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Black Tap at Venetian adds 2 Dole Whip cocktails for summer

Updated July 8, 2020 - 8:55 am

If your time as a pandemic prisoner has made you wistful for childhood theme park memories and, like fellow captives the world over, left you craving beverages for grown-ups, have we got good news for you.

Black Tap Craft Burgers & Beer at The Venetian has introduced two new cocktails containing the ever-popular Dole Whip, while The Golden Tiki, which offers a line of Dole Whip cocktails, reopens Wednesday.

Stephen Parker, Black Tap’s corporate executive chef, said he came up with the idea for the new drinks, citing the cult following Dole Whip has in some parts of the country.

“I’m actually crazy about it,” he said. “It’s a vegan-based product with the consistency of soft-serve, completely dairy-free.”

He remembers getting it with a shot of vodka or rum in some Disney parks, which is where he found his inspiration. But Parker didn’t want to stop there.

“I said, ‘I want this product in our soft-serve machines,’ ” he remembers. “But I want it to have alcohol and I want it to come out like soft-serve — thick, with a great consistency, but all the great memories of Dole Whip.”

Parker chose to go with two offshoot flavors in keeping with the spirit of summer but may use the classic pineapple in specials as time goes on. The Black Tap cocktails are a raspberry lime margarita made with Casamigos blanco, Aperol, lime juice, raspberry Dole Whip and makrut lime, and the mimosa, with Kendall Jackson chardonnay, Absolut vodka, orange Dole Whip and blood orange. They’re $15 each.

“They’ve been going a lot better than I thought,” he said of the drinks’ popularity. “We’re selling a lot at lunch, for some reason, and on a pickup basis as well.”

At The Golden Tiki, 3939 Spring Mountain Road, mixologists opted to go with the original pineapple flavor served at the Disney Parks’ Enchanted Tiki Room, in keeping with creator and co-owner Branden Powers’ obsession with all things Disneyland. Dole Whip and Dole Whip cocktails have been available since the tiki bar opened nearly five years ago, and it currently serves four versions in addition to monthly specials.

Adam Rains, whose current title is “minister of the liquid unknown,” said the basic version is made with dark rum, which is swirled with the soft-serve. They currently use Trader Vic’s dark, but he said another good choice is Cutwater, though any dark will do.

“You have that rich flavor commingling with the pineapple goodness,” Rains said.

The Viking Tiki Negroni, which is on the brunch menu, is made with Appleton rum, Aperol and a mead called Viking Blod.

“Just to add another little element, we do some Danish aquavit,” he said. “The main flavor point in that is caraway. There’s something really beautiful with caraway and pineapple.”

Both of those, he said, are layered, in the manner of a “reverse sundae.” The other two are shaken. The Painkiller, which he said is “creamy, rich and devious,” contains Pusser’s Rum, orange juice, pineapple juice, coconut cream and Dole Whip, which liquefies as the cocktail is shaken; it’s served over ice. The Banana Batida is made with cachaca, banana liqueur, pineapple, coconut cream, Dole Whip and a little cinnamon. They’re $13 to $15, more with souvenir mugs.

Rains, who lauds the cocktails’ mouthfeel and flavor, said they’re very popular.

“It’s enough to make our bartenders crazy,” he said. “It’s so nice to have that as a secret weapon.”

The Review-Journal is owned by the family of Las Vegas Sands Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson. Las Vegas Sands operates The Venetian.

Contact Heidi Knapp Rinella at hrinella@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0474. Follow @HKRinella on Twitter.

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