All posts by Susie O

BOOZY HOT CHOCOLATE — THREE WAYS

Dallas didn’t get too cold (yet) this year, but on the days it has, I found myself craving something warm and boozy. Once I had gotten past my hot toddies and it was too late in the day for an Irish Coffee, I turned to hot chocolate cocktails!

I put together a few different spirited options for y’all … from the traditionally spiked vodka, then went to tequila and scotch options. Because it’s always fun to try something different, right?

PEPPERMINT WHITE CHOCOLATE (VODKA)

½ C Absolut Elyx vodka
½ C white chocolate chips
1½ C milk*
¼ C sweetened condensed milk
1 t vanilla extract or vanilla paste
whipped cream (if desired)

Add chocolate and milks to a medium saucepan and summer, stirring constantly, until chips are melted. Once melted, remove from heat and add vodka. Top with whipped cream and peppermint pieces, if desired.

SPICY HOT CHOCOLATE (TEQUILA)

3 oz Patrón Tequila (more if desired)
3 C milk*
3 T cocoa powder
3 T tbsp granulated sugar
Pinch of sea salt
¼ t cinnamon
¼ t cayenne pepper

Combine all ingredients (except for tequila) to a saucepan and whisk until combined. Heat on low until it’s slightly boiling, then remove from the stove. Add tequila, then pour into mugs and top as desired. (I added cinnamon marshmallows and a pinch of cayenne pepper on top.)

HIGHLAND HOT CHOCOLATE (SCOTCH)

3 oz Highland Park Magnus Scotch whisky (more if desired)
3 C milk*
3 T cocoa powder
3 T tbsp granulated sugar
1 t Sugar in the Raw (or any coarse brown sugar)
Pinch of sea salt

Combine all ingredients (except for whisky) to a saucepan and whisk until combined. Heat on low until it’s slightly boiling, then remove from the stove. Add whisky, then pour into mugs and top as desired.

… you can also whip up my famous HAUTE CHOCOLATE and add whatever spirit sounds good to you.

HAUTE CHOCOLATE
¼ C cocoa powder
½ C hot water
20 oz semi-sweet chocolate
10 C whole milk
2½ C heavy cream
12 oz can evaporated milk
¼ t salt

Either in a crock pot or a large pot, whisk cocoa powder with hot water until mixed. Add in chocolate, milk, heavy cream, evaporated milk, and pinch of salt. If using a crock pot, cook for at least 2 hours on high OR low for 4 hours and stir occasionally. Keep on warm to serve.
If using a pot on the stove, heat for about 15 minutes on medium and stir often. Then, keep on simmer and continue to stir occasionally.
Makes about 20 servings.


*the higher the fat content of the milk you use, the richer your drink will be

t = teaspoon
T = tablespoon
C = cup
oz = ounce

Ocean Prime Rings in 10 Years with 10-$10 Menu Items

Dallas’s Ocean Prime just hit its 10th Anniversary in the heart of Uptown, and to show their gratitude to all of the thirsty (and hungry) Dallasites that have showed them the love the last 10 years, they offered a 10 Years, 10 Items, $10 special menu during the month of January in the OP Lounge and on the newly renovated terrace.

The Ocean Prime favorites that graced the menu were their best-sellers, and for a good reason. The OP experts I’m sure could rattle them off … but for those that are less familiar with their steak- and seafood-heavy menu, we’ll list them so you can seem like you know JUST what you’re doing next time you visit.
> Cocktails: Berries & Bubbles, Black Orchid, Cucumber Gimlet, Pine Fin Martini
> Food: calamari, goat cheese ravioli, sushi, ahi tuna tartar, 10 layer carrot cake, peanut butter torte

Although everything on the 10 Years, 10 Items was delightful, The Berries and Bubbles cocktail shines as the MOST INSTAGRAMMABLE in the lineup. The secret ingredient is dry ice that creates a bubbly, misty and energetic drink that not only tastes delicious, but will have everyone in the bar asking what it is so they can get one, too. (Susie’s note: Make before you set the trend to let all the dry ice smoke off or be VERY CAREFUL sipping it … because that s**t’s dangerous if ingested.)

> BLACK ORCHID (14): Three Olives Berry, St. Germaine Elderflower Liqueur, lemon, white cranberry juice
> BERRIES & BUBBLES ($14): Belvedere Citrus Vodka, marinated berries, house made sour, Domaine Chandon Brut, dry ice

Ocean Prime recently unveiled a new spin on their calamari appetizer. The calamari is still marinated in buttermilk for 24 hours before crisping up in the fryer, but now they’re using a special blend of chili, hoisin and light soy sauces to add extra, deep flavor to the seafoodie favorite. The addition of julienne carrots, scallions, red bell peppers, Mung bean sprouts and candied cashews on top is unlike any calamari we have tried. THIS IS A MUST ORDER!

If you have room (I mean … you kind of have to save room), then you can’t pass on the 10 Layer Carrot Cake. This is another OP fan favorite. With just the right amount of sweetness to satisfy your sweet tooth, this cake will guarantee you go home with a smile on your face.

Ocean Prime is a PRIME spot for happy hour or even just a quick glass of red to wash down their ABSO-FREAKING-LUTELY DELICIOUS TRUFFLE POPCORN. No need for reservations, just pop in during happy hour after work to eat, drink and enjoy the mild Dallas winter on the newly renovated enclosed terrace oasis! (Susie’s note: Make sure you say hi to the Marcos at the bar … both will show you some really incredible hospitality.)

Bon Appetit!


OCEAN PRIME
2101 Cedar Springs Rd. #150 (Uptown/Harwood)
ocean-prime.com

Arctic Buzz Boozy Ice Cream

📸: @katherinegailco

Sometimes you get to the end of the night and you can’t choose between a nightcap and dessert. Our friends at Arctic Buzz have you taken care of with their boozy ice cream!

With ABVs (alcohol by volume) from 6.6% to 8.9%, their flavors are stout enough to taste the booze, but flavorful and well balanced. From traditional flavors like vanilla, chocolate, and cookies and cream to a little more exciting options like key lime pie and birthday cake, there’s a flavor for every ice cream lover.

I’ve tried quite a few alcoholic ice cream options and they are often not well balanced and often too strong. All of the flavors I’ve tried are delicious and surprisingly creamy, but I absolutely loved the birthday cake and am WILD about the chocolate.

While ice cream is delicious on its own, I thought that coming up with a way to get it into cocktails would be right on-brand for SusieDrinks.

RASPBERRY CREME
2 scoops Arctic Buzz Raspberry ice cream
2oz milk (try to use at least 2% or it will be too thin)
1oz Chambord
1/4 cup of frozen raspberries
Whipped cream and crushed vanilla wafer crumbs

In a blender, combine all ingredients except whipped cream and cookie crumbs. Blend until smooth. (Add additional milk if needed.) Top with whipped cream and cookie crumbs.

MARGARITA MILKSHAKE
2 scoops Arctic Buzz Key Lime or Coconut ice cream
1.5oz tequila
1oz orange liqueur
2oz cup milk (try to use at least 2% or it will be too thin)
Whipped cream
Lime zest (grated)

In a blender, combine all ingredients except whipped cream and lime zest. Blend until smooth. Top with whipped cream and grate lime zest over the top. Add lime wedge if desired.

ARCTIC BUZZ ICE CREAM
arcticbuzzicecream.com

Available in the DFW area at:
– Spec’s Dallas – 9500 N Central Expy (North Dallas)
– Mr. Sugar Rush – 1408 N Riverfront Boulevard (Design District)
– Chocolate Lounge – 4222 W Camp Wisdom Road (North Dallas)
– Old Hag’s Pizza Pasta – 1315 W Davis Street (Bishop Arts District)
– Urban Donut – 2805 Allen Street (Uptown)

Please eat responsibly.

The HERO Victory Plaza Needed

Victory Plaza has seen many restaurant and bar concepts come and go, but none seemed to succeed. They were convenient, but not worth braving the crowds during events one wasn’t attending to patronize. …….. until a new HERO came to save the day.

The newest concept from Matt Ragan and 8020 Concepts, the people behind HG Sply Co., Gung Ho, and more, give us all something to love. Sports fans have giant televisions to watch their events with fellow fans and proximity to AAC. Foodies have a thoughtful menu with scratch items just like Mom used to make. And the boozehounds have a menu of unexpectedly thoughtful cocktails—some takes on classics and some originals.

Bottom line: it’s a huge place.
With a capacity of 1,100 and 610 seats with six bars and up to 20 bartenders working at a time, you’d expect a churn-and-burn, high volume restaurant/bar cutting corners and cutting costs—but that’s not so with HERO. Ragan and his team have ensured that everything is done quickly and efficiently but without lowering quality … at all. Think scratch food, fresh and local ingredients when possible, zero additives, and juices squeezed fresh daily.

The staff in HERO is stacked with all-stars. You’ll see familiar faces from concepts past and others that you thought gave up the stick. One of my favorites you’ll see is our favorite bartender past from Vickery Park, Chris Young, running around making sure everything is done right behind the six bars, but always with a smile.

While the popularity of this new spot has made it a destination and caused a bit of a wait from time to time, there’s plenty of space to go around. They host a full dining room, the aforementioned SIX BARS, a large patio, and even more standing room for watching games on their GINORMOUS SCREEN … and a small 90s-themed arcade.

The dedication to making everything just that much better extends event to the simplest parts of their cocktails. Ragan’s goal was to give is bartenders the ability to make a craft cocktail in under 45 seconds, and he sure as shit did it. He standardized four cocktail bases and put them on draft, cutting prep time and the opportunity for inconsistency, and ultimately price for both HERO and the guest, all while maintaining the integrity of his menu and the ingredients used. They employ one employee whose entire job is to prepare the fruit and juices for their cocktails. 

A perfect example of Ragan’s desire for consistency and quality is their house-made tonic. And if you know anything about making tonic, then you know it can be a dangerous game. It’s made with cinchona bark, which can help medicinally, if used responsibly, and it can do damage if not. He wanted to ensure it was done right, so he did it.

Their frozen drinks are even made with the most care and consideration of ingredients. Their Miami Vice, a strawberry daiquiri and piña colada swirl, happens to be a new favorite cocktail in Dallas … because 100º days are real and it’s f**king delicious. What makes it so good? They make their own coconut rum, strawberry cordial, AND coconut cream. The coconut cream in itself is culinary science at its best—they use Ticaloid 210 S, a natural stabilizer made from seaweed, to keep it emulsified. Why this? Why no shortcuts? Because they don’t do that. Ragan needed to find something that would emulsify fat in alcohol (coconut is a “fat”), but also work in cold temperatures and with alcohol, and the T210s is the only element that does all three. See? NO SHORTCUTS.

As with many of Dallas’s restaurants, the menu can be slightly daunting. So, I asked Matt what his “Go-To” items were, and he didn’t disappoint. He gave us his ideal days—both “healthy” and “cheat”. So here we go:

HEALTHY
– Salty Dawg ($11, vodka, Aperol, grapefruit juice, simple, lemon, candied citrus salt rim) & Cucumber Collins ($11, vodka, cucumber, lime mint cordial, soda)
– Smoky Carrot Hummus ($14, fresh veggies & grilled pita bread) & roasted Chicken Wings ($14, tossed in chimichurri, pecorino, fresno chiles)

CHEAT
– 14oz Miami Vice ($14, strawberry daiquiri + piña colada swirl)
– Calamari Lettuce Wraps
($14, pickled ginger, herbs, bibb lettuce), Crab Rangoon Dip ($14, served with wonton chips), & Parmesan Kale Dip

Here’s the bottom line: don’t write this place off. Yes, it’s huge and crowded when there’s a game, but it’s WORTH IT. It’s even more worth the effort of braving Victory Park when there’s not a game or concert. It’s the HERO we wanted, and really, it’s the one we all needed. 


HERO
herobyhg.com
3090 Olive Street, #b110 (Victory Park)
469-300-4199

Su-Th: 11am to midnight
F: 11am to LATE
Sa: 11am to LATE

#BuffettBash2019

This year I was ecstatic to find out that my new friend’s birthday is a week after mine AND that Jimmy Buffett would be in town the same week. So, what does a Parrothead do? Host a huge tiki tailgate before the concert … obviously.

We rented an RV, made some food and some tiki bevvies, and made a day of it. We loaded up the RV with decor and furniture and a hearty group of partygoers and busted our butts to get our little spot of parking lot ready for the party.

THE SETUP

Since I don’t have my own RV (yet…), we looked for an RV rental company, and Cruise America was the winner! We got the RV that sleeps five for three nights with 300 free miles for a song! Everyone had a place to use the restroom and cool off from the heat, and we all got to ride there together! (And there’s a super cute sticker of a dog on the window!)

The setup was as it should be: over the top and kitsch as hell. While we were short on fans, we weren’t short on shade!

Our friend Ariel was kind enough to step behind the bar for us and serve up our awesome drinks, and that was CLUTCH. She made us look gooooood!

THE BOOZE

Every great tailgate needs great booze. So, to stick with the tiki theme, we worked with some of our favorite brands to make tiki-friendly cocktails that we batched out to make them easy to enjoy.

Elyx Copper Cup #1946
1.5oz Absolut Elyx Handcrafted Vodka
.75oz GH Mumm Champagne
1.5oz coconut water
.5oz lemon juice
.5oz honey simple syrup

Combine all ingredients except champagne and shake to combine and chill. Pour over new ice and top with champagne. Garnish with coconut shavings and a pineapple wedge. Makes two cocktails.

Patrón Tiki ‘Rita
2oz Patrón Reposado Tequila
.5oz Patrón Citrónge Orange Liqueur
.25oz Allspice Dram
.5oz lime juice
.25oz vanilla simple syrup
.5oz grapefruit juice

Rim a glass with Himalayan sea salt. Combine ingredients in a shaker tin and shake to chill and combine. Pour over fresh ice in the prepared glass and garnish with fresh grated nutmeg and a slice of lime with cloves.

Plantation Mai Tai
1oz Plantation Xaymaca Special Dry Rum
1oz Plantation Original Dark Rum
.75oz lime juice
.5oz orgeat

Combine ingredients in a shaker tin and shake to chill and combine. Pour over fresh ice and garnish with a pineapple wedge.

Maker’s Colada
1.5oz strawberry-infused Maker’s Mark Whiskey
.5oz Giffard Creme de Fraise du Bois Liqueur
bar spoon of strawberry purée
.5oz lemon juice
.25oz simple syrup
.25oz coconut milk

Combine ingredients in a shaker tin and shake to chill and combine. Pour over fresh ice and garnish with a strawberry.

While cocktail are great, we decided they weren’t enough. So, we got some wine and alcoholic gummies and made a couple high-proof popsicles.

Betty Cocktail, a friend, neighbor, and badass bar lady, makes some of the most delicious gummies that just HAPPEN to have booze in them. We’ll just say we were more than delighted when she showed up with her tray of goodies!

 

Our friends at Union Wine Company were kind enough to send along some cans of their Riesling Radler which, coincidentally, is costumed in the perfect jungle print, toucan and all! This summer-friendly wine in a can has hints of grapefruit and is only lightly “hopped”.

To cool us off, we thought some frozen cocktails would be the ticket. While the alcoholic popsicles were delicious, they sadly didn’t stand up in the heat. Let’s just say that they turned out to be more slushies than popsicles.

COCONUT TELEGRAPH
1.75C Malibu Coconut Rum
.5C Torani Creme de Banana Syrup
.5C coconut water
1 small container of banana yogurt

Combine all ingredients, then fill into popsicle sleeves. Allow to freeze for at LEAST 24 hours and keep very cold.

A PIRATE LOOKS AT FORTY
.75C Plantation White Rum
.75C Disaronno Originale Liqueur
.75C Torani Macadamia Nut Syrup
.5C water

Combine all ingredients, then fill into popsicle sleeves. Allow to freeze for at LEAST 24 hours and keep very cold.

THE FOOD

We knew that a six-hour tailgate party with free flowing booze needed a pretty stacked food table, so we went full-tilt tiki and had pulled pork, Hawaiian meatballs, Hawaiian Roll ham sandwiches, and more. We had an ambitious pit-master in the group, and he hit it out of the park with his pulled pork with HOMEMADE BBQ SAUCES. (Yes, sauces … two of them.) Dessert we knew would be a slam dunk, so we got some of the amazing White Chocolate Macadamia Nut & Coconut Chocolate Chip cookies from Pokey O’s and tequila-infused margarita cupcakes from Sprinkles.

ALL IN ALL …

All in all, it was a really fun day and a wonderful way to celebrate a couple birthdays. We’ll be back next year, and we have some serious plans … #tikitrouble


Special Thanks to:

Save Lives with Me on June 30

Hello, friends! I have been a blood donor for many years and am proud to be hosting a drive with Carter BloodCare at Texas Live on June 30!

Every two seconds, someone needs blood, and there’s no substitute for it. Each donation could save three lives, so I’d be honored if you’d join me to #giveforlife!!

Anyone who donates during this event will be thanked with:
– a complimentary slider from Lockhart Smokehouse Arlington
– goodies from Balcones Distillery
– an entry into a raffle for a “Day at Balcones with SusieDrinks”
– a “Cheers to Life” mason jar from Carter BloodCare
– a Rangers t-shirt and a BOGO Rangers ticket voucher

Make an appointment now to #GiveforLife. Call or text CBC at 800-366-2834 or visit http://bit.ly/31qv1BY.

Event Recap: Modelo Negra’s Gold Lion Barbershop

I am in a paid partnership with Modelo Negra, but all opinions are my own. Please drink and enjoy responsibly (if you’re 21)!


This past weekend’s Gold Lion Barbershop pop-up featuring Modelo Negra was a new level of pop-up. Beer, beautifully crafted beer cocktails, Mexican chocolates, and some of the best BBQ sliders I’ve eaten in a while were enjoyed. Attendees were also able to get quick trims or braids, play cornhole, and enjoy the DJ’s fantastic music.

There were three fantastic “beertails” brought to us by Jesse Powell, and my favorite was the Modelo Transcending.

MODELO TRANSCENDING
.25 oz lemon juice
5 oz ginger/cardamom syrup
top with Modelo Negra
garnish with a mint sprig

Thank you again to Modelo Negra for inviting me to such a fun event!

 


#21+ #ad #modelanegra #dallas #dallaseventd #ModeloNegraBarbers

The Booziest Days of the Year

We’re always looking for a good reason to celebrate … and an excuse to drink at lunch. In the spirit of celebration, it’s a great idea to keep these important days of the year on your calendar. Get ready to party in July!

Too lazy to add them yourself? That’s ok … you can subscribe to my silly holidays calendar here: http://bit.ly/2yUjPjK

January 1: Bloody Mary Day
January 11: Hot Toddy Day
January 17: Hot Buttered Rum Day
January 25: Irish Coffee Day
January 31: Brandy Alexander Day

February 18: Drink Wine Day
February 22: Margarita Day
February 27: Kahlua Day

March 3: Mulled Wine Day

April 7: Beer Day
April 9: International Gin & Tonic Day
April 17: World Malbec Day
April 19: Amaretto Day

May 7: Cosmopolitan Day
May 13: World Cocktail Day
May 16: Mimosa Day
March 18: World Whisky Day
May 25: Wine Day
May 30: Mint Julep Day

June 1-7: Negroni Week
June 4: Cognac Day
June 5: Moonshine Day
June 11: Gin Day
June 14: Bourbon Day
June 19: Martini Day
June 30: Mai Tai Day

July 10: Piña Colada Day
July 11: Mojito Day
July 14: Grand Marnier Day
July 19: Daiquiri Day
July 24: Tequila Day
July 25: Wine & Cheese Day
July 27: Scotch Day

August 2, 2008: International Beer Day (changes annually)
August 16: Rum Day
August 25: Whiskey Sour Day
August 28: Red Wine Day

September 15: Creme de Menthe Day
September 20: Rum Punch Day
September 28: Drink a Beer Day
September 30: Mulled Cider Day

October 4: Vodka Day
October 16: Liqueur Day
October 19: Gin & Tonic Day
October 21: Mezcal Day

November 7: World Gin Day
November 8: Harvey Wallbanger Day
November 12: Happy Hour Day
November 20: Beaujolais Day

December 5: Repeal Day
December 10: Lager Day
December 13: Screwdriver Day
December 20: Sangria Day
December 24: Egg Nog Day
December 31: Champagne Day