It’s remarkable that no one in Houston was serving a Frosé Altuve before William Area, bartender at new Montrose patio bar/restaurant Lotti Dotti, coined the name—and immediately won the heart of beverage director Michael Riojas.
“I said, Done, we’re doing it,” he recalls. “I was like, God, I love you.”
Lotti Dotti is the brainchild of Riojas and chef Adam Dorris, formerly of Ladybird’s and Presidio, respectively. “My goal here is just to make a solid neighborhood bar,” says Riojas. “This little nook, this edge of the universe that is Montrose—there’s no bar like this over here.”
Riojas cut his teeth a decade ago at the original Beaver’s, where he used to experiment with the lone frozen drink machine. Now he has eight to play with, and the result is a list of inventive slushy cocktails, many with Houston-centric names like Slime in the Ice Machine (tequila, cachaça, matcha, makrut lime, pineapple), Dream Shake (orange-infused spiced rum, orange and lemon juices, pandan syrup), and Be Someone (lavender-infused vodka, lemon, falernum).
The Frosé Altuve—made with Ludi Neiss Blanc de Noir, a German rosé, and Singani 63, a Bolivian brandy, plus fresh mango, strawberry, and lemon juices—is light and gently sweet. “The rosé we use is super-dry and acidic,” says Riojas, “so it really balances out all the fruit that we use to make the drink.”
It’s the perfect cocktail to sip while hanging out on Lotti Dotti’s patio, nibbling on peppery salami finocchiona, apple brandy pâté, and a cheese or two—we like the ripe sheep’s-milk selection from Spain and the aged raw Monterey Jack from a farm in Waco. Or order Dorris’s stellar cheeseburger and top it with pork belly, maybe an egg or some bacon.
While this cool hangout is named for the Slick Rick song—you know the one, la di da di, we like to party—it’s more than a frozen-drink party bar. It’s also a family-friendly neighborhood establishment and a no-fuss date-night spot. Riojas says he already has regulars, and that he and Dorris are considering offering a short kid’s menu.
Is it possible the place will get a visit from the man himself, the drink’s diminutive namesake? You never know. The bar has been tagging the Astros infielder alongside photos of the icy concoction. “I think someone told me that he doesn’t drink,” says Riojas, laughing. “But I said, Man, we got burgers!”