The season has changed and that’s the only excuse we need to talk about new drinks. When the air gets a little colder – and in Vegas we mean like two degrees at most – you can bundle up in your light sweater that you brought just in case and chill out with a fresh cocktail. Maybe you like the spooky side, maybe you’re into sweetness; we’re up for anything as long as it comes in a glass and can be sipped in cool company. So come along with us on this autumn drive and look at some new cocktails for the season.
Oak and Ivy in Downtown Container Park
It’s a whiskey/cocktail joint built inside a shipping container in a park downtown. That’s a lot of info right away. Now forget all of it and pay attention to these cocktails because once you taste them you won’t care about anything else. What’s that? E.T. just landed? Don’t care. Cocktail is in my mouth hole. That’s what you’ll be saying.
The Café LaLaurie is named after an actual person who was even more horrible than the character played by Cathy Bates on “American Horror Story.” Don’t worry, we’re positive this cocktail will not leave you buried alive. But it will leave you drooling over the cold-brewed Café du Monde coffee, Gran Duque d’Alba brandy and St. George NOLA Coffee Liqueur, topped with Chantilly cream, a dusting of praline and a Mandarine Napoleon fireball.
Moving on from serial killer namesakes, the Lady in White, a reference to the famous ghost who haunts the retired RMS Queen Mary ocean liner, has Partida Anejo Tequila with lemon and pear, balanced with St. George Spiced Pear, Bittermen’s Hellfire Habanero Shrub and egg whites. It’s a cocktail that’s as refreshing as turning a corner and seeing a freaking ghost standing there, but it tastes a lot better. Just be sure to drink it before going on a haunted boat. We wouldn’t want you to spill.
If we haven’t already scared you away, you can also try the Wandering Jack-o-Lantern made with Michter’s Small Batch Bourbon, a house-made Thai curried pumpkin puree, peanut butter syrup, Dale DeGroff’s Pimento Bitters and RumChata. This is a more classic fall drink that pairs well with that flannel shirt you’ve been saving to show off your lumbersexual side. Just imagine what a pumpkin would drink whilst writing the great American novel, and you’ve got this drink down.
Strip House at Planet Hollywood
Moving to the Las Vegas Strip, the appropriately-named Strip House is usually the place for steak. But if you’re looking to trade your steak in for a stake and your meal in for a battle against the forces of evil, they’re offering some creepy seasonal drinks to get you in the mood for a monster hunt.
The Gates of Hell, made with Anejo Tequila, blood orange juice, homemade grenadine, lime juice and rimmed with red salt and dried cayenne pepper, is a hot cocktail that looks like you could sink right into it. If the blood orange isn’t dark enough, the cayenne pepper will kick you into the Halloween spirit.
And the Sleepy Hollow, made with Gin, crème de violette, blackberry puree, lemon juice, pickled purple cabbage and garnished with pickled cabbage, has purple cabbage in it. Yeah. That’s pretty scary in itself, but it’s actually really delicious. This is what happens when a steakhouse gets creative with cocktails, and we’re glad it happened. Both cocktails will be available on Halloween weekend for $15 each.
Alibi Cocktail Lounge at Aria Resort & Casino
We love every cocktail at Alibi. It’s not that we’re biased, they just make really good cocktails. And the Witch’s Broom Fashion is no exception, though it is exceptional. With Agnostura bitters, Scrappy’s chocolate bitters, Gentleman Jack and cinnamon apple tea syrup, this is a drink that could get you labeled a real witch in the 18th century. One taste and the townspeople would be all, “No way you made something this delicious yourself, Nancy. This is clearly magic.” Thankfully we’re in an age where we don’t care if it’s magic. It’s tasty and that’s all that matters to us.
Lily Bar & Lounge at Bellagio
It was the Heat of the Moment, filling your belly with Patron Silver Tequila, passionfruit puree, fresh lime juice, agave nectar, red jalapeño chili peppers and a cinnamon sugar rim. OK, we kind of lost the beat of the song there, but we were too focused on getting some heat in our bellies from this wonderful cocktail. If you like sweet mixed with spice, this is the drink for you. If you can handle it, we recommend getting two. Like many things in Vegas, it’s almost better the second time.
The Apple Margarita with Avion Reposado Tequila, Cointreau Liqueur, apple bitters, apple uuice, fresh lime juice, cinnamon sugar rim and an apple slice is just a really good apple margarita. Not much more we need to say about it. It’s just super tasty, appley and cinnamony. Yumness.
Ling Ling Lounge at Hakkasan at MGM Grand
The Perfect Pear is a pretty close to perfect cocktail. We’re stingy and never really give out 10s, but this is pretty darn close. With D’USSE Cognac, William Pear Preservers, fresh lemon juice and Perrier Jouet Brut Champagne finished with a grated cinnamon, this is a concoction that’s superbly complemented by the allure of the Ling Ling Lounge and Hakkasan. Plus it’s a pear cocktail, of which there aren’t nearly enough in this world.
Vista Cocktail Lounge at Caesars Palace
Let’s just quit playing and admit that you want more drinkies. That’s OK. Never apologize for that. If you happen to have four to six friends, or you’re just really thirsty, Vista offers punch bowls that aren’t exactly cheap but are full of delicious drinkies to make you not care so much about the price.
The new Party Down South Punch Bowl has Southern Comfort, pineapple, orange, lime, ginger, bitters and club soda. Get it for $95 at Vista and be sure to tip well, especially if you end up drinking the whole thing yourself and doing something stupid afterward.
MRKT Sea & Land at Aliante Casino, Hotel and Spa
You didn’t think we’d do this whole post without a pumpkin spice cocktail, did you? How unbasic do you think we are? Get ready to do that Drake dance because the Pumpkin Spice Martini is here. RumChata Cream Liqueur, Absolut Vodka and pumpkin spice liqueur combine to create something everyone can say yaaassss to.
Trevi at The Forum Shops at Caesars
OK, these aren’t exactly cocktails. But they’re yummy and we wanted to put them in anyway and it’s our blog so deal with it. If you want something fantastic on your tongue and for whatever reason you don’t want it to include alcohol, Trevi’s Candy Corn Gelato features creamy vanilla gelato swirled with the classic Halloween candy staple and the Cookies & Cringe Gelato is made with chocolate gelato, gummy worms and crushed Oreo cookies. You can even eat them before, after or with other cocktails. We’re not going to try to stop you. We’ll probably join you. Tummy aches be damned.