The Tasting Panel magazine

June 2010

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Page 86 of 100

VEGAS Keeping up with Las Vegas is a 24/7 job—not that we’re complaining! THE TASTING PANEL takes a look at two of Sin City’s most vibrant venues. A Splash of Fresh PARASOL DOWN AND DIRECTOR OF MIXOLOGY PATRICIA RICHARDS ANCHOR BAR LIFE AT WYNN LAS VEGAS stories and photos by Fred Minnick I t’s rare to find a $2.7-billion hotel where one of the premier attractions is a bar. But the Wynn Las Vegas’s Parasol Down is just that sort of place. Below its sister bar, Parasol Up, and surrounded by two winding escalators, the shimmering wood bar faces two large three-tier parasols that point toward an ornate white ceiling with more colorful and flowery parasols hanging upside down. Its patio seamlessly flows into the glistening Lake of Dreams, bordered by 1,500 hearty trees. At night, the lake’s enchanting waterfalls turn into a state-of-the-art environmental theater. With such impressive interiors and unique entertainment, the cocktails better back up the look. And they do, thanks to international mixology sensation Patricia Richards. In 2008, Richards became Director of Mixology for both Wynn Las Vegas and Wynn Encore, making her the first woman to earn such a title in the world’s most excit- ing cocktail city. She placed fourth at the 2010 Finlandia Vodka Cup, the highest U.S. finish in the international competition’s 12-year history. Parasol Down offers guests unique flavor combinations, like a Cucumber-Lavender Mojito or a Mayan Chocolate Café, to coincide with the time of season. Richards creates fall/winter and spring/summer menus, with minor tweaks here and there. In the high summer last year, Richards created a Watermelon Mojito with mint leaves, fresh lime juice, rock candy syrup, Cruzan light rum, Marie Brizard watermelon liquor, fresh watermelon juice and just a splash of club soda. This year, she’s rocking a Cucumber & Ginger Cooler made with Hendricks’s Gin, Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur, freshly muddled cucumber, fresh lime juice, organic agave nectar and club soda. As you may have noticed from these menu excerpts, a common word is “fresh.” “Down the street, bars use less expensive, lesser-quality ingredients, where I always try to work with the best,” Richards says. “The Wynn has the reputation for quality guest service and an integrity-minded brand. That works in harmony with the quality cocktails.” 86 / the tasting panel / june 2010 Patricia Richards is Director of Mixology for both Wynn Las Vegas and Wynn Encore.

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