Neither the Continental Club nor the Drink Bar is open for happy hour on Mondays. So the young woman from Tennessee suggests we try the bar at the Fusion Café [3722 Main, (713)874-1666]. With its painted concrete floors, mustard-yellow walls and mostly empty tables, it looks like one of those cheerful little resort-town cafes designed for tourists who never show up. We split a Jamaican pâté (a sort of savory fried pie) and a couple of rum punches.
The bartender seems concerned when we sit down. "We don't have a happy hour," he says apologetically. It's not a big bar, and Fusion doesn't have a lot of liquors. But the Caribbean menu and the large selection of rums make ordering pretty easy. "Can you make a Jamaican rum punch?" I ask. The question inspires a large grin. "Rum punch is my specialty," he says. Remind people to drink this cocktail with a straw, because the rum is on the top and the fruit juices are on the bottom, my companion dictates as I take notes.
2 shots Parrot Bay Coconut Rum
1 shot Bacardi Silver Rum
1 shot Captain Morgan's Spiced Rum
1 shot grenadine
3 shots orange juice
4 shots pineapple juice
2 shots cranberry juice
2 lemon slices
2 lime slices
2 orange slices
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Combine all ingredients except the fruit slices in a shaker and mix well. Fill two tumblers with ice and pour the punch over the ice. Garnish each glass with three fruit slices and a straw. Serves two.