Hula Hunt

Four or five years ago, Shepherd Plaza was a thriving nighttime destination. The place was wall-to-wall bars, with crazed valets parking cars everywhere, lines of people spilling down the sidewalks, and weekend drunks mistaking flower beds for urinals. Although restaurants are returning to the plaza, the crowds are nothing like they used to be. But the Boatyard (3749 Greenbriar, 713-520-7771), an unobtrusive nautical watering hole known to many musicians as the old Live Bait, still sits where it first dropped anchor. Stocked with cold beer, a smattering of liquor bottles and one of the hottest sound systems around, the Boatyard is a relic of the plaza's former glory. I stumbled in last Friday evening and heard house favorite Lenny wrap up his acoustic set before the Elderly Brothers embarked on a melodic, rhythm-based songwriting session. Meanwhile, the bartender was scrambling to pull together a Blue Hawaiian. She was missing an important ingredient, the blue curaçao, but this was a woman who could think on her feet. She substituted green Midori for the blue liqueur, concocting a new boat drink that would make Jimmy Buffett proud. The drink had an eerie glow and the alcohol content of a week in Cancun. My watering eyes lost focus of the stage, which appeared to have been replaced by a giant Texas flag. That's when I realized I was drunk and staring at the ceiling.

The Boatyard's Green Hawaiian:

1 ounce Captain Morgan rum
1 ounce Malibu rum
1/2 ounce pineapple juice
1/2 ounce orange juice
1/4 ounce Midori

In a martini shaker, combine ingredients with ice and shake well. Strain and pour into a tall Tom Collins glass with plenty of ice. Jimmy Buffett music and beach blanket optional.


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