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KAY'S LOUNGE

Three Wise Men

I have a habit of watching bad late-night TV, especially when it involves sets of 87 knives for the low, low price of $99. They almost hooked me during a Krazy Katana special, but I opted to spend my money at Kay's Lounge (2324 Bissonnet, 713-521-0010) instead. I've been coming here for years, but they've only recently started pouring liquor. It's no coincidence that the crowd has changed too; much like a new sushi restaurant in Midtown, the introduction of Red Bull and Jägermeister to a beer bar attracts a certain breed of young, Texan pseudo-professional. After squeezing through the throng of impatient Vuittonites, I ask the busy bartender for Three Wise Men, a surprisingly palatable combination of whiskey and bourbon that helps to mute my surroundings. As I wonder where the normal weekday crowd is hiding, a guy to my left strikes up a conversation, later offering to go in the back and make me a pizza. My new best friend Scott is the kind of regular who answers "Do you work here?" with "I don't not work here" as he casually pours himself a drink. He'd been sitting by the door with Tim, another patron, who tells us he used to work elbow-deep in tomato sauce at a rural Illinois Pizza Palace, circa 1988: "We mixed the sauce with our forearms...I had to be careful about open sores because the tomatoes would make them sting." Though no longer hungry, I stick around for a few yarns about Scott's friend, celebrity chef Bobby Flay. A few hours and 30 stories later, the crowd is gone, the pace slows down and the only whining at the bar is from Merle Haggard's guitar — just the way it should be.

1/2 ounce Jim Beam bourbon whiskey

1/2 ounce Jack Daniels whiskey

1/2 ounce Johnny Walker Black Scotch whiskey

Pour over ice, swish to combine.

 
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