| Booze |

A Tale of Two Cocktails: Early Evening Libations at Saint Genevieve

It took me three drive-bys to realize that Saint Genevieve was inside the retail-residential complex at the corner of Kirby and Westheimer. "They really should put up a sign," I thought, as I made my way up the stairs to SG's second-story location.

Two cocktails later, I felt a bit differently: "I hope this place stays hidden. It could be my top-secret glamorous watering hole."

Too late. Although Saint Genevieve was only mildly crowded on an early Tuesday evening, the staff assured me it can get a bit crazy during the later hours Thursdays through Saturdays, especially when the DJ is in session.

But for the moment I could luxuriate peacefully at the gorgeous white marble bar. Having studied The Inimitable for most of my academic career, I couldn't not order the "Grape Expectations," a blend of vodka, lime juice, muddled white grapes and basil. I've been so conditioned to expect imitation grape that at first sip I thought I had been served the wrong drink. Then, I remembered that crisp, slight tart floral flavor is how (white) grapes are supposed to taste. (Damn you, Robitussin, for screwing with my tongue's chemoreceptors!) Icy, sophisticated, and pleasantly pretentious, the Grape Expectations is definitely a drink Estella (or anyone with aspirations for high-class living) would love.

The Pear 'n Berry is more Joe Gargery's style. More straightforward and sweet thanks to muddled blackberries, this cocktail gets a nice earthy twang from pear vodka. The fruit, sweet syrup, and large ice cubes, however, so nicely tone down the booze that you may forget you're drinking something serious. Fast-forward, and you've emptied your glass in three long slurps from the straw.

A dinner engagement at another location kept me from indulging in any of Saint Genevieve's happy hour small plates, a damn shame because the empanadas and fried chicken my neighbors ordered looked delightful.

I imagine Saint Genevieve will only become more popular on weeknights as word spreads of its terrific happy hour, so, let's just keep it a secret for now, hmm? Or else, I might go all Miss Havisham on your ass.

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