Located in the Block 16 Urban Food Hall, Ghost Donkey is one of the establishments in this updated and improved version of a food court. Mezcal and tequila are the featured spirits at Ghost Donkey. Delicious artisanal cocktails are available, but the menu tilts heavily toward selections of mezcal and tequila, and even includes a few rare cousins, like sotol. Ask about their flights so you can enjoy a sampling of Ghost Donkey's expansive offerings. If you'd rather have a mixed drink, it's almost a crime to pass up the Stealth Margarita, made with fine Cazadores Blanco Tequila, St. Germain, cucumber, lime and chili. The Aloy Old Fashioned gives the classic drink a make-over with Peloton Mezcal, Rhum Clement, papalo, shiso and bitters. You may need to visit Ghost Donkey more than once to thoroughly sample their drinks, especially since their tasty creations pack a punch.
Recommended for Bars on the Strip because: Ghost Donkey offers an impressive selection of mezcal and tequila as well as innovative specialty cocktails.
Terrisa's expert tip: Ghost Donkey offers a selection of nachos if you'd like to have a snack with your drinks, and these aren't your usual nachos. Their distinctive chip creations include Truffle Nachos, Mole Chicken Nachos and Chorizo and Tripe Nachos.
Consistently cited as one of Las Vegas' most popular patios, Rhumbar is a highly stylized cocktail and cigar lounge inspired by the cool mood of the Caribbean. The plush outdoor patio, which is able to accommodate up to 300 guests, is reminiscent of a tropical retreat and offers a picturesque location for guests to mingle, sip cocktails and smoke cigars. The intimate interior is predominantly white with touches of cool greens accentuating the sleek décor. Must-try libations include the classic Zombie from Don the Beachcomber, with pineapple juice, lime juice, grenadine, brandy and bitters mixed with Cruzan, Bacardi 8 and Denizen White Rum; or another favorite, the Pina Colada with Mt. Gray XO, Coco Lopez, fresh pineapple and lime juice and coconut syrup.
Recommended for Bars on the Strip because: The party is always going at Rhumbar, a bar that brings a taste of the Caribbean to the Las Vegas Strip.
Terrisa's expert tip: With a location close to the front of the Mirage, Rhumbar isn't far from the Mirage Volcano. Stop by before or after a few drinks to enjoy a perfectly safe eruption.
Skyfall's amazing 180-degree view of Las Vegas provides a stunning backdrop to its sophisticated space. A warm, inviting decor offers plentiful seating, and the expertly crafted drinks are sure to please (even if you like your martini shaken, not stirred--yes, there's a slight Bond theme). The lounge evolves throughout the night, beginning the evening as a more relaxed space and getting its nightclub on later in the evening when the DJ starts the music. Inside and outdoor areas are available--if you're there at sunset, be sure to step outside to see the sun going down behind the mountains. While the drinks and music are certainly worth coming to Skyfall for, it just may be the terrific view that keeps you around.
Recommended for Bars on the Strip because: Skyfall's panoramic view is spectacular, and its drink menu offers creative and classic cocktails.
Terrisa's expert tip: Noted chef Alain Ducasse has a restaurant next to Skyfall, Rivea, which serves cuisine with French and Italian influences. It also has a wonderful view of Las Vegas.
The sleek, elegant interior design of The Dorsey tells a story all its own, but the drink menu is what's truly captivating. Wine and Champagne are served by the glass or bottle, and you'll find a selection of beer as well. It's the cocktails that attract attention here, however, with drinks organized under sections with names like Light and Bright, Conversation Pieces, Shorties and Bubbly. The Penicillin's blend of Scotch, lemon, ginger, honey and Islay float is popular, but the variety of cocktails makes it hard to pick just one. The Punch Bowls are also a hit, intended for sharing between four and six people. With all the choices here, you may have to make a few trips to try all of the drinks that catch your eye.
Recommended for Bars on the Strip because: The impressively large selection of specialty cocktails at The Dorsey are full of surprising flavors and quality ingredients.
Terrisa's expert tip: Food is offered from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. and includes a host of tempting small plates like chips and guacamole, curly French fries, carne asada empanadas and beef sliders.
Juniper Cocktail Lounge is a gin-focused bar--in fact, it has the largest collection of gin in Las Vegas. Named after the berry that gives us gin, Juniper specializes in hand-crafted cocktails created with house-made juices and syrups and the finest spirits. Creativity is a key element here, and it's on full display with drinks like the Dirty Martini, made with Bombay Dry Gin, dry vermouth, orange bitters, rosemary and olive foam. If you're not a gin enthusiast, Juniper offers other delicious drinks, like the Maple Old Fashioned, with Whistle Pig 10-year-old rye whiskey, barrel-aged maple syrup and Angostura Bitters. With a location in the center of Park MGM's casino, the atmosphere is classy and inviting, perfect for savoring one of the incredible drinks.
Recommended for Bars on the Strip because: Juniper Cocktail Lounge is an upscale bar focused on creative cocktails, but with a particular emphasis on gin.
Terrisa's expert tip: Next door to Park MGM, where Juniper is located, you'll find The Park, an open-air plaza with shops, restaurants and occasional entertainment that stretches from Las Vegas Boulevard back to the T-Mobile Arena. The famous Bliss sculpture is located here, close to the arena.
Bound isn't your average hotel lobby bar, which has earned it praise as a hidden gem. The circular bar is the heart of the room, which is full of subtle tones, mood lighting and plush seating. The drink menu here has a distinctive pedigree. Noted mixologist Salvatore Calabrese, considered one of the world's most respected bartenders, created the specialty drinks. Guests can enjoy creations like The Breakfast Martini, gin mixed with the finest orange marmalade, fresh lemon juice and Cointreau or The Cromwell Cocktail, with Ciroc Red Berry vodka, strawberry liqueur, strawberry puree, fresh orange juice, maple juice and a hint of balsamic vinegar. Drop in after 9 p.m. to enjoy a cocktail and live music.
Recommended for Bars on the Strip because: Expertly prepared cocktails distinguish Bound, which takes the idea of mixology very seriously.
Terrisa's expert tip: Bound also has a small menu of snack foods from the casual restaurant Eatwell. Options include pizza, hot dogs, tacos, a rice bowl, chicken wings and even healthy snacks like fruit and yogurt.
The Chandelier's striking design makes stopping for a drink feel mandatory. Located in the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, this marvel of design combines more than two million crystal beads and three luxurious bars in a three-story space. Each floor houses its own unique bar experience where guests can enjoy interactive light shows along with their signature cocktails. The bottom floor offers a high-energy atmosphere that merges seamlessly with the surrounding casino floor, while the heart of The Chandelier provides a more swank and sophisticated experience and the top of The Chandelier overlooks the casino below. Look for inventive creations like the Afternoon Delight, made with La Nina Mezcal, Ruby Red Port, sweet vermouth and vanilla.
Recommended for Bars on the Strip because: The enchanted atmosphere inside The Chandelier pairs well with its finely crafted cocktails.
Terrisa's expert tip: Each level has different hours; the top level is open from 11 a.m. to 4 a.m., the middle from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m., and the bottom level is open 24/7.
If you'd like a taste of the mythical "Old Vegas," you'll enjoy the comfy, retro feel of the Fireside Lounge. This bar has been around for decades and delivers a piece of Las Vegas' past--which is one of the reasons it's been popular with movie makers. Sink into a cozy booth and nurse a mai tai or other nostalgic beverage served to you by a waitress in a 70s-style dress slit to mid-thigh. Mirrors lining the walls reflect the glow of the bubbling fire pit in a setting that's popular with couples. Performances from Vegas legends are replayed on flat-screens dotted around the room, enhancing the yesteryear ambiance. Consistently voted one of the best date spots in Vegas, this lounge's atmosphere is both nostalgic and sexy.
Recommended for Bars on the Strip because: Old Las Vegas is alive and well at The Fireside, with its retro decor and classic drinks.
Terrisa's expert tip: The Peppermill also has a 24/7 restaurant that's just as retro Vegas as the bar, serving generous portions of comfort foods like hamburgers, 24-hour breakfast and diet-busting desserts.
The Barbershop Cuts and Cocktails has made quite a splash on the Las Vegas Strip, with a grooming-centric approach and a bit of split personality. From 10 a.m. to 12 a.m., the barbershop is open for gentlemen to indulge in a cut, beard trim, or straight razor shave. Fine aged whiskey is available for sipping while undergoing your beautification. At 5 p.m., The Parlor opens, serving top-shelf spirits, spiked juices and absinthe. The whiskey selection is enormous and includes Japanese, Irish and Canadian whiskey as well as bourbon. The speakeasy persona at The Parlor tips its hat to a prior age, with an interior design that matches the classic drinks.
Recommended for Bars on the Strip because: By day, the Barbershop Cuts & Cocktails offers men's grooming services and by night, The Parlour serves some of the finest whiskeys.
Terrisa's expert tip: Entertainment is offered in the evenings, with DJs on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, karaoke on Tuesday and a live band on Saturday. Dennis Quaid & The Sharks performed there in March.
Located on the 23rd floor of the non-gaming Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas, SkyBar is one of the city's sleekest and most sophisticated nightlife venues. Guests can drink up the stunning Strip views courtesy of the bar's floor-to-ceiling windows while imbibing one of its expertly crafted cocktails. In addition to a menu of creative alcoholic concoctions, the bar offers a variety of fine wines and delicious light bites, making it the perfect place to kick back and relax before or after dinner. Be sure to try one of their creative cocktails, like the Sinatra, with Jack Daniels Sinatra Select, Amaro Nonino, lemon juice and mesquite honey.
Recommended for Bars on the Strip because: SkyBar's incredible views of the Las Vegas Strip are the perfect backdrop for a sophisticated evening with elegant cocktails.
Terrisa's expert tip: SkyBar's calls its selection of specialty tastings Luxurious Experiences, and the spirits they serve live up to that description with flights of Whistle Pig or Macallan Whiskey, Clase Azul Tequila and Remy Martin.