When I walk into the Spaghetti Western (1608 Shepherd, 713-861-1313) and see Lupe the bartender proudly wearing a Styx World Tour 2002 T-shirt, I know he and I are going to be fast friends. I sit down at the bar and order two Italian margaritas -- one for me and one for my date, a tall, slender maiden who loves animals and the '80s speed-metal band Helloween. The walls are covered with posters of movies from the spaghetti western film genre, including Fistful of Dollars and Django. We have the option of watching the Astros lose on two TVs or Blazing Saddles on one. A gigantic jukebox, an espresso machine and countless inexplicable trophies round out the random-ass atmosphere. I love it. But not as much as I love my hot date, because after a couple of rounds of Italian margaritas, she says it's time to go home and make out to Helloween's epic album Keeper of the Seven Keys, Part 1. Speed metal and sex? At this point I decide I just might have to marry this girl. We exit quickly after downing the last of our drinks, leaving Lupe a Mr. Roboto-size tip.

1 1/2 ounces Jose Cuervo tequila

3/4 ounce triple sec

1/2 ounce fresh-squeezed lime juice

1/2 ounce sugar water

1/2 ounce amaretto liqueur

Combine tequila and triple sec in a rocks glass. Mix together lime juice and sugar water in separate glass, then add to the drink. Top off with amaretto and ice. Come sail away, come sail away, come sail away with me!

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Chris Boyd