What do you get the lush and bon vivant who has everything? If you’re thirsty for ideas, we’re here to help: Swine & Swill is proud to present its first-ever holiday gift guide! In the next several paragraphs, you’ll find recommendations for cool, quirky and just plain outstanding presents for those who love spirits, beer and booze-oriented tools, for all kinds of budget levels. Cheers to a good year of gift-giving! Oh, and keep in mind — most of these make killer gifts to yourself!
For a handful of years, there was a tradition in my family in which I would be in charge of the Thanksgiving cocktail. Quite the honor, but also a prime opportunity for overwhelm, if you’re a perfectionista like me: What spirits should I have on hand? Which mixers? How much ice should I bring? Gah!
To ease my load considerably, I decided to make a cocktail punch. Forgive me for this old-school way of thinking that I’ve totally evolved from, but since the majority of my family is female, I knew back then a “girly” (read: fruity, sweet, bubbly) drink would probably go over well. And since we’re all a bit lushy, I knew something strong would be a hit with everyone. Plus, a punch is mostly a set-it-and-forget-it drink: I could pour all the components in my punch bowl and spend most of the day mingling with the fam and eating. Sure, I’d usually have one refill to make, but that would take all of five minutes. No transporting a ton of different boozes or taking everyone’s order. Even though the recipes changed each year and even though they didn’t contain any actual turkey (important to note), I took to christening this potent potable the Turkeytini. Sure, no one else in my family would join me in using the moniker, but I swear the name alone brought smiles to the faces of the Fleurima fam!
So to share some smiles with you and yours, I’ve compiled several punch recipes. Pick one (or two! Rotate that ish out!) with which to delight your family, and enjoy this Thanksgiving even more than you hoped. Happy Turkey Day, y’all!
Cruzan® Autumn Harvest
2 parts Cruzan® Aged Dark Rum
¾ part fresh lemon juice
½ part demerara syrup
3 parts fresh apple cider
Garnish: fresh rosemary sprigs
Add Cruzan® Rum, lemon, demerara syrup, cider and rosemary sprigs into a punch bowl. Add ice and stir for 10 seconds. Pour into a Collins glass over ice. Garnish with a rosemary sprig.
2 parts Lillet Rosé
½ part Pamplemousse Liqueur
½ part Cynar
1 ½ part brut Champagne
Combine all ingredients in a punch bowl and garnish with a grapefruit float. Serve in a rocks glass on ice.
Carpe Dia Punch
2 parts Milagro Añejo
1 part lime juice
¾ part blackberry syrup
1 ea sage leaf
1 part hibiscus tea
1 part ginger beer
Build all ingredients except ginger beer in a punch bowl over a block of ice. Top with ginger beer right before stirring intermittently.
Solerno Celebration Punch
(Pictured at top)
1 bottle Solerno Bloood Orange Liqueur
1 bottle Lillet
1 bottle dry, sparkling white wine
16 parts freshly brewed, strong, chair spiced black tea (no cream/sugar added)
8 parts Fever Tree Ginger Beer
8 parts fresh squeezed lemon juice
16 dashes Angostora Bitters
Over a large block of ice in a punch bowl, pour all the ingredients and stir to combine. Garnish with thinly sliced orange wheels. Serve in punch cups with a cinnamon stick and a small wedge of orange.
Sailor Jerry Apple Ginger Punch
1½ parts Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum
2 parts sour mix
1 part apple juice
1 part ginger syrup
Pinch of ground cinnamon
Add ingredients into mixing glass, add ice, shake, strain over ice into a rocks glass and garnish with an apple slice and a sprinkle of ground cinnamon
Solerno Blood Orange & Berry Punch
1 bottle Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur
1 bottle Lillet Rouge
12 parts Red Zinger Tea (brewed at 2x strength)
6 parts agave nectar
6 parts fresh lemon juice
6 parts berry blend puree (raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, red grapes)
Combine all ingredients in a punch bowl and stir well. Float an ice block in the center and garnish with floating blueberries, raspberries, grape halves, blood orange slices and a few mint leaves.
2 parts lemon juice
2 parts simple syrup (one part sugar, one part water brought to a light boil)
1 part orange liqueur
2 parts Hendricks gin (or any modern-style gin)
6 parts Lillet Rouge
Ice block or ice ring frozen overnight in a plastic-lined bundt or bread pan.
Lightly muddle the amount of 1 strawberry, 4 mint leaves, 2 slices cucumber per serving along with the orange liqueur and syrup at the bottom of a punch bowl. Add all other ingredients to the bowl with the ice. Give a gentle stir to incorporate. Top with seltzer water to taste for a bit of sparkle, but remember that the ice will melt down so don’t water it down too much! Feel free to top with more fruit and mint for garnish and let guests ladle into glasses.
North Texas Beer Week is back to lift beer lovers from Dallas to Fort Worth to Denton to sudsy nirvana. This year’s celebration features more than 400 events from today through Sunday, Nov. 15, so not only would you be crazy not to make time to hit up one or more of them, but you can be sure to find some event to rave about. Foodies can find a multitude of beer pairing meals; hopheads can lean toward any number of IPA-forward tastings and tappings; even fruity beer lovers have an event to emblazon on their calendar. Best part? There’s seemingly an activity or party for every interest in between.
Here’s a list of the events that caught my eye and that I’d totally attend if I could survive attending NTX Beer Week every damn day. For the rest of the gigantic lineup, go straight to the source at NTX Beer Week’s homepage.
If I were going to do any kind of hardcore workout, it would ideally involve something I love like dancing or jumping in place. This Saturday, another of my loves will be incorporated into a fitness regimen: BEER! The third annual Brew HaHa is back, with Dallas’ Chamberlain Studios of Self Defense teaming up with the new Oak Highlands Brewery for a workout that makes use of brewery tools as well as common movements a typical brewer would repeat at work. In addition to the benefits of a healthy hour of fitness, the event is putting proceeds toward local nonprofit Genesis Women’s Shelter. Read on …
A hella-cool Peruvian cocktail pop-up is making the rounds in Dallas, and the fanfare for it is building. Last week at People’s Last Stand, Jerry and I had the pleasure of catching up with Coctelerìa Clandestina, a recurring event hosted by Peru-born brothers and barmen Daniel Guillen and Christian Armando.
We’ve known Christian for quite a while, having met him at the 2014 San Antonio Cocktail Conference and then becoming absolute fangirls (sorry, Jerry) for his fine cocktails at Dallas drinks den The Standard Pour. We made Daniel’s acquaintance at this year’s SACC, where he won a cocktail competition. Both brothers — who collectively call themselves Los Cantineros — are quite passionate about the craft of the cocktail, and they’ve been sharing their knowledge about Peruvian/South American drinks history through the Coctelerìa events, with Daniel at first hosting solo and Christian joining him at PLS … and going forward! More on that in a sec …
The PLS party featured a fantastic menu of $5 drinks showcasing not only the brothers’ flair behind the bar but a love and pride of Peruvian/regional flavors and traditions. When we landed at the bar and greeted Christian, instead of asking us which drink we wanted to start with, he said, “we’re gonna do a course” — well, OK! We kicked off with two shot-sized amuse bouches: Crema de Lúcuma, a silky, milky, vodka-and-pisco-based delight; and Marciano Rosado, a fruity pisco-and-gin-based sip served up like an old-school popsicle, in plastic. From there, we enjoyed a play on a Moscow mule with tamarind and mint; the Sudaka en Botella, a fizzy, passionfruit-flavored cocktail served in a bottle; the Teodoro, a spicy take on a hot toddy; and a bourbon-based beverage with chicha morada, a nonalcoholic Peruvian drink made from purple corn. Quite the cocktail journey, and every drink showed wonderful balance and an expert mix of great and complex flavors.
Of the pop-up bar series, Daniel says: “My mission when I started Coctelerìa Clandestina was to showcase the Latin craft of “cocteles” (cocktails in spanish) of Latin and South America. My brother and I have taken our Peruvian roots to boost not only our country’s culture, but of the whole South Continent. Our aim is to start/impulse the lost craft of cocktails below the border and to nurture our heritage exposing it through our pop-ups.”
If you missed this cocktail showcase, there are more Coctelerìa Clandestinas on the horizon — the next one is scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 17 at Fort Worth bookstore-turned-bar Thompson’s, starting at 8 p.m. Daniel tells me the brothers have four additional Coctelerìas slated and hope to debut the event in Austin “by the beginning of next year.” Sounds like the start of an empire — cheers, guys!
It’s only fitting that we’re serving up a list of boozy drinks for one of the most fun days of the year – hell, it’s just worth toasting that it’s on a Saturday! Enjoy Halloween while you can, because once this holiday’s over, the Christmas push arrives. Heaven help us all!
If you’ve ever popped by for a meal at The Second Floor – Gina and Scott Gottlich’s low-lit, sexy restaurant inside the Westin Galleria hotel – you may have missed that the modern American cuisine destination has a killer whiskey collection. In fact, it’s one of the more extensive sets you’ll find in Dallas, with nearly 200 whiskies on hand, so whether you’re a spirit newbie or an old pro, you’re bound to find something that’s endlessly sippable.
Ed. Note: Our intrepid contibutor, Patrick St. Jean, ventured out to Savor Restaurant in Dallas last week to check out Guinness’ latest iteration.
By Patrick St. Jean
Last Tuesday evening, we headed down to Savor Gastropub near Klyde Warren Park in Dallas for the introduction of Guinness’ new Nitro IPA. We got there a little bit early and spent some time talking to Ian Colgan, Guinness’ Beer Ambassador, as well as the American staff helping him out. Our group was seated outside, much to the delight of the folks from Guinness, as they were enjoying our lovely local weather.
Just in time for National Vodka Day, I received notice of a vodka that’s something of a novelty in the market. BiVi Vodka is a premium spirit that’s the “first-of-its-kind 100% Sicilian vodka” available in the States. Added bonus (to this cinephile, anyway)? The brand has as its celebrity partner Chazz Palminteri. Love him! But more on the spirit …
Kicking off this Friday night, Park & Palate is a spankin’-new food festival bringing not just eats from some of the best chefs in Texas, but a bevy of beverages to Klyde Warren Park. We’re talking craft beer, spirits from the likes of Absolut Elyx and Jameson, wine from around 30 wineries, and cocktails aplenty!
Handling the latter during the two-day food festival will be our friends Matt Orth of Lark on the Park and Michael Martensen of Proof + Pantry and the new Madrina (he’s pictured above, between his restaurant teammates Jeremy Hargrove and chef Julio Peraza).
Hungry for more info? Read all about the inaugural event at The Dallas Diva, where you can learn 5 vital tidbits that’ll convince you that you NEED to be at KWP this Friday and Saturday nights. Cheers!
[Disclosure: Park & Palate has provided us with press passes to the event. These opinions are my own.]