After a long holiday weekend in Fort Worth visiting my boyfriend, drinking with old friends and listening to even older rock and roll, I arrived back in Houston to find rain, more rain and an invite to a family birthday celebration. The weather matched my mood, which was a bit blue after kissing my sweetheart goodbye. Not being one to slack off on family obligations, I postponed a good cry and joined the family for chicken-fried steak and peach cobbler at 59 Diner. Afterward, I became restless and went into the night. Fate led me to Muldoon's (3839 Southwest Fwy., 713-621-8125), a neighborhood bar nearly empty of patrons but full of candlelight and jazz. I immediately felt at ease. Cassie, redheaded and obviously bored, suggested an after-dinner aperitif called the "white mischief." A cocktail made with the mysterious Licor 43, it was strong enough to soften the edges of a long day, but not so strong that I would actually cause any mischief. As I sipped, Cassie and I discussed long-distance relationships, the bar's artwork (odd photos of Tokyo and Totem poles) and, finally, the hot subject in Houston, the smoking ban. She said Chuck, the owner, was bummed he wouldn't be able to smoke his cigars in the back, but that he was more concerned about the lovely older gents who frequent Muldoon's for chess, Irish coffee and a few puffs off a good stogie. We both agreed that sometimes change sucks. After my second "white mischief," I bid farewell to my blues, the holiday weekend and my new friend Cassie, then retreated back into the night.
1 1/2 ounces Licor 43 liqueur
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Pour Licor 43 over ice in a short cocktail glass and top off with half-and-half. No garnish needed; cigars optional.