Friends With Benefits: Marshall Altier
You know that adage, “Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans”? Well, that’s what happened to Marshall Altier, corporate mixologist for MGM Resorts International.
After the Ohio native graduated college in his home state, he made the move to New York City to pursue his studies and love of Latin American cinema. But to pay the bills, he began working as a bartender. “Being a bartender, it eclipsed everything at that point,” Altier says. “It was during ’04-’05, the cocktail renaissance. I was lucky to be at the epicenter of the cocktail revolution, working in Manhattan at that time.” He began sharpening his skills, working with mentors, nerding out on cocktails (as he likes to say), and his resume grew quite impressively.
His reputation brought him out to Las Vegas in 2013, when he was tasked to open a venue at The Cosmopolitan, but less than a year later he moved back to NYC. However, five years later, the neon lights called him back. “The opportunity to come work for a company like MGM—I just was really excited to make the move back,” Altier says. He joined Bellagio in March as the property mixologist, and after just 90 days he was given his current title and responsibilities of overseeing the beverage side of hospitality for all of MGMRI’s properties.
“I work and build partnerships with liquor companies, I design the menus and spaces, I do pricing and costs, train bartenders, handle new bar openings,” he says. “It’s a lot of spinning plates at once. … But I love to be able to bounce around creating the different concepts. Every day is a little bit different, a little bit of a hustle, but I enjoy that.”
Libation: Dragon’s Breath Punch
Altier and his team recently revamped the cocktail menu at Baccarat Bar at Bellagio, tweaking some classics and creating stunning new additions, both taste- and presentation-wise, including the Dragon’s Breath Punch. All eyes in the bar will be on your party when you order this group cocktail that can serve four or more people. It’s a tweak on an old-school punch, says Altier—it’s bright, very refreshing and very drinkable. Plus, it just looks so darn cool! It’s mixed with Grey Goose Le Citron vodka, sake, green tea, honey, fresh lemon juice, absinthe and jasmine tea smoke.