Chris Santos' Favorite Steak-And-Cocktail Pairings - Exclusive

A good cut of steak, cooked to your preferential perfection, is the ultimate symbol of decadence, only taken over the top when paired with an equally sumptuous cocktail that hits the perfect flavor balance and looks like luxury. You'll get all that and more at Stanton Social Prime at Las Vegas' Caesars Palace. It's the revival of celebrity chef Chris Santos' famed New York City institution, where fine dining meets whimsical fun and the rules of elevated eating go out the window in favor of a high-energy communal culinary experience.

Just like its earlier iteration, Stanton Social Prime's cocktail menu is as uniquely creative and artfully playful as the food menu. Guests can sip on flaming, dusted, spiked, and even boba-filled drinks while digging in to Santos' signature shareable plates — or waiting on the steakhouse restaurant's showstopping 64-ounce tomahawk steak to grace the table. While any and all of the beverages would bring out the best in your meaty meal at the restaurant, might we suggest taking your cues from the master chef himself when looking to indulge on your next cut of beef, whether it's at the Stanton Social Prime or otherwise.

In an exclusive interview with Tasting Table, Chris Santos shares his go-to steak-and-drink pairing, plus the newest cocktail he's currently loving with his whimsical, meat-filled dishes at Stanton Social Prime.

Santos swears by the combination of seared steak and a smoky cocktail

For the most part, Chris Santos says he's "a whiskey and bourbon guy" when it comes to pairing a libation with his steak dinners. It's a classic combination, as the sweet and smoky notes of the drink play nicely with the bold and savory flavors of beef. But more recently, he's branching out and enjoying a whole new kind of smoky element when looking for the perfect cocktail to complement a steak.

Santos says his favorite cocktail on the Stanton Social Prime menu "is a riff on a margarita" called a Rancho Gloria. It's made with Casamigos Blanco tequila, Del Maguey Vida mezcal, lime, and coriander, and finished off with a light, fluffy foam topping appropriately referred to as "cilantro-jalapeño air." Stanton Social Prime's menu points to one of the earliest forms of the margarita as inspiration for this drink, a cocktail "called The Daisy served in Texas or Mexico around the turn of the 20th century." It could also be seen as a nod to the time Santos spent on a Texas cattle ranch ahead of opening the restaurant.

Santos tells us this cocktail is not only delicious but well balanced and "super refreshing." It hits all the right notes of sweet, tart, and a little spiced, and Santos notes, "The mezcal is not super pronounced — it's this very mellow smokiness that balances a bit of the sweetness." Much like bourbon, the subtly sweet and smoky flavors of the Rancho Gloria help highlight the heartier, moreish taste of a juicy seared steak. It's a delectable combination of flavor notes and perhaps the whimsical steak-and-cocktail pairing you didn't know you needed.

Learn more about and make reservations at Stanton Social Prime at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.