Where to ring in the new year in Las Vegas

Sunset  – December 29, 2004

Almost 300,000 people finish one year and start the next on the Las Vegas Strip. Maybe they come for Celine. Maybe they just have extra cash. But some, at least a few, must be looking for a good drink. To aid these New Year’s celebrants, here’s a game plan.

For the perfect fusion pairing, head to Shibuya Restaurant (MGM Grand, 3799 Las Vegas Blvd. S.; 702/891-3001) for a Kah Pah cocktail ($10). The cucumber sorbet, sake, and vodka blend is cooling and fresh, and it tastes just right with a dragon roll.

The Ghostbar on the 55th floor of the Palms Casino Resort (4321 W. Flamingo Rd.; 702/938-2666) is known for long lines. But once you’re inside, a Ghostini ($11), a green martini with a glow-in-the-dark swizzle stick, will give you the nerve to stand on the patio’s translucent floor panel and stare gravity—500 feet of it or so—in the face.

If your celebration is on the move, the perfect drink comes on a stick: The take-out counter at Diego (MGM Grand; 702/891-3200) offers Popsicle-style margaritas ($4) in two flavors, traditional or strawberry.

And for pacing yourself, try a brew at Isla Mexican Kitchen & Tequila Bar (Treasure Island, 3300 Las Vegas Blvd. S.; 702/894-7349). Sin City Beer ($4.50) is made in Vegas itself. —LISA TAGGART

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