If you’re looking for some creative whiskey drinks in Downtown Las Vegas, Bar 46 at Golden Nugget is a good place to start. Accessible from its own Fremont Street entrance or from the casino floor, Bar 46 includes a 15-seat oval bar (with no video poker), two circular couches and a small outdoor patio with seating for about 10.
During our visit on a recent Friday evening, the bar was nearly empty. This was a good thing, as the craft cocktails we ordered took a little time to prepare.
The left side of the drink menu includes 11 martinis and cocktails from $12 to $18. The right side features 10 whiskey drinks from $12 to $15. We stuck with whiskey this time, but the interesting choice of stuffed olives (bleu cheese, jalapeno, anchovy, hot pimento, garlic, habanero and lemon peel) will likely get us to order martinis during our next visit. Bar 46 also offers a full liquor selection, wine and bottled beer, so you can get pretty much any standard libation.
Now about those drinks… Our first selection was Bar 46’s signature whiskey cocktail, Smoked 46. It features Maker’s Mark 46 bourbon, a splash of lemon juice and hickory-smoked ice cubes drizzled with maple syrup. It was a little sweet and a lot smoky. Definitely a sipper. The sweet and smoky flavors complimented each other very well. It was the kind of drink we could imagine drinking in front of a fireplace in a secluded log cabin.
Next up was the Cracker Jack Snap made with Hudson New York corn whiskey, muddled ginger snap cookies and luxardo cherries, topped with organic ginger liqueur, ginger beer and grapefruit bitters. This one didn’t work quite as well. With cherries, ginger and grapefruit flavors, we expected the drink to be sweet but the corn whiskey overwhelmed the other ingredients. It ended up tasting sort of muddy.
Our bartender was attentive and friendly, and the place felt warm and inviting. Even though we weren’t crazy about the Cracker Jack Snap, Bar 46 offers enough other intriguing menu options to make a return visit essential next time we’re at the Nugget.