Along with many prominent San Francisco bartenders last week, I took in the unholy jambalaya of libation promotion that is the Las Vegas Bar Show. While boutique brands like Michter's whiskey and Barsol Pisco had small booths on the periphery of the show, the main floor was dominated by big brands, novelty vodkas (such as O2, "the world's first sparkling vodka"),

energy drinks and lots of blondes, such as you see at the Nuvo ("the world's first sparkling liqueur") and Rock Star Energy Drink booths.

That's not to say there wasn't fun to be had. There was the fountain of Chocovine, a strange and unappealing blend of chocolate and wine. There was a motorized beer cooler that you can ride around on. And there was an amusing bar game that registers the force of your punches, as demonstrated by this poor soul.

The relentless inventiveness of the American capitalist mind is an awesome thing.