It was almost midnight, and the movie had just let out at the River Oaks Theatre. I was damned if I was going home to broken air conditioners and a dog that won't stop yapping, so I headed to the first watering hole down the block. From the music coming out of Birraporetti's (1997 West Gray, 713-529-9191), it sounded like the band had just come from a drunken Eastern European wedding, and the cars parked along the curb hinted at the beautiful people inside. The place had the makings of a lively evening. The bartender suggested a Malibu Bay Breeze or a bellini. I chose the Bay Breeze, but when the drink arrived, its faded peach hue made me think he had concocted a bellini by mistake. After one sniff, there was no more doubt about it. As much as I enjoy rum, I will never smell Malibu without immediately thinking of suntan lotion.
Birraporetti's Malibu Bay Breeze:
1 1/2 ounces Malibu rum
1/2 ounce pineapple juice
1/2 ounce cranberry juice
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Fill a Tom Collins glass with ice, then pour in the rum and pineapple juice. Add enough cranberry juice to give the drink a light peach color. Fruit garnish optional.