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Fundraising Cocktail Party Returns to Klyde Warren Park

September 25, 2017
Fundraising Cocktail Party Returns to Dallas |

One of Dallas’ hottest cocktail-centric events is back for its sixth annual toast: The Ultimate Cocktail Experience returns to Klyde Warren Park on Saturday, Sept. 30. This baby has come a long way from its earlier iteration as a collection of themed pop-up bars under one roof (remember that one year I was on a bar team?! Epic!).

Back then, teams of DFW bartenders dreamed up concepts and menus for fanciful pop-up bars in one location. And, boy, has it evolved from there!

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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 |

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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Dallas’ Pisco Cocktail Duel Was a Blast

February 12, 2016

Pisco Cocktail Duel in Dallas Was a Smash |

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 …

Swill & Suds

Local Bartenders Battle for Pisco Sour Supremacy

February 5, 2016
Pisco Sour Competition Comes to Dallas! |

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!

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11 Holiday Cocktails … and a Wicked Giveaway!

December 27, 2015
Holiday Cocktails and a Giveaway! |

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!

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Local Spotlight: Peruvian Cocktail Pop-Ups

November 4, 2015
Peruvian cocktails make the rounds in Dallas |

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 …

Peruvian cocktails make the rounds in Dallas |

Christian Armando (left) and Daniel Guillen.

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!

Swill & Suds

Cocktails and Dallas spots to toast National Tequila Day

July 24, 2015
Terrific tequila cocktails |

Happy National Tequila Day! Today, we’re sharing not only some great tequila collections to hit up this evening in Dallas, but a trio of cocktails to make at home. This mix of beverages includes DeLeòn Tequila-based cocktails that are actually off-menu items from New York City venues Extra Fancy and the Palm Court at the Plaza Hotel, available at those bars through August. So we’re covering all the drinking bases, for homebodies, Dallas barhoppers and traveling tipplers. Cheers!

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Come support a legendary Dallas bartender

June 4, 2015

On June 8, Dallas’ bar, spirits and chef community are turning out in force for an excellent cause, and to support one of their own. Bartending legend Charlie Papaceno, a craft cocktail pioneer formerly of The Windmill Lounge, is in the midst of a fight with cancer, so the industry is uniting to create an epic fundraiser that’s open to all—located at Charlie’s soon-to-open bar, Industry Alley.

For a $20 entry, the Industry Rally at Industry Alley will regale guests with a pulled pork taco bar (with meaty goodness from a whole hog tended to by Lucia chef Justin Holt), two cocktails (did we mention there’d be a ton of awesome bartenders in attendance??) and a front-row view of local bar men and women engaging in a Battle of the Bars Giant Twister game. That should yield some fun, possibly awkward moments …

Anyway, there’ll also be a silent auction with group dinners up for grabs at some of the city’s best restaurants, so get ready to bid! And if you’d like a souvenir of the festivities, there’ll be some T-shirts for sale, so bring a bevy of Benjamins, as this’ll be a cash-only affair.

If you need some more inspiration to attend, note that Charlie — one of the first mix masters to bring cocktail glory to the city — has been trying to get Industry Alley off the ground while in chemo and undergoing radiation therapy. We’ve had close friends undergo both treatments who’ve been wiped out, so we can imagine his depth of passion and persistence that’ve gotta be going into birthing this bar baby. And it deserves one hell of a toast. So we hope you’ll join us on Monday, any time from 2 to 8 p.m. to help support and cheer Charlie. Also, help us spread the word!

(Farah’s true, random factoid: I, for some reason, have Charlie Pap’s number in my cellphone, and have for YEARS. Must’ve been from a story I did ages ago. I find it funny that through numerous phones and even hopping to a different wireless provider, I’ve lost the numbers of so many other friends and contacts, but his number has been a constant. From what I know about Charlie, I think many in the drinks industry would say that’s a metaphor!)

Industry Rally for Industry Alley

Monday, June 8, 2-8 p.m.
1713 S. Lamar St., Dallas
$20 for pulled pork tacos and two drink tickets; additional drink tickets are just $5