My friend was vacationing in Mexico, and I imagined him passing the hot, sultry days sitting on a barstool submerged in some fancy hotel pool and drinking cheap, no-name tequila. As I grabbed the martini-handled door to the Davenport (2115 Richmond, 713-520-1140), I thought, well, it's not Acapulco, but it's got all the trappings of a good time. The joint was crowded, with couples filling the sofas. I strolled past a statuesque blond, who looked like she might sell her grandmother to make the next payment on her BMW, and settled for a seat at the bar beside two fair-weathered cowboys. The drink menu was mouthwatering; Barbie's Bathwater sounded like something I could jump into. The bartender placed the bubbly pink pint in front of me, and I stared into the fake fire crackling on the TV set. Then I heard her: "That looks like a great drink for Valentine's Day...Are you available?" I just knew it was the blond squeezing up next to me to order another martini. But when I turned to answer, I saw that she was still standing next to her date. I'd better keep my daydreams trained on Acapulco.
The Davenport's Barbie's Bathwater:
3 1/4 ounces Stolichnaya Strasberi vodka
Long splash soda
Dash sweet and sour
Double lemon wedge
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Combine wet ingredients in 16-ounce shaker glass filled with ice. Shake once or twice, being careful not to bruise the bubbles. Garnish with lemon.