Vegas does nightlife well: A-list entertainment, all-night dance parties, and some of the world’s coolest cocktail bars. Sure, you can order a vodka-soda or a nice glass of pinot, but, just as the city challenges inhibitions, so do its cocktail menus, offering inventive garnishes, mixology master courses, and legitimate science experiments in a rocks glass.
Collectively, the Virtuoso Life team has spent – no kidding – months in Las Vegas over the years, attending the annual Virtuoso Travel Week luxury travel conference. Work hard, play hard is our mantra, and, in the name of research, we’ve familiarized ourselves with the city’s cocktail scene quite well. (One of our tried-and-true Virtuoso Week traditions: Introducing new members of the team to the Verbena Margarita at The Cosmopolitan’s Chandelier Bar.)
We’re not in Las Vegas this year (Virtuoso Week has gone virtual, though MGM Resorts did just launch a new “Viva Las Office” experience that invites travelers to work from one of their Vegas properties), but that doesn’t mean we can’t bring a few of our beloved Vegas traditions home. We asked some of our favorite hotels in the city to send us their best cocktail recipes. Take a spin at one (or all) of the ambitious drinks below, then toast to your own amateur bartending skills – and to the future of travel.
At Mayfair Supper Club, the Bellagio’s newest dining outlet, glitzy performers and live DJs give the classic dinner theater experience an only-in-Sin-City spin. The restaurant’s signature Champagne cocktail is served in a flute covered in fresh-spun cotton candy. Who’s up for a cotton candy-making party at home?
- 1 Angostura Bitters-soaked sugar cube
- 1 bunch of fresh-spun cotton candy (similar size to your Champagne flute)
- A 187 ml split of cold Champagne
Wrap the flute in cotton candy. (Be careful to not expose to moisture or humidity to ensure the cotton candy stays fluffy and cloudlike.) On a napkin or plate, place 2-3 dashes of Angostura bitters on a sugar cube. Place the soaked cube in the bottom of the Champagne flute. Fill the glass with cold Champagne carefully, so as not to allow to bubble over the rim and wet cotton candy. Top up as needed.
Guests of Aria Resort & Casino will find this spicy, citrusy drink at Catch, the resort’s Asian-influenced seafood and steak venue. Make it at home to accompany some takeout sushi.
- 2 oz. jalapeño-infused tequila
- 1 oz. orange passionfruit cordial
- ½ yuzu
- ¼ oz. Grand Marnier
- ¼ oz. Campari
Combine all ingredients and shake. Pour into a rocks glass with ice and a sugar rim. Garnish with a few sliced jalapeños.
The Old Fashioned Casino
The Four Seasons Hotel Las Vegas takes the classic old fashioned and gives it a sweet and smoky spin. At the hotel’s Charlie Palmer Steak, servers deliver the cocktail beneath a glass cloche and in a haze of applewood-scented smoke. Bonus points if you can pull that off at home, but the drink is just as tasty without the extra smoke show.
Pour all ingredients in a rocks glass and serve.
12 Year Itch
This spin on the old fashioned is the signature cocktail at SW Steakhouse, a lakeside space at the Wynn Las Vegas. You’ll have to go to Vegas to sip this with the resort’s own Whistle Pig 12-year rye whiskey, but, in the meantime, your favorite rye will suffice.
- 1 oz. rye whiskey
- 1 oz. El Dorado 12 Year Old Rum
- ½ oz. Lustau Pedro Ximenez San Emilio Sherry
- 2-3 dashes of Bitter Queens Tobacco Bitters
- A pinch of salt
Pour all ingredients over a large ice cube and stir.