The new Mugsy's (2239 Richmond, 713-522-7118) is in the building formerly occupied by LZ Pub (RIP). If I had a dime for every night I spent posted up at the corner of the bar at LZ's, I'd have a shitload of dimes. Circa 2002-2003, no weekend bender was complete without at least one stop there for a "Big Timer" and a few Pixies tunes on the jukebox. But the times they are a-changin', and the dependable crew from the old Mugsy's on Kirby now resides in the space. Some remodeling by the new management has vastly improved the interior and solved some crowd-flow issues, making it much easier to stumble around. The place draws a fun and attractive, if homogeneous, crowd of twenty- and thirtysomethings who appreciate the new front deck, the potent cocktails and the close proximity to Emerald Spa (not really). When, on a recent evening, I asked the bartender if he made anything special, he quickly offered up a drink he innocently calls the Juice Box. It tasted exactly like a Capri Sun, minus the annoying aluminum-pouch-and-straw bit, but with the added bonus of — you guessed it — booze. My school lunches were never this nutritious.
1 1/2 ounces Finlandia grapefruit vodka
1/4 ounce Chateau Pomari pomegranate
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Pour liquors over ice into a pint glass, top with cranberry juice and a splash of club soda, and garnish with lime wedge. No artificial colors, flavors or preservatives. As far as I know.