Ducking into the Merry Time Bar and Grill on a recent sweltering afternoon, I was looking for something to quench my thirst and lower my internal body temperature.
The Neon Light, glowingly blue against the dim light of the bar, has a complex, citrus-forward appeal and would not seem out of place on one of those blond, Caribbean beaches. The shock of blue liquid holding all of those different citrus notes from the Mandarin Orange vodka, the Blue Curaçao and Grand Marnier reminded me vaguely of the artificial flavor blue raspberry, which appears in Slurpees and gummy candies and other sundries concocted far outside the natural world.
As the summer finally heats up in August, the Neon Light would be a fine accompaniment to both carnitas or jerk chicken or whatever else you have sizzling on the grill. With its citrus notes recalling a margarita, the Neon Light could also take a salted or sugared rim from those willing to experiment.
1 ounce of Absolut Mandarin Orange Vodka
1/2 ounce of Blue Curaçao liqueur
1/2 ounce Grand Marnier liqueur
One quarter of a fresh orange
Add the ice, vodka, Blue Curaçao liqueur and Grand Marnier to the bottom of a cocktail shaker. Juice the orange atop the spirits in the shaker. Strain the drink over rocks into an old-fashioned glass.
—Recipe courtesy of Suzi Kanehl, bartender at Merry Time Bar and Grill, Astoria, Oregon