Over four days from June 14-June 17 a new spirits festival will take Dallas by storm, celebrating all things boozy and including some of the best mixologists in the city and the state, Craft Cocktails Texas. The growing interest in high-end cocktails created with whimsy using quality spirits and fresh mixers inspired the event, sure to introduce guests to creations, flavors, presentations and ideas they would have never imagined before. The educational cocktail party will also give back with a portion of proceeds from Craft Cocktails Texas will benefit the Youth Foundation of the American Heart Association. Founded by Brian McCollough and Nico Ponce, Ponce notes:
The event is a four day festival featuring seminars, tastings, and cocktail parties, and is a celebration of the growing movement of craft cocktails, prohibition and pre-prohibition cocktails, and the utilization of artisan spirits in cocktail dens and restaurants across our state. 3 years ago there were only two or three true mixology programs in Texas and now we’re getting close to 50. This is changing the way that people are drinking across our state and we’re celebrating and embracing the new (old) direction that cocktails are headed.
Consider this situation: Yesterday afternoon at 3:51PM, Jasper Russo, Director of Wine Marketing at Sigel’s, sent out an email. Subject line: Introducing TX Blended Whiskey from F&R Distillery in Fort Worth, TX. Opening line: “Leonard Firestone and Troy Robertson have joined their passion and vision to produce distinct premium Texas whiskey from the only artisanal bourbon distillery in North Texas.”
I received another email from Russo at 4:20PM. Subject line: Bourbon controversy.Content: As soon as my email about Firestone & Robertson TX Whiskey hit, I was inundated with complaints from customers crying foul and telling me that Bourbon was not Bourbon unless it was made in Bourbon County, Kentucky. While my Spirits Buyer (Andy Hubbard) assured me that this was not the case, I went to Wikipedia for backup. (Really, Jasper? Don’t you have Jim Beam’s cell number?) Bonus content: Bourbon trivia from Andy- Jack Daniels cannot be labeled as Bourbon, not because it is made in Tennessee, but rather because it is filtered through charcoal.
I’ve heard bourbon referred to as whiskey and whiskey called bourbon. Correct me if I’m wrong: bourbon is classified as a whiskey but not all whiskey is bourbon. My heavens, drinking brown is so complicated. Go white!
Jump for the info on the small-batch whiskey from the only artisanal bourbon distillery in Texas.9 Comments »
The dates for one of the area’s most interesting events is set. On August 12- 13, the Four Seasons Resort & Club Dallas at Las Colinas will host the 8th Annual Texas Sommelier Conference. The three-day conference includes educational sessions, wine tastings, and social media workshops. The 2011 TexSom conference featured the largest contingent of Master Sommeliers at a public event. This year should be no different. However, you don’t have to be any kind of sommelier to buy a seat. Some of the names you can rub shoulders with include:
Scheduled Master Sommeliers include James Tidwell, Drew Hendricks, Wayne Belding, Brett Zimmerman, Guy Stout, Tim Gaiser, Laura Williamson, Keith Goldston, Nate Ready, Melissa Monosoff, Brian Cronin, Cameron Douglas, John Szabo, Geoff Kruth, Laura DePasquale, Jay Fletcher, Andrew McNamara, Peter Neptune and Greg Harrington. The speaker lineup also includes James Beard Award Winners Rajat Parr and Paul Grieco, Master of wine Christy Canterbury, wine marketer Paul Wagner, Union Square Hospitality Group Wine Director John Ragan, and Leonetti Cellar Owner Chris Figgins.
The seminar topics, times, and various ticket prices are listed below. For more information or to register, click here. Like, fast. Continue reading "The 8th Annual Texas Sommelier Conference: Registration is Open!"1 Comment »
One of our new summer interns, Teo Soares, loves beer, so we sent him off on his first assignment to the 2nd Annual North Texas Beer Festival. Looks like he survived.
“We’ll compete for shelf space, we’ll compete for tap handles, but in the end we’re all friends,” said Kendra Harrell, a sales manager for Saint Arnold Brewing Company. “We’re not going to rumble.” She paused. “Although, you know, maybe I will.”
Saint Arnold was one of fifty breweries at last Saturday’s North Texas Beer Festival, which drew about 4,500 visitors to the Irving Convention Center at Las Colinas. Jim Campbell from Andrews Distributing Company opened the Festival by presenting a $5,000 check to Honor Flight DFW, a local nonprofit that sponsors all-expense paid trips for veterans of World War II to the conflict’s memorial in Washington D.C. Before leaving the stage, Campbell reminded visitors to bid on a silent auction (which would eventually raise an additional $5,000 for the organization) and told us to drink.1 Comment »
I know, I know. You’ve been waiting on pins and needles for Part II of Beers With Friends. But consider this an extra, in which I give you a run down of the various American Craft Beer Week activities. It all starts on Monday. I’ll break it up by day, and then maybe tell you which ones my expert, Michael, and I are most interested in checking out. Armed with excellent tolerance (debatable, in reference to myself) and tastebuds (definitely, in reference to Michael), we will boldly go where several of you are probably also and already going. Check back for specifics from Strangeways, and as always, add more ideas in the comments.
Lucky’s supporters are gathered at The Chesterfield right now, grateful as ever that Lucky is back. One faithful customer (who usually visits the bar 2 to 3 times a week) told me that he hasn’t been back to The Chesterfield ever since Lucky got kicked out. (Except for this one time when he dropped in to tell The Chesterfield he wasn’t coming back ’til Lucky was reinstated.)
“No Eddie, no us!” declared the gentleman. Well, sir, it looks like Lucky isn’t going to budge without a fight.
Last Thursday, Ed Bailey, majority owner of The Chesterfield, called the police and attempted to have one of his minority owners, Eddie “Lucky” Campbell, removed from the premises. The operation failed.
According to Campbell, Gary Van Gundy, president of Edward C. Bailey Enterprises, showed up with an attorney a little before 3PM today and the police were asked to have Campbell removed. “Yes, they’re here right now,” said Campbell from his cell phone. “They are trying to have me removed from the property.” Campbell showed the officers the lease which is in Campbell’s name. “They tried to say I was trespassing,” Campbell said. “But I’m not.”
Bailey and Campbell are locked in a bitter battle over how to operate the Chesterfield. Both teams are lawyered up and won’t get into specifics. Bailey owns 51% of the business but his name is not on the lease agreement. “Look, I’m here right now and I’m starting a huge all-night happy hour starting at 5:30 today. I am reinstating the staff that Bailey fired and those who walked out in disgust,” Campbell said. “These people have kids and need to work. Our disagreement is a private matter about business and I want to get it resolved.”
I asked him how he planned to run a business with an unhappy partner. “It’s difficult,” Campbell said. “I’m not a lawyer. Ed and I disagree on how to run this business. As far as I’m concerned, I’m still operating The Chesterfield.”19 Comments »
Good heavens, Walnut Hill and Central is turning into Booze Row. Centennial has been on the corner for a long time and Spec’s, the ginaormous liquor and wine store, opened there in mid-December. This morning comes news that Total Wine & More will open in “early summer” just a few blocks down (or up) from Spec’s. (Note: They’re hiring!) This will be the chain’s first store in Texas and 80th overall location. Here is their claim:
“Total Wine will offer a greater selection of wines, spirits, and beer in its store than any retailer in Dallas.”
Yow. Zah. That’s ballsy. I guess we’ll wait and see. Oh wait, Co-Owner and President David Trone has something to say:
“Total Wine & More will offer a shopping experience unlike any other in Dallas. We feature wine from nearly every wine-growing region in the world, as well as a tremendous selection of spirits from every price range, and a diverse offering of beers, from America’s most popular beers to hard-to-find microbrews and imports. I believe Dallas residents will be surprised and amazed when they first enter our store.”
Bring it, Hoss. We’ll be the judge. Say, how much Texas wine are you bringing?6 Comments »
First, a few St. Patrick’s Day fun facts:
St. Patrick wasn’t Irish.
Almost 37 million Americans claim Irish ancestry. (The rest just pretend on March 17.)
Nearly 13 million pints of Guinness are consumed on St. Patrick’s Day.
There are four towns in the United States named “Shamrock.” Texas has one of them.
My sister used to eat all the marshmallows out of the Lucky Charms box growing up.
Now, without further ado, we present a guide to boozing on the mean green holiday, organized by our favorite ‘hoods. We know we’ve left off some great bars that will be hosting great times (great time = green Irish beer, Celtic jams, and corned beef and cabbage), but this is just a little taste from a few different DFW territories.
We sent intern Karley Osborn out to brave a bartending championship in Grapevine on a Sunday night. What a trooper.
Two nights ago, while the rest of you were crying in your living rooms over Meryl Streep’s Oscar speech, I was cheering alongside the corporate world of TGI Friday’s as flair bartenders from nine of the chain’s international restaurants competed to become the “Greatest Bartender in the World.” Er, more specifically, the greatest TGI Friday’s bartender in the world.
The Gaylord’s Glass Cactus was decked out for the event’s 21st year like any 21-year-old’s birthday party venue should be with inflatable noise clappers, flashing strobe lights, and party anthems that sounded out of place until the drinks started flowing. Fans, friends, and family of the nine competitors helped themselves to fancified bar fixings like portabella sliders and fried jalapeno peppers as the competition introductions began around 7:00 p.m.
Jump for some Enrique Iglesias action.
Continue reading "TGI Friday’s World Bartender Championship Feat. Enrique Iglesias"
Kinky Friedman showed up for his gig last night at AllGood Café with comedian Ruth Buzzi. Yes, the Ruth Buzzi from Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In. Buzzi lives west of Fort Worth on a 220-acre ranch where she and her husband raise cattle and quarter horses. Here is a brief note from Allgood Café owner Mike Snider:
In the course of a 1 hour + show, Kinky referenced: Zorro, Batman, Johnny Cash, Willie, Lone Star Cafe in NYC, albinos, Rick Perry (of course), Molly Ivins, Barbara Jordan, Jim Nabors, Muhammed Ali, Townes Van Zandt, Ira Hayes and so many more I can’t remember. He brought Ruth Buzzi onstage from the audience to tell the story of how she once cut Kinky’s hair back in the 70s.
Kinky is in town promoting his Man In Black tequila. SideDish reporter Haley Hamilton is meeting with him at 2PM for a tasting. Good times.
“This is not New Age Mexican Mouthwash like some of the stuff that has reached the market over the past 20 years or so,” Kinky said. “It is not smoothed out by multiple filtering and tailored to what some marketing guys think Americans want. It’s the real deal and naturally smooth because we start with mature agave.”
Did he just say “mature?” If you’d like to taste Kinky’s tequila and hear him sing, head over to Allgood Café on Sunday, February 12. All I know is that it is an “evening performance.” Deets to follow. Check out Kinky’s liquor here.2 Comments »