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Drink and confess: A bartender's sacred secrets revealed at Hotel Icon's Line & Lariat

Marcy, bottom's up, Hotel Icon, August 2012, bartender, bar
Houston Farris' cocktail, El Gran Éxito, is a merger between a mojito and a margarita; however, the flavors ensure it stands apart on its own. Photo by Joel Luks
Marcy, bottom's up, Hotel Icon, August 2012, cocktail
It's minty sour, though the lime and mint are tempered by the bitters. Photo by Joel Luks
Marcy, bottom's up, Hotel Icon, August 2012, bar
Farris shared an old bartenders' trick, his sure-fire way to cure hiccups. Soak a lemon wedge in Angostura Bitters and then bite into it. Hiccups-be-gone! Photo by Joel Luks

Bar patrons sometimes relieve stress by telling their troubles to the bartender. It's happy hour and confession rolled into one.

In the case of Houston Farris at L&L Bar in the Hotel Icon, this type of avowal takes on a new dimension. He's more qualified for this task than most; Farris is not only a bartender, but a minister, too.

While bartending may be a way to pay the bills, Farris is genuinely fascinated by the craft and enjoys the social aspect of the job.

"It's a great way to meet and talk to people from all across the world," he explains.

El Gran Éxito is a merger between a mojito and a margarita; however, the flavors ensure it stands apart on its own. It's minty sour, though the lime and mint are tempered by the bitters.

It's especially easy for Farris to be cosmopolitan working at L&L Bar. Alongside Line & Lariat Restaurant, it's located in the lobby of downtown's renowned Hotel Icon, which sees a steady stream of global clientele.

Recently redesigned by Duncan Miller Ullmann and inspired by the great rooms of some of Texas's most infamous ranches, the remodeled space features accents such as high back chairs emblazoned with the Texas flag and a community table with oil derrick legs. The congenial surroundings beckon you to grab a seat and kick back.

The state theme extends to the vast selection of brews and liquors crafted in the Lone Star State. And don't forget the exciting menu of house-made cocktails. Sip on drinks like the Third Coast Cooler with grapefruit infused gin and hints of jalapeno, and selections from a signature Manhattan menu. Or try one of Farris's own creations, like El Gran Éxito (translation: The Big Success).

El Gran Éxito is a merger between a mojito and a margarita; however, the flavors ensure it stands apart on its own. It's minty sour, though the lime and mint are tempered by the bitters. The falernum provides the right touch of sweet for balance. The end concoction is so good that it's one of the bar's most requested drinks.

To make your own El Gran Éxito:

  • 1 1/2 ounces blanco tequila
  • 1 ounce falernum
  • 1 ounce lime juice
  • 6 sizeable mint leaves
  • Several dashes of Angostura Bitters

Shake the tequila, falernum, lime juice and mint leaves on ice.  Strain into iced rocks glass. Layer Angostura Bitters on top as garnish. Watch the video (above) as Ferris demonstrates how he shakes up this delicious cocktail.

Bonus tip: Farris shared an old bartenders' trick, his sure-fire way to cure hiccups. Soak a lemon wedge in Angostura Bitters and then bite into it. Hiccups-be-gone!

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