Las Vegas
1. The Laundry Room
Fremont East
$$$$

The Laundry Room, a hidden speakeasy inside the Commonwealth cocktail bar, is one of the most rewarding bar experiences in Las Vegas. The drink list is an impressive mix of sophisticated classics and inventive creations, but things work out even better when you let the bartender come up with impromptu offering based on moods and words—like "smoky," "aggressive," or "Brad Pitt in Fight Club." Keep the ground rules in mind: no PDA and no cellphones (although texting is okay) and due to limited space, this is really one of those joints that requires a reservation. How do you score one? Or find the hidden door to the Laundry Room? Just hang out for a while and ask a few questions in the main Commonwealth space, which has a rooftop patio, extensive beer list and some amazing aperitifs of its own.
How to book: The secret's out of the bag. Book a reservation online.

2. Rosina
The Venetian
$$$$

Rosina is one of three sister bars in the Venetian Cocktail Collective. Each one is great, but while The Dorsey and Electra thrive on social energy and inventive cocktails, Rosina is an intimate, stylish art-deco spot that focuses on classics—with ice and glassware to match. If you want a Dark 'n Stormy or an Airmail done right, this is where you want to be. A traditional Mai Tai served in a skull is especially fun. Ask about the latest secret menu, serving modified interpretations on old favorites like a Mint Julep, Old Fashioned or Manhattan. Keep your eyes peeled for an "emergency" button by your table—ready to supply a quick fix of Champagne.

3. Atomic Liquors
Downtown
$$$$

The oldest free-standing bar in Las Vegas used to be a place where people would grab drinks, sit on the roof and watch test nuclear detonations in the desert. Seriously. Nevada was into that kind of stuff in the '50s. Atomic Liquors eventually closed down, but returned as a craft cocktail destination in 2012. It's been a huge hit ever since, and much of Nevada's radioactive history is documented with artifacts on the walls. In the wake of at-home bartending during the pandemic, Atomic Liquors noticed a renewed interest in well-crafted libations and responded with limited-edition specials that rotate throughout the season. Signature cocktails are updated twice a year, but don't worry—the bourbon-fueled Hunter S. Mash isn't going anywhere. Order food from the neighboring Kitchen at Atomic. Another sister concept, Atomic Tavern, is a menu-free dive bar in the Gateway District.
How to book: Walk-ins welcome.

4. Herbs & Rye
Off-Strip
$$$$

We once asked top bartenders in Vegas where they went to drink in their downtime…and all of them said Herbs & Rye. The cocktail bar by which all others are judged is frequently singled out as not only one of the best bars in Vegas, but the entire country. That's because every bartender here appreciates and understands both the art and history of classic cocktails. The menu itself is divided into different American eras, from 1776 through today (touching on Prohibition, Tiki, and Rat Pack periods for example). The back bar alone is worth your attention—with liqueurs, spirits and mixers that you won't easily find elsewhere. Feel free to challenge the staff, who are always eager to make something new and different with the resources at their disposal. The food includes pasta and steaks (the latter is half-price during the extended happy hour—one of the best in Vegas). Sister steakhouse Cleaver has a similar, but smaller cocktail menu and is easier for scoring a last-minute reservation.
How to book: Via their website.

5. Delmonico Steakhouse
The Venetian
$$$$

Emeril Lagasse's Delmonico Steakhouse has been serving Creole-seasoned steaks in a minimalist atmosphere for more than 20 years, but it’s the drinks that lock in the restaurant's true legacy. Delmonico Steakhouse has one of the best whiskey and spirits lists in not only Las Vegas, but the entire country—with more than 700 options from nine countries and an impressive focus on verticals, or whiskeys of different ages or editions from the same distillery. This is the stuff that's hard to find anywhere else. If dinner's not required, grab a seat in the lounge and pick the brain of your bartender. You don't have to stick with the hard stuff. Delmonico has 2,400 choices of wine as well.

6. The Golden Tiki
Chinatown
$$$$

The music heard at the front door suggests you're either about to beat to quarters, hoist the anchor and raise the mainsail…or enter the most indulgent tiki bar in Las Vegas. Golden Tiki offers a dancing skeleton, conch shell chair and overstuffed treasure chest among its kitschy decorations. It's also hard to overlook the shrunken head collection and a pair of animatronic birds who exchange dirty jokes. The cocktails go well beyond the expected rum-and-fruit-juice staples with complex, well-balanced creations heavy on carefully chosen spirits. Some come topped with Dole Whip—a frozen pineapple treat dispensed from a machine that first became popular at Disneyland. Like all good tiki bars, the drinks are rated on the menu by strength-level.
How to book: Reservations are recommended.

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