Scan me to take me with you
Fans of anime and manga will immediately get the reference. But you don't need to know a think about Japanese culture to enjoy this drink. The Neo-Tokyo is all about neon colours and over-the-top presentation! (And thanks to months of formulation, it tastes pretty darn good too!) After you serve one, you're almost guaranteed to serve another--whether at the same table or at an adjacent one.
This cocktail was created in 2007 by Sc'Eric Horner for the Fuji & Jade Garden restaurant in State College, PA. (It was Sc'Eric's attempt to de-construct another restaurant's signature cocktail, only to rebuild it with almost completely different ingredients.) The sake and Vanil provide the background palette, while the Zen, Pucker and sours mix and mingle to create a flavor that is surprisingly less sweet than any of them alone. The blue and red will then layer just below a pale neon-green, while the garnish towers (in a seemingly impossible manner) above the rim.
When you set the garnished empty glass down for the first time, the customer has no idea what they've gotten themselves into! I usually "over-pour" the green part, asking the customer to take a sip before I add the layers. This immediately includes them in the fun of making of the drink. Later, suggesting the squeeze of fresh lime means they'll have to begin the process of destruction--which, in the end, is not unlike the Buddhist sand mandala.
Use a bamboo skewer to elaborately connect an Orange twist, wrapped around a lime wedge, barely touching the Marachino cherry which covers the point. Pull half of the lime-skin away from the fruit and use the lime vertically (like a paperclip) to perch the entire crane-like garnish on the edge of a chilled cocktail glass.
Combine sake, Stoli, Zen, Pucker, sours and ice into a shaker. Shake and strain into the glass, in front of the customer. Pour Blue Curaçao into the glass and allow the drink to settle into two layers. Slowly add the grenadine. Do not stir!
Encourage the customer to squeeze the lime into the glass for a more well-balanced flavour. If left un-stirred, the drink will remain in layers as the customer imbibes. (When stirred, it turns an unsettling violet-black.) Use a Bamboo skewer (approx. 5").
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(per 3.5 oz serving)
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