How to Make XS’ Mango Basil Lemonade

cocktail-culture-art.jpgThe cocktail menu at XS’ weekly poolside soiree, Sunday Nightswim, was almost certainly tailored to appeal to the fairer sex—with so much fruit-flavored spirits and liqueurs, fresh juices and the like. Not your bag, baby? You would do well to remember that in nightclubs, if the ladies are happy, everyone’s happy. But the elegant, refreshing and stylish Mango Basil Lemonade, with its Hennessy Black Cognac, fresh lemonade, tangy mango and intriguing basil, is something everyone can enjoy. And sharing is heartily encouraged.

The ages-old icebreaker might be to buy a lady a drink. But in highest-volume Las Vegas, the object of your interest could disappear faster than she can squeal, “This is my song!” And—poof!—she and her gaggle of she-perones are but a Dior-scented memory. But with a trusty pitcher of friendliness by your side (or two if you’re really friendly; XS does offer a two-for-one deal), you might keep her around long enough to show her what a stable, sensitive guy you are. Or you could just tell her you own the place.

Mango Basil Lemonade

As served during Night Swim Sundays at XS Nightclub in Encore, $175 per pitcher, $300 for two

In a cocktail shaker, combine 1 1/2 ounces Hennessy Black Cognac, 1 ounce fresh lemon juice, 1/2 ounce mango puree (try Perfect Puree of Napa Valley) and 1/2 ounce simple syrup. Add ice, cover, shake and strain into a Collins glass over fresh ice. Top with soda water and garnish with a fresh basil leaf and a lemon wheel.

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Is celebrity wine actually any good? Celebrities owning vineyards is not a new phenomenon. The practice has been around since ancient Greek and Roman times, when prominent philosophers and politicians owned vineyards for personal use. Famous winemakers included Virgil and Pliny the Elder. Therefore it is no surprise that today’s superstars, such as the Beckhams, the Jolie-Pitts, Fergie and Johnny Depp own vineyards. Incidentally, the latter had his arm tattoo changed from “Winona Forever” to “Wino Forever.”