Nightlife

Great new cocktails made with great wines at Payard

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This Poire Chaude (Hot Pear) cocktail at Payard gets its kick from white wine, and with the black sea salt rim and edible garnish, it’s a taste adventure.
Photo: Scott Roeben

The Details

Payard Patisserie & Bistro
At Caesars Palace, 731-7292.
Dinner service Wednesday-Sunday, 5-10 p.m.

Drinking wine is not an innately formal act, but it feels that way, what with all the swirling and sniffing and comparing things to ripe cheese. Pockets of the industry have worked hard to demystify the grape, but seeing nice labels in grocery stores hasn’t made wine much more of a carefree, sexy party drink.

The cocktail owns that role. But the sweet news is, at Payard, wine is a cocktail. The Caesars patisserie and bistro has launched a new drink menu based on reds, whites and sparklings mixed with daring ingredients and Parisian sophistication. Manager Sam Berkley is to thank for the eight delightful concoctions, which are available only during dinner service, from 5 to 10 p.m. Wednesday to Sunday. And the even sweeter news is, during the 5 to 7 p.m. happy hour on Fridays, most of the drinks are only $8. The one exception is the first (and aptly named) highlight featured below:

Grandiose, $50 Paul Goerg champagne, Chateau Nairac Deuxieme Crus and white truffle essential oils, garnished with dehydrated lemon, caviar, edible flower and gold flake.

Berkley’s food pairing pick: “Vienne pastry—not much stands up to the powerful flavor of the Grandiose. Only the Vienne has the potent taste that can combat the drink.”

Poire Chaude, $11 Ecco Domani moscato and Ace pear cider, garnished with fresh pear, edible flower and a rim of cayenne pepper and black sea salt.

Berkley’s food pairing pick: “Coquilles St. Jacques—the creaminess and buttery attributes calm the oral shock of the spicy Hot Pear.”

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Mojito Rouge

Mojito Rouge, $12 Louis M. Martini cabernet sauvignon, agave nectar, soda, muddled mint and lime, garnished with lime, mint sprig and a sugar cane.

Berkley’s food pairing pick: “Steak! Steak Frites! Filet Mignon! The steaks are seasoned and intense, and mint and lime are all that make it through the flesh of the steak.”

Le Classecco, $13 La Marca prosecco and drops of balsamic, garnished with hibiscus and orange twist.

Berkley’s food pairing pick: “Pont Neuf pastry—you’ve heard of chocolate and strawberries … well wait until you’ve had chocolate and hibiscus. It’s one of those pairs that should be linked forever.”

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