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.
Hakkasan Group mixologist Tim Weigel grew up in Mandan, North Dakota, and kicked off his hospitality career at restaurants across Las Vegas before jumping behind the bar in 2006 at Gordon Biersch. After three years, he went on to join Aria, where he served as a bartender until 2013, when he joined Hakkasan Group. He started as a lead bartender for the company’s flagship restaurant, eventually rising through the ranks to oversee the cocktail programs at the company’s 18 restaurants and lounges worldwide. Here he shares some of his favorite places to grab a drink in Las Vegas.
Which bars or lounges do you turn to when you’re not working?
The Golden Tiki, Downtown Cocktail Room and Delmonico Steakhouse.
Which cocktails are most memorable?
The Banana Batida at Golden Tiki. Nothing says guilty pleasure likes a frozen cocktail and this delivers. It also has cachaça, which takes me back to Brazil in a glass, along with the Dole Whip to cool me down after a hot Vegas day.
Classics and vintage cocktails such as the Old Pal and Clover Club are done well at DCR and if you can nail the classics and vintage cocktails, the rest falls into place.
At Delmonico, I have to go on a tangent with this one because their whisk(e)y selection is out of this world. Not sure about the cocktails because we didn’t get that far.
Why do you enjoy going there?
Golden Tiki has a really cool island vibe. Also, has gaming, good food, great selection of sugar cane spirits, and a giant oyster shell. Downtown Cocktail Room is the originator of mixology bars in Vegas. I remember nine years ago when I first got onto the craft cocktail scene and went to DCR. It was tucked away in a clandestine spot just next to the mega slushy bars and old school cliché lounges near Fremont Street. It has a swanky vibe to it and is away from all the hustle and bustle of Fremont. The whiskies speak for themselves at Delmonico, and when Max Solano worked there, he took us on a tour of the most expressive whiskies I have tried. A truly magical experience.
Are there any outstanding coffee cocktails that you enjoy?
Not to toot my own horn, but the Pillow Talk at Lily Bar & Lounge inside Bellagio will be my new favorite twist on the espresso martini. It is a very decadent cocktail served along with coffee-flavored cotton candy.
What about breakfast or brunch drinks?
The quintessential brunch cocktail Ramos Gin Fizz at Herbs & Rye.
Where do you like to stop for a wide selection of beer?
Herringbone at Aria. I am a homebrewer and cicerone so I get quite geeky when it comes down to esoteric beer styles. Herringbone carries some unique styles along with great food and an awesome patio to boot. For microbreweries, I like Crafthaus. They don’t have a huge selection per se, but quality is the name of the game there. They have a Watermelon Gose that is so refreshing.
Would you like to include any other information?
Red Square Restaurant & Vodka Bar at Mandalay Bay is currently redoing its cocktail menu. The cocktails there are inspired by all things Russian including Borscht soup, Ivan Drago and other fun concepts. Can’t wait.
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