Market Overview

Renowned Mixologist Hosts Summit in Tucson, Putting City on the National Cocktail Scene Map


Nov. 16-18, Tucson's Casino Del Sol Resort will become the heart of the spirits industry as mixology genius Tony Abou-Ganim brings one of the nation's newest cocktail events to the premier destination in the Southwest.

A pioneer among bar professionals, and a modern celebrity after two Iron Chef America wins, Abou-Ganim is excited for the opportunity to bring the best industry professionals to Casino Del Sol Resort and introduce their work to connoisseurs and weekend warriors from around the nation. The highlights of the event are a BBQ Bash sponsored by Jim Beam on Friday night, a five-course cocktail dinner hosted by Abou-Ganim at PY Steakhouse on Saturday night, and Speed Rack: the Southwestern leg of the national women's bartender competition that benefits breast cancer research, held on Sunday afternoon.

“I'm thrilled to be hosting the Southwest Spirit Summit in conjunction with so many leaders in the cocktail industry,” said Abou-Ganim. “Casino Del Sol Resort provides us with a beautiful backdrop, and the event has something for those who are fans of the cocktail culture.”

Tucson's cocktail culture is as vibrant as any in the Southwest. This can be attributed to Casino Del Sol Resort's resident mixologist, Aaron DeFeo, who has worked tirelessly to bring Tucson to the forefront of the industry by spearheading at the resort what is now a nationally recognized cocktail program, and also through his work as the President of the Tucson Chapter of the United States Bartenders' Guild. DeFeo is looking forward to having a host of industry professionals over to his place for a drink.

“Hosting this event in Tucson, and specifically at Casino Del Sol Resort, shows the world that we have a sophisticated, fun, diverse food and beverage scene,” DeFeo said.

While the event will introduce hundreds of people from all over the country to the finest drinks, mixologists and distillers in the Southwest, the summit will be giving back as much as attendees are putting down.

A portion of the proceeds from the event will go to the Helen David Relief Fund (HDRF), which honors the memory of Abou-Ganim's late cousin, Helen David. David, a Michigan bar owner and community leader, beat breast cancer twice during her lifetime and is the inspiration behind every one of Abou-Ganim's fabled recipes. The HDRF now assists women in the industry are currently fighting the disease.

A full event schedule and tickets are available at and Casino Del Sol promotes responsible drinking of alcoholic beverages. Do not drink and drive. Do not drink if you are under 21 years of age.

About Casino Del Sol Resort, Spa and Conference Center:

Located in southwest metropolitan Tucson, Ariz., the Pascua Yaqui Tribe is a federally recognized tribe with more than 17,000 enrolled members. The Tribe owns and operates several enterprises, including southern Arizona's newest AAA Four Diamond-rated destination, Casino Del Sol Resort, Spa and Conference Center. Casino Del Sol Resort is a 215-room, 161,000-square-foot resort that features more than 65,000-square-feet of indoor and outdoor meeting and convention space; Hiapsi, a full-service spa; and several restaurants and lounges, including PY Steakhouse, Prema Lounge and Starbucks. Sewailo, an 18-hole, par 72 championship golf course designed by PGA golfer Notah Begay III, will soon be among the impressive amenities available to guests, scheduled to open in 2013. The Pascua Yaqui reservation is also home to two casinos, Casino of the Sun and Casino Del Sol. Non-gaming enterprises include the Anselmo Valencia Tori Amphitheater (AVA), a 5,000-seat open-air concert venue; and the Del Sol Marketplace, which includes a gas station, car wash, convenience store and smoke shop. For more information call 1-855-SOL-STAY (765-7829) or visit Follow Casino Del Sol on Facebook and Twitter.

Amy O'Hara, 623-201-5558

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