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Nightlife

A South Point bar crawl: Hunting for cocktail bargains at an underrated drinking spot

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The art of mixology: Looking for creative cocktails inside the South Point? Zenshin has you covered.
Mona Shield Payne
Sabrina Chapman

Get me a T-shirt, a hat or a bumper sticker, ’cause I love South Point Casino. It’s not the fanciest in town, and sure, the queue of people in front of Steak ’n Shake is kind of annoying. But then there are these moments. For example, after a long trip jet-setting across the country when the JetBlue wings start to dip toward McCarran International Airport. Whether it’s the casino glistening in the daylight or the warm yellow glow emanating into the night, the message is always the same: Welcome home.

South Point offers a spectrum of activities, from shows to movies, bowling to bingo. Food options are incredibly diverse. Munch down a 75-cent all-beef Vienna hot dog, fine dine on baked escargot and Chateaubriand at Michael’s Gourmet Room or choose from everything in between, including Italian, Mexican and Asian. There’s something to fit every scenario—date night, family outing, girls or boys night out. The list goes on and on, which is all fine and dandy, but let’s get to what really matters. The booze.

Marc Suciu, district manager for Southern Wine and Spirits, recently made me aware that South Point is a hot spot of liquid value. I figured, yeah, the flashing “$1 mimosa” marquee pretty much says it all, but after some investigative-liquid-therapy-bargain-hunting, results are conclusive: Boozing at South Point is, in fact, very advantageous for the pocketbook, way beyond the $1 mimosa. So here’s the nitty-gritty ...

Del Mar at South Point offers $8 Patrón margaritas all day long.

Del Mar at South Point offers $8 Patrón margaritas all day long.

Hands down, Zenshin has the best mixology program and most creative cocktails in the building. The first must-drink cocktail is the Strawberry Bangkok, a perfect combination of sweet and spicy. Patrón Silver is muddled with fresh strawberries and citrus to make this cocktail a crowd pleaser. The kick of heat from the Thai chili is tantalizingly addictive.

Also be sure to try the Zenshin Cooler, a refreshing mix of TY KU Sake, cucumber soda and Tanqueray Rangpur Gin with muddled cucumbers. South Point marketing director Tom Mikovits calls it “cucumber water on steroids.” Both Zenshin cocktails are only $5 during happy hour, 2 to 6 p.m. every day, so even if you’re a 9 to 5’er you can take advantage of the deal on weekends.

Oenophiles will enjoy the $20 wine-of-the-month club at Don Vito’s, Silverado Steak House and Primarily Prime Rib. It’s available any time, any day, and it’s not limited to just one bottle, so order away. If there are 4.5 glasses in a bottle, that works out to less than $4.50 per glass. “I’ve tried to keep this one a secret since we’ve opened,” Mikovits says, adding that one of the most notable late-night happy hours at South Point features $2 drinks at the bowling bar after midnight on weeknights. With bowling priced at just $1 a game after midnight Sunday through Thursday, that’s a match made in Big Lebowski heaven.

Whiskey drinkers can enjoy Macallan on the rocks for just $7.50 in the showroom bar, and ginormous $8 Patrón margaritas are at Del Mar any time of day.

And for classic cocktails, it’s Michael’s all the way. You won’t find a specific bargain here, but do you really need one when the bar motto is, “Have one drink, enjoy your dinner. Have two drinks, call a taxi. Have three drinks, get a room ...”

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