Posted by recently joined in Las Vegas for a reason that dates back to 1691. No joke. It’s the HARLEM Kruiden Liqueur Shot Showcase at Rain Nightclub in The Palms. Allow me introduce you to HARLEM. HARLEM comes from a town just outside of Amsterdam called “Haarlem.” While similar to Jägermeister in that it is an herbal liqueur best served as a frozen shot, this one ranks high on our list.

And here is Las Vegas, we are doing some major sampling. In this “Shot Showcase,” there are 14 victorious mixologists and bartenders that have already won best shot made with HARLEM in their respective regions of the country. From Chicago to Las Vegas, each of these cocktailians has a shot ready for us to shoot. Watch the footage that we shot in this video as we downed them all. Sampling the creativity of the country’s most talented mixologists as well as the versatility and incredibly robust flavors of the spirit was a pleasure indeed.

HARLEM is owned by The Nolet Distillery, family-owned since 1691. That is a bloody long time to be producing fine spirits. They claim to be the oldest family owned company “father to son” lineage wise. In Vegas, I meet, interview and drink with the 11th generation Nolet son Carl Nolet, Jr. He is the man that was responsible for bringing Ketel One to the U.S. back in 1990. The Nolets have serious passion for the business with the motto of “always put the best liquid in the bottle.” In addition to passion, the Nolets and the whole HARLEM Family are very hospitable and know how to have a great time!

HARLEM Shot Showcase, Las Vegas, Photo by Ronda ChurchillHowever, for the moment, I’m sticking to the shots. Thus, the moment of truth comes as the mixologists display and sample us on their signature HARLEM shots at Rain Nightclub. They’re already winners in their respective markets, so this is simply the
nation’s best bartenders on showcase. I’m impressed with the variety of ingredients that compliment the HARLEM. From rosemary, Limoncello, chocolate to pumpkin, I’m trying them all because it is our assignment as journalists to capture these by video, photo and articles. I am more of “taster”and “reviewer,” so while it is often that I imbibe, I’m typically not shooting. How will I hold up? Watch the video to find out.

Across the dancefloor, we see the Nolets have recently branded and taken over the VIP room at Rain Nightclub at The Palms. In this “bar within a bar,” the walls are stacked high with HARLEM and ice cold serving HARLEM dispenser machines stand ready to pour shots. I do several more interviews here with with Bill Eldien, President of Nolet Spirits. We begin each interview off with a shot of HARLEM. Why more shots?

And the party continues to go on as from the Shot Showcase, we find ourselves in the club XS at Encore. The Nolets have ordered us up bottle service with their finest including HARLEM, Ketel One Oranje and Citroen. One booth over from us we spot Holly Madison. I was going to offer up a HARLEM, but she seemed quite interested in a gentleman friend. and ManTripping thank HARLEM, the Nolets, Bill Eldien, Rebecca Janoff, Sally Alfis and M Booth & Associates for their kind invitation and awesome hospitality! And here’s a toast to all the bartenders and mixologists who created masterpieces of shots! All the winning recipes are below in categories by city they won in!

Look for HARLEM as it continues to be introduced to more markets across the US and worldwide.

HARLEM SHOTSChicago- Judges’ Choice

The Red Light, created by Mike Miller of Delilah’s

1 oz. HARLEM
¾ oz. Effen Black Cherry Vodka
¼ oz. Vanilla Flavored Alcoholic Whipped Cream

Shake HARLEM with cherry vodka vigorously with ice and strain into a glass. Add topped of vanilla whipped cream and a cherry on top.

San Francisco- Fan Favorite

Harlem Marmalade created by David Ruiz of Mr. Smiths

1 oz. HARLEM
¾ oz. Lemon Juice
1 Bar spoon homemade triple citrus orange marmalade

Add HARLEM and fresh lemon to shaker. Add jam and ice. Shake very hard to break jam down. Double strain and strain ice cold into a shot glass.

Chicago- Fan Favorite

Harlem Night created by Adam Garvanian of McFaddens Chicago

1 oz. HARLEM
Chocolate Liquor
Bailey’s Irish Cream
Dash of Goldschlager
Cinnamon Sugar

Add 1 oz. HARLEM, equal parts chocolate liquor and Bailey’s, and a dash of Goldschlager into a shaker. Shake vigorously and strain into a glass rimmed with cinnamon sugar.

Orange County- Judges’ Choice

Blood for Harlem created by Jaren Singh of St. Regis Stonehill Tavern

1 Part Johnnie Walker Black
1 Part Cherry Herring
Blood Orange Wheel for Garnish

Mix the above ingredients in a shaker. Shake and pour into a shot glass. Garnish with a blood-orange.

Orange County- Fan Favorite

Harlem Sweet Heart created by Chris Johnson of Heat Ultra Lounge

1 oz. HARLEM
½ oz Chambord
½ oz. Pama Liquor
Splash of Lemonade

Combine ingredients in a tin. Shake with ice, served chilled.

Los Angeles- Fan Favorite

Dutch Pound Cake created by Quenten Rouse of Downtown Brewing Company Paso Robles

1 oz. HARLEM
½ oz. Malibu Rum
½ oz. Frangelico Hazelnut
Sugared Lemon

Add HARLEM, Malibu, Frangelico into a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a shot glass. Garnish with sugared lemon.

Los Angeles- Judges’ Choice

Harlem Express created by Dan Long of First & Hope and STK

1 oz. HARLEM
¾ oz. Chilled Espresso
¼ oz. Vanilla Syrup
¼ oz. Cream

Add HARLEM, espresso & vanilla syrup to a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a shot glass. In a separate container, shake cream until slightly whipped. Float cream on top of shot.

Miami- Judges’ Choice

Harlem Nights created by Richie Petronzi of Burger N Beer Joint

1 oz. Apple Smoke Bacon Fat Washed HARLEM
½ oz. Fresh Pressed Apple Juice
¼ oz. Fresh Lemon Juice
¼ oz. Grade A Maple Syrup
Fresh Tarragon

Add all liquids to a mixing glass, add a few tarragon leaves and stir cocktail for 20 seconds. Double strain and Garnish with Tarragon leaves and a slice of Honey Smoked Bacon.

Miami- Fan Favorite

Harlem Night Nurse created by Nick Nistico of JB’s On the Beach

Tanqueray 10 Gin
White Crème de Cacao
Homemade Orange Cacao Syrup
Orange Oil

In a small shaker tin, add the first 4 ingredients. Add ice and shake thoroughly. Twist an orange peel over the shot glass, allowing the natural oils to flavor the inside of the glass. Strain the shot and pour into the shot glass.

New York- Fan Favorite

Harlem Nights created by Nancy Orellana of Black Bear Bar and Grill

1 oz. HARLEM
½ oz. Grand Marnier
½ oz. Coke

Pour HARLEM, Grand Marnier and coke into a shaker with ice. Serve chilled.

New York- Judges’ Choice

Harlem Bull Run created by Danna Bree Markulin of Thunder Jackson’s

¾ oz. HARLEM
¾ oz. Ketel One Oranje
Splash of Orange Juice
Splash of Red Bull
Cinnamon Orange for Garnish

Mix the HARLEM, Ketel One Oranje, splash of orange juice and red bull in a shaker. Shake and pour into a shot glass. Garnish with a cinnamon orange. Serve chilled.

Phoenix- Judges’ Choice

Harlem Renaissance created by Andrew Record of Hacienda del Sol

Lemon Cello
Rosemary Infused Simple Syrup
Soda Water
Fresh Lemon Juice
Thin Orange Zest.
Combine ingredients in a tin. Shake and strain. Garnish with a thin orange zest.

Phoenix- Fan Favorite

Harlem Rage created by Gail Riley of My Ole Man’s

1 oz. HARLEM
½ oz. Smirnoff Vanilla Vodka
½ oz. Smirnoff Raspberry Vodka
Pineapple Juice
Cranberry Juice
Shake and strain over ice.

Las Vegas

HARLEM Ginger-SNAP created by Lucas Swallows of Palazzo – Carnevino

1 oz. HARLEM
½ oz. Gingerbread Liqueur (Hiram Walker)
½ oz. Voyant Chai Cream Liqueur
Organic Saigon Cinnamon
Organic Nutmeg

Shake all ingredients with ice and serve in shot glasses. Top with equal parts Organic Ground Saigon Cinnamon and Organic Nutmeg.

Harlemween Pumpkin HARLEM Shot RecipeHarlemween Pumpkin created by Sugar O’Brien of NOVE Italiano at the Palms Casino, Las Vegas

Half Pumpkin Mix*
*Pumpkin Mix Recipe
1 can Pumpkin Pie Filling
Same can full of Simple Syrup (1:1)
Same can full of Apple Cider
Heaping teaspoon of Pumpkin Pie Spice
Heaping quarter teaspoon of Citric Acid

Still photo credits courtesy Ronda Churchill


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2 Responses to “HARLEM Shot Showcase, Las Vegas”

  1. Julie

    Hi Tom – this article brought back fine memories of Las Vegas and the Shot Showcase. Great videos!! So, what shot turned out to be your favorite??

  2. Lou Pickney

    Great video, Tom! Nice combo of two interests of mine: Vegas and liquor. I’ve never tried Harlem (or is it all caps HARLEM like the pro wrestler KENTA?) but I’ll have to see if any of the liquor stores near my house in the Nashville suburbs have it available. If so, I’ll let you know my thoughts on it. If it’s similar to Jäger, it sounds like a good time to me.