It’s not the two 20 oz. bottles of Mug Root Beer in each of MRKT Sea & Land bartender Sarah’s hands that get a nearby couple’s attention. It’s the two silver bowls of vanilla bean ice cream she brings from the back of the restaurant and places on the front of the bar. “What’s that for?” the guy asks. “I’m making a root beer float ... for adults,” says Sarah, looking up to smile. After all, she knows them. She knows virtually everyone at the bar except for me and the other under-40 patron, who accompanied me.
And that’s mostly the point of the 21+ Root Beer Float. It, along with the two-week-infused, sinus-clearing-but-surprisingly-refreshing Peach Jalapeño Martini—both devised by Aliante Casino + Hotel Beverage Director Michael Dorsey—are the steakhouse’s attempt to draw a younger crowd not interested in the traditional cocktails. Sun City may be nearby, but so is Nellis Air Force Base, whose constituents frequent Aliante on the weekends. And if MRKT’s regulars (“This is a Cheers bar—everyone knows each other’s name,” says Sarah, asking Nearby Couple to back her up, which they do) get curious and deviate from their standard martinis, even better. Besides—where else in Northtown are you going to find adventurous cocktails like these?
1 oz. Three Olives Vanilla vodka
1 oz. Dekuyper Root Beer Schnapps Liqueur
2 small scoops of vanilla ice cream
Method: Combine vodka, liqueur and one scoop of ice cream in a mixing glass, fill with ice and shake. Roll into glass, top with root beer, stir gently and garnish with second ice cream scoop (or whipped cream).