The Las Vegas Cocktail Bar You Can't Miss, According To Mixologist Tony Abou-Ganim - Exclusive

If you're looking for a spot to sip on a good cocktail, it's safe to say you can trust master mixologist Tony Abou-Ganim's recommendations. He's authored two cocktail books, made TV show appearances, and founded The Modern Mixologist drink consulting firm. We spoke to Abou-Ganim at Nassau Paradise Island Wine and Food Fest's Jerk Jam event and asked about his favorite Las Vegas watering hole. 

"My favorite cocktail bar in Las Vegas has got to be Nectaly Mendoza's Herbs and Rye," he said. "When we first started to experience this resurgence in classic cocktails, Nectaly opened Herbs and Rye as a classic traditional cocktail bar."

The bar opened its doors in 2009, and its biggest draw is its historical drinks. The menu separates its offerings out by era, so patrons can see when the drinks were invented and most popular. So while you may choose not to order classic cocktails you often make at home, there are plenty of options from the Gothic Age to the Tiki Boom to choose from.

The Blood & Sand, for example, combines Scotch, cherry liquor, sweet vermouth, and orange. It dates back to 1922 and was named for a silent film. The Brandy Crusta hails from Harry Craddock's 1930 book, "The Savoy Cocktail Book." The drink mixes brandy, maraschino, orange curacao, lemon, and bitters.

Other offerings at the bar

Each drink features a little blurb of history on the menu, so diners can know the background of the beverage they're sipping on. Beyond the historical offerings, diners can enjoy an upscale dinner at the bar, too. The menu offers several of the best cuts of steak: Flat iron, filet mignon, New York strip, and ribeye. Additionally, the bar offers pasta dishes like cacio e pepe, carbonara, and aglio e olio. Or, if small plates are more your style, it also serves spicy mussels, shrimp cocktail, and beef tartare, which differs from carpaccio.

Business hasn't always been smooth sailing for Nectaly Mendoza, but Tony Abou-Ganim praised his persistence. "It took him years and he struggled and he stayed with it," Abou-Ganim said. "And today he's extremely successful, but it's only because of his commitment and his love and his passion." When the bar opened, it only had five employees. Today, the bar is award-winning, and on the list of North America's 50 Best Bars.