With temperatures topping the 100-degree mark in Las Vegas, summer is officially here. What better way to cool down than with a refreshing cocktail? We’ve scoured the city to find you the best drinks to chill out with. Some are well-loved classics while others have a more modern twist – and they’ll all help you ease from a scorching afternoon into a balmy evening. Plus, these 10 tipples are so delicious and full of flavor, you’ll want to order a second round!
1.) The traditional Emerald Isle pub Rí Rá, located inside The Shoppes at Mandalay Place in Mandalay Bay, suggests celebrating summer with Shandy. Served in a pint glass, this cocktail is a blend of Irish lemonade (i.e., a sweet fizzy drink that’s often used as a mixer across the pond) and beer. You can choose from two variations – Smithwicks with red lemonade or Harp with white lemonade.
2.) Whether you’re in the restaurant, nightclub or lounge at TAO Las Vegas in The Venetian or soaking up the sun’s rays at TAO Beach, The Orchid is a “must order.” This cocktail will quench your thirst while making the season shine. The Orchid is prepared with Ketel One Citroen, lemon juice, simple syrup and sparkling sake. It’s crowned with a lovely blooming orchid.
3.) Press is a new indoor/outdoor hotspot that recently debuted in the lobby of the Four Seasons Hotel Las Vegas. Although the bar showcases a variety of unique flavors, nothing is more reviving on a sweltering day than the Watermelon Granita. In addition to fresh watermelon juice, the cocktail contains lots of booze – champagne granita, Prosecco and Ketel One Citroen.
4.) Andre’s, an elegant French restaurant with a cigar lounge at Monte Carlo, dishes up award-winning food complemented by sophisticated libations. For the sultry season, you can imbibe one of several specially crafted drinks, like the Summer Fresca. This is a divine combination of silver tequila, fresh rhubarb juice, homemade rhubarb simple syrup and muddled strawberries.
5.) With a patio fronting the Strip, the Sugar Factory at Paris Las Vegas delivers amazing dining and drinking experiences that are designed to thrill your sweet tooth. The American brasserie just introduced a special cocktail cart for summer that offers tableside service as well as unusual enhancements like liquid nitrogen. Not only will your drink be handed to you amid an exotic “fog,” but the nitrogen also creates a slushy texture that is delightful in warm weather. One of Sugar Factory’s creative cocktails to request with a liquid nitrogen infusion is the Blow Pop, consisting of Three Olives Bubble Gum vodka, DK Apple Pucker, fresh lemon sour, green apple syrup and – as you may have guessed – a Sour Apple Blow Pop on top.
6.) There’s no shortage of icy drinks at The D Las Vegas in downtown Las Vegas. The resort’s outdoor D Bar, which you can walk right up to on Fremont Street Experience, features machines dispensing more than 15 flavors of frozen goodness in logo cups and yard glasses. Enjoy Tropical Bliss, Chi Chi, Appletini, Lemonade, Mudslide, Long Island Iced Tea and more. All of them are poured by hot dancing bartenders in bikinis.
7.) Also in downtown Las Vegas is a charming new gastropub called Park on Fremont with a wonderful open-air layout. The front and back patios are overflowing with flower pots, window boxes and other lush greenery. You’ll discover The Unicorn on their imaginative cocktail menu. Served in a mason jar, the ingredients for this uplifting drink are Ketel One Citroen, lemon juice, simple syrup, mint, ginger beer and a lemon wedge.
8.) You’ll find plenty of things to wet your whistle at the Rockhouse Las Vegas. Known for being an “ultra dive bar,” it’s situated on the second level of The Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian and boasts direct access to Las Vegas Boulevard. Although the Rockhouse specializes in frozen daiquiris served in novelty glasses (like their signature 88-ounce guitar cup), there’s also an amusing “Tails of Cock” menu that features 10 custom concoctions. Get a taste of summer when you ask for the Dreamsicle. This cocktail is made with Pinnacle Whipped Vodka, triple sec, a splash of orange juice and Sierra Mist.
9.) Savor the best of summer in Comme Ça at The Cosmopolitan. Sam Ross, a world-class bartender from New York City, created the chic French restaurant’s 18A Prohibition-style cocktail menu. One invigorating favorite is the Gordon’s Cup cocktail. It’s a distinctive combination of gin, fresh cucumber and muddled limes, with cracked salt and pepper to provide a bit of a kick.
10.) Without a doubt, Hussong’s Cantina inside The Shoppes at Mandalay Place in Mandalay Bay makes the ultimate summer beverage – the Original Margarita. According to Hussong’s lore, the margarita was invented at the “original” Hussong’s, which was located in the port of Ensenada in Baja California, Mexico. In 1941, bartender Don Carlos Orozco formulated a mixture of equal parts tequila, lime and Damiana (a liqueur made with the damiana herb, whereas now Controy, an orange liqueur, tends to be used). He poured it over ice in a salt-rimmed glass. Orozco created the drink for Margarita Henkel, who was the daughter of the German Ambassador to Mexico. Although Hussong’s holds strong to the tradition of never using crushed ice, their Original Margarita has changed a little and today is blended from Azul Reposado 100% Blue Agave Tequila, triple sec, freshly squeezed lime juice and agave nectar. You can get this venerable cocktail for half price during happy hour at Hussong’s Cantina, which runs every Monday – Thursday from 3 to 6 p.m.