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Home > CHEF SECRETS > Las Vegas Chef Secrets > Emilio Tiburcio (Secrets Behind the Cocktail)

Emilio Tiburcio

Secrets Behind the Cocktail

    
    Emilio Tiburcio
Mixologist Fusion Mixology Bar

When you're in Las Vegas, "indulge" is the operative word. So, during our most recent trip, we went to the heart of the matter and spoke with our resident mixology expert -- multi-award-winning mixologist, Emilio "Energy" Tiburcio of Fusion Mixology Bar at the Palazzo Resort Hotel Casino -- about how to create the perfect cocktail. We even gave him a test: We challenged him with creating from scratch several custom cocktails for us at a minute's notice . And guess what? He passed with flying colors.

It's no surprise, as Tiburcio won first place in EFFEN® Vodka's "The Art of Design" competition and earned the title of EFFEN® Vodka Mixologist thanks to his Sun Burn, a concoction of vodka, pineapple juice and muddled cactus! The competition spanned Las Vegas, Denver, Chicago and Milwaukee, where premier local mixologists were invited to design cocktails in an Iron Chef-style format. Of course, Tiburcio is no stranger to competition. In fact, he also was the winner of the Amarula Experiment Throw Down, a competition during which he edged out more than 300 competitors in New Orleans' French Quarter, where competitors created three Amarula-based cocktails each: first, their winning cocktail from the semi-final competition; second, a shot; and third, a cocktail using mystery ingredients such as mini Oreo cookies, peanut butter, Dr. Pepper soda and almond extract, among others. (Amarula, for those who don't know, is a South African liqueur made from Marula fruit.) Tiburcio's other accolades include third place in the 42BELOW Cocktail World Cup 2010 Las Vegas and second place in the DonQ Rum Mix Off U.S.B.G., where he competed in the Las Vegas finals. Additionally, Tiburcio has created drinks for XENERGY using its XYIENCE energy drink and is a founding member of the creative force behind ProgressiveBar Las Vegas, a beverage consulting company whose mission is to experiment with new creations, forecast future trends and generally unravel the mystery behind mixed drinks. Cognizant of the environment, ProgressiveBar members use only the finest-quality spirits as their way of giving back to the environment. For example, they use TRU Vodka because for every bottle that's sold, a tree is planted in a rainforest in Central America.

   
     
    
Bella's Garden

Tiburcio currently is a mixologist at Fusion, a Latin-inspired mixology bar with handcrafted cocktails focusing on the Latin American beverage culture in Brazil, Peru and Mexico. Because we couldn't leave without tasting one of his drinks -- or, as it turned out, several -- during our last trip to Vegas we therefore asked him to work his magic. In fact, not only did we try some of his signature cocktails, but we also put him on the spot and asked him to create a few cocktails on the fly. The result was amazing.

TravelsinTaste.com: What drove you to the Fusion at the Palazzo?

Tiburcio: I got to the Palazzo about 10 months ago, when they opened Fusion. Besides working for the biggest hotel and casino in the world, I came here for the opportunity to show how to deliver a really good cocktail. I wanted to share new ways to enjoy a cocktail. In my style, I use everything fresh, organic and innovative. I like to make new flavors and new ideas all the time. I use wasabi and Asian influences a lot. The new one I'm making is a black truffle cocktail. I use a lot of champagnes and tequila together. It's a very different way to create a cocktail.

   
     
      
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