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Desert Companion

Causing a stir

Cocktail kegs

The past few years have been drenched in cocktails, so it’s fitting that the newest trend is tapping them. Unfortunately, the closest thing we may have to Negronis on tap may be the Ciroc that flows from the spigot at Radio City Pizza (508 E. Fremont Street). The next better thing, barrel-aged cocktails grace the menus at Sage (in Aria), Vesper Bar (in The Cosmopolitan) and Andre’s (in the Monte Carlo), which also happens to be the best place for appreciating the next big spirit: cognac. With over 130 cognacs by the glass, some dating back to the 18th and 19th centuries, Andre’s may single-handedly assure this is one trend Vegas stays on top of.
 

Exotic juices and teas

Eating local and going organic is great, but making your inner hippie happy can still be a challenge in the valley. For juices and smoothies, Ig zil uh reyt (8876 S. Eastern Ave. #100) is one of the few for 100 percent organic offerings with produce sourced from California. Tea also continues brewing in popularity. For cheap and easy, Chinese groceries, such as 168 (3459 S. Jones Blvd.) sell whole-leaf teas in bags, but to shop local, Kachina Tea (kachinatea.com) sells an extensive line of loose teas, alongside a new line of Navajo Zoo coffee (proceeds benefit the Navajo Zoo). A step up in health-store drinkables is the fermented tea Kombucha. Forego the chain options and buy Kombucha 2000 at Go Raw Café (2381 E. Windmill Lane, 2910 Lake East Drive).

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Mocktails and low-booze beverages

The concoctions at Skinnyfats (6261 Dean Martin Drive) would be brilliant enough for London’s latest booze-free club Redemption, but you’ll encounter considerably less bass while perusing their selection of juices, floats and Happy Shakes featuring playful names like Jazz Hands (Sprite with floating mangos). Yes, low- or no-alcohol mixtures are taking hold at traditionally boozy joints too. On the Strip, Parasol Up/Parasol Down (Wynn Las Vegas) always offers must-try seasonal mocktails, like their Ruby Sparkle featuring San Pellegrino Pompelmo and POM pomegranate juice.

 

Beer cocktails

You’ll be hard-pressed to find a Honeydew Hefeweizen Smoothie around town, but ale-enhanced cocktails are hitting menus nationwide. Locally, Commonwealth (525 E. Fremont St.) hides them under the nomer “Depth Charges,” but ethnic eateries offer an authentic twist on this nouveau mixture. Café Berlin (4850 W. Sunset Road) mixes up Sprite and beer for the German Radler, and La Palapa (1515 N. Eastern Ave.) prepares the coolest Michelada (a Mexican-style beer cocktail with lime juice, hot sauce, and Worcestershire sauce) in town. Most recently, sour and fruit beers have gained in popularity, but whatever the fashion, the nicely curated list at Velveteen Rabbit (1218 S. Main St.) always represents, as do the taps at Khoury’s Fine Wine & Spirits (9915 S. Eastern Ave.) — where you have the added bonus of being able to take a six-pack home with you.

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