Workin’ It

South Beach Sangria, as served at Nikki Beach and Café Nikki at the Tropicana, $14 glass, $68 pitcher

It won’t be long now—temperatures that are today searing will soon dip to chilling and we’ll be longing for the day we welcomed Vegas’ newest party puddle, Nikki Beach. Luckily, this is one ray of sunshine that can follow you into the nightclub when the cool weather arrives. Available year-round, Nikki Beach’s light and fruity sangria brings a little bit of South Beach to the desert, and it’s simple enough to whip up a batch at home for your Labor Day weekend barbecue and end-of-summer picnic.

The beauty of sangria is that every recipe differs just a little in its ingredients and its technique. This one is Nikki Beach general manager Jay Grisafi’s recipe. The Chicagoland native wanted a light wine-based cocktail on the menu, something refreshing for guests to enjoy from their billowing daybeds or teepee cabanas. It takes a bit of restraint, but if you can, allow the ingredients to mingle and macerate for two or even up to three whole days, allowing the flavors to integrate and deepen. Strain out the spent fruit and serve with fresh apples.

Combine 4 ounces brandy, 4 ounces Cointreau, 1 750-mililiter bottle merlot, 16 ounces pomegranate juice, 2 ounces agave nectar, 1 peeled and sliced orange, 4 ounces grapes, 1 sliced green apple, 1 cup sliced pineapple and ½ cup pomegranate seeds in a large sealable container and refrigerate overnight. Serve by the pitcher or by the glass on the rocks, garnished with a fresh slices of apple.

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