Pigeons, Cocktails, Horses

Good citizen, Janiqueel, visits the Neon Pigeon for a sip, a taste, and a vote.

Turns out, the sanitized dictionary explanation for the etymology of cocktail isn’t far off the mark, … a perky, cocked (or raised-up) tail on a horse is a sign of vim and vigor, so unscrupulous horse traders in the 18th century would put ginger and/or pepper in a place the horses surely didn’t want it, in order to make them look a little more frisky. As ginger and pepper were also common ingredients used to liven up alcoholic drinks (and by extension, their imbibers), the theory is that the term “cock-tail” was applied to those invigorating libations after the practice of unpleasantly surprising the poor horses with spicy suppositories.


That sorted, I headed to the Neon Pigeon accompanied by the estimable blogger and Godmother, Sara Shantelle Lim, and Godson, Mr. C (Official Child of janiqueel.com). So … what’s the derivation of ‘Neon Pigeon’ I wondered, having sorted out ‘cocktail’.

Neon Pigeon is an Eating Drinking Social house that embodies the culture of urban living fused with underground vibes. The name pays tribute to two main influences:

NEON: after Tokyo, which is commonly referred to as the “Neon City”

PIGEON: the constant seen in all urban cities.

Neon Pigeon Singapore

Assured of the derivations of the words coloring our afternoon’s outing, we three settled easily into the Neon Pigeon. Even Mr. C liked the cool urban vibe of the dimly lit scene. The music was not overpowering, the wait staff was sassily attentive, the ambience was more trendy Brooklyn than Singapore. We were a disparate threesome out on the city on a sunny afternoon. Damn straight – we were having FUN!


And that was before we dutifully approached the raison d’etre of our mission – to choose our favorite cocktail blended with a new Rum from Thailand called Mekhong – I’m NOT going to explore THAT derivation – no worries. Organized by Elaine Seah from Brand Inc, the premise was to taste three drinks concocted from Mekhong Rum. This was an arduous assignment, but one the three of us accepted with determination and taste buds on high alert. NOTE: Mr. C. did NOT taste test. His judgement was based solely on the looks of the drink and the tactile impression of the ice-filled class. The contenders:

  • Mekhong Midnight – The Mekhong Midnight is more complicated than that, but this is a strong mix for the serious rum-ster. Sure, I drank it with a bit of a shudder, but I prefer something a bit more subtle and sweet. Janiqueel is like a delicate flower.
  • Mekhong Thai Sabai – This one was much sweeter. Exclaimed Sara, “…  very playful on the palate. I really loved this. I could probably drink this all night on a girls night out. Its light, yet delicious, yet it has just the right amount of alcohol to get you happy high.” ‘Happy High’ might describe Godmother Sara, as well.
  • Mekhon Essence – Channeling Goldilocks, I found the first drink a bit strong. The second, a bit sweet. The third – Mekhong Ess? – JUST RIGHT. It had a delicate note of coconut and an air of lightness that suited me just fine, especially atop the two rum drinks I had already enjoyed. Mr. C was given a cube of ice from this drink which he enjoyed holding and smearing over the table top. This was his favorite. AND MINE TOO! The winner for Janiqueel was MEKHONG ESS! (applause, applause, applause.)

In between the serious sipping, we enjoyed some of Neon Pigeon’s edibles. Three I will certainly taste again on my next visit were soft shell crab on a Chinese Bao; wonderful hummus served with flatbread and crispy crackers, and (Oh, my Goodness this was good!)  ginger barramundi. There’s plenty more to choose from. My advice? Start with these and move on – Mekhong Ess in hand.

Sara, Mr. C and I all voted one more time – WE SHALL RETURN!

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