Autumn Leaves at Victor Tangos (photography by Matthew Shelley)
I spent the last week researching bars serving up holiday cocktails in Big D. Then photographer Matthew Shelley and I made our way around town to give them a look and a taste. Here’s our toast to our new favorite holiday-inspired cocktails. Cheers.
Black Swan Saloon's Pecan Pie Flip
VICTOR TANGOS Order: Autumn Leaves What is it?: A whiskey drink with orange and mint notes Ingredients:
Angostura and Peychaud Bitters
Flamed orange disk
Mint sprig Tastes like: Our favorite new drink. The caramelized orange and crushed mint that top the drink create an olfactory experience as delightful as drinking the spiced whiskey mix.
BLACK SWAN SALOON Order: Pecan Pie Flip What is it?: Pecan-infused bourbon martini Ingredients:
Pecan, vanilla bean, and chamomile-infused bourbon
Drizzle of maple syrup
Heavy whipping cream
Whole egg Tastes like: What pecan pie should be: creamy, sweet, nutty, and buzz-producing. It also happens to be the cocktail that inspired the creation of this list.
Mulled Wine and Homemade Eggnog available at BlackFriar Pub, Idle Rich Pub, and The Old Monk in Dallas (photography by Matthew Shelley)
BLACKFRIAR PUB, IDLE RICH PUB, and THE OLD MONK Order: Mulled Wine What is it?: Spiced wine, served warm Ingredients:
Cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, orange flavors
Carmelized sugar Tastes like: You should be in front of a fireplace on a bearskin rug. It soothed away all our cares. (Including work, sorry boss.)
BLACKFRIAR PUB, IDLE RICH PUB, and THE OLD MONK Order: Eggnog, available starting December 10 What is it?: Eggnog made from scratch Ingredients:
Secret eggnog recipe
House-spiced rum made at sister bar Renfield’s Corner Tastes like: Heaven. The consistency is spot-on: not too thin, not too thick. The rum complements the eggnog without destroying the creamy flavor.
The Boston Warmer and Dutch Leaf cocktails at The People's Last Stand (photography by Matthew Shelley)
THE PEOPLE’S LAST STAND Order: Boston Warmer What is it?: Warm, rum-spiked drink Ingredients:
Hibiscus tea syrup
Hot water Tastes like: Tea for grown-ups with discerning palettes.
Order: Dutch Leaf What is it?: Spiced gin martini Ingredients:
Nutmeg Tastes like: Christmas in a martini glass.
Things That Make You Go Hum and the Holiday Dark and Stormy at Private Social (photography by Matthew Shelley)
PRIVATE SOCIAL Order: Things That Make You Go Hum What is it?: A botanical-flavored concoction with absinthe Ingredients:
Demerara simply syrup
Lemon juice Tastes like: We’ll try to explain the flavor—sweet, floral, spicy, citrusy, exotic—but you’re better off just trying it yourself. Bartender Rocco Milano describes it best as a “culinary experience in a glass.”
Order: Holiday Dark and Stormy What is it?: A festive twist on the classic rum and ginger beer drink Ingredients:
House-made ginger beer
Vanilla simple syrup
All Spice Dram Tastes like: The original, but better, richer, warmer, and with a manly kick.
Rum Diary and Rum Cocoa at Pyramid Bar (photography by Matthew Shelley)
PYRAMID BAR Order: Rum Diary What is it?: Twist on the Hot Toddy Ingredients:
Spicy orange bitters
Steamed pineapple juice
Star anise pod Tastes like: Fall. The orange bitters, pineapple, and aromatic experience of the star anise, all warmed, are cozy.
Order: Rompope Hot Cocoa What is it?: A fusion of eggnog and hot chocolate, spiked Ingredients:
Santa Clara Rompope Mexican eggnog
10 Cane Rum
Hot cocoa Tastes like: Eggnog and hot chocolate. But better because it’ll get you buzzed.
Peppermint Crush from J. Black's and Candy Cane Martini at Primebar in Dallas (photography by Matthew Shelley)
J. BLACK’S Order: Peppermint Crush What is it?: Grown-up hot chocolate Ingredients:
Godiva Dark Chocolate Liqueur
Crushed peppermint Tastes like: A drink made in adult Candy Land. It’s the perfect balance of alcohol and dessert flavor.
PRIMEBAR Order up the: Candy Cane Martini What is it?: Peppermint martini Ingredients:
Godiva white chocolate liqueur
Candy cane Tastes like: Minty milk
Smoke Forbids from Cedars Social and the Cajun Christmas Shot at Hotel ZaZa's Dragonfly (photography by Matthew Shelley)
CEDARS SOCIAL Order: Smoke Forbids What is it?: Tequila concoction atop a house-smoked ice cube Ingredients:
Applewood-cured ice cubes
Lemon zest Tastes like: A tequila drink to start but melts into a smoky medley.
DRAGONFLY AT HOTEL ZAZA Order: Cajun Christmas Shot What is it?: Sweet-but-peppery shooter Ingredients:
Southern Comfort Firey Pepper
Cherry Heering liqueur
House-made almond simple syrup Tastes like: Cherry limeade with a peppery kick.
Mochatini from Eddie V's and It's a Wonderful Life from Charlie Palmer at the Joule (photography by Matthew Shelley)
EDDIE V’S Order: Mochatini What is it?: Chocolate coffee-flavored martini Ingredients:
Godiva chocolate liqueur
Espresso Tastes like: Alcoholic Starbucks without the cavity-inducing sugar rush.
CHARLIE PALMER AT THE JOULE Order: Forbidden Fruit What is it?: A pomegranate and acaí “wellness” martini Ingredients:
Simple Syrup Tastes like: Juice. We could chug this fruity confection all day long. (But that would be dangerous.)
Update: Pyramid Bar’s chocolate drink is called Rompope Hot Cocoa, not Rum Cocoa.
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SideDish is a food-related discussion among editors at D Magazine about the Dallas-Fort Worth dining scene -- everything from good meals to bad service, kitchen gossip to restaurant news, chefs' secrets to culinary trends. Bon appetit.