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Try the Best Smoky Cocktails from Las Vegas Bartenders

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Las Vegas bartenders recently shared their finest recipes in the Smoky Malt Cocktail Challenge, sponsored by Ardbeg. Sarah Sarony Rith of The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas ultimately won, earning a to Scotland for her subtle and smoky masterpiece, the Burning Meadow. She won’t be the only one to benefit from the competition, though. You, for instance, can check out the best recipes submitted, including Rith’s, and explore the Las Vegas bars where these talented, innovative bartenders work. But before you head out to see what else they’re mixing up, find the smoky cocktail that speaks to you.


The hottest spot in the city might be in the lobby of The Cromwell. The sophisticated bar has the creative cocktails and intimate feel you want from an upper echelon Vegas bar. It also has something no other spot can claim: Dominick Demartino and Cody Fredrickson behind the bar. Both were standouts in the Smoky Malt Cocktail Challenge and part of what makes Bound a cocktail lover’s paradise.


The Chandelier

The biggest draw to the Cosmopolitan might be its three-story lounge. It has the impeccable décor and ambience you expect but also some of the finest cocktails in town. It’s home to Sarah Rith, who won the Las Vegas regional for the Smoky Malt Cocktail Challenge for the Burning Meadow. She’s not the only bartender in the building who made a splash in the competition. Edmond Monroe’s Mother Nature was also featured.

CraftHaus Brewery

One of the best craft breweries in the Las Vegas area is interested in more than great beer. Bartender Shane Merriam applies the same detailed approach to cocktails as the brewers do to beer. That’s one reason why his creation, the East Meets Islay, was featured in the Smoky Malt Cocktail Challenge.

The Dorsey

Located inside The Venetian is one of the most refined and luxurious cocktail bars on the Strip. It’s the perfect setting for good conversation and classic cocktails. If you’re feeling a little more adventurous, try a signature cocktail made by talented bartender Juyoung Kang, recently featured in the Smoky Malt Cocktail Challenge for his Uninspired, At First cocktail.

Echo & Rig

This dazzling restaurant weaves together the culinary expertise of a modern steakhouse with the feel of a neighborhood butcher shop. Throw in craft cocktails made by Brian Pierzga, and you have an experience like no other in Las Vegas. His creation, When Scottish Islays Are Smiling, made a lasting impression in the Smoky Malt Cocktail Challenge. Check out what else he’s mixing up.

Libertine Social

Everything in this next-generation gastropub, from the design to the food and cocktail program, is designed to stimulate your senses. You can find a eye-popping menu and bartender Jonathan Williams at this stylish spot inside Mandalay Bay. Williams is on a roll after his Arc of the King cocktail was featured in the Smoky Malt Cocktail Challenge. Don’t miss the chance to see him in action.

Parlor Lounge

Timeless elegance gets a contemporary twist at this refined cocktail lounge in The Mirage. Music from Steinway grand pianos fill the room, and award-winning cocktails are crafted by bartenders like Gary Schneck, who was featured in the Smoky Malt Cocktail Challenge. Stop by for a chance to see the creator of the Shuck ’n’ Chuck cocktail at work.

Sugarcane Raw Bar and Grill

This restaurant is an oasis that serves creative small plates that emphasize the communal aspect of dining. The cocktails, including those made by Smoky Malt Cocktail Challenge featured bartender Jason B. Hughes, are sure to inspire camaraderie and conversation. Try one of the singular creations from Hughes, the bartender behind the Scotty’s Vacation cocktail.

Locations: Las Vegas

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