Mixology Awards

Moscow mule

Moscow mules are a fresh favorite at Oak & Ivy.

Best Place to Fernet About It

The Fernet-Branca fountain is long gone, but that doesn’t make Herbs & Rye any less great a place to enjoy the powerful herbal liqueur. Rather, it signals a willingness to diversify, and a love for ongoing education. The fernet list at Herbs now numbers 10, with bottles hailing from Italy, the Czech Republic, Switzerland and Mexico—a damn good reason for a flight. HerbsAndRye.com.

Best New Bar Gadget

When Aria bartender Nick Houck won the Vegas Seven and Bols Best Bartender Competition last summer, he did so repping for his passion project, FlashPour. The LED-lit pour spouts let bartenders free-pour with accuracy and confidence, and save bars $8,000 over the life of each spout. That’s $960,000 from just one case! FlashPour.com.

Finest Pack of Mules

Oak & Ivy found a nifty solution to the now ubiquity of the Moscow Mule: build an entire stable of them. There are currently nine mules on the list ($11), each made with the house ginger beer. They are Mexican, Italian, Irish, Dutch or ‘Merican, while others show a pedigree of tiki or beer. And for you purists, there’s always the classic workhorse. OakAndIvy.com.

Best Reason for the Season

Fans of Downtown darling Velveteen Rabbit have to sit on their drinking hands from the moment owners Pam and Christina Dylag start teasing their next seasonal menu drop till the second those dainty, letter-pressed menus arrive. Unlike Vegas weather, each solstice brings a change in cocktail flavors, strength, heat, spice and inspiration. Remember: Winter is coming … VelveteenRabbitLV.com.

Best New Drinking Buddy

Helloooo, Saturday-night bar crawl. And goodbye, brooding and flatulent taxi driver with an opinion about what your tip should be. Thanks to the arrival of ride-sharing services, your new best friend in his Prius actually wants to deliver you safely to Anthem so you don’t become a menace to society. He gets five stars and so do you.

Best-Case Scenario

The idea of losing Delmonico Steakhouse barman Max Solano to Southern Wine & Spirits struck fear into the hearts of brown-spirit lovers. But the fact that we gained Juyoung Kang in the process is a silver lining sweet enough to make a barfly flap her wings. We loved Solano’s secret menus and bottomless whiskey prowess. But we also love Kang’s openness, and trust her to guide us to new products; the menu she dropped last month features Opihr Oriental Gin, Fidencio Mezcal and housemade lavender-infused yellow Chartreuse. I believe this is what’s called a win-win.