Hefley's Tea

Thanks to Hermine's all-day downpour, there were only a few people at Hill Country-themed Hefley's (138 W. Gray, 713-527-8100) last Tuesday night. A bar that quiet is a mixed deal. There isn't a parade of drinkers waiting to start conversations with you or hook up with you or possibly punch you — all the excitement that gets people to pay four times what it costs to imbibe on the back porch. But a slow night is good for sitting with a couple friends and taking the long way around strange topics of conversation. And there's less collateral damage when you put the Eagles on the jukebox just to piss one of those friends off. (Dialing up the Eagles out of spite is like head-butting someone — it kind of sucks, but it hurts the victim much worse.) Upstairs, Hefley's patio, with its impressive view of the skyline, was rain-soaked and empty. Bartender Jason said Tuesday specials ($2 Texas beers, $3 Texas liquor, cheap burgers) draw a crowd to the two-month-old place when the weather cooperates. On that night, though, he was the only other person on the second floor. I asked him to make me something with Texas booze, and he poured me a rocks glass full of Austin's Deep Eddy sweet tea vodka — some of the best-flavored vodka I've had — cut just a little with lemonade and water. It'd be easy to drink way too many of these, especially with no line at the bar.

2 ounces Deep Eddy sweet tea vodka

Splash lemonade

Splash water

Combine ingredients over ice in a rocks glass.

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Glenn Livet