Although rosina means rose in Italian, the new cocktail lounge Rosina could easily be named for retreat. Nestled just around the corner from The Palazzo’s self-parking and guest elevators, the intimate hideaway awaits, providing an escape from the hectic casino floor.
Everything about the small (especially by Las Vegas standards) 1,100-square-foot, 65-seat space suggests old-school opulence and elegance. Art deco flair is evident throughout, with a solid brass and gold façade that resembles a jewelry box, brass inlay flooring, decorative etched mirrors, crystal chandeliers positioned above maroon horseshoe banquettes on each side of the bar, burgundy velvet chairs and small cocktail tables paired with pearl-color leather seats spread throughout the lounge area and hues of rose gold and onyx throughout.
The renowned mixologist Sam Ross—who made a name for himself behind the bar at Manhattan’s Milk & Honey and his own Attaboy, and who also recently created the cocktail program at The Dorsey in The Venetian—consulted on the project and created the cocktail menu as well. Classics are interpreted and executed by lead bartender Evan Hosaka and his team to craft personalized cocktails to the guests’ preferences. Hosaka, speaking of the intimate vibe, says, “The smaller setting allows for more engaged conversations with guests and allows us to determine in what direction to take them. I like to stretch them outside their comfort zones, to try something new, but not enough to take them so far as to make them uncomfortable.”
Hosaka added that changing just one ingredient can result in a completely different drink. For example, replacing the simple syrup in a whiskey sour with honey makes it a Gold Rush. He demonstrated this by preparing an Old Fashioned with bourbon, Angostura Aromatic Bitters, a sugar cube and a bar spoon of club soda, garnished with an orange and lemon peel. He then prepared a second one, this time substituting the small amount of sugar with D.O.M. Benedictine liqueur, resulting in a sweeter alternative.
Other variations worth indulging in include the Dark & Stormy, made with Gosling’s Black Seal Bermuda Black Rum, fresh ginger, lime and club soda added at the end to make a frothy presentation; and a Presbyterian, made with the same ingredients, but swapping the rum with Michter’s Rye Whiskey.
Opulence and class are also demonstrated by the high quality of spirits used (e.g. Buffalo Trace Bourbon is used for stirred cocktails and Four Roses Yellow Label Bourbon for shaken). Hosaka adds, “Quality is key. You don’t need many ingredients to add flavor.” Another high standard is in the choice of glassware, which includes classy gold and copper vessels and beautifully etched Japanese crystal glasses.
Attention to detail is evident through the use of large ice cubes that are embossed with an R, and also by the temperature at which drinks are served. Hosaka relates that he was taught by Ross to make a cocktail hot, raw and unchilled, and then serve it on its way up, at the optimum temperature in the upper 20 to 30 percent of drinkability and while it’s not too diluted.
Another perk: Four Champagne “call” buttons are located on mirrored columns near the glass façade, by which guests may signal to their servers to return with a bottle of Rosina’s house Champagne, Ruinart Rosé, or another Champagne or cocktail option on the menu.
The intimacy, variety and quality exhibited at Rosina should keep cocktail enthusiasts from getting bored and provide them with reasons to relax in this respite of seductive glamour again and again. Stay tuned, as the resort reportedly has two more interesting bars set to debut in the coming months.
Serving: Champagne, classic cocktails and riffs on classics
Opened: December 13, 2017
Who’s behind it: The Venetian/Palazzo and consultant Sam Ross
Did you know: To complement the cocktail experience, Rosina features a curated soundtrack of soul, classic R&B and reggae with hints of sultry jazz and blues, including tunes by Nina Simone, Al Green, Marvin Gaye, Lauryn Hill and Maxwell.
Inside The Palazzo Resort & Casino, 4 p.m.–3 a.m. daily, venetian.com/restaurants/rosina