Bartender Matt Trimble of Catbird's (1336 Westheimer, 713-523-8000) is an impressive man. Before taking his current job, he undertook a weeks-long bicycle odyssey from Houston to New York, sleeping on the side of the road and surviving on his ability to charm strangers. He dates an exotic journalist who makes a young Christiane Amanpour look like a present-day Helen Thomas. And, most importantly, he made me an outstanding Sunday hangover cure, despite suffering from a long-running case of poison ivy he acquired while tending a community garden. (He claimed poison ivy isn't contagious after the first day or so. Still no unsightly blisters on my body that weren't there before, so I suspect he's right.) The shot, which Matt and fellow bartender Sean invented, is called a Truck Stop Cappuccino. It tastes uncannily similar to a gas station push-button blend, so it's good if you prefer alcohol's effects to its flavor. Of course, since this is a neighborhood bar — Sean refers to Catbird's as "the Cheers of Montrose" — the bartenders will be happy to add Bacardi 151 to taste, if you like your coffee breaks a little more potent.
1/2 ounce Stoli vanilla vodka
1/2 ounce Frangelico liqueur
CATBIRD'S TRUCK STOP CAPPUCCINO
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1/2 ounce Kahlúa liqueur
Splash of Bacardi 151 rum, if desired
Shake over ice. Serve in a Styrofoam cup with astir stick. If you consider Matt and Sean's concoction the best part of waking up, maybe it's time to cut back.