Anthony, the bar manager at downtown "gastro lounge" Hearsay (218 Travis, 713-225-8079), is intent on stealing Houston's cocktail crown from Anvil. "We want to be the place for cocktails in town," he said as he served a gin-gin mule, a classic-style concoction that originated at New York's Pegu Club. Like a parent who just can't let his kid be, it wasn't five minutes before Anthony came back to our end of the bar to ask how it was. I told him it was the best-tasting drink I'd had in a long time; there's no doubt the minute-and-a-half man (Anthony tries to keep his prep times under 90 seconds) has the mixology skills to help alleviate Anvil's overcrowding problem.
Such a civilized libation was also a great way to kick off a downtown mini-bender. After finishing our drinks, my friend Zach and I left Hearsay and charted a course from La Carafe (respectable levels of intoxication, stimulating conversation) to Warren's (excessive intoxication, arguments with strangers) to closing time at a very small, apparently very gay hip-hop club above a falafel shop ([REDACTED]). I'm not sure what would have happened if I had asked for a gin-gin mule at that last spot.
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Tear up mint leaves into small pieces. Shake gin, lime juice, simple syrup (easy to make at home -- search Google for recipes) and mint over ice. Pour ginger beer into a rocks glass filled with ice. Strain contents of shaker over ginger beer. Stir lightly and garnish with a lime twist. Respect the ratio of ingredients or you'll end up with a substandard drink.