Fall is a great time to curl up with an expertly crafted cocktail. Even in a desert metropolis, people crave drinks that highlight the crispness and coziness of autumn. In Vegas, four hotspots are meeting the seasonal expectations with a fresh lineup of drinks that breathe new life into familiar flavors.
Comme Ça’s Fall “‘18A menu” (as in the 18th Amendment) is Prohibition era-style cocktails with a creative twist. Examples include the Fair Trade, a vodka cocktail made with quinoa-based vodka, and a version of an old fashioned made with mescal instead of whiskey. The staff favorite is the Smoking Pistol, which has mescal, averna, fresh lemon juice, simple syrup, Islay mint, lemon peel and berry compote.
“The only ground rules we set when creating the 18A cocktails is that every recipe be rooted in the classics,” head bartender Alex Penalosa told the Vegas Guide. “All classic cocktails are based on proper ratios of ingredients and we take that practice very seriously at Comme Ça.”
For those who are feeling a little less indulgent, the French brasserie is also offering the Comme Unity Cocktail, which benefits the charity Communities in Schools of Nevada. This silver-rum-based concoction marries fresh squeezed lime juice with sugar, cucumber and cracked pepper.
Best known for its respectable range of imported and locally brewed craft beers, even Irish pub Rí Rá is expanding its cocktail list for the season. Rí Rá bartender Paul Walsh recommends the King of Good Times, formulated with vanilla-infused Jameson Irish Whiskey, orgeat syrup, orange juice, lemon juice and ginger beer. The secret to the perfectly balanced swill? “We infuse Jameson and vanilla for eight days,” Walsh said.
As for patrons who prefer a drink for dessert, Scarlet has the perfect digestif. The Banana Bread Infusion is a flavorful blend of reposado tequila, dried banana chips and allspice, sweetened with agave and simple syrup. Formulated by mixologist Jack “Sugar” O’Brien, the infusion sits for a minimum of three weeks and is then served in a 2-ounce pour on the rocks.
Should you prefer something lighter, try Two Soft Words, one of the many novel additions to Culinary Dropout’s cocktail slate. Paired with pear cognac and champagne, the brandy drink is infused with a French peach tea. The presentation is so dainty, beverage manager Mat Snapp jokes that the libation “is an attempt, like so many things in this world, to impress women.”
Well, if that’s the case: Here’s to another round of the same. Drink up!
3708 Las Vegas Blvd. South
Rí Rá Irish Pub
3930 Las Vegas Blvd. South
4321 W. Flamingo Road
4455 Paradise Road
— Genevieve Wong, Brand Publishing Writer