In Las Vegas, happy hour is a 24-hour affair. It’s possible to get a great drink anytime of the day. To truly experience that, discover these five bars serving the city’s best cocktails made by bartenders who truly respect the craft.
A piano and a cocktail pair well, and you have both in plenitude at The Mirage’s Parlor Lounge. With the feel of a private club, this off-the-radar gem offers a menu created by mixologist Liz Pearce. You find drinking here is reminiscent of sampling from a well-heeled friend’s well-stocked liquor cabinet. The decor plays with dark woods, bronze, and emerald accents, but you consider the boutique collection of exclusive spirits the venue’s best asset. When your mood strikes for something lighter, you try the proprietary saison pale ale that pays homage to The Mirage’s tropical rain forest theme. The live entertainment begins and you kick-start a night filled with possibilities.
The Velveteen Rabbit is the ultimate hangout for you and your friends with a serious passion for the best cocktails. For a hint of some ingredients at play, think goat cheese and buttered corn. The wooden-board menu, touting “poisons, remedies, tonics, and cures,” changes with the season, but it’s really meant to be a starting-off point for the creative drink makers behind the bar. The decor resembles your eccentric aunt’s cosmopolitan apartment with antique velvet couches, china cabinets, and colored glass-bottle chandeliers. This is where you go to mingle with locals and in-the-know tourists for an authentic sip of city life.
Located on the 23rd floor of the Mandarin Oriental hotel, Mandarin Bar is one of the best places to enjoy a drink with a view of the Strip. The long, illuminated bar looks out onto the legendary boulevard and the ambient lighting adds to the air of exclusivity that you feel. All drinks are prepared outside of your sight in the “cocktail kitchen.” When they are served, expect decadent presentations such as uniquely shaped ice, edible flowers and herbs as garnishes, as well as homemade bitters. Are you in the mood for something out of this world? The bartenders match up every astrological sign to a drink in what has become known as the Zodiac Cocktail program. You go exclusively on your birthday to receive your complimentary beverage.
Minus5° Ice Bar
It’s always Las Vegas happy hour at Minus5° Ice Bar, a frozen playground for adults. For a drink here, you suit up in a parka and hit the ice bar experience, featuring 110 tons of pure Canadian frozen water, decorated with ice thrones and pelts, and kept at a cold negative-5 degrees Celsius (hence, the name). You appreciate the gimmicky fun, as you snap a few Instagram photos to intrigue your friends back home. Then you shed a layer and warm up in the ice lounge, set at a more comfortable temperature.
Race & Sports Book
A sports-lovers haven, the all-new Race & Sports Book, now on the casino floor at The Cosmopolitan, is not to be overlooked for its many attributes outside of wagering. The names of the establishment’s best cocktails even get in on the action. For a home run, you order a Third Base drink, paired with crispy potato skins topped with pulled pork, and watch the game on dozens of high-definition television screens. When it’s over, you relax in the lounge-style seating areas and test lady luck at one of the video poker machines.