Archive for August, 2013

Gin O’clock

Posted by    |    August 29th, 2013 at 1:10 am

G&T.  Bramble.  French 75.  Negroni.  Gimlet.  Aviation.  Gin Fizz.  Bee’s Knees.  Martini.  The list of amazing things you can do with gin are endless (and even include using it as mouthwash and an arthritis treatment — seriously).

Tanqueray is one of the usual suspects, and has been since the 1830s.  A genius mix of botanicals (juniper, coriander, licorice, and some other delicious things), Tanqueray is the perfect base for some really delicious cocktails.  

I treated my coworkers to Gin O’clock last week, and we had ourselves a great time (minus the gincident).  I tried my hand at a few recipes, which turned out pretty damn well (which is easy to do with the ingredients*).  Check ‘em out below.


TEN SOUTHSIDE

  • 1 mint sprig (more for garnish)
  • 0.5oz lime juice
  • simple syrup
  • 1.25oz Tanqueray
  • club soda

Muddle the mint, lime juice, and simple syrup.  Add Tanqueray and stir.  Pour into highball glass over crushed ice and top off with soda.  Garnish with mint.

TANQUERAY FIZZ SEASONAL “SIPPER”

  • half a lemon
  • fresh berries of your choice
  • 1.25oz Tanqueray
  • 0.5oz simple syrup
  • club soda

Crush the lemon in a shaker and lightly muddle the berries.  Add gin and simple, shake, and strain over ice in a highball glass.  Top off with club soda.

TANQUERAY BASIL SMASH

  • 2 parts Tanqueray
  • 1 part lemon juice
  • 1 part simple syrup
  • fresh basil leaves

Muddle basil leaves and lemon juice.  Add simple and gin.  Pour over ice in a short glass.  Garnish with basil leaves.

*My theory (which I ascribe to Sam White, is that good + good = really good.  It’s usually true.)

***I was given the bottle of Tanqueray to try out some of these scrumptious cocktails.***

Tasting in the Dark

Posted by    |    August 18th, 2013 at 9:27 pm

Close your eyes for one whole minute.  (No peeking!)  Take in the room.  Take a deep breath through your nose and smell the scents wafting around you.  Listen to the hum of your AC.  Feel the carpet beneath your feet.  Taste the flavors lingering on your tongue.  (If you can taste things on your tongue, then pop a breath mint.)

Losing a sense can make your other senses sharper.  With that premise, Tasting in the Dark was born.  A monthly tasting hosted by Henry “Hoby” Wedler at the Francis Ford Coppola Winery in California’s Alexander Valley, tasters are blindfolded* and led through a tasting of Coppola wines.  Between the decadent wine and the exquisitely eloquently commentary from Hoby, the experience is inimitable.

I was honored to have been invited to the Dallas stop of the Tasting in the Dark tour at SĒR in the Hotel Anatole. After my last experience with FFC Wines, I was happy to explore more of their offerings.  Hoby led our group through a tasting of four Coppola Diamond wines, two whites and two reds, and spoke with the group in detail about the smells, tastes, and textures of each.  We each ventured a guess what varietal of wine we had in-hand, but for the most part failed miserably, some of us at times even guessing the wrong color.

Our host, Hoby is a grad student at UC-Davis who founded a chemistry camp for the blind and hosts the FFCW’s monthly Tasting in the Dark, and is uniquely qualified to lead this tasting as he has been blind since birth.  Hoby’s descriptions of the wines is a thing of beauty.  This guy … can seriously turn a phrase.  He had our group so wicked hungry by the end of the tasting with his flowery descriptions of the meals that he’d recommend pairing with each wine.  Luckily, we had lunch waiting for us.

I’d love to regale you with the intense flavors of the wines we tasted, but since we were blindfolded, I wasn’t able to take notes.  That said, I’ll simply list the wines below, and encourage you to try each and every one because they were all delicious and worth a taste.  Take your time before diving in and explore the smells and flavors of each.  You’ll be surprised when you let the wines speak to you!

  • 2012 Diamond Sauvignon Blanc
  • 2012 Diamond Pinot Noir 
  • 2012 Diamond Chardonnay (Hoby recommends serving with seared pork belly)
  • 2011 Diamond Cabernet Sauvignon (Hoby recommends serving with a smoked burger with a brioche bun topped with avocados, caramelized onions, and smoked cheddar)

If you’re ever touring the Alexander Valley, make sure you make Francis Ford Coppola Winery a stop on your agenda. 

*These blindfolds were leGIT.  I couldn’t see s**t, and my eyes burned like a vampire’s at dawn when I took it off.

Dear John (err … TABC), I’m sorry that things ended…

Posted by    |    August 15th, 2013 at 10:43 am

Dear John (err … TABC),

I’m sorry that things ended the way they did. I know we had something really great … but you had to go and ruin it.  Was it me?  Was I getting fat?  Did I nag you too much?  For whatever reason you decided to leave, good riddance.  I’ve met someone else, and he’s really sexy, gets me drunk, and never makes me wait on him.

Love, 
Susie Drinks Dallas (and the rest of Dallas)

My new love is Boxwood Tap & Grill, one of Dallas’ newest bars in the beautifully remodeled 80-year-old TABC space.  With hardwood floors,  large area rugs, and soft lighting, you may feel as though you’re in your own living room noshing on snacks and sipping cocktails (but with an extremely loud party all around you and cocktails better than you could hope to make yourself).

The crowd it very Uptown, but skews older Uptown.  You’ll find plenty of dudes in suits after work and locals who schlepped the few blocks to the new neighborhood “hot spot”.

The menu by (the extremely pleasant) Chef Jason Wade is approachable, consists of sandwiches, salads, cheese plates, snacks, and entrees with some locally-sourced ingredients.  (The cheese plate comes with these pillows of herby goat cheese heaven that aren’t to be missed.)  Portion sizes seem pretty decent, but the “snacks” seem a bit small (though they’re pretty inexpensive, so they’ll still do … since they’re snacks and all).

The drink menu, while short, was created by Bar Manager Eddie Panozzo with a bit of help by cocktail master Jason Kosmas.  Here are my thoughts:

  • Nada Colada (roasted pineapple & cinnamon-infused rum, lime juice, coconut puree) | almost a non-frozen version of a pina colada, the cinnamon really comes out and give it a warmer taste
  • Peche 75 (gin, pureed peaches, lemon juice, prosecco) | the peach flavor is quite refreshing, but the prosecco seemed a bit like overkill.  I liked the touch of lemon juice to add a bit of complexity
  • Mule Thyme (vodka, thyme, lime juice, ginger beer) | BRING ME ANOTHER!  Zomg.  I do love a Moscow Mule, but the added herbiness made this a bit more exciting than the new staple
  • The Woods (rye whiskey, elderflower liqueur, Creole bitters, orange bitters) | Another drink that knocked it out of the park.  I wish I’d have had one all to myself, but my drinking buddy for the night had the extreme prowess to order it.  I wasn’t sure if the two different bitters flavors would fight too much, but they ended up blending beautifully and complimenting the whiskey.  GET THIS DRINK.

The beer menu offers a wide range of local, domestic, and import beers on tap and bottled.  Red and white wines along with a few sparkling wines.  I’d recommend the 90+ … because it’s awesome.  I didn’t have a chance to try the pitchers, but I plan to.

Once the weather cools down (which feels like it may never happen), this huge patio will be the place to be.  Large umbrellas, a full outdoor bar, plenty of seating, and some TVs make it … well, awesome.

Brunch will start soon, and I hope drink specials will follow.  Oh, and late night is a thing here.

Boxwood Tap 
www.boxwoodtg.com | @boxwoodtg
2901 Thomas Ave.
(214)220-2901

Monday – Sunday: 4PM – 2AM
Dinner Menu: 4PM – 11PM

Late Night Menu: 11PM – 1:30AM

The 2nd Floor Bistro (2FB) continues to surprise and impress me….

Posted by    |    August 13th, 2013 at 11:30 pm

The 2nd Floor Bistro (2FB) continues to surprise and impress me.  I was invited to a media dinner to try some of the new menu items from the new executive chef Daniel Tarasevich, Chef Scott Gottlich’s right hand man.  The food? Amazing.  I wasn’t feeling awesome that night, so I couldn’t manage more than a few bites of each delicious course … but what I ate, I liked loved.  Make sure you get your hands on some of the Hudson Valley foie gras mousse (this was some seriously delicious airy goodness) and a pork belly banh mai slider.

Now, let’s talk about the drinks, which they’ve done so well in the past.  We started with a few sips of the Rhum + Rhubarb, Paloma Shandy, and Cucumber Sip.  The Rhum + Rhubarb (barbancourt aged rum, rhubarb liqueur and syrup, muddled strawberry) was a pretty mind-numbingly awesome start to the meal with just the right amount of sweetness.  I’m not the biggest rum fan, but I’d drink this again (for realz).  The Paloma Shandy (agave nectar, beer, silver tequila, grapefruit juice, and ahi amarillo chile salt rim) was pretty … pretty interesting.  If you’re a regular reader (or friend*), you’re aware of my disdain for grapefruit and tequila (it’s nothing personal … college happened).  That said, I actually enjoyed this drink.  The beer was an unexpected addition and the grapefruit wasn’t overpowering.  I really loved the chile salt rim.  Lastly, the Cucumber Sip (Square One cucumber vodka, St. Germain, lime, strawberry) was amazeballs really good.  This is a drink I can really get on board with in the summer thanks to its refreshing flavors.  I’d liken it somewhat to a vodka Pimm’s Cup.

Next up: the seasonal sangria (more like san-great-a).  This drink was not only gorgeous, but it was some of the best sangria I’ve ever had (and I drink a lot of sangria when the mercury starts rising).  Packed with flavor, this glass of heaven will keep me coming back.

The rest of our meal offered wine pairings from Italy, Texas, and Spain (I felt like a world traveler by the end of the meal).  The pairings were a good sampling of the 2FB’s wine list‘s excellent selection.  They offer wines by the glass and bottle from Lodi, CA to Argentina to Australia.

Last word: All in all, nausea taken into account, the meal at 2FB was out of this world.  If you’ve avoided this place simply because it’s in a mall, then SHAME ON YOU.  Get your ass in there and try some of their amazing bites and sips.

The Second Floor Bistro
thesecondfloorrestaurant.com | @2ndFloorBistro
13340 Dallas Parkway (in the Galleria, use the Westin entrance)(972) 450-2978

***Please note: this meal was on the house.***

WIN Two Savor the Station Wristbands

Posted by    |    August 12th, 2013 at 5:11 pm

Get excited, my people … Mockingbird Station wants to give two lucky SDD readers wristbands for this Thursday’s Savor the Station!

You may be wondering, “BUT SUUUUUUSIE, HOW DO I WIN?!?!?!?!?”  First, stop whining.  Second, do one of the following* and include the restaurant in Mockingbird Station you’re excited to try bites from:

  • Comment on this post 
  • Tweet me (@drinkdallas) AND Mockingbird Station (@mockingbirdsta)
  • Write on my FB wall (/susiedrinksdallas)

If you don’t want to leave it to chance, go ahead and buy your wristbands here, and a portion of your ticket price will benefit Kidd’s Kids.

*a winner will be picked Wednesday around 6pm.  Please enter before then!

106°.  It was 106° in Dallas today.  That’s f**king hot….

Posted by    |    August 8th, 2013 at 12:24 am

106°.  It was 106° in Dallas today.  That’s f**king hot.  Wanna know how to make it bearable (at least temporarily)?  Quarter Bar’s frozen deliciousness.  Frozen booze may not be the answer … but it’s a damn good guess.  

Quarter’s master drinker, Seth, has created seven flavors of booze popsicles for just $6 a pop.  (The pun had to be made.)  Most booze-cicles have too strong a taste of alcohol, but these are perfect … a bit messy … but perfect.  (Make sure you have plenty of napkins and don’t wear white jeans).

Booze pop flavors include: 

  • Filthy Monkey (Chocolate Banana): 360 Double Chocolate Vodka, Malibu Banana Rum, and chocolate milk.
  • Pirate Booty (Root Beer Float): Kahlua Coffee Liquor, Bailey’s Irish Cream, and Abita Root Beer.
  • Berry Pucker (Strawberry Lemonade): Three Olives Berry Vodka, lemonade, and fresh strawberries.
  • Kokomo (Pineapple): Bacardi Pineapple infused Rum with pineapple juice and orange juice.
  • Laffy Taffy (Strawberry Banana): Three Olives Berry Vodka, Malibu Banana Rum, and pineapple juice.
  • The Dreamsicle (Think Orange Julius): Stoli Vanilla Vodka, Pinnacle Whipped Cream Vodka, and orange juice.
  • Blemonade (Blackberry Lemonade): Deep Eddy Vodka, lemonade, and fresh blackberries.

Booze pops aren’t the only new-ish thing hitting Dallas’s Big Easy-sque hangout.  Other new offerings from The Quarter Bar include seven new French Quarter-inspired cocktails, including a traditional Hurricane.  I enjoyed the French Quarter Float, and it’s quite sweet, but would be the perfect drink for the end of the night.  I’d dying to try the SoCo Sazerac … anyone wanna treat me?

  • VooDoo Queen: Vodka, Blue Curacao, Razz Berry, & Sweet and Sour
  • French Quarter Float: Coffee Liquor, Irish Cream, & Root Beer
  • Blue Bayou: Captain Morgan, Blue Curacao, & Pineapple Juice
  • Quarter Curse: Southern Comfort, Razz Berry, & Pineapple Juice
  • Hurricane: Light Rum, Meyers Dark Rum, Malibu, Pineapple & Orange Juice, & Cherry
  • Hand Grenade: Light Rum, Melon Liquor, & Pineapple Juice
  • Soco Sazerac: Made with Southern Comfort, Lemon, Sugar, & Bitters

Quarter gets it (pricewise) and have priced everything* I’ve mentioned at $6 … and that’s not even during happy hour!  Even better?  They offer half price food night on Wednesdays until midnight.  Make sure you try the wings and the bacon fries.

Stop in and sip on a Louisiana-style drink or lick on a booze pop, and let me know which was your favorite!

*the Hurricane is $8, all other cocktails and booze pops are $6