Las Vegas has no shortage of high-end drinking establishments, but stepping inside of a three-story-tall chandelier to get your drink on? Well, that’s still something even in an age of overblown glitz.
The Cosmopolitan’s Chandelier Lounge is an opulent temple to shimmering crystal — but it’s also home to some inventive cocktails that those sipping their beers and martinis are missing out on. You needn’t look far to find them. The drinks menu houses a page of seasonal specialties. At present, nine cocktails appear on the list. These clearly rotate based on what’s fresh (and, being Vegas, what’s hot).
Recently we took a quick spin through the menu to hit the highlights and see what The Chandelier’s mixology crew had been up to lately.
Let’s start with some drinks that focus on simpler flavors — though both are clear crowd-pleasers. The Classy Lassi is an award-winning take on the Indian dessert, a mix of Opihr spiced gin, mango, passion fruit, yogurt, coconut, cardamom, ginger, peppercorns, kalamansi (like a kumquat), and “snake oil.” I didn’t ask about the last ingredient, but the rest come together in a milkshake-like, mango-heavy concoction that is sweet and fruity, with no kick to it whatsover. Light herbal notes give the finish a little kiss. This is an easy knock-’em-back cocktail that will surely lead to trouble later in the evening after round three.
Similarly, Old Dogs, New Tricks blends Xante Pear Cognac, Creole shrub, Giffard’s Vanilla, lemon, and ancho chai masala tea into a flute-served refresher that focuses heavily on the vanilla-pear combination, with a finish that plays up the citrus and sugar components. This was maybe my least favorite drink of the night, which is saying something since it was perfectly enjoyable, if a bit less than complex, from start to finish.
Things start to get weird with the Lost in Translation, which is composed of “strange bedfellows” of Yamazaki 12 year old whisky, Giffard’s creme de banana, coconut cream, ceremonial grade matcha tea, lavender honey, ginger, and sesame oil. Rimmed with matcha, the greenish-brown drink is muddy and decidedly homely, but amazingly delicious. Tropical notes play surprisingly well with the whiskey and the honey — with the sesame and matcha enduring on the more savory, aromatic finish. This one is as hard to put down as it is to look at.
Lastly, we turn to one of the most inventive cocktails I’ve ever had, called Schnozberries Taste Like Schnozberries. The description goes like this: “Dragonberry Rum, Sloe Gin, Aperol, Pickled Strawberry Lychee Pink Peppercorn Shrub, over a Miracleberry Ginger Gobstopper Ice Sphere with a scented Lolligarden.” That is a long way of explaining the core of this drink: A miracleberry tablet encased in ice that slowly melts into your drink. Miracleberry is a weird little fruit that binds to enzymes on your taste buds so that you can only taste sweet flavors. As it melts into the drink, the quite sour concoction slowly turns sweeter and sweeter. For good measure, you get a plastic flowerpot with aromatic “flowers” and four sweet-and-sour lollipops that you can suck on to see how impacted your taste buds are. While the effect wasn’t as immersive as I’d hoped, it was amazing to see this drink change before your very eyes. Er, mouth. It’s fun stuff, and worth the visit for this one alone.
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