An Ode to the Outrageous World of Las Vegas Drinking Vessels
Why would you settle for a koozie-wrapped Bud Light bottle when you can drink out of a three-feet-long plastic cup shaped like a woman’s leg? Fishnets, high heels, and all?
Normal vessels simply do not cut it when publicly drinking in Las Vegas. Why would you settle for a koozie-wrapped Bud Light bottle when you can drink out of a three-feet-long plastic cup shaped like a woman's leg? Fishnets, high heels, and all?
Behold yard-longs, the grown-up Happy Meals of Las Vegas's tourist traps—the edible parts are fine, but really, everyone's after the toy. These oversized plastic booze containers are the liquid equivalent of Sin City's 99-cent shrimp cocktail (as in: questionable yet ubiquitous), but instead of pennies, these "take me home" daiquiri cups cost as much as $40. Worth it? The couple who just eloped and got married in a drive-through chapel thinks so.
Think about it: What could elevate a Maple Bacon Doughnut daiquiri more than sloshing it around in a sexy-lady-shaped vessel, complete with a tasseled bikini and stripper boots? Ditto the rum-based "Baby Maker" or "Blue Me." Adult-humor hooch slushies are offered in 46-plus-ounce containers resembling footballs, cowboy boots, and the leg lamp from A Christmas Story. Not one to miss an opportunity, Walgreens on Fremont Street hawks a nearly-identical version for $15 less than the casinos, with beers to fill 'er up.
On a budget? OK, at least your Bud Light Straw-Ber-Rita will make passersby think you are balling. And don't discount the electric guitar, Eiffel Tower, or Stratosphere-shaped yardies, found on the Strip and transported back to kitchens across the States only to be shelved and forgotten until your future spouse innocently asks for the story behind it.
But it's not the future that matters; it's the present. This is Fremont Street, home to Vegas's historic casinos, ancient cocktail waitresses, and street performers of all kinds ("performer" is applied loosely here). The old dude in the Borat mankini is made more palatable by Bacardi 151 piña coladas, and you know, why not kick that guy in the nuts for $4.20? It's a carnival of the grotesque, where half-assed stormtroopers rub elbows with scary versions of Minnie Mouse, C-list showgirls, and surprisingly immaculate Pirates of the Caribbean impersonators. If you get bored with the Dancing Indian puppeteer, pivot toward a bucket drummer or balloon man, who can surely make a virgin yard-long for your kid.
Like American sushi, the sugar-coma slushy names skew naughty. Mermaids keeps it G-rated, with innocuous Island Teas, Margaritas, and, about as wild as it gets, Nuclear Kamikazes and Wicked Watermelons. A casino comically named The D (tagline: "The Difference is D") keeps it confusingly clean with fruit and candy flavors, as well as the more exotic root beer float, chocolate salted caramel, and maple bacon doughnut based cocktails. La Bayou dips its toes into the risqué with "Sex on the Bayou," but Binion's and Four Queens take the trophy with their drinks like "Me So Horny," "Lickee Lickee," "Pineapple Panty-Dropper," and "Liquor Dirty Apple." If you're not one for a "Blue Nipple," there's a purple one, too.
Sure, for the practical, there are plastic cups, and a simple brown bag is timeless, but that's boring. This is Sin City, after all, where your preferred drinking vessel defines who you are.
People-watching is a world-class sport in Las Vegas; it's a spectacle soaked in cheap liquor and draped in out-of-season Mardi Gras beads. And the best way to enjoy it is to participate, so when a patriotic show flashes from Fremont Street Experience's overhead video canopy, you raise your yard-long and agree that you're proud to be an American.
This post previously appeared on MUNCHIES in September, 2015.