Stirred and Shaken: 1820 Bar's Bo-Tang

Outside of the occasional pedicab and the 24-hour glow of bail bondsmen's office lights, the northeast side of downtown was dead and dark on Tuesday evening. This isn't a good sign for the Astros considering I was two blocks from Minute Maid Park during a home game. But at 1820 Bar (1820 Franklin, 713-224-5535), Bo the bartender had something to celebrate.

He and nearly 20 other members of the TABC — Tuesday Astros Baseball Club, as their matching shirts say, mostly comprised of 1820 employees and regulars — had gotten some face time on the jumbo screen at the park and on the station televising the game. "Please tell me you saw us and decided to come here!" he said. I hadn't, but he agreed to hop behind the bar and make me one of his signature shots anyway.

I appreciate a place with bartenders who are loyal to their team, even when that team is in an epic slap fight with the Pirates for the keys to the NL Central cellar. With the way the season's going, I don't blame about half the members of TABC for migrating from the park to their home bar before the game ended. Those who did stay were rewarded with another few seconds of TV exposure at the top of the eighth, which back at 1820 drew a triumphant yell from Bo.

½ ounce Three Olives Rangtang vodka

½ ounce Stolichnaya vanilla vodka

½ ounce peach schnapps

Splash cranberry

Splash club soda

Splash Red Bull

Shake over ice and strain into a shot glass. As refreshing as a cup of Gatorade is to Carlos Lee after he transforms a sure triple into a sweat-soaked double. Side note: If you're at 1820, ask about Pac-Man Fever. It's when the bar's owner, who also owns the arcade-game showroom next door, puts his machines on free play, letting patrons play all they want for a cover charge.

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