ingredients and proper technique. In 2015, he began working with Levy Restaurants to design signature craft cocktails in the lounges and beverage destinations throughout both Oracle Arena in Oakland, and most recently T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
As one of the National Ambassadors of the U.S. Bartenders Guild, www.usbg.org, and Associate Member of the Museum of the American Cocktail, www.museumoftheamericancocktail.org, Abou-Ganim continues to educate about the history and lore of cocktails. He also operates his own beverage consulting firm specializing in bar staff training, product education and cocktail development.
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Partner at Plumpjack Group; Forgery and Wildhawk in San Francisco and National Ambassador for Partida Tequila
Bartender and owner of Elixir
Co-founder, The 86 Company
Director of mixology & spirits education for Southern Wine & Spirits of New York and co-founder of the New York Distilling Company
Bartender and managing partner of Please Don’t Tell (PDT)
Owner of Flatiron Lounge, Clover Club, and Leyenda
Founder of cocktail consultancy Willy Shine Inc. and Brand Meister for Jägermeister
Cocktail author and historian
Brooklyn, New York
Bartender and co-owner of Employees Only and Macao Trading Co. and co-founder of The 86 Company