Let’s get straight to the point: if you are in Las Vegas, you’re going to drink alcohol. Liquor is part of the culture in Las Vegas. It’s built into the very fabric of what makes a visit to Sin City so intoxicating. That is why it is crucial that you keep this in mind intrepid explorer: The booze on the Las Vegas Strip is more than just obnoxious hangover inducing daiquiris and $3 Michelobs, it is much, much more. A wave of game changing mixologists and chefs like Mariena Mercer and José Andrés are evolving the Sin City bar scene from staples like the Jagerbomb to creative experience based cocktails that defy the taste buds. It seems every resort on the strip from the Cosmopolitan, Waldorf Astoria and Venetian are making a concerted effort to up their bar program. So, now the question is; where to start? Fear not hooch hound, Party Pantheon has compiled the definitive list of Las Vegas’ 10 best cocktails below.
10. Spanish Trail - Skybar - Waldorf Astoria: One of the best views on the strip is fabulously complimented by one of the tastiest cocktails in Sin City at the Skybar (formerly the Mandarin Bar) in the newly taken over Waldorf Astoria (formerly the Mandarin Oriental). This margarita on steroids features Azunia organic tequila, mandarin liqueur, topped with delicious clouds of blood orange Gran Marnier foam. Take the elevator up to this laid back 23rd story lounge and get laid out by this unforgettable margarita. This bar was noted in our Top 10 Best bars with a view in Las Vegas list. Instagram
9. Old Fashioned - Rosina - Palazzo: In a world of basic one dimensional bar offerings - Las Vegas institutions like the Rosina give us hope. The brainchild of David Rabin and mixologist Sam Ross; Rosina’s menu is a clinic of retro coolness. French 75’s and Manhattans executed to perfection with top shelf liquors and fresh juices made in house. If you’re going classic, really go classic and go with the best damn Old Fashioned around. The art-deco decor and flawlessly prepared old fashioned will transport you right back to the roaring 20’s. Word to the wise: be sure to get here early. This gem on the strip only seats 65 people and with how excellent the bar program is these seats are in extremely high demand. Trust us, it’s worth the stop. Instagram
8. Penichillin - Electra - Venetian: Yea we spelled that right. This creative slushi version of the Penicillin (a fancy bar standard) is definitely, 100% pun intended. Created by next level mixologist Sam Ross - sipping this hoochie smoothie in Electra’s Blade Runner meets Great Gatsby decor will have your head spinning and your tastebuds humming. A drink already delicious in its own right; the frozen version is an interesting take and a must try for all you scotch lovers. Instagram
7. Coney Island Express - The Dorsey - Venetian: I’m sure some readers are wondering how the Venetian holds down spots 7-9 on our list: Are we biased? Are we being paid off? Are we from Italy? The answer to all of these questions is no, and if it’s not obvious already it’s because of drinks like the Coney Island Express. Sam Ross is back at it again with this devilish combination of rum, vanilla, Amaro CioCiaro and cold brew coffee that is sure to keep the party going all night. While you’re here be sure to get your Boogie Nights on and try out the Disco-Bowl pairings, champagne punch served in… You guessed it; A disco ball! WOW! Instagram
6. Boozy Baja Blast - Taco Bell Cantina - Harmon Corner: Coming in at number six is an offering so bizarre, so out of place and so uniquely embodying Las Vegas that we felt remiss not to include it. That’s right - Taco Bell has a cantina on the strip and well… It’s the best and the worst thing ever. This two story fast food behemoth offers T-Bell classics like quesadillas and grilled burritos as well as some new offerings like chicken tenders and spicy bacon and ranch smothered potatoes. Most notably - the Taco Bell Cantina features a beer and “Twisted Freeze” bar - because what could be better than washing down your 7-layer burrito with an electric orange boozy slushie? Pick your flavor of slushi and pick your poison (rum, whiskey, tequila or vodka) and the kind Taco artists behind the counter will make all your wildest dreams come true. We are big fans of the Baja Blast Taco Bell exclusive flavor combined with vodka. Ladies and gents - this place is open 24 hours a day and depending on your group could be the perfect way to start OR end a night. Instagram
5. Blood and Sand - Bound - Cromwell Hotel and Casino: Bound is the creation of bar dynamo Salvatore Calabrese, nestled inside of the Cromwell Hotel and Casino’s lobby and is a must for anyone wanting an elevated cocktail experience on the strip. The gilded age leather bound interior of Bound is the perfect backdrop to settle in for an evening of boozy delight. Signature drinks like the Spicy Fifty and the Keep Me Awake, Bro are sure to make an impression on your tastebuds but the real stand out is the Blood and Sand. This parlor staple gets a modern twist, including: Johnnie Walker Black, sweet vermouth, cherry Heering brandy and delicious orange foam will keep you coming back for more. Instagram
4. Petrossian Martini - Petrossian Bar - Bellagio: Feel like classing it up and watching the world go by? Then the Gin Martini at the Petrossian Bar is for you. Tucked away inside of the luxurious Bellagio Hotel and Casino you’ll find that the Petrossian Bar, equipped with an elegant live piano soundtrack, decadent caviar and a champagne list that will delight the most refined of palates. The martini at this opulent oasis comes down to absolutely perfect execution and top shelf ingredients: Beluga Gold Line Noble Russian Vodka, vermouth, garnished with a Petrossian Caviar Cube and a cucumber slice. This drink is the fabulous side of Las Vegas in a nutshell: timeless, cool, and delicious. Instagram
3. Sinatra Smash - Sinatra - Encore at Wynn: If you are looking for that classic Vegas experience - those Rat Pack-ing, lushy Old Blue Eyes days; look no further than the Sinatra Restaurant in Encore Hotel and Casino. This high end temple of all things Frank Sinatra features one of the most storied drinks on the strip, the Sinatra Smash. Listen to classics like “My Way” and “New York, New York” while you drink this tasty elixir of Gentleman Jack, Sonoma Vanilla infused simple syrup, Briotett Creme de Cassis, house made sweet and sour, and muddled blackberries. Bottoms up! Instagram
2. Salt Air Margarita - China Poblano - Cosmopolitan: For all margarita lovers in Sin City look no further than José Andrés’ Salt Air Margarita. This sophisticated take on the classic margarita includes tequila blanco, fresh lime juice and mesmerizing “Salt Air”. Inspired by Andres’ ocean frolics, “Salt Air” combines sucro, salt and lime juice to create a cloud of delicious sea foam that provides extra depth to the typical margarita salt flavor profile. Seek out the China Poblano or Bazaar Meat in the SLS to get your Salt Air Margarita fix. Instagram
1. Verbena - Chandelier Bar 1.5 - Cosmopolitan: Aside from being one of our favorite hotel/casinos to hang out in and arguably the hippest place on the Las Vegas strip, the Cosmopolitan also happens to have our top drink - the Verbena. This off-the-menu cocktail is basically a fancy tequila sour turned upside-down: the ingredients are Herradura Blanco Tequila, yuzu-calamansi sour mix, ginger syrup and garnished with the magical Schezuan Button. When chewed the Schezuan Button numbs your mouth making every other potent flavor in this cocktail (literally and figuratively) erupt on your palate. Instagram
For your night out in Vegas, don’t settle for the first bar you stumble across - dig deeper and you shall be rewarded with liquor treasures beyond your most fabulous dreams dear traveler. Did you love this list? Did you hate this list? What did we leave out??? - let us know on our instagram post!