Open-air icehouse Beer Island (2631 White Oak Dr., 713-862-4670) has a gazillion beer offerings, but I opt for a cheap domestic because I'm broke and my buddy with cash is nowhere to be seen. No problem; I slow down and watch all of the familiar strangers. The Sunday crowd is mostly handsome men hanging out with other handsome men. An older professor-type guy and his pretty wife are holding hands and sipping an expensive red, while a drunk boy asks around for juke box donations and actually picks some rockin' tunes. Rounding it all out is a bleary-eyed couple with an irritating barking dog. Owner Lonnie and bartender Ethan are keeping everyone happy with their wry comments and beer-soaked hot dogs. The temperature's perfect and my beer's super-cold, but something's missing. Oh yeah, cocktails. I spy some vats of orange and purple liquid — sake mixed with snow cone syrup. Three pineapple-flavored Hawaii Five-O shots later, drunk boy and the dog are my new best friends.

Party Recipe

3 bottles (750-milliliter) of cheap sake

1 gallon of pineapple (or any flavor) snow cone syrup

Mix together and enjoy. If you want to make individual shots, make with a one-to-one ratio.

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Debbylou Mountjoy