Stirred and Shaken: Howl at the Moon's Tennessee Tea

The musical act is the main draw at Howl at the Moon (612 Hadley, 713-658-9700), a dueling-piano bar in Midtown (and in Scottsdale, Charlotte, Baltimore, etc.). The bar features a stable of multi-instrumentalists whose job it is to work the crowd while plunking out up-tempo versions of predictable stuff. (Interactive activities include inviting "sexy ladies" onstage for a little "wail and tail." No, guys aren't allowed up there during this segment.)

Three friends and I were on our first visit, sipping $1 Miller High Life in the back, when John — apparently part of the "because it's there" school of drinking — suggested we split a bucket of Long Island Iced Tea. I'd never drunk out of a bucket, but I'd also never heard a lounge version of "Folsom Prison Blues," so what the hell, right? Some kind of game theory thing takes over when there are four straws and one giant cocktail, and we finish up fast, just in time to really listen to the second Billy Joel song of the hour. Bryan summed up the moment well: "New lows have never made me feel so high." Shortly after that, we got a round of our own drinks. Mine was a Tennessee Tea — it tasted a little bit like the Long Island, but without three other guys' spit. Shortly after that, Craig got upset because he thought the band was butchering a Black Flag song, which was true, if by "butchering" you mean "not actually playing." Very shortly after that, it was time to leave.

1 1/2 ounces Jack Daniel's

1 1/2 ounces Southern Comfort liqueur

1/2 ounce Tuaca liqueur

Splash sweet and sour

Splash Coca-Cola

Pour over ice in a rocks glass and stir. Garnish with a lemon wedge. Never stop believin'.

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