The Guide to Male Lifestyle in Las Vegas

The Good Old Fashioned: Kyle Mahan, Panevino

June 5, 2013

Welcome to the first installment of The Good Old Fashioned, a series about my quest as a former bartender to find mixologists throughout Las Vegas who do more than just make drinks, they keep the art of cocktails alive. The Old Fashioned is a simple cocktail consisting of whiskey, rye, or (my preference) scotch on request, poured over a muddled sugar cube and 2-3 dashes of bitters, garnished with cherry and orange rind. When the ingredients are mixed in perfect balance, no finer tasting cocktail exists. But when a bartender has no idea what he or she is doing or merely dumps the ingredients in a glass, it becomes an undrinkable disaster where your only satisfaction will be seeing it spill into the sink.

One Las Vegas bartender who knows what he is doing is Kyle Mahan at Panevino Ristorante, 246 Via Antonio Ave., located south of The Strip and a little over a mile east of Town Square. [ Site | Facebook | Twitter ]. Kyle learned mixology by experience, working for ten years in Nashville, Huntsville and then Alabama before moving here. He says that living in the south gave him the opportunity to work frequently with bourbon and whiskey, learning to mix in order to bring out the flavors of the various popular brands.

Kyle talks to his customers to determine their preferences in order to mix a drink best suited to the person’s palate, starting with his or her liquor of choice. Though Kyle mixes best with whiskey and scotch, he once worked with a customer’s tastes until he came up with a new dirty martini variation with Sriracha that he now calls a “Dirty Dennis.”

Kyle’s Tips For a Good Old Fashioned

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It all starts with the whiskey, and using fresh fruit. Don’t make it too sweet; that is the biggest mistake.

Kyle’s Best Cocktail

The Jack’s Sazerac is Kyle’s own original recipe, featuring Jack Daniel’s Honey Whiskey and absinthe blended with bitters, lemon and orange, producing a tangy drink that is both robust and smooth.

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Kyle’s Favorite Menu Item at Panevino

Kyle recommends everything on the happy hour menu, which offers a variety of premium meats, cheeses and seafood for moderate prices in addition to many drink specials, between 4:00pm to 7:00pm, Monday through Friday.

(From the happy hour menu I recommend the “Triple Selfish,” featuring coconut shrimp with curry, seared scallops in saffron, and a crab cake. The calamari & shrimp is another instant-order item for me, served lightly battered and fried tempura style.)

A vegetarian himself, Kyle strongly recommends everyone try Panevino’s new vegan menu, featuring a meatless three course dinner combo and many other tasty, animal-friendly options. Kyle decided to go meat-free for both dietary and spiritual reasons, especially after another bartender showed him several animal rights videos. To maintain muscle mass with his diet he’s been supplementing with hemp protein powder, but plans to transition to pea protein because he prefers the taste.

Kyle is usually manning the bar in Panevino’s beautiful bar & lounge area most weekdays, and he and the rest of the staff look forward to your visit.

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5 Responses to “The Good Old Fashioned: Kyle Mahan, Panevino”

  1. Hannah

    I love Panevino! And the Old Fashioned is probably the coolest drink to have in hand. Always a good idea 🙂

  2. Stacy

    I had an opportunity to experience Kyle’s mixology skills first hand when I was visiting my daughter in Las Vegas. I requested a drink that I was introduced to in San Francisco and really enjoyed – a cable car (it reminds of a dreamsicle). I learned through Kyle that there are different variations of this drink. He talked to me about them and mixed a few different ones for me to try. It’s amazing how different (and good) a drink can taste when someone who knows their spirits and how they will interact with other contents is doing the mixing!

    I recommend that you stop by to see Kyle at Panevino’s (and experience his mixology skills) the next time you are in Las Vegas.

    • Dan

      Thanks for commenting, Stacy. I love Cable Cars but I’ve never had one of Kyle’s, I’ll ask him to make us one next time we’re in.

  3. LUANNE

    Is he still there? We are coming April 8-13 and love cocktails /wine. Would really like to try this place!

    • Dan

      Hi Luanne, if Kyle’s not there then try Double Helix, at Town Square, on Sunset just west of Panevino. He does some evenings/nights there. 😀

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