Drink of the Week: Pink Lemonade at Shore Ultra Lounge

With its polygonal, wrap-around counter and neon-lit shelves lined with glowing bottles of liquor, the main bar of Long Beach's Shore Ultra Lounge looks like something transplanted from a scene straight out of Blade Runner.  At its center, Multiple bartenders give 360-degree service while simultaneously chatting up the patrons that crowd the counter's edges on a Saturday night.

The great thing about this set up is that you don't have to stand there long before someone notices. I managed to snag bar manager, Janice Paik, to ask about a club specialty. As it turns out, there isn't one, but she didn't leave me hanging. After about a minute of fancy bartender handiwork, I was handed a frosty martini glass filled to the brim with a pale pink cocktail. Now, I'm not generally a fan of sugary drinks. Honestly, the thought of a Cosmo makes my stomach turn, but this drink blew me away.What I had before me was a Pink Lemonade (of the non-virgin variety).

With liberal proportions of Citron Vodka and X-Rated fusion liquor, the Pink Lemonade is not for sissies, but splashes of sweet and sour mix and 7UP make it almost deceptively delicious. A great deal of the fruit flavor comes from the X-Rated, which is a blend of premium French vodka, blood orange, mango, and passion fruit. Hand-squeezed lemon adds fresh juice and pulp to the mix and gives the drink a refreshing effect and clean aftertaste. Finely crushed bits of ice, a maraschino cherry, and a slice of lemon garnish the Pink Lemonade, making it look as good as it tastes.

An original mix fashioned on the fly, the Pink Lemonade runs about $8.50, but for all the quality ingredients and tender loving care, it's well worth a try. Just remember to ask for Janice because this drink is her personal specialty!

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