I feel guilty badmouthing the drink that probably had a hand in my conception (hi, Mom and Dad), but I don't like most house frozen margaritas. I do enjoy a good 'rita on the rocks made with fresh lime juice. I just can't stomach the blended Ectoplasm a lot of Tex-Mex and Mexican restaurants offer, not even when they're on special for three bucks a piece. So at a recent going-away party at Teotihuacán (1511 Airline Dr., 713-426-4420), while my friends were giving themselves cavities on the patio, I got this crazy idea to craft my own not-really-all-that-crazy drink. I asked the well-meaning but confused waiter to bring me a lime wedge, a bottle of Topo Chico Mexican mineral water and a glass of Tanqueray on the rocks. He looked at me like someone was projecting footage of his own death on my forehead and called another guy over to take the order again. My Topo and lime arrived, along with a salt-rimmed glass of what seemed like green skim milk. I didn't even ask what it was — I just took it up to the bar myself to trade it for gin. The waiter asked my tablemates if I was angry. They assured him I wasn't, and that I just really needed some gin. Meanwhile, at the bar, I floated my request to the bartender, who cocked his head and asked me, "You want what, now?" I was asking for a gin and tonic — that simple, two-part classic — minus one of the parts. With a little teamwork, though, we were able to settle things. I mixed the ingredients back at the table. The drink turned out better than I expected, with the bubbly (and allegedly palliative) mineral water complementing the gin nicely. As a bonus, this has a fraction of the calories in a frozen margarita, and it definitely won't give you a sugar headache during an extended, boozy goodbye.
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2 ounces Tanqueray gin
Half a bottle Topo Chico mineral water
Combine over ice in a highball glass. Garnish with a lime wedge.