The Off-Menu Drink You Have to Order in Las Vegas

This not-so-secret cocktail has one particularly mouth-watering ingredient.

Yellow cocktail with lemon on a glass table

The Verbena is garnished with a Szechuan button, an edible flower that will make your mouth water.

Courtesy of the Chandelier Bar

Las Vegas is a town that’s constantly reinventing itself, whether it’s a new residency (we’re looking at you, Adele) or the latest outpost of a beloved NYC restaurant (ahem, Peter Luger). It’s a town for food lovers, it’s a town for partiers, it’s a town for risk-takers, and it’s a town for cocktail connoisseurs. And if you’re a member of that latter group, there’s one concoction in particular you have to experience.

Enter the Verbena, which you can order at the Chandelier Bar at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas hotel. The twist? You won’t find this cocktail on the menu. But according to the bar, it’s become the bestselling tipple in its entire program since it was introduced more than a decade ago by former chef mixologist Mariena Mercer. It’s easy to understand why: The off-menu 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, Mercer’s recipe 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.

It’ll be tough to tear yourself away from your drink but do make an effort to take in the ambience. The multi-story bar offers a different vibe on each level, with curated art exhibits and beaded curtains creating nooks for sipping and taking in the scene below (and above).

More about the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas hotel

Opened in 2010, the Cosmopolitan quickly became a favorite among visitors to Las Vegas for its edgy, avant-garde feel and prime location on the Strip right between the Bellagio and the Aria hotels. The property is made up of two high-rise towers housing more than 3,000 rooms, a 110,000-square-foot casino, a 3,200-seat theater, and a whole roster of restaurants and bars. (Momofuku, Eggslut, and Hattie B’s Hot Chicken are a few standouts.) Inside, the rooms are luxe, featuring sunken bathtubs, views of the Strip below, and comfy beds that will make it tough to leave your room.

This article originally appeared online in 2015; it was most recently updated on February 22, 2024, to include current information. Additional reporting by Erika Owen.

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