Glow for me: the Illuminati at XS.

Glow for me: the Illuminati at XS. (Kenneth K. Lam/Baltimore Sun / March 22, 2012)

With its brushed-metal table tops and industrial chic atmosphere, XS is no stranger to making your dining and drinking experience as close to a nightclub as possible. One of the perks: black lights. Why? The Illuminati cocktail.

The Illuminati, a citrusy version of a traditional Gin and Tonic, takes advantage of the black lights at the bar and gives the drinker something of a bonus — it glows. Quinine in the tonic water has a fluorescent effect (The More You Know), so the more tonic, the brighter the glow.

Special effects aside, the Illuminati benefits from a heavy pour of Hendrick's Gin, which is infused with cucumber so as to mellow the "Christmas tree" flavor that many find unappealing about gin. With some additional Cointreau and a splash of lemonade with a lime wedge/cucumber-slice garnish, there's a nice balance. The pairing of the cucumber notes and tartness of citrus blends well with the gin to create a nice flavor profile.

So if you're into a gin drink that won't overwhelm your mouth with juniper — and also enjoy things that glow — try out XS's Illuminati one evening. Preferably on a Wednesday evening, when all of XS' specialty cocktails are half off ($3.75 after 7 p.m.). Bring a highlighter and draw all over your friends as an added bonus.

How to make the Illuminati

3 oz. Hendricks Gin

1 oz. Cointreau

Splash of lemonade

Tonic to taste, or glow preference

Combine all ingredients over ice. Stir, garnish with a slice of lime and cucumber.

Where to get the Illuminati

XS Sushi

1307 N. Charles St., Mount Vernon

410-468-0002

xsbaltimore.com

$7.50, all cocktails half price on Wednesdays, 7 p.m.-midnight.