In today’s economic climate, not many people can say they work at their dream job, but Ricardo Murcia sure can.

More than a dozen years ago, while Murcia was in college studying for a bachelor’s degree in hospitality, he made a list of the top hotels he dreamed of working at one day. On that list was Bellagio. “When Bellagio opened, it set the benchmark for all other hotels,” Murcia said. A year and a half ago, his dream came true; he was hired for the position of assistant director of beverage and mixologist for the hotel.

While Murcia’s career pedigree includes some of the chicest properties, like Miami’s Fontainebleau and Gloria and Emilio Estefan’s nightclubs and restaurants, Bellagio was a whole different beast, Murcia explained. For more than three months, working 15 to 16 hours a day, he studied the property (he oversees nearly every venue) before restructuring the cocktail menus. “You only have one shot to do it right,” Murcia said.

French 75

French 75

He also focused on building strong relationships with the hotel’s team of 150 bartenders, apprentices and porters. “It’s not about me, it’s about us,” Murcia said. “They’re a part of the dream, too.

“There’s nothing like Bellagio. From the moment you walk in, we bring you to a level of a unique experience, we deliver that great moment through cocktails. I couldn’t dream of anything better.”

French 75

Visit one of the property’s top spots, Petrossian Bar, for the ultimate in cocktail culture. “I have to take my hat off to the bartenders at Petrossian—they’re some of the best in the city,” Murcia said. The cocktail menu is divided into three main categories: team-created cocktails, classic cocktails and Bellagio hand-selected and barrel-aged spirits. A popular libation, off-menu, is the elegant and light French 75. With floral and citrus notes, it mixes Plymouth ™ English Gin, simple syrup, hand-squeezed lemon juice and Schramsberg sparkling wine.

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