THE BIG TOP'S '57 CHEVY WITH HAWAIIAN PLATES
The torch of Stirred & Shaken has been passed. I am your new drinks columnist. I hope you enjoy the recipes (and stories). If you have suggestions for cocktails we should try, please e-mail me at email@example.com. — WH
Bad Film Night had not drawn much of a crowd when I arrived at Shoeshine Charley's Big Top Lounge (3714 Main) last Thursday to meet Jose and Vic and sample a Big Top signature cocktail, the '57 Chevy with Hawaiian Plates. On the large screen over the stage area, they were screening Blood Freak (1972), a vaguely Christian, antidrug abortion of a movie that features a confusing parade of potheads and drug dealers, a chain-smoking narrator, a poultry farm and a half-man, half-turkey serial killer. I am not making this up. Bartender Donna LaMell looked baffled when I ordered three '57s in a mostly empty bar at 8:30 p.m. on a weeknight. "You know it's a shot, right?" Having tried the shot already, I ordered mine on the rocks; my friends got the other version. The pineapple juice that lends "Hawaiian Plates" to the moniker makes the '57 a refreshing, all-too-drinkable summer libation when served with ice. After two rounds, the group was actually enjoying Blood Freak. Someone suggested it may have been a prequel to The English Patient. We debated the point until the film ended abruptly but mercifully, and Mike Perkins, a "bad films collector" and the curator of Bad Film Night, cued up Frankenstein Meets the Space Monster. Afterward, a '60s psychedelic rock band called Psylli Psybin (like 'shrooms, get it?) started its set. Is a theme developing here? I don't know, brother...ask the Turkey-Man.
1 ounce Southern Comfort whiskey
1 ounce Amaretto liqueur
1 ounce Grand Marnier liqueur
Splash of cranberry juice
Splash of pineapple juice
Mix ingredients in a shaker with ice. Strain into shot glass or serve on the rocks. Pairs well with poultry.
Get the Food & Drink Newsletter
Our weekly guide to Houston dining includes food news and reviews, as well as dining events and interviews with chefs and restaurant owners.