Kelvin Arms' Rang Tang Martini

I was standing on the patio at Kelvin Arms (2424 Dunstan, 713-528-5002) holding the pinkest drink I've ever had and trying to ask my friend John to grab us a couple of beers when my voice cracked for the first time in months, maybe years. I don't think he heard — he had already opened the door to the bar, and the woman doing Journey's "Faithfully" for Tuesday night karaoke was not shy. Normally I wouldn't care if he had. But the Rang Tang Martini's Barbie-box color and orange garnish were already making me feel dainty and awkward. I got the drink when I asked for a bar specialty from Hans, the Kelvin's new owner and former proprietor of another neighborhood place in the Village, Hans' Bier Haus. He ran through a few ideas, but I'd tried them all before, so I pressed him until he offered me the Rang Tang Martini. As he was pouring it from the shaker, I noted that it was bright pink. "Bingo," he said, smiling a little. Can't fault the guy for having a sense of humor. And the drink tasted fine, sweet but not cloying. My friend Hassan, a certified female, also tried it. "It's strong enough for a man," she said. "But, you know." Bingo.

2 ounces Three Olives Rang Tang orange and tangerine vodka

1 ounce Cointreau

Splash cranberry juice

Shake over ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with an orange slice. Wonder who signed off on a flavored vodka name that sounds like primate juice, or worse.

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Glenn Livet