Let’s face it, if you are going to enjoy a cocktail in Las Vegas you are going to pay a premium. Good, bad or indifferent, and some drinks are indifferent; the cost is going to be similar. If you are going to pay the price of a Las Vegas drink, make it a good one. MGM properties have recently rolled out some exclusive spirits that bring back the flavor and creativity that a cocktail is supposed to encapsulate.
A wide variety of MGM properties and restaurants have taken their own expertise and combined it with that of some of the best spirit architects in the world to bring exclusive spirits to you. This really sets your cocktail experience apart from what you are normally going to find and trust me; you will immediately be able to tell the difference.
“It gives MGM Grand the opportunity to hand select a fine spirit with the qualities and characteristics that we believe our guests prefer,” Dan Adams, Director of Food & Beverage at MGM Grand, stated. “We have room for all sorts of spirits. Our selections at the restaurants and bars are very extensive. We will continue with these spirits and add others in the future. “
If you are looking for a classy and elegant bar that has a lineup of spirits like no one else in Las Vegas, the Hit Lounge inside of Monte Carlo is for you. The Hit Lounge is home to the Monte Carlo Single Barrel Bourbon. The name says it all, single barrel meaning that one barrel was picked out and that is it, when it is gone it is gone and as you can probably guess when you are only picking one you are picking the top of the line. This single barrel edition is the crème de crème of the Knob Creek distillery. Carefully hand selected, one taste will tell you why. As soon as it hits your tongue there is not a taste bud that is not brought to life, you can see and smell the richness but to taste lets you know what a great bourbon really is.
Monte Carlo Director of Beverage Michael Macdonnell was part of the decision making process and stated that six different barrels of the best Knob Creek Bourbon were tasted before deciding on the Monte Carlo version. The cocktail menu that Michael has created for the Hit Lounge is loaded with classic cocktails such as the Sidecar. If you really want a drinking experience just put yourself in Michael’s hands, he is going to make sure you get the tasting experience you deserve.
If you really want an experience and a lesson in mixology, the Hit Lounge offers tastings and mixology classes that you can purchase or you can go through your M life card and try this for free. I would recommend the bourbon tasting as it will allow you to taste Monte Carlo Single Barrel along with Bulleit Bourbon and a few others.
The Mirage realized it was a no-brainer who to work with, the one and only Jack Daniel’s. They combined to create the Single Barrel Mirage Personal Selection, Serving the world’s first charcoal-mellowed single barrel Tennessee whiskey. If whiskey is your drink of choice you can’t miss the opportunity to take in the flavors of caramel, maple syrup and a touch of rye and licorice.
With a number of great Japanese restaurants in Las Vegas ordering Sake is commonplace so MGM Grand’s Shibuya decided to do something to make Sake anything but common. Shibuya features three specialty sakes crafted by world-class distilleries. Sake makers Oomuraya Shuzo, Sakata Shuzo and Shirataki partnered with Shibuya to create sakes that highlight a wide range of tastes exclusively for Shibuya. Shibuya also realized that sake is not for everyone, so it came up with its own private beer label, SHIBUYA Pilsner. This pilsner is made by Joseph James Brewing Company in Henderson, Nevada. A great local beer that has a flavor profile created specifically to pair with Japanese food.
ARIA Resort & Casino has for its guests the Barrel Select Custom-Blended Woodford Reserve. The combination of two barrels of Woodford Reserve pairs the classic flavor profile of traditional mature bourbon with a specially aged whiskey, showcasing tastes of toffee, spice and apple, with a lingering smokiness. So flavorful, you can use the Woodford Reserve to make any cocktail special or you can really take in all the flavor by just enjoying it on the rocks.
“Woodford actually created the program where in this case, for the Double Oaked Bourbon, their Master Distiller, Chris Morris, selected three barrels of Double Oaked that he felt were balanced and had different and unique qualities,” Adams said. “Then four representatives from our property and three experts from Woodford and Brown Forman, panel tasted the three bourbons to select the one we thought best suited our guests’ preference.”
Wine pairing has become fairly standard, but Celebrity chef Michael Mina took this idea a step further for enjoyment. He put together his own personal wine label to pair with the cuisine he creates as this Las Vegas restaurants that include; AMERICAN FISH at ARIA, MICHAEL MINA Bellagio and STRIPSTEAK at Mandalay Bay. You will be able to find wines such as Chartogne-Taillet Cuvée Michael Mina and the Qupé Syrah Cuvée Michael Mina. Honestly, who could make a better pairing than the chef who created the food as well as the wine?
Next time you are in Las Vegas step outside of your cocktail comfort zone and give one of the MGM exclusive spirits a try. You will soon find out that there is more to life than flavored vodka or a poorly made drink, look at your mixologist the same way you do a chef and enjoy it your cocktail the same way would world-class meal. Cheers!