Can a rum be good enough to sip on its own like you might a scotch or tequila?
Brugal Rum thinks so, and I spent the past week in the Dominican Republic, home of Brugal, experiencing how. I say experience instead of simply saying I tasted or learned about Brugal, because to be a part of Brugal, tasting the product, meeting the people (many who are 4th and 5th generation, or have been with the company 30+ years), and understanding the process is so much more than simply seeing how their product is made. It was the joyful culmination of the Dominican Republic spirit, as the country, the culture, the tradition, the people, the plentiful sugar cane, and the stunning waters of the Caribbean are as much a part of Brugal as the rum. As they say, “it is a country where conversations start with a bottle in hand and not a cell phone.” I was an invited guest of the company to see first hand how this spirit is made, traveling from one end of the country to the other to experience Brugal. Continue reading "What To Drink Now: Brugal Rum"5 Comments »
I sit very close to ShopTalk’s Raya Ramsey, so I know how good she smells. Even her desk smells like flowers and rainbows. Anyways, that bit of randomness has nothing to do with the fact that Raya will be at DISH this Wednesday for a little cocktail competition as a “guest bartender.” Try the drink she’s representing, Jasmin Garden, then vote for your favorite. RSVP to rsvp@dish-dallas before tomorrow.
This is the year of the “skinny cocktails.” They are everywhere. It is understandable; we are getting into swimsuit season, and 90 degrees in May tells me it is going to stick around for a while, so the necessity to enjoy refreshing cocktails is high, and the fact that they might be figure-friendly is a bonus. I have been testing recipes and pre-mixed drink selections lately to see if these “skinny cocktails” are as tasty as they say they are, and some certainly are….they do, however, not lack calories. They are lower than some of the typical summertime drinks like a pina colada or frozen margarita, but it’s not like drinking a cup of green tea or diet soda. Follow the jump for a few favorites from the bunch I’ve been testing. Some selections were sent for editorial consideration. Continue reading "What to Drink Now: The Skinny on Skinny Cocktails"5 Comments »
Thanks to On The Border who showed up today with a surprise cocktail treat bucket and an invitation to join them for their big Cinco de Mayo celebration tomorrow. If you have a favorite tequila, from Patron to Casa Noble to Milagro to Sauza, they have a cocktail for you. Looks like their “Perfect Patron” with Patron Silver, Patron Citronge and Fresh Lime Agave Sour is ideal to quench any thirst on this hot Cinco de Mayo weekend. Live music starts at 5:30 tomorrow at their Addison location with Le Freak; $5 cover charge and drink specials all night.2 Comments »
This Saturday is a cocktail play-land for spirit lovers with the Kentucky Derby and Cinco de Mayo happening the same day, and what better way to celebrate them both than with tasty libations that are slightly outside the box of what you might typically enjoy on these festive occasions. Yes, the tried and true margaritas and mint juleps will always remain on the menu, but this year consider one of these combinations while watching the 138th running of the Kentucky Derby or toasting Mexico’s El Dia de la Batalla de Puebla or The Day of the Battle of Puebla, when Mexican forces defeated the French in 1862. Some selections were sent for editorial consideration.
Tequila is the most well known spirit from Mexico, but for coffee lovers it doesn’t get any better than Kahlua, the rich, expressive and delicious coffee liqueur from Veracruz, Mexico. Delicious on its own, simply served over ice; stirring it together with a bit of vodka for a Black Russian, or adding cream for the much loved White Russian; or mixed in with your favorite cup of coffee. Try the Cinnamon Spice Kahlua, inspired by a Meixcan Café de Olla, blending coffee with brown sugar and cinnamon, it will turn any plain cup into an exotic Mexican coffee. Continue reading "What To Drink Now: The Kentucky Derby and Cinco de Mayo All In One Glorious Day"2 Comments »
Sorry, I think I meant that it is on a Saturday. That means I don’t have to find an excuse to celebrate. I do have to find a drink however. To that end, I asked some fancy pants resorts in Mexico what I could drink if I were in their bar. They sent me recipes. Get your tequila out and join me.1 Comment »
Does the image of sitting on a porch swing on a spring evening with a cool glass of iced tea conjure up happy memories of a time gone by, somewhat like you stepped into a scene from “To Kill a Mockingbird?” One sip of Belvedere’s new Lemon Tea Vodka will take you there with intense flavors of green and black tea mixed with a bit of chamomile, fresh lemon, ginger and honey. Last night in another picture perfect setting, the pool on the 10th floor of The Joule Hotel, Claire Smith, Head of Spirit Creation and Mixology, introduce the latest flavor in Belvedere’s vodka portfolio just introduced at the beginning of the month. I was an invited guest to the event. Continue reading "What To Drink Now: Belvedere Lemon Tea"
I was talking with a friend of mine who recently spent an evening sampling cocktails at The Chesterfield. She was in a group of four gals and they decided to try one too many. Knowing her, it was more like four too many, but here is her dilemma.
“I don’t know if it is a factor of age [she’s 55!] or the fact that I ingested rum, vodka, gin, bourbon combined with various liqueurs, bitters, flowers, juices, and twists, but I couldn’t get out of bed the next day. I swear all totaled I had maybe 3 drinks. The mixologist deal is out of my league I guess. Do you pick one and stay with it or switch. Am I just too old for this trend?
I say pick one and stick with it and stick to one. But this subject brings up the obvious, time-wasting question: What alcohol combination resulted in the worst hangover of your life? Mine? Tequila Sunrise: the movie and the drink. Twenty years later I still shudder at the sound.
Though we never really had a winter, spring is definitely in the air with baby birds hatching, trees budding, tulips and iris’ filling gardens throughout the city, and menus getting lighter, fresher and greener. To pair with these lightened up menus look no further than at the fresh herbs or the fruit aisle at your local market for inspiration, or simply pop open an always delicious bottle of bubbly, both will do the trick to get you in the springtime mood. Here are a few ideas, some selections were sent for editorial consideration.
Champagne, Prosecco, Cava, Cremant, Sparkling Wine….whichever you prefer, a bubble is always the perfect aperitif or accompaniment to any menu, enjoyed from morning to night, especially when you find a low alcohol one that allows easy consumption from morning into the night.
I was recently invited and traveled to Spain with Segura Viudas for a full scale immersion into the world of making Cava (more on this to come) and found the crisp, dry Brut Cava to be an ideal accompaniment to anything from grilled spring onions, baby artichokes and white asparagus, to fresh green pea soup, to a simple snack of olives, almonds and lots of shaved Iberico ham. Continue reading "What To Drink Now: Spring Sparklers and Cocktails"
I visited Ireland last year and looked everywhere for green cocktails and green beer to raise a glass with in celebration of St. Patrick and the Irish, however all I found were rows and rows of Guinness taps and lots of Irish whiskey. If you are in the mood to celebrate like the Irish consider going classic with a pint of Guinness Stout, or maybe a Heineken, O’Hara or a Harp Lager (also popular at every pub from Dublin to Galway). If however, you do want to enjoy a tasty green beverage to celebrate your inner leprechaun, consider mixing up one of these tasty creations.
One of my favorite new finds is Caorunn Gin, a new, handcrafted, small batch distilled in from Ireland’s neighbor, Scotland, infused with 5 Celtic botanicals; heather, bog myrtle, rowan berry, dandelion and coul blush apple. A spirit filled with crisp and clean herbal notes, delicious simply sipped with tonic water and a few slices or red or green apple. I liked the green apple, especially to keep in the St. Patrick’s Day spirit. Continue reading "What To Drink Now: St. Patty’s Day"2 Comments »
Loren Means files the following report on 1888, a dirty martini mix made in Dallas.
As a long-time lover of dirty martinis, Dallasite Kenneth Hamburger II found too many of them were unpredictable. While some hit the mark, others tasted more like ocean water. Sometimes they would vary drastically in the same evening even though they were ordered from and mixed by the same bartender. After Hamburger was laid off by Lamborghini in 2008, he decided to come up with a cure for the inconsistent dirty martini. His inspiration? Hah, it sounds so easy. Now.6 Comments »
You like brunch, I like brunch, we all like brunch.
CampO Modern Country Bistro is now offering brunch Saturdays and Sundays from 10 am to 2 pm with European and Latin American-inspired dishes like the Torta Rustica (puff pastry layered crust with egg, kale and goat cheese) and sweet corn griddle cakes (whipped cream, smoked maple, and candied bacon) pictured above. No idea what the Torta Española, Croque Monsieur 1910, and Croque Madame with fried egg looks like, but their names sound good enough to try.
Those with hangovers need not worry; helper cocktails include the North Bloody Mary (oyster, shrimp and house pickled celery), Michelada, Hot Tin Roof (bay leaf infused cachaca, cane sugar, lime, ginger) and the signature CampO Pisco. For reservations, call 214-946-1308.
Happy Fat Tuesday! Traditionally, this is a day to eat heartily, drink heavily and celebrate on this last day of Carnival before the start of Lent, or 40 days of fasting, which for many means giving up meat (“carne vale” or farewell to meat), giving up drinking or some other wonderful indulgence.
So, to enjoy this last day of festivities fully, great cocktails are required, and what is better than the most traditional flavors from the land of Mardi Gras in the US, New Orleans, as well as Brazil, Peru, even Mexico? Mix one up and raise your glass high to toast this Fat Tuesday.
Pat O’Brien’s is perhaps the most well-known bar in New Orleans, famous for its hurricane. It has been a staple of the community since the early 1940′s when Pat O’Brien was trying to use up a large supply of rum he had bought and then created what has become the very famous hurricane.
2 oz light rum, like Ron Brugal Blanco
2 oz dark rum, like Ron Abuelo Anejo
2 oz passion fruit juice
1 oz orange juice
juice of a half a lime
1 Tbsp simple syrup
1 Tbsp grenadine
orange slice and cherry for garnish
Directions: Squeeze juice from half a lime into shaker over ice. Pour the remaining ingredients into the cocktail shaker. Shake well. Strain into a hurricane glass. Garnish with a cherry and an orange slice. Continue reading "What To Drink Now: Happy Fat Tuesday!"
On the continued trend of every cocktail and spirit having its own day, Saturday marks Pisco Sour Day. Celebrated annually the first Saturday of February this day celebrates the Peruvian spirit Pisco, shaken or blended with lime, simple syrup and a bit of egg white to create the ideal refreshment on a hot summer day (it is summer in Peru.) Earlier this week Johnny Schuler, a.k.a. Mr. Pisco, visited Dallas to make make sure we are ready to celebrate the occasion. I had a chance to visit with Schuler at Bolsa to learn more about pisco and why he has spent the last 35 years making it the fifth white spirit of the world, “more flavorful than vodka, not as strong as tequila.” Continue reading "What To Drink Now: Happy Pisco Sour Day"
One of the sponsors of the San Antonio Cocktail Conference was CINCO Vodka. The vodka, made in San Antonio, is distilled, blended and filtered in small batches. This Saturday, owner and founder, Richard N. Azar III, will be in town to offer free samples at Sigel’s Elite (3209 N. Fitzhugh – in uptown). The tasting will take place from 1pm to 4pm. Bottles (750ml) retail for $21.99 and an autograph from the founder is free. Sounds like a chance to stock up for the Super Bowl to me.
In case you need something to do with a bottle of vodka, I’ve got a recipe for something that can be created during one of the advertising breaks. Jump for it! Continue reading "Texas-Made CINCO Vodka Founder Will be in Dallas Saturday! Samples!"
Tito Beveridge (that’s his real name) is an unlikely character to be competing with the likes of Smirnoff, Belvedere, and Absolut when it comes to makig vodka. He’s a former petroleum industry geologist who went to UT. He worked in the US and South America before he switchied to mortgage banking. All the while, he nursed an interest in making spirits. If you knew him when, you probably were a recipient of a gift which contained his latest homemade vodka. When the mortgage market hit a downturn in the early 90s, he decided to turn his hobby into his occupation.
I’d say he made a monumental move. Jump for his story.6 Comments »
I have just returned from San Antonio where I was a guest of the San Antonio Convention and Visitors Bureau. I was invited to cover the San Antonio Cocktail Conference held at the Sheraton Gunter Hotel. The hotel is allegedly haunted. I can now vouch for what I thought to be a preposterous suggestion. I saw many spirits during my stay.
This was the first Cocktail Conference held in Texas. Top bartenders, excuse me, mixologists, came together from all over the state and country. There were four days of guided tastings, educational seminars, and, of course, cocktail parties. Sme of the classes were “How It All Started in Texas: Tito Beveridge,” “The Science of Flavor: How Biology, Genetics and Psychology Affect Your Perception of Flavor in Cocktails,” and “Making Cocktails in the Home. ” I’ll attempt to pull together several reports this week.
Starting with one below.4 Comments »
I keep reading articles and seeing stories on the power of juicing…the healthful, detoxing, rejuvenating, refreshing blends of high quality, raw fruits, vegetables and herbs juiced and blended into tasty concoctions, especially during this awards season as A-Lister’s forgo solid food to fit into couture gowns, and the rest of us try to get over an indulgent holiday season.
The word is that Starbucks is considering entering the juice world, but not before our own Central Market gets into the act. From apple, carrot and ginger juice, to red beet, strawberry and rhubarb juice – the flavor combinations and options are endless, and the healthful benefits are amazing.8 Comments »
We have just passed the best time of the year for film fans, as Hollywood shines in November and December with some of the best movies of the year. And, over the next few weeks SAG, Critics’ Choice, Golden Globes, People’s Choice and of course, the prized Academy Awards, will be handed out to celebrate the films of 2011….and with the awards come the galas and the dresses and the jewelry and the flare and the festivities with hours and hours of best and worst dressed shows wrapping around every awards event.
Be a part of the fun with cocktails fashioned after this year’s favorite films. From Girl With The Dragon Tatoo to The Decendants to My Week With Marilyn to The Artist to Harry Potter to 50/50 to Albert Knobbs to W/E, this was an impressive year in film. Here are a few ideas matching my favorite films of the year.
Smoking Dragon Shot
Combine Lucid, Melon liqueur, lemon-lime soda and pineapple with ice and shake. Strain into a chilled shot glass and drizzle grenadine into the mix. Continue reading "What To Drink Now: Oscar Worthy Cocktails"
The Concept: Sundown at Granada is the Granada Theater‘s neighboring restaurant and bar with a long list of draft beers and hand-crafted cocktails. Although I’m sure you can grab a bite pre-show, I would be filled with panic watching a line get longer next door while shoveling down the last forkfulls of food and chugging the rest of a beer. This is a perfect spot, however, to discuss your favorite act post-performance and perhaps mingle with band members, who are sure to wander over for a bite.
Who’s There: Thirty-somethings interested in enjoying some quality time together. (Rather than 20-somethings hollering over their third round of Jager bombs.)6 Comments »