Old-school spirits that still have soul on Lasvegasweekly.com

Herbs & Rye Bar honors the booze of the past with classic cocktails precisely prepared

Between “Thriller” and “Purple Rain,” we can’t decide which song embodies a classic cocktail. Nectaly Mendoza figures both are timeless and calls it a draw. We’re sitting at his bar, Herbs & Rye, talking about Victorian wallpaper and jail, Rémy Martin Cognac and the kegs his father used to keep in the kiddie pool.

In a city of mixologists, Mendoza and his right hand Gerardo De La Torre (“G”) are bartenders. They appreciate good booze, and from Gothic to Prohibition, they honor the eras and ironclad techniques behind drinks with generations of cool.

“Any cocktail done properly is great,” Mendoza says as G whips up a Buck’s Fizz with house-pressed orange juice, gin, Louis Roederer champagne and Heering, “the original cherry liqueur” since 1818. Its Danish cherry and almond flavor is a foundation of drinks like the Singapore Sling and Blood & Sand, but brands aren’t listed on the Herbs & Rye menu. “We use what’s best for the drink,” says Mendoza, “and we follow method 1,000 percent. We make it the same way the original person made it. You don’t go to your mom’s house and tell her what to make for dinner.”…

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