10 Insane Cocktails to Try in Las Vegas Slideshow
December 14, 2012
Cereal Killer, The Chandelier at The Cosmopolitan
When I was a kid, my parents never let us have sugar cereal, so I would always indulge in Cinnamon Toast Crunch at my friend Tommy’s house. The Cereal Killer at The Cosmopolitan’s The Chandelier bar is the ideal equipoise between childhood memory and adult indulgence. Loaded with Cinnamon Toast Crunch, the Cereal Killer comes equipped with a small spoon to give you flashbacks of watching Wile E. Coyote chase Road Runner on Saturday morning as you slurp the final sugary milk sip.
Cereal Killer Recipe:
½ ounce Root Liqueur
¼ ounce Hiver Amer
½ ounce Bulleit Bourbon
½ ounce Amaro Melleti
3 ounces Cinnamon Toast Crunch-infused milk
Dash Fee’s Old-Fashioned Bitters
Cinnamon Toast Crunch on a demi-spoon
Assemble all ingredients and shake with ice; strain.
Mizumi Cloud, Mizumi at Wynn Las Vegas
You only have to take a look at the house-made coconut-lemongrass-ginger foam topping on the Mizumi Cloud to get an idea of the science and beauty behind the creation. Then there’s the gorgeousness of the drink itself, with the edible orchid floating on top. The Kai Lemongrass-Ginger Shochu and fresh lime juice make it the most refreshing drink in Vegas. "As far as mixology goes, I would say that my style is fresh, quality-driven, innovative, yet approachable, balancing flavors like bitter, salty, sour, sweet, astringent, and umami [Japanese for "savory"] while using quality ingredients are key," said Patricia Richards, master mixologist at Wynn Las Vegas.
Mizumi Cloud (Mizumi’s Signature Cocktail) 1.5 ounces Kai Lemongrass-Ginger Shochu
1 ounce TY KU Citrus Liqueur
0.5 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
0.3 ounce light agave syrup
Combine the above ingredients into a bar mixing glass. Shake lightly with ice to combine. Strain over fresh ice into a small tumbler glass. Top with 1.5-ounces to 2-ounces house-made coconut-lemongrass-ginger foam (*contains pasteurized egg white). Garnish with edible orchid.
Pink Lemonade Amuse Bouche Cocktail at Sage at ARIA
Put on your nostalgic drinking socks for Sage because you will learn about old alcohols revivifying new drinks. The Moscow Mule, Empire State, Blue Velvet, and Profundo should all be sampled, but the Pink Lemonade is the most memorable with the aperitif bitterness of the Lillet Rouge with a dash of egg white. Amuse Bouche ("tickle the mouth" in French) means to wake up the taste buds. If the drink were not enough, the Pink Lemonade is served in the exotic silver Absinthe Balancier and provides a beautiful visual to a pouring process of yesteryear. "For me, mixology is about revision, not reinvention," says Michael Shetler, ARIA’s director of beverage. "The classics are the backbone to the Sage cocktail program, which means balance between spirit, sweetness, bitterness, and acidity. We update that base with modern spirits, techniques, and fresh ingredients."
Pink Lemonade Amuse Bouche
1 ounce Beefeater Gin
1 ounce Lillet Rouge
1 ounce fresh lemon juice
1 ounce simple syrup
Dash of egg white
Garnish: Lemon wheel/brandied cherry pin
Method: Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice and shake vigorously.
Strain over fresh ice in a highball or Collins glass.
'Liquid Nitrogen Cocktail' at Hyde at Bellagio
Watching the liquid nitrogen display makes you feel (almost) like you’re in a chemistry lab. At Hyde, the flavor of this $20 Liquid Nitrogen Cocktail changes every few days (but it’s not always on the menu). One week it’s the Bella Pink as a special flavor for Breast Cancer Awareness Month and the next week it's chocolate raspberry and grapefruit lychee. "With the custom liquid nitrogen cart that I designed for Hyde, we are able to create frozen cocktails without the use of ice or a blender," says Peter Carrillo, assistant general manager. "We use fresh fruits and creative spirits to create a truly unique, sorbet-like cocktail that our guests enjoy." Liquid nitrogen is added to a mixing bowl of fresh ingredients including fruit, juices, and premium liquors. As the nitrogen freezes the ingredients it produces a frozen, sorbet-like cocktail eaten with a spoon.
The sweet and a bit spicy Love Unit also has to be mentioned here because it is garnished with a very fresh red bell pepper ring and Thai basil that has been "spanked" by one of the bartenders. This drink is a perfect follow-up to the liquid nitrogen’s bracingly cold sugared sweetness.
1 ounce Stoli Vodka
1 ounce Stoli Vanilla Vodka
¾ ounce freshly squeezed lime
½ ounce freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
¾ ounce freshly extracted red bell pepper juice
½ ounce simple syrup
Garnish: Red bell pepper ring and fresh "spanked" Thai basil leaf
Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Gently shake and pour into a martini glass.
S’mores Martini, Sugar Factory American Brasserie at Paris
Who doesn’t love s’mores? Who, then, wouldn’t love an alcoholic version of it? The sugar in Sugar Factory American Brasserie at Paris Las Vegas Hotel & Casino is ubiquitous from the candy store to the restaurant to the bar, and the S’mores Martini is no exception. The S’mores Martini is childhood in a glass, bringing back the authentic flavors of melted chocolate, gooey toasted marshmallow, and crunchy graham crackers by combining Monin Toasted Marshmallow Syrup, Three Olives Chocolate Vodka, Godiva Chocolate Liqueur, Licor 43, and heavy whipping cream. The glass is rimmed with chocolate syrup and graham cracker crumbs, then garnished with three large marshmallows.
Grant-a-rita with Cayenne Pepper at The Lady Silvia
Designed as an old speakeasy, The Lady Silvia looks like The Library, a dive bar in Manhattan’s East Village, attracting more locals (and fewer tourists) who look at home in the dark, grungy-upscale diversion, a stark contrast to all the Vegas neon along The Strip. For a titillatingly spicy drink, try the Grant-a-rita with cayenne. "The Grant-a-rita is a perfect combination of a strong spirit and a smooth liqueur coupled with a sexy spice to tie it all together," said bartender Kenny Marzola.
1.5 ounces Patron Silver
1/2 ounce Passoa passion fruits liqueur
1 ounce orange juice
1 ounce fresh lime juice
1/2 ounce agave nectar
Small pinch of cayenne
Shake and strain into an ice-filled double rocks glass.
Garnish with lime wedge.
Happy Ending at Beer Alchemy at Public House at The Palazzo Las Vegas
Public House has already been extolled in The Daily Meal’s The Quest for the Holy Grail of Draught Beer in Las Vegas. The beer cocktail stands up against the liquor drinks because of its pioneering mixology and occasional usage of heavy stouts to create surprisingly light drinks. Cicerone Russell Gardner keeps coming up with new concoctions, and the menu is always changing. If you catch him, ask him to whip you up his latest creation. The Happy Ending is our favorite, with a simple but smoothly deluxe blend of Frangelico, Tia Maria, and Green Flash Double Stout. Other top contenders are the Lost in Haze, Sailors Surrender, and Union Escape.
Poire Chaude (Hot Pear) Wine Cocktail at Payard Pâtisserie & Bistro at Caesars Palace
Like the beer cocktail at Public House, the wine cocktail at Payard Pâtisserie & Bistro at Caesars Palace Hotel & Casino wins points for its newness and how it combines so well with food. "This restaurant is about indulgence," said manager Sam Berkley, who explained that the restaurant needed a cocktail menu that complemented its French pastries, chocolates, and steaks. "How do you match the indulgence of our patisserie and the luxury of a French bistro? Wine cocktails, elegant, refined, quirky, delicious." The Poire Chaude wine cocktail is a mélange of Ecco Domani Moscato and pear cider. A little heat is added to this light cocktail with a cayenne and sea salt rim along with a pear slice and edible flower garnish.
Between the Sheets at Downtown Cocktail Room
The Downtown Cocktail Room attracts all manner of writers, artists, musicians, and even judges pressing a thumbprint on Vegas that was not previously there. "It’s not corporate," said the affable general manager Jeremy Merritt, "and it gives back to Las Vegas in a local way." Between the Sheets, first poured in the 1930s at Harry’s Bar in Paris, uses brandy, Benedictine, Cointreau, and lemon. Go late and you’ll meet some of the city’s unpretentious cognescenti. "We offer seasonally focused cocktails with an emphasis on local purveyors and artisanal spirits," said Merritt. "We work as a team, all lending insight and inspiration to one another’s creations. This allows for an overall creative environment, which engages our all of our senses and hones our skills."
Make-Your-Own Bloody Mary at Simon Restaurant at The Palms
The bloody mary recipe at Simon at The Palms is simple because the restaurant encourages you to take advantage of its bloody mary bar and make it as spicy or as insane as you like. With celery, salt, garlic salt, hot sauces, steak sauces, pickled vegetables, bacon, olives, olive juice, clam juice, and horseradish to choose from, you might be making a few trips back to experiment. Don’t forget to add a little Slim Jim as a garnish.
"Basically we believe that no two people like the same bloody mary, so we should offer everyone the ability to experiment and enjoy theirs the way they like it best," said Alex Acuna, director of public relations.