Tony Abou-Ganim owns a cocktail consulting firm specializing in cocktail development, bar staff training and product education that takes him all over the country. He is about to publish a book, “The Modern Mixologist: Contemporary Classic Cocktails.”

Abou-Ganim’s aim in life wasn’t to be a mixologist, but then that term didn’t even exist then. Instead, like many others, he tended bar through college and afterward in New York and San Francisco as a stop gap while looking for acting work. It wasn’t until he met someone in New York who helped to reenergize the U.S. cocktail craze that he decided this should be his career.
After creating his first specialty cocktail menu at Harry Denton’s Starlight Room in San Francisco, his big break came when Steve Wynn asked him to create the cocktail program at the Bellagio. He left to start his cocktail consultancy in 2004. He says that the cocktail industry is much more competitive today but that there are also many more opportunities to get involved through professional organizations, conventions and cocktail competitions.

I’ve been wondering how Haiti can be given a sustainable future in the long term, and how micro-finance organizations could play a vital role in doing that. Companies like Grameen Foundation and FINCA International accept donations through their Web sites, while FINCA supporters can also make investments, offering a small financial return and the chance to help out micro-entrepreneurs in Haiti and around the world.


– Kathryn Tully is a freelance journalist who has contributed to the Financial Times, Euromoney
magazine and The Guardian newspaper

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