"I tell people I vote, but I never do," my friend tells me. "I think you should vote, but I don't do it." We're at 360 Sports Lounge watching Election Day returns on a big screen in the corner and sipping on one of the bar's specialties, Tuaca infused with pineapple. (It's as sweet as it sounds, like a fresher version of a pineapple upside-down cake shot. Not bad, if you're into that.) Out of curiosity, we had been looking for a place where at least some folks -- Republicans -- would be partying on a damp Tuesday night. We found them at 360 Sports Lounge (4601 Washington, 713-677-0398), a sleek cavern of a sports bar that recently moved in on the west side of the Washington strip.
360 offers food and plenty of TVs, and tonight, a dapper, older group is in a private room off to the side celebrating the victory of at least one GOP judicial candidate (Reece Rondon) with sandwich trays and drinks. "I mean, if I work for a campaign, and I get 600 people to vote for my candidate, that's doing something," my friend continues, eyes glued to the muted TV displaying Sarah Palin's electoral analysis on Fox News. A couple of groups of revelers from the nearby party are also gathered around the television. "But if it's just me, I might as well mash my junk on the machine and hit 'Cast Ballot.' That's how much one vote matters."
We're not technically crashing the party, but we do look more like off-duty help than country-club members, and my buddy is talking about literally voting with his penis. When he starts cursing over Wisconsin's Russ Feingold losing his Senate seat to a Republican, I figure it'd be more pleasant to break from the elephant herd and watch some basketball at the bar.
Pineapple-Infused Tuaca at 360 Sports Lounge
- 3 ounces pineapple-infused Tuaca
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Cut up fresh pineapple and submerge in a sealable container of Tuaca. Seal tight and let it sit away from sunlight for about five days. After that, squeeze the juice out of the pineapple into the container and discard the fruit. Strain the liquid through cheesecloth. To serve, shake over ice and strain into a cocktail glass.