New takes on classic cocktails in Vegas

Everything old is new again. That’s the saying, right? We’re not gonna Google it. We’re too excited for some new takes on classic cocktails. We love when a classic cocktail is done right, we even write about it as you can see in this previous blog. But we love innovation and creativity just as much. So, a few days after you’ve downed all the classics, head to these spots to try some new takes. Or try to do them all in one day, we won’t be the ones carrying you back to your hotel room after you’ve had 10 cocktails. They’re tasty, they’re trendy and they’re all Vegas.

Some of the mug options. We'd say get them all, but we can't advocate drinking that much, no matter how much we want to. Photo courtesy of Frankie's Tiki Room.

Some of the mug options. We’d say get them all, but we can’t advocate drinking that much, no matter how much we want to. Photo courtesy of Frankie’s Tiki Room.

Mai Tai – Frankie’s Tiki Room
When you’re talking tiki you have to mention Frankie. Frankie’s Tiki Room is a Vegas mainstay for several reasons, but we’re only going to list the one that we know you really care about – the drinks are strong. And the Tiki Bandit, Frankie’s unofficial take on the Mai Tai is no exception. Including flavors like pineapple and passion fruit, the Tiki Bandit is a tasty way to put a crazy amount of rum into your body. And you can get in a souvenir mug if you need something to remind you what you did last night, or if you just like waking up and saying, “Why the hell is there a tiki mug on my foot?”

A picture of a cocktail from Culinary Dropout, because we like tempting you with tasty pics. Photo courtesy of Culinary Dropout.

A picture of a super delicious cocktail from Culinary Dropout, because we like tempting you with tasty pics. Photo courtesy of Culinary Dropout.

Manhattan – Culinary Dropout
The traditional Manhattan is a whiskey drink that brings in bitters to bump up the flavor. Culinary Dropout is restaurant and bar that bumps up flavor and artistry the way a few vodka-Redbulls bump up your night. When you want something creative, this is one great place to be, and their 3 Bitter Manhattan proves it. They start with a rye whiskey, which is already a good choice, then add their special trio of dropout bitters to create a Manhattan that’s as tasty as it is engaging. Pair it with some fantastic food and you’ve got an evening, or afternoon, that will leave your tongue tingling for more.

Imagine drinking a cocktail here. We do it all the time. Jealous? Photo courtesy of the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.

Imagine drinking a cocktail here. We do it all the time. Jealous? You know, you can totally come here too. Photo courtesy of the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.

Margarita – The Chandelier at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas
You might not find it on the menu, but there’s a cocktail at the Chandelier at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas called the Verbena, and it’s incredible. It’s sort of a Margarita, at least it probably started out that way. Then the genius mixologists added a Szechuan button to the drink which takes it to levels you’ve probably never experienced. The bartender will instruct you how to eat the button first and let the tingling sensation it provides cover your tongue in happiness as you drink the cocktail and find the exciting space between taste and touch. This is one of those can’t-miss cocktails while you’re in Vegas. It’s unique, it’s alluring and it’ll make your trip to the Chandelier that much more magical.

Do you really need a reason to love this?

Do you really need a reason to love this? Photo courtesy of 3535 and the LINQ.

Martini — 3535 at the LINQ
Many cocktails are about subtlety and nuance. Then 3535 came along and decided that was stupid. Their infusions are powerful and commanding. They know their flavors and they make no apologies. We love that about them. And their cocktails challenge everything and everyone. Take the Sushi-tini, it’s a spicy cocktail with wasabi and ginger infused gin combined with sour citrus and sweet honey. It’s a truly revolutionary take on something as traditional as the Martini. Like many drinks at 3535, the Sushi-tini pretty much drops the mic on your expectations as it delivers a breathtaking performance in your mouth.

This. This is what a cocktail joint looks like. Photo courtesy of Alibi and Aria Las Vegas.

This. This is what a cocktail joint looks like. Photo courtesy of Alibi and Aria Las Vegas.

Piña Colada – Alibi at Aria
We still remember when Alibi opened. We got a table full of cocktails, drank them all and never looked back. This bar is on our short list of absolutes for cocktails in Las Vegas. They have so many great originals and original takes on classics, but today we’re noting their Spicy Pina. It’s sort of a Piña Colada, but in a more sophisticated way – like the difference between a beach and a yacht – and it uses Casamigos Blanco instead of the traditional rum. But you won’t care about traditions once you taste it.  Like every cocktail at Alibi, it’s intensely complex and takes a moment to fully decipher. But once you’ve had a moment to concentrate and try to examine all the flavors, you’ll see why we had to put something from Alibi on any list about great cocktails in Las Vegas.

Try all of our favorites or discover your own at these Vegas bars.

Comments

I came from a little town in the Midwest. And believe me, I’m never going back. It’s probably nice if you love grass and snow; but I love the lights, the glamour, and the flocks of tourists seeking fun and fortune. Once the sun goes down, I’ll be the first one out hitting the clubs or just wandering the Strip for a little nighttime adventure. Passing through Bond on my way to Lily Bar, or taking a shortcut through Double Helix before landing at Parasol Up/Down, I’m the one you’ll randomly bump into – only sometimes literally – strolling through Sin City’s liquored veins – and loving every minute of it.