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Drink This: Startini

Dewey Vaughan, daytime bartender at the Lucky Star Lounge in Front Royal, holds up the Startini. A cocktail consisting of Pernod, Creme de Cassis and Sprite, the Startini is a refreshing drink for the summer. Ryan Cornell/Daily

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By Ryan Cornell

Each week in the month of August, we'll feature a signature cocktail from one of the area's many bars. This is the first of the "Drink This" series.

FRONT ROYAL -- It tastes like licorice, looks like grapefruit juice and refreshes like lemonade.

Consisting of Pernod, creme de cassis and "a splash of Sprite," the Startini is just as mysterious as its creator, Lucky Star Lounge owner Trevor Lipton.

Lipton, whose drink of choice as a young nightclubber was often a Pernod & Black, picked the anise-flavored liqueur for the bar's eponymous martini a month before opening the lounge in June 2008.

"Slinging drinks as many years as I did growing up, I tried to come up with something that was unique and different but refreshing at the same time," Lipton said.

"Adding the Sprite gives it a little bit of effervescence and adds a little bit of sweetness," he said. "It makes it a little bit easier to drink without the anise seed being too sour."

Mixing the three parts together is a bit of a chemistry lesson. Pernod, which is dark transparent yellow, appears fluorescent when Sprite is added. Combined with creme de cassis, an opaque blackcurrant liqueur, the resulting blend turns pink.

On a busy night for the downtown bar, Lipton said he walks an average of 12 to 14 miles.

That distance is roughly double the mileage covered by soccer players in the latest World Cup.

"But the difference is, they do it over 90 minutes," Lipton said. "We do it over nine hours."

Where: Lucky Star Lounge, 205 E. Main St., Front Royal
When: 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Mon.-Thurs.; 11-1 a.m., Fri.; 1 p.m.-1 a.m., Sat.
Cost: $7
Call: 540-635-5297
Online: Facebook.com/luckystarlounge


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