The Aria Las Vegas is a fantastic experience and one of the better, more modern MGM properties to stay at when visiting Las Vegas. I have traveled the United States for work for almost a decade, at one point living on the road 35-40 weeks a year. Las Vegas is by far one of my favorite cities in America and the Aria is one of my favorite properties to, stay at, visit for an evening of casual drinks, or even work a convention at.
When I decided to begin this “Oh My Mai-Tai” journey, I just so happen to be in Las Vegas with one of my favorite family of show technicians and staying at one of favorite properties…The ARIA Resort and Casino.
As you register at the front desk have no fear, your first Mai-Tai is waiting for your just a few steps away on the first floor at “Lobby Bar”. The ambience of the place is fantastically subdued. For being in the lobby of one of the largest resort hotels in Las Vegas, you’d think it’d be a bustling and noisy hotel lobby bar. But it pleasantly is not!
The man you want to see at the bar is Jason. He spent years on the Hawaiian Islands opening bars and restaurants for companies, and if you like a proper Hawaiian Mai-Tai with a bit of Pineapple in it, he is the man,without a doubt! His liquor pouring hand is well measured but liberal.
PRICE: The cost was decent for a resort on the strip at $19 USD, and the cocktail was so amazing I had a few.
PRESENTATION: Served in a to go glass over bar ice (utterly my fault as I showed up close to closing), and garnished with two brandied cherries and an orange slice.
FLAVOR PROFILE: A Magnificent drink. Jason’s mix of regular and dark rum was magnificent with a nice heavy side om the dark rum. Just a touch of Pineapple to sweeten the formula without getting too sweet. There was zero acidic background and the drink only got better as it came together.
As you leave Lobby Bar and cross through the casino floor you come across Lift Bar. So named because it sits next to the guest elevators, Lift Bar is quite literally some of the best people watching in Vegas, but be careful, it gets very busy during conferences and sometimes the drinks can be a bit hit or miss in quality due to that. Due to the busy nature of the night I visited I was at a table with friends and while the service was great, I did not get to see my Mai-Tai creation or creator. I was saddened. I was more saddened when I tasted my drink.
PRICE: The cost was not crazy sitting at $18.
PRESENTATION: Served in a tall daiquiri glass over standard bar ice garnished with a lime.
FLAVOR PROFILE: Light and not too syrupy with a good balance of rum and sweet. However the back-end can be harshly lime sour heavy with a considerable acidic after affect. Some folk may like it, but it was honestly a bit much for me and I stopped after one instead of my usual few.
As you navigate your way forward pass the guest elevators inside the first floor casino straight ahead of you sits Alibi Cocktail Lounge. When you arrive Rodney is the Mixologist you want to see. He has been making cocktails for more than 20 years and his Mai-Tai game is outstanding!
PRICE: Again, for being a newer casino on the Vegas strip a $19USD multi-liquor cocktail is fairly reasonable.
PRESENTATION: Served in a 12oz curved bar glass over tubular bar ice and garnished with a twisted orange slice. The layering of the liquors is very distinct and satisfying.
FLAVOR PROFILE: A fantastic blend of amber and dark rums with a good heavy emphasis on the dark. Rodney’s true bar wizardy though is with the traditional use of lime in just the right proportion that it is present but rounded off by the sweetness of the Orgeat so that there is zero harshness to the either the flavor or after you’ve finished. It is fantastic, refreshing and a great take on the traditional Mai-Tai.
There are numerous places within the Aria resort complex, but these are my typical haunts because they offer the best all around ambiance, crowd, music and of Mai-Tais I like. Next time you are in Vegas stop on by and check them out.
Stay tuned for more reviews of Mai-Tais and more right here at Oh May Mai-Tai and see you at the Tiki Bar!