Blasphemous as it sounds here in Sin City, I avoid the hooch. But every now and then I like to treat myself to a frilly and fully garnished virgin beverage. Most bartenders, however, seem to have conspired to mock block me, refusing to make non-alcoholic versions of their specialty cocktails. I scan their menu, approach them with a smile and ask, “Is there anything on here you can make without booze?” Then I watch them twitch their eyes, shrug their shoulders and pour a tall glass of “Umm, no.” And just like that, my dreams of sipping a classy mocktail wilt like mint sprigs. Now, I understand that mixology is a science and that removing or adding ingredients might throw off the balance. But if you were to hand me a glass of just cranberry juice with a splash of lemon-lime—it does taste good, I assure you—I’d still put down $14 for you to shake it up, sprinkle something on the rim, maybe create a smoke effect. Sure, I could settle for a soda, but I can’t stick my pinky out the same way when I’m holding a glass of Coke. That’s all I really wanted to do anyway.
Best of the City 2016
Our seventh annual celebration of all things Las Vegas, from the best place to fix your speeding ticket to the best Bloody Mary.