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September 1, 2014

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David Herlong: The absinthe-minded barman

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Bill Hughes

David Herlong

Hometown: Fredonia, NY

Age: 35

Profession: Creative Mixologist, N9NE Group

Profile: You’ll most often find him in the N9NE Steakhouse service well—aka the Engine Room—but when Herlong isn’t pumping out 1,500-2,000 cocktails per day, he’s creating specialty cocktails for N9NE Group holiday parties and events. For Hugh Hefner’s 83rd birthday, Herlong served up the Bunny Tail, an absinthe cocktail served club-style with a tuft of cotton candy.

Why I Do What I Do: “We’re in the middle of an exciting cocktail revolution right now, and I have the opportunity to make original cocktails, something people have never had before, something that people will remember as they would a meal or a show ... I take a lot of pride in creating liquid memories for people.”

Personal Tidbit: Working at N9NE Steakhouse has transformed Herlong into an avid collector of sports memorabilia. President Obama signed a baseball for him at a recent dinner held at George Maloof’s house. Though the President did not drink at dinner, Herlong came prepared with Macallan 25 for him.

What I’m drinking: Sazeracs, Downtown on Fremont East

Latest Accomplishment: Herlong contributed the 133 absinthe recipes featured in The Little Green Book of Absinthe, published February 2 by Penguin Press. The 175-page, hard-cover book was compiled by Paul Nathan and features vignettes by San Francisco absinthe connoisseur Paul Owens.

Motto: “Glory is fleeting but obscurity is forever,” –Napoleon Bonaparte

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