Drinking and Dating

The right beverage at the right place can help turn your vertical friend into a horizontal one.

" — Have coffee with you later," Beard finished.

I gave him the evil eye and walked to the bar. The bartender was dark-haired, slim, and exotic and called me "sweetie" the way a chain-smoking diner waitress might — except in an adorably saccharine timbre.  

"What's your best drink?" I asked.

Jason Crosby

Details

Mai-Kai, 3599 N. Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-563-3272, or click here.

Trina Restaurant and Lounge, 601 N. Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd., Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-567-8070, or click here.

Porterhouse Bar & Grill, 201 SW Second St., Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-522-1253.

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"The Cubeltini is popular — made of cucumbers, mint, sugar cane, syrup, lime, and vodka," she said. "It was created by a bartender here. It actually won first place in a recent Food and Wine competition."

By the time I got back to my table, a slew of our buddies had arrived, and we had fun people-watching and providing running commentary. As if to distract us from the other customers, the bartender brought over some Cubeltini samples, which we grabbed and gulped.

"Oh God, it's like liquefied cucumber," Fancy recoiled. 

"Not my thing," agreed Beard, who was moments away from ordering a plain old beer.The youngest of our group, baby-faced and freshly 21 years old, had gulped an entire sample.

"I liked it," he said pointedly.

Next thing we knew, he'd ordered a full glass from the bar and swigged it just as fast.

"Things are going to get interesting," muttered his boyfriend.

Well, Trina's certainly a ritzy place to get trashed, but I wasn't gonna stop him. Me, if I'm gonna get slammed, it's going to involve three-for-one drinks...

Porterhouse Bar & Grill: There are few locations on Himmarshee Street acceptable to bring a date that you still have to impress (i.e., haven't yet slept with). Porterhouse gets the Night Watch stamp of approval. Why? It boasts low, sexy lighting, glowing candles, heavy red curtains, wall sconces, gold-rimmed mirrors, velvet ropes outside the door (bonus points for feigned exclusivity), leather seats, and fancy glasses. More important, it has three-for-one cocktails (beers, house wines, and call-it wells) Tuesday through Saturday, 5 to 9 p.m. Eager to cut to the chase, I summoned the blond, slender bartender. She had heavy eyeliner and was decked out in a form-fitting, all-black ensemble.

"Say one needed a place to bring a date, get him trashed, and take advantage of him...," I began.

"We have three-for-one drinks, so I'd say this is a good place for that," she said wryly.

"Does that ever happen here?" I said innocently.

"As a responsible bartender, I can't divulge that," she said. "But they're full-sized drinks. Three drinks will inebriate some people, but others might need more."

"How about him?" I pointed at burly Beard, who was using the stir-straw in his drink to eviscerate a cherry.

"He might need a few more," she said.

"You'd be done after one," Beard snapped at me.

We would see about that. Considering that I don't recall much of what happened after that, I have to give it up for Beard: He called it.

Jason Crosby

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