XS’ $5,000 Cocktail

Photo by Jon Estrada

Photo by Jon Estrada

When a child turns 5, you make a cake. But when a Las Vegas nightclub hits that milestone, you make an exclusive cocktail out of only the most rare and limited-edition spirits. Wynn Resorts property mixologist Christopher Hopkins had that honor, and collaborated with XS executive director of nightlife operations Yannick Mugnier to commemorate the nightclub’s fifth year in liquid homage. And this birthday cocktail is no joke. The spirit-forward Five Star, an ode to the classic Vieux Carré (“voo cah-RAY”), stars Louis XIII Rare Cask 42,6 Cognac and Pappy Van Winkle 23-year-old Family Reserve bourbon combined with Martini & Rossi’s Gran Lusso 150th Anniversary sweet vermouth, D.O.M. Bénédictine Black Monk 500th Anniversary Edition and two kinds of bitters.

The original Vieux Carré cocktail—meaning “Old Square,” another name for New Orleans’ French Quarter—was created by barman Walter Bergeron in 1939 at the Quarter’s historic Hotel Monteleone, a place close to Hopkins’ heart as the epicenter of July’s annual Tales of the Cocktail festival. But unlike in Bergeron’s time, this Vieux Carré will set you back a cool $5,000, and is a decadent Las Vegas experience you won’t soon forget: The drink is served over an ice sphere emblazoned with the XS logo in a Baccarat crystal chalice with an orange swath. And a smile.

Five Star

As served at XS in Encore, $5,000

In a Yarai mixing glass, combine 1 ounce Louis XIII Rare Cask 42,6 Cognac, 1 ounce Pappy Van Winkle 23-year-old Family Reserve bourbon, ¾ ounce Martini & Rossi’s Gran Lusso 150th Anniversary sweet vermouth, ½ ounce D.O.M. Bénédictine Black Monk 500th Anniversary Edition and 2 dashes each of Angostura and Peychaud’s bitters. Add ice, stir for at least 30 seconds, strain into an 8-ounce Baccarat crystal chalice over a logo’d ice sphere and garnish with a swath of orange peel.


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