Photo by Anthony Mair
The 10 cocktails that Vegas Seven mixology maven Xania Woodman is drinking now, and where she’s drinking them.
Brandy Crusta at Herbs & Rye. I always start off a session at Herbs & Rye with this glittery, elegant, sugar-encrusted cocktail of brandy, orange curaçao, maraschino, lemon and bitters. It was my first impression of the place, and now a ritual each time I return. $9, 3713 W. Sahara Ave.
Thyme for Bourbon at Comme Ça. Nate Probst’s fine in-house creation mingles crème de cassis and bourbon with thyme. It’s like falling merrily (drunkenly?) into a Kentucky berry patch on Derby Day. $15, in the Cosmopolitan.
Hendertucky at Vesper. A juicy, balanced, locally inspired cocktail featuring Las Vegas Distillery’s earthy Rumskey (fermented molasses and whiskey) and two of my favorite liquors, Aperol and Hum. $12, in the Cosmopolitan, 698-7000.
Biere au Nougat at Freakin’ Frog. Owner Adam Carmer asked if I wanted to try a beer that tastes exactly like a 3 Musketeers bar. And I do—over and over again. $10, 4700 S. Maryland Parkway.
Lillet Rosé on the rocks at Vanguard. I like Vanguard when it’s quiet, so I go early, and usually before dinner at Le Thai. A chilled aperitif wine, such as Lillet’s new-again rosé expression (or, sometimes, Cocchi Americano) washes off the office dust and primes me for the meal ahead. $8, 516 E. Fremont St.
“Vodka—soda—lemon” at any nightclub. If you sling more Red Bull-vodkas than Aviations, or think a Negroni is an Italian beer (see below), I’m sorry, but I’m sticking to the basics and just praying for a glass that doesn’t still have sanitizer fluid in it.
Due Forni Negroni at Due Forni. Gin, Campari, and I’ll be flexible on the choice of sweet vermouth so long as it’s fresh and chilled. Here, it’s vermouth’s cousin, a Barolo Chinato. In homage to the master, Tony Abou-Ganim (see below), I like mine “Tony’s Way,” with a little extra Campari. $13, 3555 S. Town Center Drive, Suite 105.
Liquid Nitrogen Cable Car at Hyde. Created in San Francisco and sealed as a modern classic at Bellagio, Abou-Ganim’s Cable Car is a Las Vegas staple. Hyde puts a molecular twist on the affair with liquid nitrogen. Sometimes a gal wants to drink her cocktail and eat it, too! $20, in Bellagio.
Bartender’s Choice at Downtown Cocktail Room. This is one place where I’ll put myself entirely into the professionals’ hands. Each quarter, DCR’s bartenders cobble together a menu of their own individually inspired creations. The personalities shine, in addition to the cocktails. $7-$12, 111 Las Vegas Blvd. South.
The Barrymore at the Barrymore. An Italian take on the Manhattan is the Barrymore. It’s a slow-sipper, and makes a great accompaniment to a nice piece of meat or a long session in the elegant bar. $13, in the Royal House at the Royal Resort, 99 Convention Center Drive.