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Libations for Less At Cosmopolitan

By MikeE on Tuesday, 31st May 2011 9:44am
  » filed under Las Vegas  comments: 13


The "mixologist" (read: talented bartender - stop the pretentiousness PUH-lease) has exploded in culinary and nightlife circles, especially in Vegas. We haven't seen a trend like this since the burger joint explosion of 2008, day club explosion of 2009 tapas explosion of 2010. And why not? With a little talent and extra care in crafting these beverages, some Vegas spots are charging double or even more over a standard liquor + mixer concoction.

Cosmopolitan is easily the leader of this new trend, poaching the best bartenders throughout the city and creating eclectic drink menus at every spot. While we love the variety, this means that a night exploring the specialties at various bars could easily set you back the cost of your room upstairs.

So what do you do if your palette demands a specialty cocktail on a rum and coke budget? Easy. Go to any of the major bars at Cosmo, ideally when they're not swarmed with people, and find a bartender that looks like he or she really knows what they're doing. Give that bartender your preferences and ask them to surprise you with something of their own and not on the menu. Not only will your drink most likely kick ass, but since it's not on the menu, is consistently charged $10 (this according to a Vesper receipt that documented me drinking like a whale on a fish's budget).

Yeah, yeah, I know. $10 for a drink might still seem overpriced, but if you've ever done the specialty cocktail run, I know you'll thank me for this.


Comments & Discussion:

Better yet, sig. drinks are comped for VP players at the bars (at quarter level no less), so once you work your way through their standard signature drinks, then approach them about mixing up their specialties. This of course doesn't do much good at the Chandelier bar, but Vesper, Bond, and Stage have all been visited with no issue.

On this day, Mike E called for the pretentiousness to stop. And the world collapsed in on itse....

Problem is: now it looks like they know their weakness and they're sorting it out. Had a bartender at Vesper craft two drinks for me on Friday and ended up with an itemized receipt charging me $12 for a "Manhattan" and $14 for a "Lemon Drop."

When I was at Chandelier for the second time back in March, I decided to channel my inner Don Draper and order an Old Fashioned (after having my favorite drink there, the Libertine). The bartender obviously doesn't get too many folks ordering them, so he was quite interested to get my input on it. It was good and as it should be, and told him as such (I guess he was thinking I was humoring him, so I told him that if it was a bad drink, I wouldn't be drinking it.).

One way to test a bartender is to have them mix up a classic old school cocktail. I actually stumped a bartender at a bar here one time, as they didn't know how to make a Rob Roy and I had to tell them how to make it (I guess they didn't keep a copy of the Bartender's Bible with them.). I could understand not knowing how to make one if this was at an Appleby's or Chili's, but this was at a high end cigar bar.

Anybody know how to make a Gin & Tonic?

How about a Tab and Coke. Bill Murray "Scrooged" style!!!
Anyone here know how to make that?

How about something that doesnt have Red Bull in it?

What kind of Rob Roy? Anybody with a smart phone can download an app that has the receipe for every drink ever made, that you can look up in seconds. The iPhone "Mixology" app has 3 kinds of Rob Roy's. We have had fun asking for unique drinks that look good using this app, and if the bartender doesn't know, then just showing them the recipe. Always tipping extra for their efforts! And enjoying the drinks.

Downtown Cocktail club bartenders were awesome last time we were there and as an old barkeep myself, the cocktail list was awesome. I think they were all around the $10-$12 mark too ( I may or may not have had a whole bunch of Jack Daniel's prior to trying out this great little gem of a bar)

My Rob Roy experience was about 13-14 years ago, well before smartphones. But back in those days, any bar worth their salt should have had a copy of the Bartender's Bible (or something similar) behind the bar. This was during the big cocktail/swing revival of the mid-to-late 90s when these drinks became popular again.

In April, I ordered a Macallan 18 on the rocks. The Guido next to me, who was about 3 days past 21 asked me what it was. I told him it was scotch and he tried to advise me that scotch is always better mixed with 7-up. He then said, and I quote, "Crown and 7 is my favorite."

For the record, I bought him a crown and 7. Stupidity that profound deserves positive reinforcement.

^^ smooth. i gotta remember this move.

Sign of the times...I asked a bartender at a Cosmopolitan bar if they carried Hardy's Perfection (150 yr cognac that can run up to 12k a bottle). Her reply was succinct and told me everything I needed to know--"Sorry, we don't carry Ed Hardy Vodka."

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