When I eat expensive sushi, it's usually at family dinners honoring special occasions — my little brother coming down from Austin for Mom's birthday, my little brother getting out of city lockup, my little brother beating that misdemeanor drug charge. (Lesson learned: Don't bring weed through the downtown Greyhound station. If the pipsqueak POS security guard there finds it, he'll call the real police faster than you can say nigirizushi.) Cheaper sushi, on the other hand, is used to help absorb all the discounted booze I consume when I go with friends to happy hour at a Japanese joint. That was the case on Tuesday, when I first tried the lychee-tini at Miyako (3910 Kirby, 713-520-9797). I agree, any drink that ends in "tini" without beginning in "mar" is suspect, but this tropical concoction is delicious and, surprisingly, not too sweet. (You old-school types don't need to worry about your image — in the restaurant's dim light, the drink could easily be mistaken for a Gibson.) After several rounds, the only drawback I noticed was that I found myself vowing to get my life on track by joining the Coast Guard in order to finance a history degree, two things I wasn't even aware I wanted to do before the lychees starting working their magic.

1 1/2 ounces Absolut vodka

1 1/2 ounces lychee juice

splash of triple sec

Shake over ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a peeled, de-pitted lychee fruit. Repeat five times and subject your friends to a monologue on the merits of dockside bars.

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Glenn Livet