March 12-18 is Milwaukee in Las Vegas Week on OnMilwaukee.com. Last month, Funjet Vacations sent our editorial team to Vegas, where we sought out connections between Brew City and Sin City. These are our stories ...
LAS VEGAS -- Shortly before our group flew out to Vegas for our editorial junket, I stumbled upon what might wind up as my signature drink at Frank's Power Plant in Bay View.
Astute OMC readers might remember my blog a few weeks ago, about how ridiculous I feel, at the ripe old age of 32, not being able to order a signature drink when I walk into a bar.
But then I found it at Frank's. I saw a little poster for Absolut Pears, and I asked the barkeep what she could make with this liquor. She suggested a vodka press, which is vodka, seven up and seltzer. Much to my surprise, this cocktail was smooth, crisp, not too sweet and very refreshing.
So as we headed west, I shared my potential new cocktail with our team, and not surprisingly, they all laughed at me. They assumed, incorrectly, that pear-flavored vodka would be sweet and would taste like a Jolly Rancher.
Alas, I would show them all as soon as we touched down in the city known for free-flowing free cocktails.
But the weirdest thing happened. Even though the free drinks were plentiful, not a single casino or bar we entered served the vodka. And believe me, we traversed the entire strip and downtown. I ordered it everywhere we went, to no avail. The bar at the Luxor, however, said it was coming soon (that Thursday, apparently), and the bartender at Cesar's Palace had an even more interesting response:
"We don't serve that stuff, it's disgusting," she said. "In fact, at the casino I go to, they were giving away bottles of it because it's so bad."
So even though I barely paid for single cocktail (except for that $25 glass of Scotch for Bobby; thanks a lot, dude) I couldn't find Absolut Pears anywhere in this most boozy of towns.
And then, when I got back, it was everywhere. Every bar or restaurant I set foot in had the stuff. Weird!
The jury's still out on if this is my new signature drink -- I understand that Grey Groose also makes a pear vodka that's even better. But chalk this up to one of the few things you can get in Milwaukee but not in Vegas.
Andy is the founder and co-owner of OnMilwaukee.com. He returned to Milwaukee in 1996 after living on the East Coast for nine years, where he wrote for The Dallas Morning News Washington Bureau and worked in the White House Office of Communications. He was also Associate Editor of The GW Hatchet, his college newspaper at The George Washington University.
Before launching OnMilwaukee.com in 1998 at age 23, he worked in public relations for two Milwaukee firms, most of the time daydreaming about starting his own publication.
Hobbies include running when he finds the time, fixing the rust on his '75 MGB, mowing the lawn at his cottage in the Northwoods, and making an annual pilgrimage to Phoenix for Brewers Spring Training.