The Guide to Male Lifestyle in Las Vegas

The Good Old Fashioned: Kelly Matso, Brio

June 28, 2013

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Welcome to another edition of “The Good Old Fashioned,” where we feature Las Vegas bartenders who keep alive the practice of crafting this classic cocktail. This week we focus on Kelly Nasto, bartender at Brio [Site | Facebook | Twitter ] in Tivoli Village, 420 South Rampart in Summerlin, who makes a tasty and excellent Old Fashioned.

Kelly grew up in the food business, as her family previously owned an Italian restaurant in Utica, NY, and that is where she learned bartending. Her father taught her the basics of mixology. In fact, the Old Fashioned was the very first drink he taught her to make. Upon selling the family business, Kelly and her entire clan relocated to Las Vegas, “just like the Corleones.”

Kelly insists that a Good Old Fashioned requires premium liquor, and that is what defines the taste and experience of drinking it. She muddles the fruit with a sugar packet and a few shakes of bitters in the glass, and spends a good amount of time crushing the orange and cherry to expel their juices and also activate the orange rind.

Kelly’s Tips for a Good Old Fashioned

Kelly's Old Fashioned

Shake just a little bitters in it, but not too much; that will ruin an Old Fashioned right away.

Kelly’s Best Cocktail

Kelly considers herself more of an expert at making martinis. She shakes them hard, and a few extra times to break up the ice, leaving tiny crystals floating on the surface. “Extra cold, that’s the key,” she says.

Kelly’s Favorite Item at Brio

Kelly recommends everyone try the Carpaccio at Brio. Consisting of thinly sliced uncooked beef layered across the plate’s surface and topped with capers, field greens in a light vinaigrette and mustard aioli, this dish makes for a robust and certainly manly alternative to a salad. “The presentation and taste are excellent,” Kelly says. Smaller versions of the Carpaccio are available at the bar as well, in case you would just like to give it a try.

Kelly works a flexible schedule at the Tivoli Brio, but you can find her there several evenings per week, Monday through Saturday, mostly during happy hour, mixing $5 wine and drink specials including several of her best martinis, and serving items from the $3.95 Tasters bar menu.

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