Sin City is home to a lot of restaurants and bars, but there are tons of hidden gems that the majority of Las Vegans aren't unearthing. To help guide us to these potential discoveries, we've enlisted some of our city's beverage players to share their recommendations for a random feature dubbed Cocktail Confidential. Know a bartender who wants to share some top cocktail spots? The tipline is open.
Everyone in the beverage industry knows Andrew Pollard, the beverage development specialist for Wirtz Beverage Nevada who has an uncanny resemblance to Kevin Bacon. Before training restaurants and bars on beverage programs and developing new menus, Pollard was the property mixologist and general manager of Vesper Bar at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. Pollard was also part of the opening teams for Tangerine Nightclub & Lounge, Social House and Noir Bar. He’s known for using artisanal and high-quality spirits to create progressive twists on classic favorites that he dubs "classic restoration." You might call this Cocktail Confidential a look at where to find Fernet-Branca in Las Vegas. Pollard shares the deets.
Which bars or lounges do you turn to when you’re not working?
I’m drawn to places with great offerings and an incredible ambiance. But, it’s the people that make it happen every day that really make a place special. You can have the greatest cocktails, best beers or finest wines and spirits on your menu, but most importantly, you need passionate people to execute the program and create the customer experience. For those reasons and more, a few of my favorite bars to belly up to right now are Vesper Bar inside the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, Carnevino inside the Palazzo and Sage inside Aria.
Great atmosphere, incredible service and an outstanding menus; it all comes together for a one-of-a-kind experience. In our line of work, that’s what we strive to help create and hope for out of every beverage establishment.
Which cocktails are most memorable?
Fernet-Branca, Fernet-Branca and Fernet-Branca. Seriously, I’m a huge fan of Fernet. It’s a great sipping spirit.
Why do you enjoy going there?
When imbibing, I have a simple and straightforward approach. So, I like a neat whiskey or tequila or a great tasting beer, depending on mood and availability. Ballast Point Sculpin IPA, Urthel Saisonniere, Green Flash and Rogue, are among a few of my favorites. When I’m in the mood for a nice cocktail, I favor the beauty and simplicity of a daiquiri, Negroni or "Proper" gin and tonic.
I can get my libations of choice at any one of the fine bars listed above, and I know it will always be well-made, delicious and presented with the utmost of service. While they all have that in common, each one is really a stand out in their own right.