The days are getting longer; the sun is still bright as happy hour draws to a close at 7 p.m. We're just in time for a discount cocktail at Solero (910 Prairie, 713-227-2665). The building is one of NoDo's most beautifully restored spaces. The restaurant, which specializes in tapas, is dominated by an antique blond wood bar that looks like it came from a cafe in Barcelona. My girlfriend has a sangria, which is made according to chef-owner Arturo Boada's secret recipe. I have my first frozen margarita of the season.
Solero's Berryrita: This is a sweet-tart frozen rita that will really make you pucker. If you start with frozen blackberries or frozen black raspberries and frozen limeade, you won't have any trouble keeping the drink slushy. You can adjust the sweetness or tartness by varying the ratio of limeade to berries.
4 shots Sauza silver tequila
2 shots Cointreau
2 heaping tablespoons frozen limeade concentrate
1/4 cup frozen berries
1 1/2 cups crushed ice
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Put the crushed ice, limeade and berries into a blender. Add tequila and triple sec, and puree until slushy. Pour into a margarita glass. Yields two.