Three Tao Cocktails Earning a Perfect 10

Photo by Anthony Mair

Photo by Anthony Mair

Cocktail trends come and go, especially over the course of a decade. But not for these three perennially successful cocktails. In celebration of its 10th year in Las Vegas, Tao Asian Bistro & Lounge will highlight the three original cocktails that have stayed the course—veritable recipes for success.

With its tropical flavors of mango and passion fruit, the Tao-tini sip is a virtual visit to an exotic beach. It’s also Tao’s most popular Day One cocktail. “The flavor profile makes it an appealing drink,” Tao Group director of beverage Tim Keller says. “People come back for it because they can only get it here.”

The Tao-hito is the restaurant’s take on a classic mojito, featuring Mount Gay XO Rum. “Most everyone knows what a mojito is, and so it’s very popular,” Keller says. “It’s refreshing, and the aged rum gives it something going on the spirit side.”

Rounding out the trio of original Tao drinks is the Lychee Martini, a  fresh, delicately flavored cocktail that was developed as a result of a customer request. The specialty drink grew in popularity and eventually became a menu staple as well as a best-seller.

All three drinks were created more than 10 years ago at Tao New York and moved west for the 2005 opening of the Las Vegas property.

“You can’t ever judge what’s going to stand the test of time, but if you stay true to the origins of the cocktail and develop a drink that has balance, eye appeal and good taste, you’re likely to find one that will last,” Keller says. “Having a mix of a classic drink [such as the Tao-hito], an Asian-inspired drink [the lychee martini] and our house specialty cocktail with great tropical tastes that also bears our name [the Tao-tini] has proved a great recipe for the longevity and success of these three great cocktails.

Day-One cocktails

As served at Tao Restaurant & Lounge, $15

Lychee Martini
In a cocktail shaker, combine 1 ¾ ounces Absolut Elyx Vodka and 1 ounce lychee-infused simple syrup. Add ice, cover, shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a lychee.

In a cocktail shaker, combine 1 ¾ ounces Belvedere Mango Passion Vodka, 1 ¾ ounces Malibu Rum, ¼ ounce lime juice, ½ ounce cranberry juice and ½ ounce sweet & sour mix. Add ice, cover, shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with three fresh raspberries on a bamboo skewer.

In a rocks glass, combine 1¼ ounces Mount Gay XO Rum, ½ ounce Cointreau and 4 ounces Ripe Agave juice (a blend of cold-pressed lime juice, mint oil and agave nectar). Fill with ice and garnish with a mint sprig.


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