There's something exotic about drink menus from Las Vegas -- especially when they're sitting on the bar at the Rickshaw (2810 Westheimer, 713-942-7272) in Houston. I read about a Russian place where every drink was made with top-shelf vodka and a rum establishment that offered 100 different varieties; quirky disclaimers warned against charging bar tabs of more than $200 to your room. The bottom line: Las Vegas is a place for serious drinkers and serious drinks. On this night, a serious bartender named Daniel was poring over the menus -- booty from a recent "research" trip -- with Rickshaw general manager Kiko. I had already indulged in two glasses of the lethal house specialty Kiko Punch (essentially four different vodkas plus three other liquors) when Daniel asked me if I remembered eating Dreamsicles as a kid. "I came up with this little variation on a drink called a Cremesicle where I've added the Smirnoff Orange," he said. "Some people find it too sweet. Tell me what you think." As a dessert course, I was all over it. But the real finale came in the form of a delicious chocolate martini. "Taxi!"
1 ounce Bols Creme de Bananes
1 ounce Cointreau
Half-ounce Smirnoff Orange Twist
Splash of orange juice
Splash of milk
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Pour ingredients into a pint glass or hurricane glass filled with ice. Cover with shaker and shake three or four times to blend and give the drink a foamy head.