Friends with Benefits: Nick Horn
When Nicholas Horn was growing up in Las Vegas, he recalls never having a real interest for working in the industry. “I swore I would never work in the industry like a bunch of my friends were, but now I love it,” says Horn. Today, Horn bartends at the newly opened, beautifully designed Casbar Lounge at SLS Las Vegas.
After graduating high school, he joined the Marines, serving four years with two deployments. When he got out of the service in 2002, he took a security job on the Las Vegas Strip, “but that wasn’t for me, so I put myself through bartending school,” he says. His first bartending job was at a golf course, then got a job at the city’s first megaclub, Pure at Caesars Palace, spending six years there.
Then Horn took a break from bartending and reconnected with the military, except this time he worked for a company that built drones. Horn learned how to operate them and, in turn, became an instructor and taught the military to fly them. “I did that for three years, traveling from base to base all over the country, and I did three deployments to Afghanistan,” he says.
When he was about to be deployed a fourth time, Horn decided to go back into the hospitality biz. He applied for a position at SLS Las Vegas and was hired as part of the hotel’s opening team. He’s worked at several different bars across the property, but joined Casbar Lounge when it opened. “It was a little stressful getting back into bartending, but I’m definitely happy about it,” he says. “I respect it a lot more having left and come back. I never planned on bartending, but now I can’t imagine doing anything else.”
If you’re a fan of James Bond, then you’re familiar with one of his favorite cocktails, the Vesper. Casbar Lounge put its own twist on the famed libation, and the result is The Vespear. Stirred, not shaken, it’s a mix of Grey Goose La Poire vodka, Bombay Sapphire gin, St-Germain elderflower liqueur and a dash of bitters and garnished with a lemon peel. “It’s a total spirits drink,” Horn says. “It’s strong, but it’s very smooth.”
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