Greetings from Las Vegas! I'm here visiting the new CityCenter that is made up of the Aria casino and hotel, the Mandarin Oriental hotel, and Crystals shopping center. The place is pretty classy, but you don't come to Alcademics to read about gambling, except taking a gamble on potentially delicious cocktails.
I'm staying at Aria. Here is the view from my room:
I got here late yesterday, so I only had time to visit a few things. I dined at Union, a steak and lobster-centric restaurant in Aria. There are about 12 restaurants in Aria so I'll visit a few of them.
Union has a small cocktail menu with 9 drinks on it. Some look better than others. I avoided the ones with flavored vodka and had one with bourbon a grapefruit, one with tequila, passionfruit, and fresno chili, and a strawberry-basil Caipirinha. They were all not-too-sweet and quite juicy.
I checked out the new Cirque du Soleil show Viva Elvis, and visited the nearby Gold Lounge, where the cocktail list was no good.
Wandering around the casino I stumbled into Bar Moderno for the best drinks so far. They had drinks with orgeat, rhubarb bitters, and caramelized pineapple puree so you know that somebody who knew what they were doing did the cocktail menu here. They had a version of a Pisco Sour, a Sidecar, and a selection of cheeky "morning remedies" like black coffee and Advil.
On further exploration, it seems a few of the drinks from Bar Moderno are the signature drinks of the casino, available the sports bar and buffet also: the Carmelized Pineapple Sidecar, the Raspbberry Aviation, the Prickly Pear Pisco Sour, the Ginger Cosmopolitan, and the Cucumber Collins.
Off to a second day of exploring. Cheers.