The country is opening back up, and that means traveling is making a comeback. When we travel, the first thing we do is look up the best places to drink. If you’re traveling domestically, the U.S. is full of excellent cities for cocktail drinkers. New York City is of course one of the most well known and pretty difficult to beat in this regard for its sheer range of excellent bars and skilled mixologists. The Washington D.C. cocktail scene seems to become more impressive by the year. Seattle holds the West Coast crown in this regard, and the cocktails in New Orleans are world renowned. Somewhat overlooked in this discussion, however, is Las Vegas.
That’s not to say the idea that Vegas has great cocktails will necessarily surprise anybody. But the city is so well known for so many other things that it doesn’t always stand out for something like mixology specifically. When you really dig into what Vegas has to offer though, it’s hard to deny its place among the better cocktail destinations in the U.S.
Here, we’re highlighting a few of the places around the city where you can find the very best drinks.
Mayfair Supper Club
Many discussions about the best cocktails in Las Vegas seem to start with the Mayfair Supper Club, and we see no reason to buck the trend. It’s one of the newer bars in town, having first opened up in 2019. And yet, it’s designed as a tribute to the past — and specifically the glamorous, jazzy, “roarin’” ‘20s of a century ago. As such, it’s an ornate, opulent venue where there’s always some kind of music being played or performance underway. There are also tremendous cocktails to match the mood, however. It’s not a place that gets wildly inventive with its mixes, but the Mayfair Supper Club hits the classics (as well as some French-inspired alternatives) like few bars we can think of. As an added benefit, this particular cocktail bar is also nestled within the famous Bellagio. And as much of a cliché as it might be, there are few things better after a few great cocktails than stepping outside to watch the Bellagio Fountains.
The Dorsey is another major resort cocktail bar — this one residing in The Venetian. It’s another fairly new offering in town, though one that’s credited by some for having helped to launch a more modern (and simply better) Vegas cocktail scene. The venue is an odd but satisfying blend, feeling at once like somebody’s rich private lounge and like a particularly impressive hotel lobby bar. But the drinks make The Dorsey what it is. Here perhaps more than anywhere else in Vegas you can expect to find high-end craft cocktails that rival what you’ll stumble on in places like New Orleans or Brooklyn. Check out the “Conversation Pieces” and the punch bowls for some particularly creative and satisfying options.
Oak & Ivy
One thing that first-time visitors to Vegas tend to overlook is that there’s a lot of fun to be had away from the casino “Strip.” Fremont Street is an excellent example of something you’ll miss if you stick entirely to the towering casino resorts. It’s a quirkier downtown area, frequented by foodies and music lovers and fast becoming an “iconic” part of Vegas, as Poker.org put it in a discussion about Sin City beyond the poker tables. That same discussion noted the affordable food and great bars in the Fremont Street area, and Oak & Ivy is simply the best of the bars. This classy but casual joint bills itself primarily as a whiskey bar, but happens to have some of the best cocktails you can find — anywhere. From alcohol-infused twists on coffee drinks, to mixes of seasonal ingredients, to spins on classics like a Dark n’ Stormy or Moscow Mule, the place just knows what it’s doing.
Parasol (Up & Down)
Back on The Strip, this is a slightly difficult double-venue to explain if you’re not familiar with it. But basically, Parasol Up and Parasol Down are together a two-story, open-air lounge, bar, and restaurant inside of The Wynn casino. They’re decorated somewhat eccentrically (almost whimsically one might say), and offer “arguably the best people-watching on The Strip,” per CNTraveler. That’s all well and good, and it’s a simple fact that the Parasol establishment will always be best known for its design and placement. But this place’s cocktails shouldn’t be overlooked. They’re full of small, inventive twists that aren’t necessarily unheard of, but which are always done well — such as using lychee in a martini, or infusing a pear-flavored cocktail with vanilla. It all just works, and while we’re more about drinks than surroundings there is something purely enjoyable about sipping a few drinks in Parasol Up or Parasol Down.
There are excellent cocktails to be found around Vegas aside from just these. But the venues described above showcase a modern, revitalized cocktail culture that has put Las Vegas on the map among the best U.S. cities for mixology.