We turned to Cosmopolitan mixologist and Chandelier Bar GM Mariena Mercer to craft something special for our Booze Issue cover, and boy, did she deliver. The second-generation native Las Vegan (“I’m like a unicorn”) has been working in the industry for the past seven years, starting as a “tequila goddess” at Treasure Island, where she learned the wonders of the agave-based liquor she calls “my first and only love.”
For our cover, she crafted a cocktail in keeping with Chandelier Bar’s culinary focus, and one that evokes memories of a childhood spent in Southern Nevada. “My favorite thing to do in the fall is go to Zion National Park, and my favorite hike is Angel’s Landing,” she says. “Most of my cocktails are inspired by experiences.”
And so we’d like to officially introduce the Angel’s Landing, a velvety combination of pumpkin, maple syrup and Maker’s Mark that tastes like fall in liquid form. Mix up a batch to impress your friends, or just pay Mariena a visit on Chandelier’s 1.5th floor. Good luck leaving after just one drink, though. With a cocktail this comforting, you’ll want to stay for seconds.
2 oz. Maker’s Mark
2 oz. Homemade pumpkin butter
1 oz. Maple syrup infused with date, fig and coconut
1 oz. Chai tea
¼ oz. Clove-infused egg whites
½ oz. Lemon juice
Orange zest (for garnish)
Star anise (for garnish)
Directions: Shake all ingredients over ice and strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with orange zest twist and one piece of star anise. Hit the anise with a flame just before serving.
Pumpkin butter: Slice pumpkin into eighths; clean of pulp and seeds. Roast pumpkin at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Peel skin away and puree the meat in a blender with 4 cups of maple syrup, ground ginger and pumpkin pie spice. Bottle and chill.
Infused maple syrup: Take 4 figs and 4 dates and quarter them. Combine with ½ cup flaked/sweetened coconut and 8 cups maple syrup. Bring to a medium heat on stovetop and cook for 15 minutes. Remove, strain and let cool.
Clove egg whites: Take 12 whole cloves and stick one next to each egg in a carton. Leave overnight. Crack the egg and extract the egg white. The cloves perfume the egg whites through the shell.