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 …
Saturday afternoon, North Dallas will be the site of a head-to-head-to-head battle of pisco sours, just in time for the cocktail’s holiday, celebrated annually in Peru.
From 4 to 6 p.m., eight of the area’s top bartenders will gather at the Pisco Cocktail Duel to whip up their own unique take on the pisco sour; prizes (and bragging rights) shall be awarded. The eight participating cocktail masters hail from High & Tight, Oak, Whiskey Cake, Thompson’s and Parliament, among other fine drinking establishments. Best part is that this FREE event will be open to the public … and I’ll be one of the judges!
With a handful of days off from work and family and friends gathering to celebrate, the holidays are a prime time for relaxing … and, you know – enjoying excellent craft cocktails in multiples. Here’re some holiday cocktails perfect for toasting the end-of-year celebrations. And if you need something to sate the whole party, check out our recent roundup on boozy punches – they’re not just for Thanksgiving, ya know!
Speaking of giving thanks, you’ll be singing praises over our latest giveaway – click through to learn how to win the elegant and luxurious Absolut Elyx pineapple!
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!