Amid Sixth Street’s bluster and noise, Austin’s clandestine Midnight Cowboy (313 E. Sixth; 512-843-2715) enables civilized discourse. The reservations-only speakeasy has even themed its new menu after the art of conversation (the Icebreaker, the Awkward Pause). General manager Tacy Rowland’s recommendation, the Paradox, is a dry, bitter, and lightly smoky spring sipper. Says Rowland, “It’s an adventurous study in appealing contrasts.” Now, that’s a talker.
1½ ounces Campari
1 ounce orange juice
½ ounce blended Scotch
1 dash hopped grapefruit bitters
2 ounces framboise lambic
Shake all but lambic for 4 seconds with ice, then strain over one large ice cube into a double-old-fashioned glass. Top with lambic; stir gently to combine.