When you think of Vegas and drinking, you probably think more of hurricanes that will wipe out your memory and leave you deathly ill the next morning, less of cocktails that are actually delicious. Enter the Cosmopolitan‘s Mariena Mercer, the chef mixologist and mastermind behind the entire hotel’s beverage program. We’re particularly fond of The Verbana from the hotel’s Chandelier Bar, a cocktail which you won’t find on the menu. The drink will quite literally make your mouth water because it comes with a Szechuan button—an edible flower that is filled with a natural alkaloid. A couple of seconds after eating it, your mouth feels tingly, your salivary glands go into serious overdrive, and your tongue is properly primed to clock all of the drink’s unusual flavors. Instead of run-of-the-mill lemons and limes for this margarita-like cocktail, Mariena uses a medley of unexpected citrus components (yuzu, kaffir leaves, and calamansi, which is similar to kumquat), blanco tequila, and ginger for an extra bite. It’s spicy, refreshing, fragrant—and downright unforgettable.
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Photo of the Cosmopolitan