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I was at a luau party the night before leaving for Las Vegas. During the awkwardness that is meeting new people at group functions, my husband and I started chatting with one another about our trip. One partygoer overheard us and exclaimed, “You have to try the Cosmopolitan Verbena Cocktail!” He went on to explain a drink like no other. Let’s just say, he had me at, “First you eat this flower…” and really sold it at “…and then your mouth kind of explodes”. Turns out, not only is this drink on a secret menu, which is alone exciting, but the bar itself is an oddity. It is located inside a colossal Chandelier! Read on to learn about the secret that is the Cosmopolitan Verbena Cocktail at the Chandelier Bar at the Cosmopolitan Las Vegas.
Level One Point Five
The Chandelier Bar at the Cosmopolitan Las Vegas spans two levels of the Cosmopolitan, but the bar that serves the Verbena Cocktail is actually a little secret between floors one and two. Confession. I knew this and still went from the casino lobby floor straight to the second floor, completely missing the Chandelier Bar on level 1.5. The lounge-like bar sits inside the chandelier, and you can’t see it from the casino floor. You also can’t get there from the escalator. I know this because I tried. You either need to take the fancy illuminated stairs to the right or go around back and take the glass elevator up half a floor. You’ll know once you arrive because your eyes will instantly see a 360-degree view of dazzling, hanging crystals and a funky lounge that screams “Vegas baby.”
The Secret Drink Menu
Despite its popularity, you won’t find the Verbena Cocktail on the menu at the Chandelier Bar. You have to order it like someone who knows what they want. I asked it more like a question, “Verbena Cocktail?” But the bartender was friendly and once he handcrafted the cocktail even offered a detailed explanation of the correct way to eat the flower and down the drink,
It All Starts with a Button
A Szechuan button that is. The word Szechuan should be a dead give away that it’s either ridiculously spicy or would cause some kind of explosion. This little flower, or buzz button for short, packs a punch. It is the main event of the order and comes placed atop the drink. Its flavor is what you would expect of a plant; semi-grass flavored with a bite of sour. The real stand out is what it does once inside your mouth.
Can’t get to Las Vegas, but want to try a Szechuan button or freak out your friends? Amazon has these little buggers for sale! Click the picture.
Don’t be Afraid of the Cosmopolitan Verbena Cocktail
I was. I talked a big game and was so excited to try this. Yet, when I sat down at the swanky bar and was offered a flower to eat that I knew would literally make my mouth explode, I froze. Would it cause my throat to close up and therefore catapult me onto the floor choking in front of all these beautiful people? Completely irrational, I know. Luckily, I faced my fear. You are supposed to put the whole thing in your mouth and chew, but I took a little tester bite first, didn’t die, and decided to throw caution to the wind and chuck the whole thing in my mouth.
The Cosmopolitan Verbena Cocktail
Eating the Szechuan button flower is a sensory experience like no other. I could compare it to eating pop rocks, but it makes your mouth salivate even more. It essentially feels like your taste buds are jumping around inside of your mouth while simultaneously spitting water everywhere. I was afraid I might drool, but luckily I kept it together. Then, slowly, your mouth beings to tingle and go numb. It doesn’t last long, but it is intense – in a good way.
This sensation was a perfecting pairing with the flavors of the drink and elevates every sip of the unique cocktail. In a way, the liquid feels extra cold, and every sip is heightened just a bit. The drink itself, even once the mouth explosion begins to fade, is delicious. It’s a lemon verbena and ginger margarita on the rocks.
Money is No Object
Just kidding. Since no menu equals no price, it took all of my willpower not to ask the cost of the drink before ordering. Luckily when the bill came, I was pleasantly surprised. By Las Vegas standards, I fully expected to pay over twenty dollars for this nifty drink, so fifteen dollars for a uniquely crafted cocktail experience was well worth it in my opinion. I spent two dollars more for the extra flower for Colin and I both to experience the explosion while sharing the drink. That felt reasonable as well.
A Great Experience
The atmosphere at the Chandelier Bar was equally as pleasant as the Cosmopolitan Verbena Cocktail itself. It felt super Las Vegas drinking a cocktail from a secret menu inside a huge shimmery chandelier. The Cosmopolitan Las Vegas is elegant and classy, and the cocktail menu was creative and edgy. I’d love to go back and try some of the other unique selections that are on the menu.
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Have you tried the Cosmopolitan Verbena Cocktail? Let me know what you thought!