Posted on May 2nd, 2014
The Mint Julep has been the official drink for the Kentucky Derby for nearly a century. How did this drink consisting of mint, sugar, and bourbon achieve such fame?
History of the Julep
“Julep” comes from the Persian for “rose water”. It describes a sweet drink used to mask the taste of medicine. Truth be told, mint juleps were the original energizing morning drink! Horse trainers who woke up early would prepare the drink to help face the day. Eventually, the julep started showing up at horse races. In 1938, Churchill Downs started charging twenty-five cents once they noticed the mint julep glasses disappearing. Those cups are the leading Kentucky Derby collectible. It is tradition for the Kentucky Governor to use the mint julep sterling silver glass to toast the winning Derby owner.
KentuckyDerby.com explains that during the Kentucky Derby, 120,000 mint juleps are served over the two-day period. That’s eighty tons of shaved ice and 2,200 pounds of fresh mint! Since 2006, one has the option of purchasing a custom-made mint julep served in a gold-plated cup with a silver straw for $1,000! Proceeds from this extra-premium drink go to care for retired race horses.
Mint Julep Recipe
Here at Oscar’s you can find a similar, more moderately priced, premium drink. If you are watching The Derby at the Plaza Hotel and Casino, come into Oscar’s Steakhouse for a perfectly muddled mint julep using Woodford Reserve, the official bourbon of The Kentucky Derby! We also enjoy the mint julep mixed with Blanton’s Bourbon because of the festive bottle pictured below. Or make your own with the following recipe:
10 Mint Leaves
¼ oz Simple Syrup
2 oz Woodford Reserve or Blanton’s Bourbon
¼ oz Soda Water
1 Lime Wedge
Muddle mint leaves with simple syrup. Pour over crushed ice. Add bourbon. Add sprits of soda water. Mix well. Garnish with mint leaf and lime wedge. Cheers!
Posted on March 21st, 2014
The bright lights of Downtown Las Vegas and the Strip plus the fast-paced and high-energy gambling at any number of casinos. That’s Las Vegas in a nutshell — or is it? Sure, you’ve heard of these attractions, and you’re certainly going to hit them up the next time you’re in the city, but is there more to Las Vegas than meets the eye? Of course! Las Vegas is a city of surprises. Whether its your first time visiting Sin City or you’re a Vegas veteran, these beyond the strip attractions will give you a well-rounded vacation you’ll remember forever.
Ethel M. Chocolate Factory Tour and Botanical Cactus Gardens
What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, so that means you’re free to overindulge. The Ethel M. Chocolate Factory promises fun, education, and a free sample. You’ll see how chocolate is made and learn about Ethel M., the genius behind the gourmet morsels. Once you’ve toured the factory, you can head next door for a completely unique experience – a visit to the Botanical Cactus Gardens. Displaying over 300 types of cacti, these botanical gardens are truly engaging, offering three acres of prickly pears, yuccas, aloe, and more. This excursion is perfect for parties of all ages, but it’s a great way for families to spend part of the day doing something together – and it’s free!
Flightlinez Bootleg Canyon
Have you ever dreamed of soaring above all your troubles? At Flightlinez Bootleg Canyon, you can do just that – at 60 miles per hour. The moderately priced attraction ($159 for your three-hour tour) is perfect for those who love nature and adventure. Not only will you have the time of your life flying down four ziplines, but you’ll also get a captivating view of the historic and beautiful Bootleg Canyon. It’s one of the most breathtaking sights in the Las Vegas area. You might even glimpse some horn sheep or lizards as you zip through the Red Mountains. This experience is perfect for teens and adults with a sense of adventure or who are ready to get one! However, it’s not a great choice for those with health conditions, and there are strict weight limits.
American Muscle Car Driving Experience
Have you ever wanted to drive a really cool, really fast car? If so, Las Vegas is your town. The American Muscle Car Driving Experience provides you with a really awesome car – a 2014 Dodge Challenger SRT8, 2013 Corvette Z06, or 2014 Camero ZL1 – and lets you drive it really fast through 30 miles of Red Rock Canyon. While this is obviously an attraction for adults, almost everyone loves shiny cars, so it could be a fun opportunity for your whole group, provided no one is afraid of high speeds! One person can drive for $299, a passenger is $99, and an additional driver costs $150.
Las Vegas has always been considered one of the world’s top tourist destinations, but there’s more to do than gamble and take in shows. Make your experience unique with one of these destinations.
Posted on February 21st, 2014
Congratulations to Oscar’s Beef Booze and Broads’ bartender Keith Baker for winning the Mob Museum’s first annual “Boss of the Bars” contest! This event, hosted by and at the Mob Museum, located in downtown Las Vegas and is just steps away from Fremont Street Las Vegas. The “Boss of the Bars” contest marks the date that Prohibition was repealed in the United States.
Keith is originally from Memphis, Tennessee and has been bartending since he was 21 years old. Keith says he has entered several contests online but has never actually won a contest before winning the “Boss of the Bars” contest.
Keith’s winning drink is called the “21st Hour”. The clever name served two purposes. First, cocktail parties on December 5th celebrating the end of prohibition, traditionally had hostesses who planned to be “kickin’ it” (really busy) at 9pm (the 21st hour), the second reason is, the Mob Museum was hosting a cocktail party at 9pm on December 5th, when the contest was set to start, so he figured it paid great homage to the occasion. Keith was kind enough to share the winning recipe with us!
The recipe is:
1 oz. Bathtub Gin made with Tito’s Vodka
1.5 oz. Yellow Chartreuse
.5 oz. Artisanal Sweet Vermouth
.25 Horsford’s Acid Phosphate
1 dash Handcrafted Bitters Solution
1 stick of cinnamon
Combine all ingredients in a mixing vessel and stir 20-30 times with no ice.
Pour over crushed ice in an old fashioned glass.
The cinnamon stick will be your garnish.
For the “Boss of the Bars” contest Keith went all out. He actually made his own vermouth and bitters from scratch. He used a “bathtub” gin he made himself with Tito’s Vodka infusing it with juniper, other spices and aromatics. Back in the days of prohibition Keith says he would have used grain alcohol, moonshine, juniper extract or other cheap ingredients and diluted them with water. That process was of course illegal back in the day and, in Nevada, it still is.
Keith used Horsford’s Acid Phosphate as well in his cocktail. It is a re-creation by the Extinct Chemical Company of a real product that was in heavy use at the end of the 1800′s all the way up until the 1950′s when the soda fountain died out and drinking sodas on the go became the norm. Back then you would belly up to the counter and ask for a Cherry Phosphate; sweetened cherry syrup, acid phosphate, and soda water or similar beverage or, of course, a Coke. This ingredient would have been very familiar to bartenders of the time and easy to get without suspicion.
Come in to Oscar’s Beef, Booze and Broad’s, the best steakhouse downtown Las Vegas and order yourself the 21st Hour from award winning “Boss of the Bar” Bartender Keith Baker!
Posted on January 23rd, 2014
When creating Royal Rewards we really considered what our current, new and seasoned players would want in a player’s club. Just about every casino in Las Vegas has some sort of player’s club so we made sure Royal Rewards would stand out in the sea of all the others. Here is just some of what makes Plaza’s player’s club so special.
New Member Bonuses
We wanted new members to feel the advantage of joining Royal Rewards right away so we added some special offers to get you off to a great start.
- $100 rebate on your first 24 hours of play. So sign up and start playing! If you play at least $100 we will give it back to you as a credit to play more the next two days ($50 rebate the next two days).
- All new players’ card members get a free entry in our $1,000 Royal Reels Daily Slot Tournament! There are ten winners each and every day.
All Member Perks
We did not want anyone to miss out on anything! So, we have perks that anyone, and we do mean anyone, can take advantage of just for being a member!
- Got a players club card from another casino? Whether you are completely new to the Plaza Royal Rewards program or not, you can match your tiers to any player’s club card you currently have.
- Anyone that has begun to earn points on their Royal Rewards card will receive special discounts, and other offers through email, and mailers.
- Fastest tier advancement of all the Las Vegas downtown casinos! Yep! That’s right, each tier has a lower limit of points that you need to earn to advance to a higher tier. So before you know it, you’ll be an Ace.
- Your Royal Rewards card is not only good at the Plaza but, at the Las Vegas Club. So stay in the Plaza casino or stroll out on Fremont Street and still reap the rewards.
Higher Tiers get the Royal Treatment
The more you play, the more you earn. We really like to reward our top Royal Reward tiers for their loyalty.
- Deeper cash discounts comes with higher tiers. Use you points to earn comps at the hotel and several of our in house eateries and if you pay cash enjoy discounts based on your Royal Rewards tier.
- Not only do you receive free parking in our self-parking garage, on the third floor there are reserved spots for King and Ace player tiers near the elevators. (Shhhh! Don’t tell anyone but you can bypass the parking garage elevators all together on the third floor, by going straight through to the left of the elevators.)
- King and Ace Tiers also enjoy later check out times, free weekly slot tournament entries, invites to special events and more.
- The higher your tier, the more free slot play you can earn!
- Local King and Ace tiers have free access to our pool, and fitness room.
- Every year all of our Ace tier members receive a FREE cruise!
It is hard to mention every advantage there is to being a Royal Rewards member. There are just so many! Come on in to Plaza and sign up for free and see everything that Royal Rewards has to offer.
Posted on January 18th, 2014
If you are lucky enough to fly into Las Vegas at night, you’ll see the bright neon lights all over the city. We think Las Vegas is an amazing city and when you stay at the Plaza Hotel and Casino, you’ll get some of the best that this city has to offer for a very affordable price and don’t just take our word for it!
There are lots of choices in Sin City for places to lay your tired head after a night of eating, drinking and gaming, which is why we go out of our way to make the Plaza one of the most comfortable hotel rooms in Las Vegas. Our rooms were renovated less than two years ago. They may have a discounted price, but they do not have a discounted look! The rooms are the largest of all the downtown Las Vegas hotels. Our rooms have soft comfortable beds; the bathrooms have gorgeous raised sink vanities and fluffy absorbent towels. There are also small special touches like bottled water, wireless internet access, cable TV and more. You’ll agree with Goldilocks when she says, “This bed is just right,” when you sleep like a baby with us at the Plaza.
“I’ll bet on anything that moves.”- Oscar Goodman
Are you like Oscar Goodman, Las Vegas former mayor and owner of Oscar’s-Beef, Booze and Broads? We bet you are! The Plaza Casino has it all; table games, slots, poker, sports book, tournaments and more! While we have all types of ways to game, our casino is large and spacious. So you can enjoy the excitement of playing without constantly bumping into fellow players. Also, the Plaza has the only Bingo hall in downtown! Whether you enjoy the electronic cards or paper and daubers, the Plaza has you covered.
“I love Las Vegas. I like that Las Vegas has everything. Everything and anything you want to do, you can do in Las Vegas.”- Drew Carey
We agree with Drew. You can practically do anything in Las Vegas that you want! It does help to be staying in a prime location though. The Plaza is located at the top of the downtown Fremont Experience where just about anything you would want to do is within walking distance. Just steps away there is everything from restaurants, casinos, bars, shopping and beautiful Vegas show girls! Not only is the Plaza in a great location, we also have some of the best resturants in downtown located right on property. Try tender juicy steaks at Oscar’s, a dragon roll at Island Sushi and Grill Express, pizza at Pop Up Pizza or for a quick bite, check out our food court. We have food for every taste and budget!
“Man, I really like Vegas.”- Elvis Presley
Thank you Elvis, thank you very much! Las Vegas loves you right back! Isn’t it time to book your trip to the Plaza? We are looking forward to having you here!