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.
[Photos: Jenna Dosch]
Charo Ronquillo has risen through the food and beverage ranks of Las Vegas pretty quickly. The 27-year-old general manager of Fizz Las Vegas at Caesars Palace was a bartender at Vintner Grill and a manager at Society Cafe at Wynn Las Vegas before becoming a restaurant manager at Red Rock Resort. She moved on to become the lounge manager at Hyde at the Bellagio before taking on the swanky confines of the champagne lounge that features the artwork of Sir Elton John and David Furnish. Here, she talks about three of her favorite places to imbibe when she's not surrounded by bubbles.
Which bars or lounges do you turn to when you're not working?
Herbs & Rye, Hyde Lounge at the Bellagio and Mercadito at Red Rock Resort.
Which cocktails are most memorable?
Herbs & Rye: I like the Blackthorn Sour, made with sloe gin, chartreuse, pineapple and lemon. I also enjoy ordering the Moscow mules. Aside from the fact that it's refreshing, it's fun to watch the bartender smash on the ice-filled burlap sack with a wooden mallet.
Hyde Lounge: At Hyde, I order the Love Unit, made with vanilla and regular vodka, fresh grapefruit, fresh red pepper juice, lime and basil. It's very unique and nothing like you've ever tasted before; it's very fresh with just the right amount of savory.
Mercadito: I enjoy the Little Market made with Reposado tequila, pineapple purée and guajillo syrup. The tequila and guajillo syrup give this variation of a margarita some smokey heat that is well-balanced with sweet pineapple and the tang of fresh lime juice. YUM!
Why do you enjoy going there?
Herbs & Rye feels like Las Vegas' very own Cheers, "where everybody knows your name," except with beyond-incredible cocktails and a wealth of beverage knowledge behind the bar. Ok, maybe not like Cheers, however, Nectaly Mendoza does have a striking resemblance to Diane.
Hyde Lounge: You can't get a better view in Vegas than at Hyde. You're right on the fountains, front and center. It really is remarkable. Plus the staff is easy on the eyes, too!
Mercadito: I practically live around the corner from Mercadito. It's new, but already feels like home. Mercadito is a great addition to the Summerlin scene. I typically sit at the bar. Say hello to Drama. He'll whip you up something delish!
· All Coverage of Fizz Las Vegas [~ELV~]
· All Cocktail Confidentials [~ELV~]