When you go to a bar, do you peruse menu to find a cool cocktail created by a "mixologist" or do you have a go to cocktail that you always order? I kind of do both, it really depends on my mood, but when I'm in Las Vegas, a culinary creative mecca, I always want to try specialty cocktails that I can't find at home.
One of my favorite bars in all of Las Vegas is the Chandelier Bar at the Cosmopolitan hotel and I'm a big fan of their Bloody Mary, but this past time I was there, I wanted something more fresh and light for a nightcap. I asked the bartender what he could recommend to me and he let me in on a drink that's on their "secret menu". I'm letting you guys all in on the secret, because it's too awesome not to share! And trust me, you will love it.
The drink is called the Verbena and it is only served on the second floor of the chandelier bar. It is a basic margarita, but with a little extra something...a small flower resides on the surface of the margarita and its not just for show. The flower is a Sichuan flower and in the culinary world, its also referred to as a the buzz button.
When he served it to me, the bartender mentioned that this drink came with instructions. The instructions were to drink the margarita and get a good taste of it, then to put the whole flower in your mouth and chew on it for 15-20 seconds making sure to chew on both sides of your mouth and swallow it, and then to finally drink the margarita again. I didn't know what to expect, but I definitely could not have anticipated what happened.
It's called a buzz button for a reason. In the first 5 seconds I began chewing it, my whole mouth started to tingle, then that tingle turned into a prickle, until my whole mouth was buzzing and numb. After I ate the flower, I took another sip of the margarita again and the taste was completely different! I could definitely taste the flavors and ingredients in it a whole lot more, and this is exactly what the flower does. It speeds up your salivary glands and makes you a supertaster.
Its unlike anything I've every tried and its an absolute must if you're in Vegas! It was so cool that I'm actually considering buying some of those Sichuan flowers and seeing what else it could open my tastebuds up to. But take it from me, this is a drink on a secret menu you'll be happy I told you about.