Brown Spirits, A Cocktail Fest, and the Velveteen Rabbit Lives

Ealanta, the newest private-edition release from Glenmorangie, rolled out in Las Vegas on February 13 at an invite-only tasting in the Laundry Room, the speakeasy at Commonwealth. Guests enjoyed Glenmorangie cocktails such as the Clean & “Stober,” but the guest of honor was the Ealanta, Scots Gaelic for ‘skilled and ingenious.’ This 19-year-old Highland single-malt—a toffee bomb with flavors of candied orange peel, vanilla and marzipan—was matured in new American oak from Missouri’s Mark Twain National Forest. I like my scotch to have a literary pedigree, don’t you?

• The Bubble Lounge in Guy Savoy has changed its regional and spiritual affiliation. The new Cognac Lounge is a cozy destination spot for after-dinner drinks, and, yes, you can order from the famed dessert cart. The menu stands at 33 Cognacs ranging from the $12 Frapin V.S.O.P. to the rare $700 per ounce Hine Talent. Other exceptional bottles include the Hennessy Ellipse ($450 per ounce) and Hardy Perfection ($600 per ounce), a pre-phylloxera French colombard Cognac dating back to the 1870s. But if I were flush, I’d spring for the superb $100 Pierre Ferrand Ancestrale in memory of my visit to Cognac Ferrand at Chateau de Bonbonne in Ars, France, last summer.

• Ryan Wieczorek of spirited events outfit Cocktail City—best known around town for his Rock ‘n Brew beer and music festivals—hopes to outdo himself with the Las Vegas Cocktail Classic. The March 21 event is an exhibition of mixology and music, 7-10 p.m. at Surrender in Encore. Earlier in the month, Cocktail City presents the Sailor Jerry Rock ‘n Roll Cocktail Competition, March 7 at Commonwealth.

• A visit to Downtown’s Velveteen Rabbit confirmed for this concerned cocktailian that while owners Pamela and Christina Dylag missed the slated late-January opening, all is well in hand. The diminutive craft beer-and-cocktail bar is on track for March. Shattered mirror bathroom walls took more than 40 hours for the Dylags and friends to arrange; shellacking the bar’s fire-scarred walls preserves the moody, organic patterns. By the look of things, it will be worth the wait. Check out photos and more details ».