Las Vegas is crossing its collective fingers that the opening of the new Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas at the heart of the trip will help the city shake-off the effects of the sluggish economy. Gathered together on one level of the development called the P3 Commons, the culinary collection is relying on some bold face names – Jose Andres and Scott Conant, among others. But don’t overlook mixology’s effect.
Take Comme Ça, an outpost of Los Angeles-based chef David Myers’ popular West Hollywood flagship. Myers brought in Sam Ross, of New York City’s Milk & Honey, to consult on the cocktail list, which features signatures such as Chet Baker (aged rum, honey, sweet vermouth, bitters and orange) and the Mad Hatter (rye, fresh lemon, lime, sugar and absinthe). A version of New York’s Blue Ribbon Sushi opens with a soju and fresh fruit juice cocktails.
Overall, the widely promoted Cosmopolitan houses a robust mixology program featuring more than 100 original cocktails. The team of resident mixologists - Mariena Mercer, Andrew Pollard and Kristen Schaefer – are overseeing things at three signature bars – Chandelier, Vesper and Bond. Under Mercer’s direction, The Chandelier houses three bar experiences. The first floor features a live DJ and specialty drinks like Thai Down (tequila with Thai basil, strawberries, ginger and a Thai chili syrup) and Madame Curry (mango Margarita with Chinese five spice and curry).
The second floor features cocktails designed with molecular garnishes served tableside from a bar cart. A separate cocktail kitchen designated for molecular exploration is stocked with a sous vide vacuum, a Pacojet to make spirited sorbets, and a spherification center, yielding the Fire Breathing Dragon (raspberry, lemongrass, Thai chili garnished with a dehydrated raspberry treated with liquid nitrogen).
The third floor floral-inspired lounge uses such ingredients as house-made rose and lavender syrups and violet sugar, are used to make a mix drinks like Bed Thyme (chamomile and lavender syrups with thyme Cognac and pear liqueur). For Bond, head mixologist Kristen Schaefer designed a menu of familiar cocktails with the volume turned up. The Apple Martini fuses fresh Fuji apple puree, lemon juice and house-made red-apple infused vodka. The Rising Sun, a take on the Tequila Sunrise, mixes house-made grenadine, blood-orange juice, Gran Centenario Rosangel and Cinzano Brachetta, a sweet sparkling wine. Also featured at Cosmopolitan, bartender Andrew Pollard oversees the Vesper Bar, a nod to the Ian Fleming/James Bond concoction. Vesper focuses on the 1950s with a focus on cocktails drinks including the Negroni, Blood & Sand, the Manhattan and Last Word.