Bartender Chat: Caitlin Murray of The Oceanaire

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Housed inside The Galleria, The Oceanaire is a swanky seafood restaurant designed to make diners feel like they're on a 1930s ocean liner. The elegant bar offers just about every liquor you could want, plus a smiling staff that includes Caitlin Murray.

Originally from Virginia, Murray has that genteel southern charm that makes you feel instantly welcome, yet clearly shows that she is not going to put up with any of your nonsense. When asked why she moved from Virginia to Houston, Murray explains, "I wanted to live in a big city, but I was poor. The cost of living is low in Houston, so I came here." A Houstonian for six years now, Murray likes it here but has other long-term aspirations. "I would love to live abroad," she says. Which makes sense, given that Murray paints beautiful portraits for fun. She doesn't show her work for profit, but I got a sneak peek, and it is good stuff.

When I asked Murray if she had a signature drink, she initially demurred, but then lit up as she remembered a drink she'd made, but not yet named. A zesty combination of Grey Goose pear-flavored vodka, St. Germaine's Elderflower liqueur, and a splash of sprite, this drink is dangerously appealing.

When in front of the bar, as opposed to behind it, Murray likes to visit her friends at Next Door Bar and Absinthe, where her drink of choice is Rumple Minze. She used to enjoy going to Dirt Bar, but with the Walmart buyout and subsequent movie, "it's the end of an era", as Murray puts it. Murray works at The Oceanaire Wednesday through Sunday evenings.

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