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The Lei Lounge's Tokyo Plum

Place

Lei Lounge

4622 Park Boulevard, San Diego

As an Asian-fusion restaurant that seeks to bring the best of Eastern and Western cuisine under one pagoda, the Lei Lounge is offering an intriguing twist to the cocktail concept. Take, for instance, one of Lei’s signature cocktails, the Tokyo Plum.

According to Lei Lounge bartender Natilee Riordan, the Tokyo Plum features a blend of traditional cocktail ingredients with a slightly mysterious twist.

“The plum and the lime dance very well together, and the sake gives it a little bit of fizz, a bit of effervescence,” she says. “It settles very well on the palate.

Riordan says the Tokyo Plum is as versatile as it is delicious.

“When isn’t a good time to have it?” she asks. “You can honestly have it before dinner, with dinner, after dinner — whenever.”

This flexibility fits in fine with her first rule of bartending — that not only is the customer always right, but the customer is almost always thirsty.

“One of my philosophies behind the bar is you should drink what you like and like what you drink,” she says, adding that people suffer a mild form of culture shock when they discover the plum flavor in the cocktail. “I recommend people order what they want when they want it, and the Tokyo Plum definitely doesn’t discriminate between whether it’s better before or after dinner.”

Kitchen Proof: Subtle as a haiku, the Tokyo Plum blossoms into an intriguing interplay between the sake fizz, the plum sweet, and the lime tart, combining into a beautifully balanced conclusion.

How to Make It

• 1¼ oz. Pearl Plum vodka

• ¾ oz. triple sec

• ½ oz. simple syrup

• ¼ oz. lime juice

• 1 dash sparkling sake

Pour the first four ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with ice, shake, pour into a martini glass, top with a float of sparkling sake, take a sip, and feel the pluck of zither strings run down your spine.

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Place

Lei Lounge

4622 Park Boulevard, San Diego

As an Asian-fusion restaurant that seeks to bring the best of Eastern and Western cuisine under one pagoda, the Lei Lounge is offering an intriguing twist to the cocktail concept. Take, for instance, one of Lei’s signature cocktails, the Tokyo Plum.

According to Lei Lounge bartender Natilee Riordan, the Tokyo Plum features a blend of traditional cocktail ingredients with a slightly mysterious twist.

“The plum and the lime dance very well together, and the sake gives it a little bit of fizz, a bit of effervescence,” she says. “It settles very well on the palate.

Riordan says the Tokyo Plum is as versatile as it is delicious.

“When isn’t a good time to have it?” she asks. “You can honestly have it before dinner, with dinner, after dinner — whenever.”

This flexibility fits in fine with her first rule of bartending — that not only is the customer always right, but the customer is almost always thirsty.

“One of my philosophies behind the bar is you should drink what you like and like what you drink,” she says, adding that people suffer a mild form of culture shock when they discover the plum flavor in the cocktail. “I recommend people order what they want when they want it, and the Tokyo Plum definitely doesn’t discriminate between whether it’s better before or after dinner.”

Kitchen Proof: Subtle as a haiku, the Tokyo Plum blossoms into an intriguing interplay between the sake fizz, the plum sweet, and the lime tart, combining into a beautifully balanced conclusion.

How to Make It

• 1¼ oz. Pearl Plum vodka

• ¾ oz. triple sec

• ½ oz. simple syrup

• ¼ oz. lime juice

• 1 dash sparkling sake

Pour the first four ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with ice, shake, pour into a martini glass, top with a float of sparkling sake, take a sip, and feel the pluck of zither strings run down your spine.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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