Lemongrass Makes the Girl Go Round

Every first Monday of the month our very own Pete Freedman serves as DJ for the Libertine Bar on Greenville Avenue. During the Local Hang ol' Playlister P plays nothing but local music (naturally) and so, being a fan of quality music played where I can eat and drink, I wanted to head out to support him. Though--I must admit--I had additional enticements.

Not only is there cream of jalapeno soup on the current menu, but a fellow drinker (girl and otherwise) and maven of Heartless Doll as well as Classy Cocktails with the Girl on Top (yes, that very Girl on Top) had given me a gift. She had come up from Austin a little while prior and had purchased, for me, a beer. And said beer was recorded up on the Buy-a-Friend-a... chalkboard that hangs above the glossy varnish of the Libertine's long bar. I had always wanted a drink dedication--I think the idea is totally fun. Like an alcoholic and platonic valentine, a perfect surprise when you think you only have the scrap for one drink, but realize someone's made it possible for you to have two. Or, if you're like me and have a slight problem handling too much attention or gift-getting, it's a subtle gift that makes you feel special but not spotlit.

So, you see, my mission was two-fold: Claim my delicious free beerlentine and support a friend rocking the local music.

But alas, I was sideswiped when I walked in and there was no sign of my name--or Andrea Grimes'--on that awesome chalkboard. I sat down. I got up and looked again. I sat back down. I got flustered. I thought about what to do. Our waitress was standing at the pass and I approached. I asked about my missing Stella Artois and told her my very trustworthy colleague had left me a beer--there were witnesses--and mightn't there be another chalkboard upon which my dedication was written? I was, after all, under strict orders to Twitpic that shit up when I collected my winnings.

But the waitress looked at the board and said apologetically that there was no secondary board. She also offered that since there were four other Stella gifts upon it that what may have happened was someone erased the wrong dedication line. Then she offered to buy me one...which was totally sweet.

As we waited for Pete to fire up the jams, our food arrived (get the cream of jalapeno soup while it's still on the menu!) and I perused the House Infused Cocktails menu. Something caught my eye: the word "lemongrass." Specifically, "Lemongrass Cocktail - Lemongrass & lime-infused vodka topped w/ white cranberry." Um, yes, please.

Our server assured us that it was, in fact, a bad-ass drink and brought it back (with red crans understudying for white ones) quickly. I took a sip and was so in love it was foolish. It was light, tart, refreshing, fresh, just on the strong side and...freakin' whimsical. It is, after more than a year at this, my favorite Girl Drink Drunk discovery.

So, of course, I had to share my joy. I picked up Jessica one night when snow had crippled her powerlines and took her to the Libertine. We ate Muenster fries and drank. The bar was out of the pineapple vodka she digs so I went with the lemongrass cocktail, oh, three times over (careful, it is really easy to drink quickly) and discovered something else amazing about it: I didn't have a world-cursing hangover the next day. And that's after I ate the liquor-swollen cranberries at the bottom of my glass. Not only was it pert and smooth to drink, but it kept it's cool the next day and without putting the slightest bit of hair on my tongue.

You know, now that I think about it, maybe that Stella was--even in it's stolen form--the best drinkable gift. Without it, I'd never have looked at the drinks and happened upon my lemongrass love.

Oh, and Pete's DJing next Monday night from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. if you want to do double-duty and support local music whilst jammin' on lushy lemongrass. Maybe someone will put your name on the board.

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Merritt Martin
Contact: Merritt Martin