Everyone has a favorite classic cocktail, one that every bartender should know how to make, and the better bartenders can transform with flavored alcohols or different bitters. We’ve rounded up the best reinventions of the following nine classic cocktails: Cosmopolitan, Manhattan, Moscow mule, bloody Mary, whiskey sour, martini, margarita, Mai Tai and naturally, the Old Fashioned.Read More
9 Classic Cocktails Reimagined in Las Vegas
1. The Bloody Mary at Culinary Dropout
A brunch and hangover cure classic, the bloody Mary is known to many as a savory and spicy tomato juice based cocktail, mixed with vodka, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, celery salt, ground and hot pepper, with options of horseradish (for more spice) or pickle spears for garnishing. Culinary Dropout delivers a delicious spin with their Bacon Bloody Mary variation, remaking this cocktail with bacon-infused Smirnoff vodka, Worcestershire and spiced tomato juice.
2. The Cosmopolitan at Cleo
The classic Cosmopolitan or Cosmo gained most of its popularity during the 1990s when the characters in the television show Sex in the City often chose this cocktail as their drink of choice while out on the town. Traditionally, a Cosmo is made with vodka, triple sec or Cointreau, cranberry and lime juice. The Cleo in the SLS reinvents the Cosmo cocktail with the Janapolitan, mixing Belvedere vodka, crushed strawberry, basil leave and fresh lime juice.
3. The Mai Tai at Other Mama
A classic rum and summertime cocktail, the Mai Tai is easily made with light and dark rum, fresh lime juice, Curacao, simple syrup and orange juice with mint (and maybe an umbrella) for garnishing. While more commonly known for their sushi and oysters, Other Mama offers a complete cocktail menu, with each drink named with an old fashioned traditional female name. Florence is the reinvention of a Mai Tai, constructed with grilled pineapple Pyrat rum, fresh lime and All Spice Dram.
4. The Manhattan at Rhumbar
While there are several ways to make a traditional Manhattan, this classic cocktail is one for the whiskey lovers. Originally made with rye whiskey, it can also be made with bourbon or Canadian whiskey, mixed with sweet vermouth, Angostura bitters and garnished with maraschino cherries. Rhumbar refashions this cocktail with rum in the Tin Manhattan, made with Cruzan Single Barrel Rum, fresh lime juice, Velvet Falernum liqueur, bitters and a dash of ginger beer.
5. The Margarita at Velveteen Rabbit
A go-to summer drink, the margarita is perfect for cooling off and is one of the easier cocktails to create made with tequila, Cointreau (not triple sec) and fresh lime juice. Don’t reach for the pre-made margarita mix. Instead travel downtown to the Velveteen Rabbit, whose seasonal Spring menu currently features the Infierno. A refashioned margarita crafted with tequila, mezcal, green tomatillo juice, apricot liqueur, horseradish syrup, lime and smoked salt.
6. The Martini at Classic Jewel
A classic cocktail preferred by a certain British Secret Service agent should be shaken, not stirred. The gin martini is a drink with tradition and several variations. Though, the classic martini is made with gin or vodka, dry vermouth, ice and pimento-stuffed green olives dropped into the drink. The Classic Jewel located in Downtown offers The Fitzgerald, a reinvention of the martini made with Hendricks Gin, muddled cucumbers and lime and housemade sour. They also offer a Classic Jewel Martini (gin or vodka) if you want to stay in your comfort zone.
7. The Moscow Mule at Vesper Bar
Often served in its traditional copper mug, the Moscow mule has grown in popularity over the recent years. A relatively easy cocktail to create, the Moscow mule is made of only three ingredients: vodka, fresh lime juice and ginger beer. The Vesper Bar located in the Cosmopolitan reconstructs this drink with the Hot Mule created with Hangar One Spiced Pear, housemade ginger syrup, lemon Angostura, ginger beer and mint.
8. The Old Fashioned at Herbs & Rye
True to its name, the Old Fashioned is a classic cocktail that highlights the alcohol that’s used. Comprised of whiskey, one sugar cube (placed first in the old-fashioned glass and wetted down), followed three small dashes of Angostura bitters and club soda, garnished with a maraschino cherry. Head over to Herbs & Rye, where the cocktail menu takes diners through drinks from 1776 to present day. In the Golden Age of 1865-1900 is the Ward Eight, which is fashioned with rye whiskey, orange, lemon and H&R Grenadine.
9. The Whiskey Sour at Mandarin Bar
A traditional combination of sweet and sour, the whiskey sour is carefully constructed with whiskey, fresh lemon juice, simple syrup, maraschino cherries for garnish and occasionally egg white. The Mandarin Bar completely reinvents this drink with the Rising Plum, constructed with Hibiki Japanese whiskey (aged 12 years), fresh lemon juice, housemade simple syrup, egg whites, Bittercube bitters and Kakutsuru plum wine, all mixed and poured over ice with a plum garnish.