Aries is Latin for ram. A fine animal, strong and quick and always ready for ewe. To wrestle the ram is to wrestle your own fear. Such thoughts come to me as I sit in Scott Tycer's fearless new restaurant, Aries (4315 Montrose Boulevard, 713-526-4404), and finish my wife's Ernest Hemingway daiquiri. Never cared for women boozers. I'm doing her a favor. Plus, I've already finished mine. It is soooo tasty, I can see how Papa could down 17 of them at a single session in the Floridita Bar near his home in Cuba.
Aries's Ernest Hemingway daiquiri: This is the brown music of dark rum, the tart notes of lemon and lime juices, the musky bass rumblings of the nutmeg shavings. Aries bar manager Ray Castille knows the cocktail shaker is an instrument, and he plays it like a virtuoso.
Two shots Rhum Barbancourt
One shot each of freshly squeezed lemon and lime juices
One shot simple syrup
Grating of fresh nutmeg
Pour the rum, citrus juices and syrup into a shaker, add three or four dashes of bitters, and shake well. Strain into a martini glass and grate a dusting of nutmeg over the surface. Slide in the lemon wheel. Repeat until you start talking to yourself in short, simple sentences.