New Vegas bars on the block

Las Vegas is constantly growing and changing. And the bar is always being raised. Usually that’s just a figure of speech that probably comes from sports or something. But in Vegas, it means new bars pop up that make everyone take notice. Two of the newest on the Las Vegas Strip are Alibi at Aria and 3535 at The LINQ Hotel and Casino. You won’t want to miss the boat on these bars. Their master mixologists mix everything but metaphors — clearly that’s our job. Here’s what makes these bars so great:

An array of cocktails from Alibi.

Alibi

Aria has always felt like a sexy little secret slightly tucked away from the Strip. It’s sleek, smooth and full of its own brand of foot traffic. Now, thanks to Alibi and its management agency Light Group, Aria’s got openness to add to the swagger. While City Bar — the bar that occupied the space before Alibi — always felt like a getaway inside a getaway, Alibi brings the action front and center to very clearly capitalize on the name.

Wherever you sit inside you can be seen. The walls are open to the table games and the walkways. Yet the two entrances still give an air of exclusivity. It’s the kind of place where you can sit in peace or snack with a group, all while making your presence known. You’re there. You’re out. And the world around you will envy. But even as flowing as the space is, the drinks at Alibi will make you forget about everything outside your mouth.

The Light Groups’ Lead Mixologist Michael Monrreal has created a cocktail menu that elevates Aria toward the top of the Vegas cocktail scene. The tastes don’t rely on gimmicks or crazy ingredients; they just meld together to form flavors so pristine you’d think they were mixed by machines for mass production. If you’re the type that likes slight flaws in your products to prove they were hand crafted, these aren’t the drinks for you. But if you appreciate human perfection, the cocktails at Alibi will certainly gain your praise.

Pictured: Rosemary Amaretti — a cocktail like grandma used to make, if your grandma was a master mixologist. Floral, fruity and fully fantastic, this drink is forever a new favorite. You can even eat the flowers if you really wanted to — but we’ve been assured they just taste like flowers.

Lonsdale (Alibi version) — Sweet in all the right ways with an intriguing hint of savory Thai basil and cardamom honey. The apple slice reminds you that what you’re drinking is freshly made and meant to be enjoyed.

Bright Eyed and Bushy Tailed — Coffee, coffee, coffee! Real coffee beans and an orange slice float about this decedent arrangement of coffee, rye and bitters. There’s lots of caffeine, just the right amount of kick and plenty of flavor to wake you up and keep you drinking for hours.

Alibi features an extensive list of signature cocktails as well as champagne wishes and a succulent small plate menu. The $18 cocktail price may seem steep, but for the ambiance, and especially the taste, it’s worth it.

3535 Bar at the LINQ.

3535

The LINQ Hotel and Casino is trying many new things for a Strip hotel. They know their demographics and they understand those customers’ wants. From board games in the room to interactive TVs, they’re clearly focused on the future and how to find its niche. And their hallmark bar, 3535 (named after the address of the hotel), is no exception. This bar knows its identity, is proud of its contribution and is poised to progress and impress.

The upbeat and ultra hip space features bar seating with integrated phone chargers, lounge areas and semi-private booths set into alcoves in one wall. The combination of design elements and multiple experiences, as well as table games and a DJ, show how 3535 is seeking both diversity and repeat business. Whether you’re gambling, dancing, relaxing, snuggling in a booth or determined to try everything in the bar, 3535 will let you revel in your night then try something different tomorrow. And that concept is also echoed in their primary focus — infusions.

LINQ beverage manager Thomas McNally, LINQ beverage director Jay Lattimer, and the whole staff at 3535 have created a line of 35 custom infusions that range from intriguing to irresistible. From the sweet tartness of berries to the earthy depth of sage, custom infusions are bringing new possibilities to the world of cocktails, and 3535 is proving just how complex and consuming they can be. By infusing premium liquors in house, the bartenders can craft tastes that blend far better than pre-made flavored spirits ever will. They can adjust, they can tinker and they will ensure your experience is always as special as you’ll feel.

Pictured: Apple Cider Old Fashioned — Old is new again with the classic flavors you thought you knew. Apple-cinnamon infused bourbon takes you all the way home, and a rum soaked cherry turns your rec room into something naughtier.

Wat-a-Pear — For the fruit fanatic, watermelon and rosemary infused vodka combine with pear to prove alcohol can be just as refreshing as a juice drink. Like a summer day in a glass, it’ll create a memory you’ll look back to on holiday barbeques and Little League games for years to come.

Sushitini– Spice and liquid can play together like rice and nori. The wasabi will tickle your tongue and the smoothness will tantalize your taste for adventure. It’s like drinking sushi, minus the MSG and potential food poisoning.

3535 Bar also features half-priced samplings of their infusion based cocktails as well as custom flights. And if cocktails aren’t your thing, they also have wine on tap and plenty of beer. New, hip and sure to stick around, 3535 is a driving force for The LINQ.

Everywhere in Las Vegas new bars are taking our infatuation with all things alcohol to new heights. From complex blends to careful infusions, and constant evolutions of both, Alibi and 3535 are proving Las Vegas has so much more to offer the cocktail fan than $2 worth of cheap booze in a $20 novelty cup. We’re a city of innovation and expression — everything you can find at these outstanding new Las 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.