Thu, Sep 10, 2009 (midnight)
Illustration: Terry Colon
Palazzo’s Canyon Ranch dominates the Strip spa scene in many ways, but there’s one aspect that really sets apart this outpost of “health, wellness and holistic and integrative care” (as its website puts it): Booze.
“For those who choose to incorporate alcohol into their lives, wine, beer and spirits in moderation can contribute to a healthy lifestyle,” read the explanatory notes on the wine list of the Canyon Ranch Grill. Organic, biodynamic and/or sustainably certified wines and beers are one thing—not too uncommon these days. But the hard stuff? I had to see it for myself.
- Canyon Ranch Grill
- Inside the Palazzo
- 3325 Las Vegas Blvd. South, 414-3600.
- Daily, 7 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Tossing aside the “moderation,” I coaxed Chef James Boyer into offering me a shot each of Utkins UK5 vodka, Juniper Green London Dry Gin, Highland Harvest Scotch, Papagayo white and spiced rums, 4Copas blanco and reposado tequilas and finally, the açai berry liqueur VeeV. Almost all not only have smoother qualities but also stronger characteristics—the gin explodes with juniper, botanical and citrus; the white rum says sugarcane without a bite; the 4Copas reposado tequila has a soft complexity; the fruity VeeV is dangerously drinkable. Organic scotch is the one disappointment.
Boyer’s bartenders treat the healthy hooch honorably. “We couldn’t find organic mixers,” he explains. “So we make our own liqueurs, with agave nectar, orange, lemon and lime oils.” They might have the best mojito in town, mashed mint colloided with hand-chopped ice. The VeeV le Bleu blends the açai with mulled blueberry juice for a potion whose antioxidant overload must neutralize the alcohol. And the prickly pear marg was another half-healthy treat.
I can’t give a scientific assessment, but I can tell you after nearly nine shots and four drinks, I felt more peaceful than pickled. And the best thing about it? Wearing a bathrobe to this bar is definitely encouraged.