One could easily drive by Buddha Lounge (2670 Sage, 713-621-2833) and miss it, because the sign on the awning simply says "Lounge." But simplicity is the way of the Buddha, and Buddha Lounge is the type of place that needs no sign at all. It's so good, it could rely solely on word of mouth, functioning as some sort of supercool speakeasy. On my first visit to the bar, I meet up with my date, a sultry, hazel-eyed grad student with a knack for sass. We decide the place is so elegant and swanky, it's almost overwhelming. The decor is all stone lions, smiling Buddha statues and smooth red velvet couches, and the music, ambient trance, rounds out the vibe. Yes, friend, we've landed in Hipster Nirvana. We ask bartender Matt what to drink, and he tells us we're in for a treat: The owner is here, and he likes making the house specialty, a concoction they call the Buddha special martini. Antoine the owner quickly comes down, introduces himself and begins making the martini with the focus and mastery of a Shaolin monk. He serves it up, and my date instantly proclaims it the Best Martini She's Ever Had. I try a taste and have to agree. Yep, it's that good.
1 ounce Svedka vanilla vodka
1 ounce Midori liqueur
1 ounce Malibu rum
1 ounce DeKuyper Sour Apple Pucker
1/2 ounce pineapple juice
1 slice fresh pineapple
Combine liquors and juice in a shaker. Shake vigorously. Strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with pineapple slice and cherry. Embrace your inner hipster.
Buddha Lounge's special martini
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