Sampling Downtown Cocktail Room’s spring sippers

The MacGyver at Downtown Cocktail Room
Photo: Rosalie Spear

With nine different types of absinthe, 10 original and five classic cocktails, boozy punch bowls that will more than quench your thirst, a candlelit ambiance and funk and deep-house music to vibrate your soul, Downtown Cocktail Room provides one of the most unique and sensual drinking experiences in Las Vegas.

The new additions on the spring menu, which debuted this week, are some of the most distinctive drinks that I have encountered. From their creativity to the high-quality (and high-proof) alcohol, these deliciously smooth libations are not to be underestimated.

Here’s some insider info on several of the new craft cocktails:

The Swipe Right at Downtown Cocktail Room

Swipe Right ($10) Say yes to this gin cocktail, featuring Old Tom and sage liqueur shaken with a bit of rosemary, lime, balsamic, egg whites and Eternal Damnation ghost-pepper tincture. With its ultra-smooth texture, unique flavor profile, notes of heat and rosemary and strawberry garnish, how could you swipe left?

The MacGyver ($10) This suave cocktail is not only easy to drink, but actually replenishing. Made with bourbon, coconut water and ginger and topped with a twist of lime, it appeals to the novice whiskey drinker as well as anyone else in the mood for a light and refreshing spring drink. With an initial bourbon flavor, the ginger quickly follows to give a crisp and tangy edge.

The Weekend at Bernie's III at Downtown Cocktail Room

Weekend at Bernie’s III ($12) Tiki drinks are in for spring, but DCR is changing the game with theirs. This cocktail is not only pretty to look at—from its cinnamon-topped foam to its colorful umbrella—but delicious to drink, as well. Jamaican Rum combines with pineapple, citrus, heavy cream, egg whites and “voodoo” to create a cocktail that’s velvety and not overly sweet. It’s been told that the spirit of Bernie himself has been seen imbibing it in the red candlelight.

The Green Fence ($11) Inspired by the traditional Stone Fence cocktail, the Green Fence kicks it up with absinthe, Pabst Blue Ribbon lager, lemon and wasabi seaweed garnish. The absinthe doesn’t overpower the other ingredients, making this the perfect introduction to the green anise-flavored liqueur. Plus, the spicy wasabi seaweed is a savory and satisfying nosh.

Bass Akwards ($12) Instead of a whiskey shot chased by beer, here we have the reverse. At first it may seem simple, but there’s underlying complexity to this drink. I expected to feel the burn and watery eyes that usually come with taking a shot , but was pleasantly surprised to find that the 100-proof Henry McKenna bonded bourbon is actually quite smooth. Mingling with the bourbon is a light blend of gentian-based Italian amaro, French aperitif Bonal, vermouth and burlesque bitters, which consists of hibiscus, açai berry and long pepper. This potable appeals to everyone, whether you take your whiskey straight or mixed.

The Mating Call at Downtown Cocktail Room

Mating Call ($11) Both debonair and rustic, this tea cocktail will satisfy your primal needs. Cachaça, a distilled spirit made from sugar cane, and Yerba Mate, a highly-caffeinated tea from the South American holly tree, are combined and garnished with smoked cheddar and sugar-soaked blueberries. This woodsy, tangy drink pairs very nicely with the smoky cheese, and is delectably balanced by the subtle sweetness of the fruit.

Peachy Dreams ($58/$111) is back, and it returns in the form of a punch bowl. Being that this seasonal, fruity, bubbly fantasy of sauvignon blanc, gin, peach and lavender was my first sip ever at DCR—and one of my favorites—I’m thrilled that it’s back on the menu.

Downtown Cocktail Room Monday-Friday, 4 p.m.-2 a.m.; Saturday, 7 p.m.-2 a.m. 111 S. Las Vegas Blvd., 702-880-3696.

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