I notice two things as I stroll into Muldoon's (3839 Southwest Freeway, 713-621-8125): the chalkboard on the sidewalk offering cosmopolitans for $5, and a sign demanding all hats be removed before entering. I make myself comfortable on a cushy banquette in the back of the room and ask a bartender for the night's special. My friend the Fireman, who has taken the night off from saving strippers from accidental cocaine overdoses, joins me. The bartender returns with my giant pink martini and takes the Fireman's order. I take a pull of my drink, catching the vodka on the back of my throat. The Fireman lets out a smirking laugh. I'm not sure if it's the girliness of the drink or the well vodka that's hard to swallow. By the time Juanita returns with the Fireman's bourbon and water, I've downed it. I ask for another, this time requesting Belvedere vodka. While the Fireman looks around the bar, making sure there are no strippers that might need assistance, I harp on the no-hats rule. The next cosmo arrives, and I'm feeling a little like Carrie Bradshaw. I listen in on the conversation at the next table. "Do you like breasts?" an overly tan blond asks the plump older gentleman she's playing chess with. In a thick New York accent, he replies, "Whaddaya mean, like chicken breasts?" "No, like fake breasts," she says, sticking her chest out. "Did he really just say that?" I ask the Fireman. "Man, that guy doesn't give a shit about her tits." The second drink tastes the same as the first one. Not feeling it, I motion to the Fireman that it's time to bail. I notice two things as I stroll out of Muldoon's: two fortysomethings groping each other at the bar, and a pimp-looking hat on the rack by the door. I wake up the next morning with a cheap vodka hangover and a pimp-looking hat next to me. Oops!
2 1/2 ounces Belvedere vodka
1 1/2 ounces cranberry cocktail
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Fill a martini glass with equal parts ice and cold water. Fill a shaker with ice and pour the vodka and cranberry cocktail into it. Shake vigorously. Empty the glass of the ice water. Zest a large piece off the lemon peel and place it in the bottom of the glass. Strain the contents of the shaker into the chilled glass. Get a room.