Improving on something that is pretty near perfect has to be admired. Well, go on and admire the 20 new cocktails recently introduced at Tao at The Venetian and sister restaurant Lavo at The Palazzo. Both A-list restaurants and nightlife hot spots paired the flavors to their cuisine, pan-Asian for Tao and Italian for Lavo.

Part of that experience is the populartableside presentations. “We designed these cocktails to create an interaction between our guests and the server or bartender,” said Blair Shea, assistant director of beverage for Tao Group Hospitality Las Vegas. “Additionally, this gave us the opportunity to insert another layer in order to envelop the sense, whether it be smell via smoke, or sight via the chemical interaction between a pea flower citrus.” For example, Tao’s Smoking Dragon tableside decanter service comes with Angel’s Envy rye whiskey, Martini & Rossi Rubino sweet vermouth, rosemary port wine reduction, Peychaud’s Bitters and a hickory smoke. For something floral and fruity, the Divinity is a refreshing blend of Grey Goose Le Citron vodka, St-Germain elderflower liqueur, cold-pressed pineapple, lemon and butterfly pea flower. “The Zen Garden cocktail also has a nuance to it that is unmistakable,” Shea said. “Sugar snap pea and melon plays extremely well off agave-forward, unaged tequila and pairs with many of our dishes at Tao.” The cocktail is finished off with cold-pressed lime and ginger beer.

At Lavo, “the Fumo Grasso is my personal favorite,” said Shea. “It takes the body of the cocktail to another level through texture, just as an egg white would in a sour or flip. The flavor also plays really well off the richness of apple butter and spices, yet is balanced via high-proof American whiskey finished in sherry wood casks.”

For a tropical twist with a caffeine punch, the Valencia mixes Diplomatico Planas rum, Amaro Montenegro, apricot preserve, cold-pressed pineapple and Yellow Red Bull Tropical Edition. For a more classic sip that pairs perfectly with Lavo’s cuisine, try the Here Today, Gone Amaro, a Negroni-inspired treat with New Amsterdam Stratusphere London dry gin, Select Aperitivo Venezia and Amaro Montenegro. “Part of the Tao Group Hospitality mantra is to improve on the experience we provide every day,” Shea said. “We look to improve all the time. We spent months during the pandemic experimenting, creating and testing these cocktails.”

The Venetian, 702.388.8588; The Palazzo, 702.791.1800

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