Delicious drinks are in the cards
By Sabrina Chapman
The high-limit room at Monte Carlo offers the following scene: finely dressed dealers, plush adornments and stakes that would make the average Joe unable to swallow. It’s an atmosphere fit for a classic cocktail revival. Thankfully, HIT Bar & Lounge, inside the high-limit room, offers a selection of 21 classics from a leather-bound 46-page cocktail menu.
Like dusting off a first-edition Moby Dick or a film reel of Gone With the Wind, HIT offers cocktails made from recipes that have withstood time and are nothing less than icons. However, it takes a modern-day da Vinci of cocktails to reawaken these classics and present them with the delicacy of detailand mastery of technique they deserve. Someone like Monte Carlo’s master mixologist Michael MacDonnell, who says, “Being a bartender is a lot more than throwing a vodka and tonic in a cup. It’s a whole world of things.”
For example, things like history. The days before Prohibition were a refined cocktail era, as well as a time when the invention of the airplane was quite the to-do. Hugo Ensslin, head bartender at the Wallick Hotel in New York, published a recipe in 1917 for a sky-blue drink called the Aviation. It was an instant hit among sophisticated drinkers.
Then there are things like exquisite balance. For example, the boldness of Campo de Encanto Pisco in MacDonnell’s Pisco sour plays against bright, fresh lemon juice, beneath a top layer of a foamy egg white. And then there’s complexity, as exemplified in the Vieux Carré, a cocktail born in the French Quarter of New Orleans. Even if you are a newbie, MacDonnell has something for you, such as his Moscow Mule made with Russian Standard Platinum vodka, granulated sugar, fresh lime juice and ginger beer, served in a copper mug. The result is easy drinking and refreshing to the nth degree.
So, although booze for booze’s sake might be acceptable elsewhere in Vegas, at HIT the experience is so much more. Just one sip of any of these 21 delicious cocktails makes uttering the words “hit me” during the cat-and-mouse game of blackjack that much more enjoyable.