As if I needed another excuse to indulge in a cocktail or two, I just found out that Ava Kitchen & Whiskey Bar is doing a special promotion on martinis. Every Wednesday from 5 to 8 p.m., they have a list of five specialty cocktails to choose from, at just $5 each. And these aren't some weak, boring drinks either. These are serious libations that mesh perfectly with Ava's swank lounge scene.
I met a group of girlfriends there last Wednesday and we decided to order one of each drink and then pass them around in order to choose our favorites. The first one I sampled was the "Peppa-tini," which was basically a big cup o' vodka garnished with frozen grapes, jalapeno and Fresno chiles. The grape added a subtly fresh sweetness, while the peppery kick intensified as you consumed the drink. It was delightfully low-key, and I could easily get tipsy on just one. Not bad for $5.
There were two fruity concoctions on the menu: a raspberry martini and a grapefruit version. We passed these two back and forth trying to decide which we preferred. They were both perfect summery cocktails. Dubbed "The Fling," the grapefruit variety was a mixture of vodka and squeezed-to-order fresh grapefruit juice with a shot of grenadine thrown in for color and sweetness. The raspberry was beautifully pink, not syrupy sweet, and ridiculously drinkable.
Rounding out the list were two non-vodka based cocktails, including the Skinny Marga-tini, a blend of tequila, fresh lime juice, and water sweetened with Splenda, and the Buttered Bourbon with Bailey's Irish Cream, Bourbon, and a dried mission fig garnish. The Skinny Marga-tini was the most popular drink of the night, with its effortless lightness. But I was partial to the Buttered Bourbon, though would probably order it as a dessert instead of a dinner cocktail. It was like drinking a lusciously creamy cup of java and getting more than just a caffeinated buzz from it.
A glamorous crowd, chic ambiance, and $5 martinis make Ava the place to be on Wednesday nights.
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.