If the lobby bar is a hotel’s first impression, I think the Delano and I are going to be very good friends.
Franklin, the Delano’s sole cocktail lounge, officially opened last week with the rest of the new-ish resort, which took over the environs of Mandalay Bay’s former TheHotel tower. Described as a social space by Mandalay/Delano Director of Beverage Dennis Lofland, the chic bar incorporates fun elements like ice-breaker cards (example: If you could be any James Bond villain who would it be?) and conversation-starting cocktail names with hidden meanings (was Mr. Hyde named for Stevenson’s classic tale or an estate owned by Delano’s presidential namesake, FDR?).
But even if those amusing elements don’t start a healthy dialogue, Franklin’s drinks should. Most libations straddle the line between sweet and sour, like the SNM, featuring a hand-selected Mount Gay Black Barrel Rum exclusive to Franklin that blends with brown sugar, tart lime juice and spicy cinnamon. For something more savory, try the Basil Paloma, Lofland’s personal Franklin favorite. The bite of Siete Leguas blanco tequila is softened by fresh basil and mixed with Jarritos’ grapefruit soda and lime, resulting in a tangy fusion of citrus and herb. Looking for something in between? I’d suggest the Mr. Hyde. The delicate juniper of Oxley gin sings through fresh fruit juices (passion fruit, pineapple and lemon), all rounded out by the subtle floral and fruity notes from kaffir lime leaves.
No matter what you order, remember to bring—or make—a friend. With barrel-aged cocktails and a selection of 32 craft beers complementing the cocktail menu, Franklin is a crowd-pleaser. Let the socializing begin.
Franklin Delano, 702-632-9444. Daily, 10 a.m.-2 a.m.