Chicago Oasis

The girl of my dreams spent as much time leaving as she did coming. She'd been gone for only a few hours, but the pain of her absence was killing me. My life is starting to sound like a Merle Haggard song, I thought to myself as I pulled into a parking space in front of T.K. Bitterman's (2010 West Alabama, 713-529-8979). Houston has three great bars for homesick Chicagoans, and this is my favorite. Pennants, street signs and autographed pictures of the Windy City's finest athletes line the walls. And for a Monday night, the place was jumping. I must have been wearing my unhappiness on my sleeve because the bartender suggested I try Sex with an Alligator. "It has its origins as a shot, but I can super-size that for you if you think it's gonna help." Gonna help? A frontal lobotomy is what would help, but I settled for the drink. A sign by the door caught my attention: "I like to have a martini...two at the very most. After three I'm under the table, after four I'm under the host." It's signed Dorothy Parker. Now there was a woman.

T.K. Bitterman's Sex with an Alligator:
1/2 ounce Amaretto di Amore
1/2 ounce DeKuyper Sour
Apple Pucker schnapps
1/2 ounce Chambord
1/2 ounce DeKuyper peach schnapps
1/2 ounce Jägermeister

Fill a cocktail shaker full of ice. Measure out the ingredients and stir until cold. Strain into a highball glass filled with ice. Drink cautiously. And don't even think about driving home.

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J.W. Crooker