The holidays are a prime time to bust out all the best festive seasonal cocktails, and this year, we’ve got a roundup with local flair! Voila, some cocktail recipes from some of our favorite Dallas bars, just waiting to spice up your holidays, whether you’re partying with friends or family, or whipping something just for you at your home bar. So break out the nice glassware and get ready for a celebration in a glass. And happy holidays!
If you’ve noticed things have been a bit silent here on the blog, it’s because Swine & Swill has been working through a huge development that should turn out to be as much of an adventure for you, our readers, as it has for us!
Last month, I accepted a job as an English teacher in Korea, just north of Seoul. So I’m living in Korea!! Woohoo, right?! Anyway, the craziness leading up to the move (between language learning and teaching cert-getting, I’ve been working on this since January) made even semi-regular blogging really, really tough, for both me and Jerry (he’s staying in the States). Now that the dust is settling on our move out of our shared place in Dallas, we hope to get back into a better blogging rhythm. PLUS — we still hope to continue to get more help from our contributors Patrick Gary and Patrick St. Jean covering goings-on in Dallas along with Jerry.
Since its inception, I’ve loved and admired the in-house beer program at Malai Kitchen, particularly how well the restaurant’s Thai-Vietnamese fusion food goes with its Asian-based brews. This year, the Dallas-born restaurant marked two new milestones that have expanded its beer pedigree: a new branch in Southlake serving up amazing suds and the spring arrival of a new brewmaster, Matt Reynolds. Both have brought a ton of terrific anticipation and excitement to the brainchild of co-owners Yasmin and Braden Wages, and the latter addition brings a varied and super-interesting mix of skills to the table.
Reynolds, a University of North Texas grad, has a background and degree in engineering and while working in that field professionally, he honed his talents in beer making as part of the local home-brewing scene. So much so that when the Malai brewer gig opened up, he jumped at the chance to turn his hobby into his new profession.
I had the chance to pick Reynolds’ brain about his brewmastery — here’s what he had to say about his approach and plans at Malai.
Around here, we refuse to call today Cinco de Drinko – all it evokes is visions of cheap margs you pound by the quart. We’d rather celebrate the holiday with beautifully balanced, wonderfully crafted cocktails – including ones that don’t feature tequila. Imagine that! Here are some beverages that’ll have you forgetting Cinco de Drinko forever. Not in the mood to whip up drinks? We’ve got a list of spots where they’ll do it for you — with terrific Cinco specials. Cheers!
[Ed. note: Our intrepid contributor Patrick Gary was invited to a tasting of The Macallan’s premium expressions with the label’s Ambassador, Jeremy Fonicello. Enjoy Pat’s delicious musings!]
In general, it’s been a good time to be a whiskey drinker recently. In the past few years, consumers have been introduced to innovative bourbons like Ranger Creek’s small-caliber series, Corsair distillery’s Triple Smoke Whiskey and Quinoa Whiskey, High West 36th Vote, Balcones Baby Blue, and even Jim Beam’s Devil’s Cut. Japanese whiskey, especially Suntory Yamazaki, started to gain a reputation as one of the best in the world. Then recently, Crown Royal’s Northern Harvest Rye was rated the best that this planet has to offer in 2016. All the while, Scotch was standing on the sidelines, sticking with making the same things that their patrons love, but holding to tradition instead of innovation.
Seeing their competition gaining on their reputation, The Macallan decided to respond to the myriad challenges with some distinctive, rare, and rather beautiful offerings. No longer resting on their laurels, The Macallan is releasing a collection of new items aimed at different kinds of whiskey and whisky fans.
This Sunday, as the ultimate counterprogramming to Easter, a number of local bartenders are hatching (hehe) a hip-hop-flavored cigar and cocktail pop-up primed to pull your ham- and deviled egg-stuffed butt to Oak Cliff.
Dallas bar masters Omar Yeefoon (86 & Co.) and Phillip Smith (Parliament) are teaming with visiting talents Kyle Zimmerman from OKC and Andy Maurer from Houston to host “Yeezy Does It,” a pop-up going down at Cigar Art in the OC.
Today is St. Patrick’s Day, yes, but let’s face it – you’re going to be celebrating the Irish-flavored holiday tomorrow and this weekend, ain’t ya? Make sure your home bar is stocked and ready to whip up these elevated St. Patrick’s Day cocktails. Forget neon-green liqueurs and gimmicky concoctions – these creations come from the minds of the best mixologists and top brands around. So get your sláinte on in style …
Recently, the esteemed whisky label Highland Park Single Malt Scotch Whisky hosted a really cool event where a few of their expressions were paired with beer — a brilliant idea that also tasted pretty freakin’ good.
For the “Dram and a Draft” event, at Meddlesome Moth, a group of professional sippers were presented with three pairings: Southern Star’s Bombshell Blond and Highland Park 12; Dogfish Head IBA and Highland Park 18; and New Holland Brewing Company’s Dragon’s Milk and Highland Park Dark Origins.
This Sunday, the annual Academy Awards telecast returns – and as a movie fanatic, it’s simply one of my favorite times to throw a shindig. But, alas, not this year – honestly, none of the nominees have really piqued my interest this go-round. But that don’t mean I won’t drink anyway! And these Hollywood-inspired cocktails will make either partying or vegging/live-tweeting the awards from your sofa that much more spectacular. So whip up one of these drinks and get to snarking about the red-carpet fails. Cheers!
Last weekend, as you’ll recall, we attended and I judged an incredible pisco sour competition in Dallas called the Pisco Cocktail Duel — it went smashingly! Each of the eight participating bartenders did admirably well in dreaming up inventive new takes on the classic Peruvian cocktail, and while they handed out samples, I got to meet with representatives from the event’s four sponsor spirits: Cuatro Gallos, Pisco Porton, Santiago Queirolo and Barsol. Meantime, the event’s attendees were engaged and lively, and, honestly? I was happily surprised at how curious they were about pisco and each bartender’s drink — certainly made for a fun and energetic vibe to the event.
Once attendees got a sip of each bartender’s cocktails, it was time for us judges to be seated and for each bar pro to step up and create their signature pisco drink before us while detailing the inspiration behind them and then serving them up with flair. We tasted, we discussed, we scored, and the bartender who ended up with top honors was Spencer Shelton from Bolsa — he put a food-centric twist on his version of the pisco sour, incorporating characteristic foods and flavors from Peru. It was a smooth, well-balanced sip that pleased our palates! As the winner, Spencer took home $500 and a bottle of each event sponsor’s pisco. Kudos!
There’ll be more pisco duels in coming months culminating in a grand championship in the latter part of the year. Stay tuned! Meantime, enjoy this gallery of snapshots from last weekend’s event …