How to Get Fast Bar Service in Vegas ; 7 Tasting Flights to Try ; A Weekend Warrior’s Guide to Vegas

sexy bartender
How to get faster bar service in Vegas
by Miranda Boyd
“Don’t use seven words when four will do. Don’t shift your weight. Look always at your mark but don’t stare. Be specific but not memorable. Be funny but don’t make him laugh. He’s got to like you then forget you the moment you’ve left his side.” Getting a drink at a crowded Vegas bar takes just the right amount of effort. Too pushy and the bartender hates you. Too passive and you’ll never get served. Since we can’t all be Rusty (or Brad Pitt), here are a few tips to help you get tipsy in Las Vegas.

Order simple drinks

Your drinks should arrive in four to six weeks.
It’s not hard to grasp the logic here. Complicated drinks take longer to prepare. And bartenders may back burner your order to push out a group of beers or vodka cranberries. When the bar is sparse, feel free to go for that shaken martini or juicy mojito. And hey, you can get those when the bar is super crowded too – if you want everyone behind you to hate you. But when the bartenders are clearly overworked, and they’re rushing from one thing to another, struggling to hear and desperate for a break, give them one. Go for a beer or mixer. And if you really want to get speedy, settle for a well drink (an order that allows the bartender to use whatever brand is handy such as a gin and tonic) instead of a call drink (an order that asks for a specific brand which the bartender will then have to find like a Tanqueray and tonic). But even before you get to put in your simple order you first have to get the bartender’s attention.

Get creative

Admit it, he’s being super adorable right now.
Put yourself in the bartender’s shoes. You’re staring at a mob of people all screaming at you and crawling over each other to get at your delicious brains…er… booze. It may sound over the top, but that’s how it can feel after people have been partying for hours and the only thing between them and you is two feet of gin-soaked wood. So to make yourself stand out from the swaying masses, try taking a nonverbal approach to ordering. Write your order on a piece of paper and hold it up, or use a drawing or text app on your phone to really make it shine. Jokes and cute doodles are appreciated too – as long as the bartender doesn’t have to decipher what you want. Anytime you can make them chuckle or brighten their day you’ll make a bartender happy. And that will definitely make you stand out. But remember: If everyone starts doing the same thing, you’ll have to change it up. And make sure you’re actually at the bar so they can hand you the drink. Don’t hold up a sign behind the crowd and expect them to toss you a beer.
Order two drinks at once

One bottle = one drink.

This might not work if you have poor impulse control, but if you’re capable of pacing yourself it can save a lot of time to double your order when you have the chance. Of course, there are a few things the seasoned drinker – alright, overthinker – should take into account. Don’t get drinks with too much ice or they could melt and end up watered down. And if you’re the type of person who has to have your beer cold, pay attention to where you set it. Another unfortunate, but serious, concern with having more than one drink is leaving one unattended. This technique really works best if you have a place to sit with people you trust. Otherwise you could end up walking around the whole night with two drinks in your hands. If you’re determined to hit the bar once and only once, your best bet is a double or triple shot of your favorite liquor. You can nurse it all night, sit back and watch everyone else clamor for a second of attention.

Go someplace else

Lie back. Put your feet up. Become the bar.
This sounds like a silly suggestion, but this is Vegas and most casinos have a bar every thirty feet or so. If you think the wait is too long at one, scope around for a slower bar where you can get a drink faster. You can even sit down and start playing the slots or some poker and hope a cocktail waitress gives you the good stuff. Even when you’re in one of the bigger clubs or theme places, you can usually find more than one bar for this specific reason. It can sometimes turn into one of those guessing games where you get out of one line only to find the other fill right up; then the line you were in starts moving. But if speed really is your goal, and you just want a drink in your hand as quickly as possible, it might be faster to walk a little further and hit up the bar everyone else was too lazy to stroll to. No matter where you go, remember one thing:

Tip and tip well

Thanks, Obamacare!
This should be obvious. And it’s something you should do for a lot of reasons, not the least of which are that it’s nice and that bartenders live on tips. But they also remember who tips and who doesn’t. Slapping down a fat tip for your first drink will endear you to the staff and you may just find them more eager to serve you the second, and third, and fourth and however many they can get you to buy. This is especially advantageous if you’re a regular – or plan to be. If you know you’ll be frequenting a bar whenever you’re in Vegas, or for the whole week or two you’re here, getting in good with the bartenders will help ensure you get noticed right away. They may not yell out “Norm!” as soon as you walk in, but you can bet they’ve spotted you; and they’re just waiting to loosen your purse strings with liquor.

Clear the bar

Totally just keep staring at the camera while the woman in the background dies of thirst.
This is more about karma than anything else. But never underestimate the power of a good deed, especially when it could result in more booze. Once you’ve successfully received your drink, get the hell out of the way. Don’t loiter. Don’t stand there making chitchat. If you have to take a sip to make sure it’s correct or to slurp off a bit of nearly overflowing cosmopolitan, do it quickly then walk away. It doesn’t matter if the bar has seats. It doesn’t matter if you got there first and you really want to play the video poker. If there’s a sea of people behind you, move out of the way so they don’t have to try to reach across your sweaty back just to lean in far enough for the bartender to hear them. Otherwise, we can’t be responsible for what karma will do to you later in the night.

We get that your time in Vegas is precious. And we don’t want you spending any more time than you have to waiting for drinks. Believe us, there’s a lot more to see in Las Vegas than the back of the head of someone else screaming for a cocktail. So get out there, grab a drink “and for God’s sake, whatever you do, don’t, under any circumstances…”

blvd creamery

7 Must-Try Tasting Flights (Including Ice Cream)
by Tess Eyrich
No longer the domain of the wine bar, tasting flights are being reborn at a variety of Las Vegas watering holes. We’ve rounded up seven of the best ones to sample this season.

International Beer -Beer flight.

Order the Wild World flight at Pub 1842, Michael Mina’s tavern-style eatery at MGM Grand, and prepare for a trip around the globe. The tasting wheel spotlights eight international beers (there’s also a domestic selection for those who’d prefer to stay local), taking drinkers on a journey to the Czech Republic (Pilsner Urquell’s original brew), Japan (Asahi Lager), Germany (Weihenstephaner Hefe Weissbier), Californa (Sierra Nevada Electric Ray IPL), Nevada (Big Dog Pub 1842 Brew), Belgium (Delirium Tremens’ original Belgian ale), and Scotland (Innis & Gunn’s original brew and Guinness Stout). 3799 S. Las Vegas Blvd., 702-891-3922

Craft Beer

The extensive beer list at Venetian’s Public House can be overwhelming at first glance. Simplify the decision-making process with the Full Palate flight, a well-rounded quartet of four domestic craft beers: Joseph James American Lager, Anderson Valley Boont Amber Ale, Firestone Pale 31, and Deschutes Black Butte Porter. 3355 S. Las Vegas Blvd., 702-407-5310

Ice Cream -Ice cream tasting.

No, your eyes haven’t deceived you—BLVD Creamery at Monte Carlo is now dishing out a Boozy Ice Cream Flight that introduces guests to four adults-only flavors. The spread includes ice creams spiked with Prosecco, RumChata, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Shock Top and drizzled with tasty toppings. 3770 S. Las Vegas Blvd., 702-730-6900


Make it past the frozen margaritas and sweetened sangrias that top the menu at Fashion Show’s El Segundo Sol and you’ll find a selection of six tequila tasting flights. Each one showcases three tequilas, but we recommend the First Class, a trio featuring Carlos Santana’s Casa Noble Single Barrel Añejo, the oak-aged Don Julio 1942, and Jose Cuervo Reserva de la Familia. And if you’re looking for something to soak up all that liquor, the chips and guac here are considered some of the best in town. 3200 S. Las Vegas Blvd., 702-258-1211

Bourbon – Bourbon flight.

So maybe you’re not quite ready to cannonball into Sage at Aria’s roster of (still freshly legalized) absinthes; instead, test the water with something a little less intimidating but just as provocative: the restaurant’s Elusive Van Winkle Flight. The selection features six rare bourbons from Van Winkle, including the 10-year-old Rip and 23-year-old Pappy, which we’re told is a favorite of Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh. 3730 S. Las Vegas Blvd., 877-230-2742


Hidden above Vegas institution Freakin’ Frog is a collection of more than 1,800 whiskeys; the wood-paneled treasure chest known as Adam Carmer’s Whisky Attic opens up to reveal a seemingly endless sequence of bottles from brands like The Famous Grouse, The Knot, and Four Roses. Book a five- or 10-glass tasting session and settle in for an expert introduction to some of the finest whiskeys culled from around the world. 4700 S. Maryland Parkway, Ste. 8, 702-217-6794


Scotch tasting.

Bellagio’s elegant Baccarat Bar is getting into the spirit with a grown-up take on a traditional flight: a Scotch whisky tasting that offers sips of top-shelf bottles like Johnnie Walker Platinum Label, a 14-year-old Oban, and an 18-year-old Glenlivet blend. 3600 S. Las Vegas Blvd., 702-693-7111



The Weekend Warrior’s Guide to Las Vegas

It’s true that the more money you spend in Las Vegas, the more doors open, revealing the fabulous indulgences the city has to offer, particularly as the holidays approach. But there are some pleasures you can and should plan for—especially if you have only a weekend in which to cram them all. Tuck our little guide to some of the best secrets of Vegas’s shopping, spas, restaurants, and stays into your pocket for a glitzy start to your holidays.

When chefs go into the hotel business, you can bet they don’t neglect their guests’ appetites. The newly unveiled Nobu Villa, in Nobu Matsuhisa’s Nobu Hotel within Caesars Palace (702-785-6677), is 10,300 square feet of pure high roller, with three bedrooms, an outdoor terrace, a Japanese onsen-style soaking tub, plus a robatayaki grill and pizza oven on the patio, two dining rooms, and an omakase bar, where one of Nobu’s sushi chefs will make house calls.

As for soothing your body, no one said you can’t infuse your spa treatment with a little booze (it is the holidays, after all). Unwind at the just-opened Delano with the Double Down treatment in the hotel’s freshly redone Bathhouse (877-632-9636). The 80-minute experience starts with a bourbon-infused sugar scrub and ends with a massage; in between, a steam wrap moisturizes the skin with brown sugar and vanilla body oils. See? Now you’re a pie, but we bet you’ll be thankful.

Throwing a holiday dinner party that won’t soon be forgotten can be difficult in a city whose primary focus is entertainment. At é by José Andrés, the chef’s “secret” room inside Jaleo at Cosmopolitan, molecular gastronomy reigns supreme and the tasting menu includes upward of 20 dishes. For the eight-person table, the best way to get it is to contact the restaurant at midnight PST one month in advance—no further. But they do have the occasional cancellation, so it’s worth working the e-mail (there’s no phone).

Total Body Transformations
If it’s pre-party pampering you’re after, Las Vegas offers an abundance of places to primp. Cosmopolitan’s Violet Hour Salon (702-388-0121) dispatches its stylists, technicians, and makeup artists to your room for anything from a minor bang trim to a sunless tanning session.

For the red carpet treatment, head to the suite at Cosmo’s Sahra Spa & Hammam (855-724-7258), a penthouse-style retreat that comes with a fat-screen TV, a wet bar, and butler service.

Champagne and cocktails are just a part of the everyday experience at Color Salon by Michael Boychuck at Caesars Palace (866-730-7791), a go-to destination for entertainers, socialites, and megawatt personalities who arrive in Vegas. But securing an appointment can be difficult around the holidays. The team recommends being nice to staffers (“legitimately nice, not just generous”) and a bit flexible with your time, and you never know what kinds of scheduling miracles they can accomplish.

Dinners You’ll Dine Out On—Forever

Twist by Pierre Gagnaire at Mandarin Oriental (888-881-9367) offers some of the most extravagant meals on the Strip. This Thanksgiving, Gagnaire will render your holiday meal as only a master French chef can: with a multicourse degustation menu featuring, yes, turkey—but poached, roasted, and dressed with potimarron squash and the chef’s porcini gratin, then drizzled with bitter jus and served with carrot purée. Book the restaurant’s 16-person dining room, which has its own tasting menu and floor-to-ceiling views of the city.

For a more spontaneous Thanksgiving, line up (early) at Caesars’ Bacchanal Buffet (702-731-7928). It already offers some 500 items daily, but this year it rolls out an astounding range of dishes to suit every taste, from carved meats (roasted turkey, honey-glazed ham) and seafood (lobster ravioli, king crab legs) to traditional sides (pumpkin soup) and even ethnically inspired options (turkey tacos).

Daniel Boulud’s db Brasserie (702-430-1235) made quite a splash when it opened at Venetian last spring, but it’s the restaurant’s new weekend brunch that has us coming back for seconds. Boulud showcases the season’s bounty with dishes like waffles with bourbon chantilly and a trout grenobloise with raisins and caper brown butter—a new reason to get out of bed after an over-the-top Friday night.

The two-seater in the west corner of the Eiffel Tower Restaurant (Paris Las Vegas, 702-948-6937) not only has the distinction of being one of the most romantic spots on the Strip; it has also earned the nickname “the engagement table.” But you can ask for it by number: The staff knows it as 56. It’s also the only table in the house with seats that face away from the dining room and toward the Bellagio fountains across the street.

Super Luxe Shopping

Finding the perfect gift can be one of the most daunting aspects of the holidays, but some of the city’s best shopping venues offer a variety of behind-the-scenes services to ease the process. At Saks Fifth Avenue (Fashion Show, 702-733-8300), personal shopper Marsha Miller begins preparing for the holidays weeks in advance, even setting up carefully curated gift rooms with options for her clients to choose from. Running low on time? Simply give her a list of recipients, then allow her to make expert selections and have the presents professionally wrapped, addressed, and delivered.

Wynn guests can be paired with a fashion expert assisted by a buyer who has traveled to the shows in Milan, Paris, and New York to guide them through the extraordinary wealth of options on the Esplanades at Wynn and Encore (702-770-7000), including Alexander McQueen, Christian Dior, Oscar de la Renta, and Givenchy. (Need a break? Chanel shoppers can enjoy a glass of Champagne on a patio overlooking a waterfall and be shown the selections.)

The complimentary personal shoppers at Barneys New York (Grand Canal Shoppes at Venetian and Palazzo, 702-629-4200) come armed with a cadre of fitters and tailors. Call ahead—or book an appointment via the Barneys New York iPad app—and prior to your arrival they’ll pull an assortment of items that you can survey in one of several luxury suites, all with their own lounge areas.

Bellusso Jewelers at the Grand Canal Shoppes at Venetian and Palazzo (702-650-2988) plays host to Bulgari, Cartier, Harry Winston, and its own gorgeous line, but two of the boutique’s timepiece brands pack the strongest punch around the holidays: Germany’s A. Lange & Söhne, whose master craftsmen assemble each of its watches twice, and Greubel Forsey, a Swiss manufacturer that produces only 100 new watches per year (starting at $360,000). This is one shop that knows how to appropriately spoil its clients, with gifts such as private-label Cartier Champagne and dinner at Wolfgang Puck’s Cut, where top customers get their own five-course meal with wine pairings.


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