With the rise of mixology programs across Las Vegas, sophisticated cocktails have become an integral part of nightlife in Sin City. In recent months, a spate of new ultra-lounges and nightclubs has taken this trend to the next level. We've selected the hottest spots to experience the new cocktail frontier.
For Bellinis Al Fresco
The main attraction of the super trendy Hyde Lounge at the Bellagio (pictured above) is the open-air patio, which has a handful of tables that look out upon the Fountains at Bellagio. Wash down the views with old-school drinks from the club’s roving Bellini cart. New-school cocktails also are available from two on-site bars.
Good to Know: The Love Unit, with Thai basil, Stolichnaya vanilla vodka, pressed lime, grapefruit, and hand-extracted bell pepper juices, is one of our faves.
For Drinks with Dice
The highlight of the Talon Club, a sophisticated, exclusive gambling salon at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, is an intimate pocket bar open to drinkers with bankrolls of all sizes. There’s no menu here; instead, mixologists pour top-shelf liquors neat, or incorporate them into cocktails designed to satisfy individual customer preferences.
Good to Know: Tell them you like tequila, and ask for a glass of hard-to-find Casa Dragones on the rocks.
For Guilt-Free Creations
The "OAK" in the animal-themed nightclub's name, 1 OAK, stands for "One of A Kind," and that moniker certainly applies to the swanky vibe at this spot, located at the Mirage. When this Vegas outpost of the buzzy New York City original opened in January, the drink of the evening was the Sultry Red, made with low-calorie Voli raspberry-cocoa infused vodka, raspberries, blackberries, apple cider and maple syrup.
Good to Know: The Sultry Red isn't the only low-cal drink choice. If raspberries aren't your thing, opt for one of the others—they're equally delicious.
For Cocktails with Dinner
The food definitely stands on its own at Central by Michel Richard, a down-to-earth eatery in the lobby of Caesars Palace, but the overall bar experience is outstanding. Drinks are creative and fun; we like the Halcyon Cosmo (Grey Goose Le Citron, Cointreau, lime juice, white cranberry juice, and drunken cranberries).
Good to Know: The view is spectacular as well. There's no better place at Caesars Palace to people-watch.
For Classic Standbys
The Lady Silvia, a speakeasy located in the SoHo Lofts downtown, is perfect for those seeking a watering hole with a brainy, hipster vibe. It has floor-to-ceiling bookcases, and was inspired by the Strahov Monastery in Prague. The lounge doubles as an exhibition space. Oh, and it serves up old-school cocktails, too (try the classics, like a Sidecar).
Good to Know: We especially love Reverse Happy Hour, held weeknights from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m.
Thinking of a trip to Las Vegas? For up-to-the-minute hotel and restaurant recommendations, plus the best planning advice, check out our online Las Vegas Travel Guide.
Photo credit: courtesy Hyde Lounge, Bellagio