Cocktails and Las Vegas go hand-in-hand. After all, the martini craze got its start with the Rat Pack when they dominated Vegas. And with the rise of the mixologist who concocts tantalizing drink combinations, cocktail lists here have expanded to include creations you won’t find anywhere else. Here, a look at the best cocktail lists in Las Vegas. Bottoms up.
1 The Chandelier
Drinking in the midst of 2 million beaded crystals that make up The Chandelier at Cosmopolitan is an experience in and of itself. The three-level offers a mix of experiences. If you want a casino bar, hit the bottom level. A drink with plenty of people watching? Climb to the top. But when you seek a cocktail haven, head to the middle of The Chandelier, where you’ll find the concoctions of Mariena Mercer, the general manager there. Look for cocktails designed with molecular garnishes made tableside from a modern bar cart. Look for the Fire Breathing Dragon, a raspberry, lemongrass and Thai chili libation garnished with a dehydrated raspberry that is treated with liquid nitrogen. Once the raspberry enters the mouth, smoke releases from the berry.
2 American Fish by Michael Mina
Part of the intrigue of American Fish by Michael Mina is the cocktail menu, which concentrates on small batch spirits and hand-pressed fruits. Modern twists on classic cocktails take center stage. The Cocktail a la Louisiane is a take on a New Orleans drink from 1937 or the Ford Cocktails, first mentioned in 1895 and made with gin, dry vermouth, Benedictine and orange bitters. Noah Ellis, former Mina Group beverage director, created the cocktail program.
The Absinthe collection alone, prepared Russian-style, at Sage is just one of the reasons to visit. But do try the cocktail concoctions from general manager Michael Shetler created, who uses natural ingredients and limited-production boutique liquors. Combine Absinthe and mixology with the Sazerac, a blend of Sazerac rye whiskey, Peychaud's bitters and Marilyn Manson Absinthe or go with something that feels local in the Desert Shrub, a mix of Siete Leguas tequila reposado, Prosecco, pink grapefruit and purple sage.
4 Bar Mandarin
Views of the city from the 23rd floor of Mandarin Oriental paired with signature cocktails make Bar Mandarin a hip spot to sip on cocktails. Mixologist Charlotte Voisey created the cocktail menu that includes the Golden Leaf made with Hendrick’s, Aperol, muddled mandarin, pineapple, fresh lime juice and simple syrup and the Vanilla Skyline served with Hennessy Black, strawberries, vanilla sugar, simple syrup and sparkling wine.
5 Downtown Cocktail Room
Head to downtown Las Vegas, figure out where the door is and slip into the speakeasy environment of the Downtown Cocktail Room. Mixologist Jeremy Merritt created a cocktail list that includes favorites such as the Downtown Dill Bloody Mary, the classic Negroni and the Agent Orange.