Alfieri highball glass, Luigi Bormioli ($5.19 each). Bloomingdale's, Willow Grove Mall, 215-706-3300. Country martini glass, William Yeoward ($50 each). Bloomingdale's, King of Prussia Mall, 610-337-6300. Onde Champagne flute, Baccarat ($85 each). Neiman Marcus, King of Prussia Mall, 610-962- 6200.
Atlantic City’s official moniker is “America’s Playground,” and the fast-paced, party-driven town is once again living up to the billing. The city’s top nightclubs are where much of the action happens once the sun sets, and bartenders are always one-upping each other with trendy beverages to appease the discerning crowds.
Specialty cocktails are one of the best reasons to visit 21 Bar (2100 Pacific Ave., 609-345-3875), created for partiers who want more than the average rum and Coke. For the newly opened lounge, Craig Slotkin of Dusk Management Group concocted tasty, modern interpretations of classic drinks that crowds at Dusk have been clamoring for. One of these is the Multiple-o-RAZZ-ims, a raspberry-infused Champagne cocktail. (The sparkling sipper is the choice of many bachelorette parties.) The intimate bar offers plenty of spacious seating, making it a prime destination for relaxing and unwinding. If you crave more of a summery cooler, veteran bartender Donnie Cembrale, of The Pool at Harrah's (777 Harrah’s Blvd., 609-441-5233), pays tribute to his New York City roots during The Pool’s afterhours—when the poolside cabanas are reinvented with a DJ and nightclub vibe—with his famous Bronx Lemonade, a sweet-tart mixture of Citron vodka, Grand Marnier, and sour mix that he perfected in his first years behind a bar.
Of course, the city’s VIP visitors also have their choice cocktails. The ChelSea Breeze, a tequila-spiked combination of pomegranate and pink grapefruit juices, is a popular pick at The Chelsea Hotel, favored by Jennaphr Frederick, Fox29’s morning news anchor, while lounging poolside on the weekends at the fifth-floor rooftop C5 Cabana Club and Pool (111 S. Chelsea Ave., 609-428-4544). The classic Long Bar Iced Tea is always a favorite at Borgata’s Long Bar (1 Borgata Way, 609-317-1000), where celebrities often slip into the laid-back lounge for a casual drink and conversation before and after appearances. Regardless of whether you are seeking out a quiet retreat or a nonstop party, Atlantic City’s bartenders make sure you have the perfect potion to sip on.
Cocktails pictured listed left to right:
Multiple o-RAZZ-ims at 21 Bar at Dusk
“Multiple o-RAZZ-ims is our take on the Flirtini. The Absolut Raspberry combined with the organic raspberry syrup gives the cocktail a distinct sweetness, while the Perrier-Jouët Champagne bubbles elevate the taste buds.”
— Craig Slotkin, Director of Operations and Marketing, Dusk Management Group
1⁄2 ounce Absolut Raspberry vodka
1⁄2 ounce Flavorganics organic raspberry syrup
4 ounces Perrier-Jouët Grand Brut Champagne
Shake all ingredients in a shaker. Strain into a martini glass rimmed with sugared and crushed dried raspberries, and garnish with 1 raspberry.
Chelsea Breeze C5 at The Chelsea Hotel
“This is a refreshing summer cocktail that is popular with our guests. Whether sipping the sugar-rimmed drink at Chelsea Prime’s bar, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, or enjoying a round with friends at C5’s Cabana Club, the ChelSea Breeze is a cool drink to enjoy while unwinding and letting loose.”
—Darryl Logan, Nightlife Manager
1 ounce. white tequila
1 ounce St. Germain
1 ounce pomegranate juice
1 ounce pink grapefruit juice
Simple syrup to taste.
Pour all ingredients over ice. Shake and strain into a sugar-rimmed margarita glass, and garnish with an orange slice.
Long Bar Iced Tea Long Bar at Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa
“Borgata’s take on an old classic, this drink pairs well with executive chef Ron Ross’s Long Bar Sliders and is the perfect libation to enjoy before seeing Samantha Ronson spin at Mur.mur.”
—Gregg Coyle, Borgata Director of Nightlife
1⁄2 ounce vodka
1⁄2 ounce gin
1⁄2 ounce rum
1⁄2 ounce tequila
1⁄2 ounce Cointreau
1⁄2 ounce Chambord
Sour mix to taste.
Combine all in a highball glass, top with 7-Up, and garnish with a lemon slice.
The Bronx Lemonade at The Pool at Harrah’s
“A few sips of this drink will make you feel like you’re in Yankee Stadium. We have a nice New York crowd in Atlantic City, and this cocktail goes over real well.”
—Donnie Cembrale, Bartender
2 ounces Absolut Citron vodka
1 ounce Grand Marnier
1⁄2 ounce sour mix
Combine all ingredients in a martini glass, add a splash of 7-Up, and garnish with a maraschino cherry.
photography by william brinson; styling by mariana velasquez for big leo