Cover photo courtesy of Linda Blacker.
Raise your hand if you’re a sucker for a masterfully created cocktail…
Cocktails have long surpassed the days of sex-on-the-beach and cosmos, and in their place are creations so genius (and often utterly bonkers), you’re left wondering just how the hell did someone make a flavour so damn good.
Those masters of alcoholic flavour have a job title – mixologist – and Mariena is one such drinks fairy. As Chief Mixologist for The Cosmopolitan, her role entails creating cocktails for 14 different outlets, as well as running The Cosmopolitan’s beverage production kitchen.
In partnership with Visit Las Vegas, here’s what Mariena has to say about her home hood of Vegas…
What brought you to Las Vegas?
I was born and raised in Las Vegas, and I am a second generation, which is fantastic because my entire family is here. My Great Grandfather actually owned a casino, so this industry is in my blood.
What’s it like living in a 24 hour city?
Las Vegas is the most exciting city in the world, and it’s great to live in a city that is always alive. There is a unique vibrancy and energy to Las Vegas that I’ve never seen replicated. I will say, you do get a bit spoilt having everything open 24 hours a day and at your fingertips.
What makes Las Vegas special to you?
Las Vegas is so special because there really is something for everyone. You can wake up in the morning, take a hike in beautiful red-hued mountains, have a world-class spa experience, brunch by the pool, have a celebrity chef make you a once-in-a-lifetime meal, see an award-winning show, and party the evening away in the best nightclubs in the world. And that’s just one day. Every day is an adventure in Las Vegas.
Can you tell us some of your favourite Las Vegas memories and stories?
I love meeting all of the great people that come to visit Las Vegas. People from every continent across the world come to play with us, so the people you meet are so diverse and interesting—it’s a giant melting pot of energy.
If a friend asked you for your top Las Vegas recommendations, where would you tell them to go?
Take a hike at Red Rock Canyon—the views are stunning.
Have lunch at Cornish Pasty Company and explore the Arts District in Downtown Las Vegas (keep an eye out for great vintage finds).
Have cocktails at The Chandelier, and make sure you try The Verbena.
Have dinner at Rose. Rabbit. Lie. and enjoy the unparalleled culinary and entertainment experience.
Drink like a local and head to Downtown Las Vegas bars like Atomic & Velveteen Rabbit.
Spend a day in Lake Las Vegas and do some paddle boarding and indulge at the spa.
Want to take advantage of Mariena’s Vegas tips, like, ASAP? Go there with Contiki.