Friends With Benefits: Cody Fredrickson
Do you love whiskey? Then there’s one place you need to visit while you’re in Las Vegas: Scotch 80 Prime at the Palms.
“We have the Rolls Royce of single malts,” says Cody Fredrickson, master of whiskey at Scotch 80 Prime. “The Macallan Fine & Rare. We have 33 of the Macallan Fine & Rare vintages—the largest in the world for consumption that we know about.”
Besides the Macallan, Fredrickson has curated a whiskey menu with around 500 selections, and part of his job is opening the doors to that world of whiskey. Whether it’s putting together a pairing, tailoring a whiskey flight or tableside preparation, “more than half my job is breaking down the fences with guests and showing them there is a whole world to explore,” he says.
For more than a decade, Fredrickson has been educating himself on the spirit, and he takes that knowledge and shares it with the bartending staff. He joined Scotch 80 when it first opened its doors, but before that he had a long history of bartending in Vegas. After moving to town from Portland, Ore., in 2005, he worked his way up from bar back to being a lead bartender at some of the best bars on and off the Strip. As a career, Fredrickson picked bartending “because of the creativity aspect of it,” he says.
But he’s always had a love for whiskey, and when the chance came up at Scotch 80 to be the master of whiskey, he’d “been waiting for the opportunity to knock, and I was finally ready to answer.”
In collaboration with the Palms’ property mixologist, Fredrickson put together an Old Fashioned Globetrotter menu that introduces guests to various whiskies from around the globe in the form of a classic Old Fashioned cocktail. A favorite pick is the Utopia, a blend of Redemption Rye whiskey, St. George spiced pear liqueur, vanilla bean and walnut bitters. “It’s very rich, a little spicy, real lush and velvety,” says Fredrickson. And we had to ask: what is Fredrickson’s favorite whiskey? Highland Park 18. “For me, it’s the perfect balance of everything that’s good about whiskey,” he says. “Little bit of smoke, little bit of sweetness, fruity and nutty character, it’s the acidity and the finish—I just think it’s the perfect whiskey.”