The JonBenet Ramsey

A vigorous, pounding cocktail
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REVIEW So magical it is to be a six-year-old beauty pageant starlet! Whether it's vomiting backstage at Raven concerts, shooting free speed while having your nipples taped up, or getting "auditioned" on the hood of Tommy's PowerWheel, the list of privileged moments seems to never end. The idolatrous adoration of your out-prettied first-grade class should be enough to coast on — but it never is.

For those of us who were never darling enough, the Argus Lounge presents a Wednesday night drink special, the JonBenet Ramsey, that reduces the pounding vigor of such a world into one neat drink. The cocktail's base is Stoli Vanilla, which recalls the fussy sweetness of the pageant circuit. Ginger ale dilutes the vodka with a crispness that grabs at the throat.

But it's the drink's crushed cherry garnish that brings home the quiet heights of such an existence: Christmas days spent lounging in the cellar with friends for hours without being bothered by your family. It all comes together like a well-laid plan. (Jonathan Beckhardt)

ARGUS LOUNGE 187 Mission, SF. Mon.–Sat., 4 p.m.–2 a.m.; Sun., 5 p.m.–2 a.m. (415) 824-1447, www.arguslounge.com

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