On a recent trip to Las Vegas, we paid a visit to the Downtown Cocktail Room. It was a very nice, friendly little bar, and I'm always amazed at how small the world is when I'm sitting at the bar chatting with the bartender and the other guests.
For our first round, I had an "Oh, Baxter," which was described as containing "Scotch, Mezcal, Sarsaparilla, Stout." As I recall, it was also finished with a grating of nutmeg. It was one of the more successful uses of sarsaparilla flavour in a cocktail that I've ever encountered.
My husband ordered the "Apple of My Eye," with applejack, "holiday spice", maple and "ACV." We had no idea what "ACV" was at first, but as soon as I picked up the glass and put my nose to it, it was evident: apple cider vinegar! Also very tasty.
For our next round, I ordered off-menu; on FrogPrincesse's suggestion, I tried for a "Cynar That Time We Last Drank Manhattans?" with High West Bourye. The bar was lacking Punt e Mes, but the bartender was undaunted and cobbled together something to try and approximate the flavour. Fortunately, it's hard to go wrong with Cynar + whiskey + herbal liqueurs + maraschino, and the results were very enjoyable.
My husband had a "Dread Pirate Roberts." I didn't write down what was in this one; all I recall for sure is that it was Batavia Arrack-based and had, I believe, mint and club soda in it somewhere. I didn't get around to trying this one (being deep in conversation at the time), but apparently it was quite good.
I was happy that we found good cocktails in Vegas, especially given how difficult it turned out to be to find a good liquor store for bottles to bring home with us!