Greek Mixology

Still stumbling after the blast of the Exploding Irish Car Bomb around the corner at The Stag's Head (see "Stirred and Shaken," April 4), I wandered into Mykonos Island Restaurant (2181 Richmond, 713-523-4114). The place was growing quiet, with most of its customers seated at the bar. After plopping down on a rather stiff banquette, I looked up at the waiter and asked him to bring me a Nepenthe, a drink I had seen in a book simply titled Booze. It's a Greek cocktail, but he had never heard of it, so the bartender had to come over to help. "It's vodka, ouzo and Galliano," I mumbled. "Do whatever you want with it." Tasting it, I immediately thought of Pernod, or pastis, that lovable licorice-flavored aperitif that seems to be consumed on every other page of Peter Mayle's A Year in Provence. Think of watered-down Sambuca, but with the kick of several kamikazes. My eyes were now at half-mast, but I perked up when the food arrived. Surveying the spread of olives, pita bread and roasted garlic dip, I noticed my glass was empty again. "Waiter..."

Mykonos Island's Nepenthe:

1 jigger vodka
1/3 jigger ouzo
Splash of Galliano

Serve on the rocks with a twist of lime. Drink plenty of water, and make sure you have some aspirin on hand for the next morning.

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