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Spirits

Swill & Suds

Spirits Review: Kimo Sabe Mezcal

June 25, 2017
Spirits Review: Kimo Sabe Mezcal | SwineAndSwill.com
By Patrick Gary, Contributor

A couple of things to start off with if you aren’t familiar with the basics of mezcal: Mezcal is a distilled spirit made from the pina of any one of the 30 varieties of the agave cactus. Tequila is a specific type of mezcal made in a specific region of Mexico from only the blue agave. Therefore, tequila and mezcal are related, but mezcal is not generally designed to be either shot or mixed into cocktails, is consumed generally without salt or lime; is generally meant to be sipped neat; and when it is well made, it is very smooth. That said, Americans like cocktails, and there are mezcals that cater to that taste. There, if you didn’t know exactly what we were talking about, now you know enough.

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Swill & Suds

Spirits Review: Rum Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva

June 19, 2017
Spirits Review: Rum Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva | SwineAndSwill.com
By Patrick Gary, Contributor

I must admit that when I was asked to review Rum Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva that I was not familiar with the history of rum production in South America. I had always thought of rum as being a Caribbean spirit, with some lovely offerings from Guatemala or the Philippines being worthy outliers. However, as I started researching the distillery, I learned that while Venezuelan rum is new to me, it is not new to the market.

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Swill & Suds

Give This Coconutty Rum Blend a Shot

May 27, 2017
New Liqueur Goes Nuts with Coconut | SwineAndSwill.com
By Patrick Gary, Contributor

Summer is approaching, and with it comes a craving for a different, more tropical flavor with your food and beverages. Captain Morgan recently released a new creamy coconut-rum blend to enhance your party atmosphere. It is called LocoNut, and it is easily spotted in its coconut-shaped and decorated bottle.

For those who are interested in this as an alternative to Malibu or some other coconut rum, first note that this is something different. It functions fine as a replacement for Malibu, but it really stands up like Amarula or Bailey’s Irish Cream as a very nice drink on its own merits, especially if chilled. More than just the coconut milk, there are hints of cinnamon, cloves and allspice. It has a thicker texture and a fuller mouthfeel. Malibu is a rum that tastes of coconut. LocoNut is closer to a fermented coconut milk that has been sweetened and lightly spiced.

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Fire up Cinco de Mayo with hot new Ancho Reyes Verde

May 1, 2017
Fire up Cinco de Mayo with hot new Ancho Reyes Verde | SwineAndSwill.com
By Valerie Jarvie, Contributor

May 5 is Cinco de Mayo, the anniversary of the 1861 Battle of Puebla, in which the 3-to-1 outnumbered Mexican army defeated Napoleon’s troops attempting to capture Puebla de Los Angeles, an east-central Mexico town. The victory provided a much-needed morale boost to our southern neighbors. It’s now a day when Mexican culture and heritage is celebrated in the U.S. with festivals and parties. As such, it calls for regional libations. Margaritas? In this age of craft cocktails, a plain-Jane version seems, well frankly, boring.

Here’s a spirit to add some tasty style to your Cinco de Mayo celebration: Ancho Reyes Verde, a chile liqueur made with poblano chiles picked while green, and fire-roasted. The spirit became available in Texas just this spring.

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Swill & Suds

Cheer Texas Independence in Dallas with Gin!

March 1, 2017
Toast Texas Independence with Gin! | SwineAndSwill.com

Jettison, the hot West Dallas cocktail bar brought to us from the brains behind Houndstooth Coffee, is toasting Thursday’s Texas Independence Day holiday in high style. Calling it “Gindependence” Day, the bar at Sylvan Thirty is offering $2 off their regular gin-based craft creations like the High Tea Gimlet and coffee-tinged Double Up, and the venue is also unveiling three gin specialties just for the special day. The Republic of Texas (pictured) features sweet vermouth and maraschino liquor; the Bees Kumquat Knees highlights — what else? — kumquat and honey; and the TX GT adds fresh grapefruit and peach to the fizzy classic.

Each of the specials is $9 and up for grabs tomorrow at Jettison from 4 to 11 p.m. Celebrate your gindependence!

Jettison, 1878 Sylvan Ave., Suite E150, Dallas. 214-238-2643

Swill & Suds, Swine Dining, Uncategorized

What to Make, Where To Go for Cinco de Mayo

May 5, 2016
Cinco de Mayo Cocktails | SwineAndSwill.com

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!

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Swill & Suds

Tasting The Macallan’s Fine
New Whisky, Edition No. 1

April 7, 2016
Tasting Macallan's Finest Whisky Expressions | SwineAndSwill.com

[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.

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Swill & Suds

Yeezus Will Rise at This Dallas Cocktail Pop-Up on Sunday

March 22, 2016
Kanye West-Themed Event in Dallas | SwineAndSwill.com

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.

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Swill & Suds

6 Oscars-Themed Cocktails Ready for Their Close-Up

February 26, 2016
6 Oscar Cocktails Ready for the Close-Up | SwineAndSwill.com

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!

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Swill & Suds

Dallas’ Pisco Cocktail Duel Was a Blast

February 12, 2016

Pisco Cocktail Duel in Dallas Was a Smash | SwineAndSwill.com

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 …