Last month we visited Sin City, and had a blast! Well known for frozen Margarita yards and free well drinks in casinos, there are also some fantastic proper cocktails out there to discover. Of course there are far too many bars to visit in one (or twenty) trips, but here are my top five of 2017 in the order we visited them:
- Kahiki Kai (Frankie’s Tiki Room – Arts District)
Off the main drag but well worth the effort, Frankie’s Tiki Room is a wonder. From the outside, this concrete block of a building looks somewhat uninviting, but don’t let that put you off. We visited on a Monday lunchtime (because we are hardcore, and also because we had a lot to pack in and that’s when we could make it), but given the chance we would have been back there repeatedly. So, from the blinding sunshine of the midday desert, we stumbled into a cool, and super dark interior. So much so that when you first walk in you have to stop and let your eyes adjust before you can avoid walking straight into a table. Once adjusted, we began to see the wonderfully kitsch Polynesian interior, as well as the quiet bar and number of small table dotted around.
Now I’m here to talk about the best cocktails, so I will focus in on the Kahiki Kai; it was a delicious, refreshing and well-balanced number, strong but easy to drink. However, this place was just fantastic in general, and all the drinks we tried were great. Friendly too and also great fun when we tried out the ‘Secret Vice’ machine in the corner.
Kahiki Kai contains Coconut Rum, Banana Liqueur and Pineapple Juice.
- Kinky Bitch Margarita (The Pink Taco, Hard Rock Hotel – Strip adjacent)
So we took a little walk off to the right of the main drag to visit the Hard Rock Hotel. The place is great fun, and the pool network is something special. We stopped in the Pink Taco for lunch and of course lunch is served with a cocktail!
I tried the Kinky Bitch, from their Margarita menu, and what a treat it was! Pretty to look at, sweet, tangy and refreshing, the Kinky liqueur added a real extra dimension. The fresh strawberries on top were also delicious.
A fun place with great food, this is certainly worth the stroll (although ideally not at the hottest point of the day). If you make it that far, you are also close to the infamous Doubldown Saloon, so pop in and sample their Ass Juice house punch.
The Kinky Bitch contains Patrón Silver, Kinky Liqueur, Triple Sec, and Lime.
- Mai Tai (Oak & Ivy, Downtown Container Park – Downtown)
Oak & Ivy specialises in scotch and bourbon but also has a range of barrel aged cocktails. I tried a Mai Tai, as you can really tell if a place knows its stuff from their versions of classics. This Mai Tai was near perfect. Really well-balanced, all the flavours coming through, and well garnished with mint and orange to give such a brilliant initial aroma before you even take a sip.
And to the place itself; located in the corner of the Downtown Container Park (worth a visit anytime), it had a small bar downstairs and then an upstairs roof terrace. Our group of five had the terrace to ourselves, and we sat in the glorious sunshine, enjoying the drifting breeze. We were trying to explore a whole list of places that day, but the drinks and relaxed atmosphere meant that we had to stay for another.
Mai Tai contains Rhum Clement, Courba, Velvet Falernum, Bols Orange Curacao and Orgeat.
- Pink Mojito (Hakkasan, MGM – Strip)
Hakkasan is a restaurant, bar and club complex inside the MGM Grand. We had an amazing dinner in Hakkasan, and enjoyed a few of the featured cocktails along the way. Best for me was the Pink Mojito – long, fruity, and refreshing, it went well with the food and was an intersting mix between a Mojito, Margarita and a long Cosmo. Served in a lovely tall slender glass with lots of crushed ice and well garnished with fresh mint, it was a very drinkable cocktail.
Great and attentive service in this place, and excellent food. It’s quite pricey, but if you are looking for a treat for a special occasion I would really recommend. Also, our dinner bill got us free entry into the nightclub, making it seem even better value!
Pink Mojito contains Herradura Reposado Tequila, Mint, Lime and Cranberry.
- Normadle Club Daiquiri (Skyfall Lounge, Delano – Strip)
We visited the Skyfall Lounge on our last night in Las Vegas, and what a place! Located high up in the Delano Hotel at the South end of the Strip, this was definitely one of our top five views in Vegas (more on that later). What’s lovely here is that you can sit outside and enjoy the breeze, while taking in the amazing view.
We visited during the Sunset Happy Hour (5-7pm daily), where the drinks are on special, and you can sit and watch the sun go down!
I ordered the Normandle Club Daiquiri, which promised a twist on a classic Daiquiri, and it certainly delivered. Small and simple looking, the drink was extremely well-balanced and had a lovely combination of flavours. The pisco and peach added an extra dimension to a good basic rum and lime base. What a treat to sip this and stare out over the Strip (couldn’t resist the moody shot below)!
Normandle Club Daiquiri contained Plantation Rum, Pisco, Peach and Lime.
What’s your favourite Las Vegas cocktail? Where have I missed? And if you won’t be visiting soon, which of these will you try to make at home?
Whatever you try, remember to enjoy (responsibly)! x