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Where to Drink in Vegas Right Now — June 2013

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2008_10_hasmaps.jpgWhether grabbing an after-work cocktail, making it a night out on the town with the boys or girls or trying to lubricate that special someone, why not imbibe in good taste? Here's a list of 36 of the slightly more interesting cocktail bars in Las Vegas. Hot newcomers and old standbys make of the list of places to imbibe. You know what to do if your favorite didn’t make the cut — leave it in the comments.

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Yes, named for Bond, James Bond, this lounge overlooks the Strip at the front of Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. The lounge features pop-up performances with window boxes featuring musicians, performance artists and art installations. Cocktails here are a quirky take on traditional drinks.

The Bourbon Room

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This ode to Rock of Ages features more than than 60 different kinds of bourbons from the Angel Share Reserve Menu, including two single-barrel signature bourbons, Eagle Rare and Woodford Reserve, made exclusively for the Bourbon Room. The more nostalgic can take a trip back into the ‘80s and enjoy Bartles & Jaymes flavored wine coolers.

Casa Fuente Cigar Lounge

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Specialty cocktails such as the Casa Mojito and Old Cuban make this cigar bar a perfect spot to sup on rum-based drinks. Look for Hemingway’s Epitaph made with ginger ale and a lemon spiral or Carlito’s Way — Stoli Vanil, Kahlua and espresso.

The Chandelier

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The setting is divine within the 2 million beaded crystals at The Chandelier at Cosmopolitan. The three levels offer their own experiences. Head to the second for the concoctions of Mariena Mercer, the general manager there. The cocktails feature molecular garnishes made tableside from a modern bar cart. Try the Fire Breathing Dragon, a raspberry, lemongrass and Thai chili libation garnished with a dehydrated raspberry that is treated with liquid nitrogen. Once the raspberry enters the mouth, smoke releases from the berry.


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The 6,000-square-foot cocktail bar features a decor reminiscent of the pre-Prohibition era replete with cocktails reflecting the time. Incandescent lights brighten the room with its dark woods and exposed brick. Alcoves hide the booths while a 20-foot-long communal bar encourages conversation. Picture frames and candlelight fill out the decor, while a stuffed albino peacock greets guests at the bar. In the back, a speakeasy with a secret entrance. Upstairs, a 2,000-square-foot rooftop bar offers live music. The rooftop bar has a separate cocktail menu that includes East of Fremont's made with Bombay Sapphire East gin, cucumber-flavored soda and fresh spices and Exotic Feelings with Absolut Vanilla vodka, TyKu Coconut Nigori sake, fresh mint, lime and Fever Tree ginger beer.

Downtown Cocktail Room

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Downtown’s revitalization begins with the Downtown Cocktail Room, the swanky speakeasy with chichi drinks and a smooth setting. You might miss the front door with its indiscrete sign and even more difficult-to-find front door. Trust us; if this is your first time, you’ll want to pull up some of the cozy velvet chairs to watch others try to find it. The cocktail menu will have you swooning over the Downtown Jackie Brown, a mix of rum and tequila that blends tart and sweet or the Rhubarb Refresher, taking advantage of the tart veggie mixed with gin.

Fireside Lounge

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The 24-hour Fireside Lounge inside the Peppermill is more kitsch than stupendous drinks. The cozy booths make the perfect spot for making out, while a coveted seat around the fire pit will net you a view of the flames spewing from the white waters. Specialty cocktails here come in goblets the size of a soccer ball with straws so long that you could stand up and sip.

Frankie's Tiki Room

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Rum is the name of the game at Frankie's Tiki Room, a kitschy bar decked out in Tiki galore. The Lava Letch combines demon rum, brandy, raspberry liqueur and ginger beer with a warning to lock up your daughters, while the Bearded Clam is a Tiki twist on the classic mojito, made with passion fruit. Guaranteed to part that grass skirt.

Gold Lounge

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Elvis performed at The International (now the LVH) for seven years with 837 consecutive sold-out shows for an audience of more than 2.5 million. The King still rules in Las Vegas at the Gold Boutique Nightclub & Lounge. This ode to all things Elvis features nods to his Graceland home bathed in gold and black. Look for wrought iron monkeys, a stallion lamp you’ll want to mount and bathrooms that look like they were designed by a a mind meld between Halston and Cher.

Golden Gate Casino Bar

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Head down to the Golden Gate Casino Bar for Prohibition Era cocktails. One of Golden Gate’s most famous patrons, Frank Sinatra, would sit at Casino Bar for drinks before and after performing nearby. Now, the Frankie Two Fingers commemorates his exact order at Golden Gate — two fingers of Jack Daniels, a splash of bottled water and four ice cubes. The Italian Kiss combines Amaretto and Southern Comfort for a smooth, sweet finish. The Golden Gate’s Flaming Side Car features the classic combination of Grand Marnier, cognac and rum and is garnished with a flaming lemon rind. The Jazz Stinger features cognac and crème de menthe liqueur. And the Golden Gate’s Satchmo Fizz is named for jazz crooner Louis Armstrong’s famous moniker and is a recreation of his favorite beverage — a classic gin fizz made with Bombay Sapphire.

Herbs & Rye

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This off-Strip bar and steakhouse combines a mobster-cum-speakeasy ethos that makes for one of the best places to nab a classic cocktail in town. Try the Blood & Sand or a Sazerac with your bloody rare steak, which is 50 percent off during happy hour.

Hit Bar & Lounge

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Heading over to the Monte Carlo to check out Hit Bar & Lounge is worth the trip. This high-limits lounge also has an extensive list of cocktails, many from days of yore. The menu itself, showcased in a leather-bound journal, tells the tale of each drink with many made from small-batch liquors. For example, the Leap Year, created by London bartender Harry Craddock at the Savoy Hotel, on Feb. 29, 1928, causes many to drop on one knee and propose with its mildly sweet flavor and surprises with a touch of bitterness.

Hyde Bellagio

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An open-air patio with a view overlooking the Fountains at Bellagio isn’t the only highlight at Hyde. A roving Bellini cart brings the cocktails to you, many made with liquid nitrogen. Try the Love Unit, made with Thai basil, Stolichnaya vanilla vodka, pressed lime, grapefruit and hand-extracted bell pepper juices.

The Lady Silvia Lounge

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Find the hidden The Lady Silvia inside the Soho Lofts and feel as if you’re stepping into a members-only club. The smoke-free lounge features a hip library surrounding the seating area with a good selection of specialty cocktails.

Laguna Champagne Bar

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A whole bar in the middle of the Palazzo casino floor is dedicated to that liquid elixir known as Champagne. Look for six Champagnes by the glass, four by the half bottle, 16 by the 750-ml bottle, five Rosé Champagnes, three blanc de blancs Champagne made from 100% Chardonnay, eight vintage Champagnes from 1995 to 2002, five Magnum bottles, one Jéroboam format and one Methuselah format. Not enough? Try a Champagne cocktail or one of the “Boom Boom” shooters.

Lily Bar & Lounge

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Not quite a nightclub and more of a lounge, Lily Bar & Lounge sits in the midst of the Bellagio. Spanish-imported stone tabletops, antique-inspired mirrors and leather couches decorate the space. Lily’s design complements the lounge’s inventive array of seasonal cocktails, created by Lily’s master mixologist.

Lucky Bar

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Red Rock Resort just gave its Lucky Bar at the center of the casino floor a little makeover. Inside look for $8 cocktails such as the Tune-In made with Absolut Hibiskus, Absolut Tune and garnished with hibiscus blossom; Raspberry Lemonade Martini with Absolut Citron, raspberry, lemonade and simple syrup; and a table-side classic martini for two served with a choice of vodka or gin either shaken or stirred and garnishes such as olives, blue cheese olives, a twist and onions.

Look for cocktails such as the M Fantasy with Stoli Blueberi Vodka, Silk Road Plum Sake and muddled blueberries and the Classic M Martini at this bar at the M Resort.

Mandarin Bar

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Up on the 23rd floor of Mandarin Oriental sits one of the coolest lounges in Vegas. Mandarin Bar serves up exotic handmade cocktails such as the Golden Leaf Martini with Hendricks Gin, Aperol, muddled mandarin, pineapple juice, lime juice and simple syrup; the 9th Island with Ciroc coconut vodka, Lillet blanc, homemade fallernum, lemongrass simple syrup, pineapple mango jam, dusted with salty sweet li-hing powder and garnished with a toasted pineapple slice and the Elderflower Smash, concocted with Hendricks gin, St. Germain liquor, mint, bitters and lemon juice. This bar features one of the most stunning views of the Las Vegas Strip with a decor inside to match the swanky prices.

Mingo Kitchen & Lounge

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Mingo Collaso is behind this chic lounge in Downtown Vegas. Leather-appointed banquettes line one side of the lounge while a bar with plugins for phones sits on the other. Order up one of the drinks with salacious names such as the Gossip, Blow Pop, Jack My D and the Alien Mule.

Mix Lounge

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High atop THEhotel at Mandalay Bay sits Mix, the sexy lounge on the 64th floor with 360-degree views of the Strip. Don’t worry where you sit, even if it’s on the toilet; you’ll get the view there, too. The lounge is decked out in wall-to-wall black leather with red lighting and low lounge chairs and tables. Step out on the balcony for an unhindered view of the Vegas valley. For a VIP experience, climb the stairs to a private, hidden area located above the larger main bar.

Mob Bar

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This speakeasy in Downtown Las Vegas features a mob theme with a nice collection of gins and whiskies.

Parasol Up/Parasol Down

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A witty collection of upside parasols sets the tone for these two bars at Wynn Las Vegas with a prime view of the casino floor and the Lake of Dreams. Snuggle up in one of the cozy chairs surrounding the bar and get your people-watching ready. Mixologist Patricia Richards conjures up the regularly changing menu of cocktails here.

The Parlour Lounge

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The newly revamped Parlour Lounge inside El Cortez now has specialty cocktails worth the trip into the piece of Las Vegas nostalgia. Try seasonal cocktails including the Acai Caipirinha with Grey Goose Cherry Noir Vodka, limes and Cedilla Acai Liqueur or the Hibiscus Margarita with Patron Silver, hibiscus syrup, organic agave nectar, lemon and lime juice.

Petrossian Bar & Lounge

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Sip on swanky cocktails while being serenaded with live music from David Osborne, the pianist to the presidents. Osborne has performed at the White House Presidents Carter, Bush, Clinton, Bush and Obama. Stop by during afternoon tea for Petrossian caviar and smoked salmon.

This lounge in the lobby of the Four Seasons find craft cocktails, martinis, draft beer, 20 wines by the glass, 20 small plates and more. Sit indoors or wander out on the patio overlooking the pool replete with misters for summer and fire pits for winter. Order the watermelon granita made with prosecco and fresh watermelon juice or the Maple Crown Frost with a mix of Crown Royal Maple, mint and rock candy.

Revolution Lounge

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Go on a psychedelic journey at the Revolution Lounge. It’s hard to miss with its giant sign with letters big enough to sit in that spell out the name. Every night features a different type of music, and you can find comfy seating with games to be played on the interactive tables. The Abbey Road Bar on the outside stays open even when the lounge is closed.


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Make like Hemingway and pair your rum cocktails with a cigar at this cocktail lounge decked in whites and greens. Old standards such as the Latin Manhattan get a rum treatment while new favorites include the Spanish Trampoline with Leblon Cachaca.

Savile Row

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Consider this one of the hidden treasures of Vegas with its own outdoor entrance at the Luxor. Inside, a sophisticated lounge that is somewhat exclusive. Look for a tailored cocktail list with drinks such as the Basil Bianco with Oxley gin and Martini & Rossi Bianco.


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Red, red, red, everywhere you look inside Scarlet, the new gift box of a bar at the foot of N9NE Steakhouse at the Palms. Inside, libations pack a punch here with an assortment of shots and seasonal infusions, as well as specialty cocktails such as the Rock 'n Rye with Bulleit Rye infused with rock candy, roasted pecans and oranges and the Scarlet Night with espresso, Absolut Vanilia, Patron XO and cinnamon syrup. Cocktails run $16 while shots such as the Foreplay that combines Licor 43, Baileys Caramel Cream and Absolute Vanilia served S'more style go for $14.

Whiskey makes up the menu at this new bar in the center of the Palms. Look for daily specials and the Whiskey Social Club for even more special deals.

Vanguard Lounge

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Downtown Las Vegas landed another hip place that has become a must on any pub crawl when Vanguard Lounge opened in late 2010. The concrete floors and bar give it an industrial feel complemented by the garage door opening at the front. White leather couches and bar stools soften the look. You can find handmade cocktails such as the Drunk Monk made with black tea infused Damrak Gin, house made Chinese 5 spice, lemon cordial, Luxardo Maraschino and Creme De Violette or the Frankland, a mix of Buffalo Trace, Birch Tinture, sweet cherry syrup, Carpano Antica and old fashioned bitters.

The new VDKA at Encore Las Vegas features a 20-seat bar sitting directly outside Andrea's. The bar may be tiny but it still packs more than 150 flavored vodkas plus the bonus gimmick of the "Shock-A-Vodka" draft delivery system that assures the vodka is no warmer than 5 degrees in temperature. Look for Stoli Elit Pristine Water, CLIX Vodka, Jean Marc XO and Beluga Noble Gold. Citrus, savory, spicy, confectionary and exotic flavored vodkas cover tangerine, bacon, bloody Mary, basil, cinnamon, cucumber, espresso, peanut butter, red grape hibiscus, chocolate coconut, maple syrup, whipped cream, sugar cookie and more.

Velveteen Rabbit

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Sisters Pamela and Christina Dylag opened their ode to the children’s book in the Art District with trompe-l'oeil wallpaper and reclaimed furniture put together in smaller chatting areas. Look for an elixirs list with cocktails that find inspiration from the Golden Age of mixology, each with their own story. Jewel-toned decanters sit inside a Queen Anne cabinet behind the bar while a series of silver hands make up the beer taps. Overall, the place takes on the gallery setting of the art dealers found nearby.