Stirred and Shaken

The fireworks stands along the interstate put me in a Fourth of July frame of mind. I'm a sentimental slob. But what's an Independence Day cocktail? I decide to mosey on over to the Cadillac Bar (1802 Shepherd Drive, 713-862-2020). There's a drink there called a Mexican Flag that has given me an idea. Besides, ripping off (or, as intellectuals like to term it, appropriating) Mexican culture is a great American tradition, at least since the first vaquero became a cowboy. Even the Cadillac Bar name is an, er, appropriation from a venerable establishment in Nuevo Laredo. Bar supervisor Tony Ramos is game. Together, we create our patriotic sippable salute to the glorious Fourth, the American Flag.

Cadillac Bar's American Flag cocktail: This is one flag you won't have any problems burning. While the cocktail's afire, push it toward a fellow patriot, hand him a straw, and let him suck it up -- fast -- from the bottom of the glass. First, you get the sweet rush of grenadine, followed by the orange flavor, then the vodka comes along to make sure you feel really good about the U.S. of A. As a bonus, the blue flames are sort of like fireworks.

Half-shot of Rose's grenadine syrup
Half-shot of DeKuyper Blue Curaçao liqueur
Half-shot of Smirnoff vodka
Dribble of Castillo 151 rum

Into a straight-sided shot glass, pour the grenadine syrup. Over the back of a teaspoon, float a layer of the Blue Curaçao. Then float a layer of the vodka over that. Add a few drops of Castillo 151-proof rum as an accelerant layer. Light the top of the drink with a match or cigarette lighter. Serves one.

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George Alexander