Some New Year's resolutions make themselves. After spending 2009's last days staying at a friend's place in New Orleans, where closing time has about as much significance as Who Dat Nation does in Orléans, France, my body was telling me it was time for a booze sabbatical. "Man, shut up, body," I said. "I've still got to do the drinks column." We compromised with a quiet round or two at Byzantio (403 W. Gray, 713-520-6896), a Greek cafe and bar with a nice view of downtown. Tuesday's special was discounted "motitos," a variation on the Cuban drink that features sweet tea vodka instead of rum and tastes dangerously like spiced iced tea. "I'll take the rest of your drink tickets if you don't feel like having another," my companion, who apparently has misguided ideas about how journalistic reimbursement works, told me. I explained that, one, we weren't at the county fair, and two, just because I was staying relatively sober didn't mean I'd lost my mind. Either way, I give it a few more days before I lose the healthy feeling and get back to living a marginally more interesting life.
7-8 fresh mint leaves
1 teaspoon sugar
Splash of fresh lime juice
1 1/4 ounces Firefly Sweet Tea vodka
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Splash of club soda
Splash of Sprite
Muddle the mint leaves, sugar and lime juice in a highball glass. Add ice and vodka. Pour the contents into a shaker and back into the glass. Top off with club soda and Sprite. (Or request soda only, if you can't handle a little Sprite in your motito.) Happy New Year.