The brunch special lured me to Beaver's (2310 Decatur St., 713-864-2328) a few Sundays ago. Reading over the Bloody Mary menu, I considered writing about how "bacon-infused vodka" ranks up there with the wheel, movable type and Post-it notes as one of the greatest inventions ever. But then I remembered that I'm not much of a Bloody Mary fan. For me, a balanced breakfast includes orange juice — for the screwdrivers, of course — not tomato juice, which reminds me of vegetables I had to eat as a kid. Then I noticed the Beav's list of "beer-tails," which includes the Belt Strap, a cocktail made with locally brewed pale ale. Because my New Year's resolution was to reduce my carbon footprint by "drinking locally," I had two Belt Straps with my brunch of fried oysters and eggs. Deliciousness all the way around (high cholesterol be damned). Who knew you could improve upon a good beer by adding rum? Actually, that's a stupid question. What isn't improved upon by adding rum? Not much, I tell ya. Unless it's something absolutely perfect. Like Scotch.
3 ounces Southern Star Pine Belt
Pale Ale (Conroe)
1 1/2 ounces Cruzan Black Strap rum
3/4 ounces fresh lemon juice
3/4 ounces simple syrup
Shake everything but the ale with ice and pour into a pint glass. Top with ale. Garnish with lemon wedge and cinnamon stick. Caution: You may never drink plain ol' beer again. — W. Healy