Food | Story by Xania V. Woodman

Life Is Delicious

Photo by Jon Estada

Photo by Jon Estada

Even while the rest of the country spends October cooling its heels in delightful autumnal splendor, cracking into pumpkin beers and sipping whiskey toddies, Las Vegas maintains its sunny, summery disposition. So it’s a good thing Hendrick’s gin has taken Southern Nevada’s collective refreshment into consideration while planning its cocktail lineup for Life Is Beautiful. Along with other major beverage sponsors, including Ketel One, Dos Equis, Bacardi, Jack Daniel’s and Jim Beam, Hendrick’s adult beverages (and ample water stations, of course) will keep the party going from gates open to gates closed.

The Scottish Merchant ($11) takes a sweet-heat approach to cooling you off, thanks to Ancho Reyes chile liqueur, a Mexican liqueur based on a 1927 recipe that showcases the flavor of smoky, fiery ancho chiles. “The Ancho Reyes really shines with Hendrick’s gin in this cocktail,” says Mark Stoddard, national brand ambassador for Hendrick’s. Along with fresh lemon juice and a little simple syrup, “the two are married with the refreshing and spicy combination of fresh, muddled cucumber and jalapeño, lending a balanced heat and long finish.” The drink is then topped with Barritt’s ginger beer for an even more layered spicy refrain.

Scottish Merchant

As served at Life Is Beautiful in the Hendrick’s gin tent at the Western Stage, $11

In a mixing glass, gently muddle 1 cucumber slice and 1 jalapeño wheel. Add 2 ounces Hendrick’s gin, ¾ ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice, ¾ ounce simple syrup and ½ ounce Ancho Reyes chile liqueur. Add ice, cover and shake vigorously. Strain into a tall glass over ice and top with Barritt’s ginger beer. Garnish with a lime wheel and a slice of jalapeño.