Sip Into Spring

Cherry Blossom, as served at Tao Beach in the Venetian, $14

Hanami is the Japanese tradition of viewing or even picnicking under the sakura (cherry blossom trees). Cherry blossoms can be found all over the country, many originating as gifts of friendship between the Japan and the U.S. The tree blossoms in spring. The effect is intense and short-lived, and is celebrated with cherry blossom festivals wherever they grow.

While you cannot hanami under any sakura in Las Vegas, you can refresh yourself in the shade of a palm tree or a poolside cabana at the Balinese-inspired Tao Beach with one exotic and delicious cocktail blushing pink as those delicate blossoms.

“The inspiration comes from the aromas of fresh flowers lining the beaches of Fiji,” Tao Group beverage director Edward Allen says. “I wanted to showcase those amazing floral notes by utilizing St. Germain in a refreshing summer cocktail.”

Combine 1¾ ounces Absolut Citron vodka, 1 ounce cranberry juice, ¾ ounce fresh sour mix and ¾ ounce St. Germain in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake vigorously. Strain into a rocks glass with fresh ice and top with ¼ ounce club soda. Garnish with maraschino cherries.

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Grilled Filone with Duck Egg at DOCG

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Grilled Filone with Duck Egg at DOCG

Don’t let the low price fool you—with a nice glass of wine, this hearty appetizer could easily be a meal unto itself! Still, meant to be shared is this heaping plate of ciabbata bread, sliced thick, brushed with olive oil and deeply grilled. All that’s left is to dip in the fonduta (melted semi-soft fontina cheese with chopped, preserved black truffles and truffle oil) and a delicately poached quail egg topped with another drizzle of olive oil and just a pinch of Moldon sea salt. It’s enough to make you wanna do the Truffle Shuffle.