All posts by SusieDrinksDallas

Hennessy Paradis Impérial + Josh Henderson | Made of Precision

Discerning drinkers, rejoice. Well known cognac label Hennessy recently released a new expression, Hennessy Paradis Impérial, an exquisite, ridiculously smooth, and beautifully  balanced liquid in an almost-as-perfectly-crafted vessel.

Hennessy has one of the most extensive collections of eaux de vies (a brandy made from fruits other than grapes) in the world. In 2011, Hennessy 7th Generation Master Blender, Yann Fillioux dipped into the library to craft this recently-released expression, giving only 10 of their 10,000 eaux de vies the chance to be in this beautiful spirit. The ultra-precise selection of eaux de vies along with a unique maturation and blending makes this one of the most beautifully crafted liquids I’ve ever had the chance to try.

Hennessy Paradis Impérial has notes of jasmine and orange blossom with a delicate smokiness. It’s smooth, rich texture makes it almost too easy to sip. And that’s exactly how you’re meant to drink it—sipped neat.

The liquor itself is a work of precision, but the bottle holding it is also a work of art. They commissioned Baccarat designer, Stephanie Balini, to create a unique crystal decanter that’s a take on the traditional Hennessy shape and is finished with an 18-carat gold and silver piece adorning the collar. Since limited bottles were created, each is numbered.

Thanks to the amazing flavor and smoothness, it was easily enjoyed, and so good that we asked for a second (and third) dram.

Hennessy teamed up with Josh Henderson of “The Arrangement” and “Dallas” for the brand’s first global campaign, Made of Precision. To launch the campaign, he joined some lucky media representatives (one of which I was lucky enough to be) at NOBU for a private dinner pairing their amazing sushi and fresh fish with Hennessy Paradis Impérial. Henderson and Hennessy ambassadors spoke about the precision of the spirit and joined us for a delightful dinner.


HENNESSY PARADIS IMÉRIAL
Nose: floral freshness of jasmine and orange blossom blended with the subtle herbal notes of freshly cut grass
Flavor: a fine, light structure. The floral notes of the bouquet are also present in the flavor, tinged with a smoky, spicy accent that leads into a subtle persistence
Color: light amber
Price: ~$2,800/750mL

Images by Clark Cabus Photography

Bartenders You Should Know: Anna Pereda

The historic Adolphus Hotel has been a mainstay in the Dallas hospitality scene since 1912 and has recently reinvented itself with extensive renovations, a new restaurant, City Hall Bistro, the revitalization of the iconic French Room, and a brand new beverage program thanks to its new beverage manager, Anna Pereda Warren.

Since she began with the Adolphus just less than a year ago after time with Consilient Restaurants, Pappas Bros., and Bob’s Fort Worth, she has worked to give the beverage program the same fresh face as the hotel itself. Her most important charge from the hotel was to respect the hotel’s history. With a century of guests’ memories, the hotel asked that she pay homage to its past while employing new techniques and bringing in cocktail trends.

While Anna was up to the challenge, she knew she had to create a program she could be proud of that could still be digested by the everyday consumer. Even more challenging? She has three completely separate concepts to bring up to snuff, and each had to be unique and extraordinary in its own way.

City Hall Bistro offers twists on classics and some new concoctions from the Aromatic 1912 (their Old Fashioned) to the Renard Spiked The Punch (brandy, Amaro Averna, dry Curaçao, lemon, rosé). Alongside tapas-type options, Anna’s cocktail menu, while short, has a little something for everyone. Her favorite option on the list is Lilly’s Tonic, something she sees as a great representation of a London Dry Gin that pulls out the flavors of the cinchona bark in the house-made tonic.

The rooftop pool (only open to hotel and spa guests) was the most fun of the three (obvi). She used the menu to express what SHE wanted to drink by the pool—think matcha, strawberries, and summer takes on whiskey cocktail. Her favorites are the Matcha Do About Nothing and the Strawberry Fields. The latter started as a tequila cocktail, but Anna wanted something lighted, so she subbed Lillet, so it’s a surprisingly low ABV.

A little more challenging for Anna was the reinvention of The French Room‘s cocktail menu. She decided she needed to go above and beyond to change peoples’ minds from swizzling champagne in the traditional French restaurant—she simply hopes that guests will opt for a drink before or after dinner—so she started looking into new, crazy techniques that aren’t seen many places just yet. Beyond a great menu, she knows that knowledgeable team members are the key, and some new team members were brought on board. Since I haven’t been in to check out the new menu (tisk tisk), stay tuned for a full report on its exemplary options.

While I’m greatly looking forward to seeing what Anna has up her sleeves in The French Room, I’m wildly delighted by what she’s done with the menus at City Hall Bistro and the rooftop pool. Stop in for a cocktail this holiday season and steep yourself in the history of the hotel beside the crackling fire in the surprisingly cozy lobby.


The Adolphus Hotel
adolphus.com
1321 Commerce Street (Downtown)
(214) 742-8200

City Hall Bistro
cityhallbistro.com
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram: @cityhallbistro

The French Room
thefrenchroom.com
Facebook: @thefrenchroomdallas
Instagram: @thefrenchroom_

One90 Smoked Meats is Smokin’

Written by Carolina Merino

If you’re like me and had never heard of One90 Smoked Meats (shhh please don’t rat me out), then believe me, you’re going to want to familiarize yourself … and fast. This unassuming shop in East Dallas put on a great show.

This past week I had the privilege of attending a One90 Smoked Meats media dinner, hosted by the owners of One90 and Oak Highlands Brewery. As explained to us that evening, long time friends, Kyle St. Clair, Herman Guerra, and Adam Weatherred had been smoking meat together for years in their backyards before leaving their respective careers and opening up their shop in 2015. And for good reason … because they have this art down to a science. (Yes, I wrote that correctly.) Their smoked meats are perfection.

The dinner started off with an assortment of cold shaved smoked meat and cheese trays, smoked salmon dip, and a brisket chili that brought some serious heat. That was followed by a stop at the bar to taste one (or more) of Oak Highland Brewery’s 10 craft beers on tap. The DF-Dub, a German dark wheat style ale, was a standout and paired nicely with the smokiness of the entire meal. (Because, beer and BBQ.)

Then, it was time for the main event—melt-in-your mouth brisket, pulled pork, and buttery poblano sausage. While seated, trays of mac and cheese, potato salad, and coleslaw were delivered to our tables. If all that wasn’t mouth-watering enough, we ended the meal with a decadent banana pudding that tasted like it was made in your grandmother’s kitchen.

Their shop kiosk reads “small batch craft meats” and that’s the dining experience One90 offers with their popular sandwiches piled high with the smoked meat of your choice, their vacuum-sealed grab-n-go smoked meat packages, and bevy of unique meat options which also include duck breast, rack of lamb, beef tenderloin, pastrami, and salmon. (They also have all this available online.) You can order meat delivered directly to your door or sent to anyone across the country as the perfect holiday gift.

Additionally, One90 has put together a menu of their go-to staples to make your holiday extra special. Orders must be placed by November 14 for Thanksgiving and December 19 for Christmas. Order now!

I enjoyed every bit of this meal and can’t wait to head over to their storefront to try one of their delicious ham sandwiches and grab some packaged brisket to go!

At first glance, One90 Smoked Meats seems like a typical bbq joint, but as I quickly learned, it truly is so much more.


ONE90 SMOKED MEATS
one90smokedmeats.com
10240 E. Northwest Highway (Far East Dallas)
(214)34-MEATS

Cover photo courtesy of One90.

Rosé all day … and in the fall.

We all know about rosé …
summer water.
frozé.
#roséallday
The ubiquitous millennial-pink chilled wine served served at brunches the world over.

Is it a mystery that rosé and cliché rhyme? I think not.

In fact, there’s a compelling argument that rosé is summer’s Pumpkin Spice Latte. I’ll have to save that argument for another day, because I’ve got some news:

Rosé season isn’t real.

I know, I know … it’s a revelation. Let it sink in for a few minutes.

Since temps in Texas hit the upper 80s and lower 90s well into October, there’s simply no reason to pack up your rosé along with your white jeans just because it’s autumn. (And for that matter, why should we even pack up our white jeans?) Luckily the awesome people are Barefoot feel the same way, and I was fortunate enough to attend their #FallForRosé event recently at Stirr in Deep Ellum.

The weather couldn’t have been better for an autumn cocktail event. The candlelit pink and gold decor complimented the crisp rosé perfectly and the Rosé Harvest Martini (Barefoot rosé, vanilla vodka, pomegranate juice and simple syrup) was a wonderfully light and crisp fall cocktail. Where the fruity flavor of rosé is usually associated with summertime, the subtle vanilla and pomegranate flavors nudged the drink into fall without relying on the use of typical fall flavors such as apple, pear and spices.

If you’re looking for a fall cocktail that’s a little different I would definitely recommend integrating rosé into the ingredients. And if cocktails aren’t your thing, you can never go wrong with a simple glass of rosé. … even in October.

Bartenders You Should Know: Angela Montesclaros

Henry’s Majestic has seen more than it share of talent behind its bars, and the newest bar manager is no exception. We’ve had our eye on Angela Montesclaros since she was a bartender at Henry’s Majestic’s sister bar, Atwater Alley. And believe us, she’s way more than a pretty face.

She moved into role end of May and is now overseeing the bars at Henry’s and Atwater. Her challenge when taking the reigns was, well … not to mess up the great thing they had going and to get things ship shape. (Not that she has any trouble with that.) So, to take things a bit further, she challenged herself to recreate a menu that was approachable yet challenged guests’ palates. And, she wanted to allow her entire bar staff to have a say and contribution into the new menu.

Drink of choice at home: always an IPA or a bottle of Cab, but never cocktails (she saves her cocktail making for her patrons!)

Drink of chance at bars: a beer and a shot all day

Favorite drink to make: “Right now, I love spritzes and I’ve always loved Americanos.”

Best skill: making a really refreshing cocktail (exhibit A: her tiki cocktails that are the most shining examples of this)

Make sure to stop in and check out her revamped cocktail menus. For fall and winter, she seemed to be into dark herbs and fruits. “And I love sage all year around.” We’re pretty down with that.


Henry’s Majestic
henrysmajestic.com
4900 McKinney Avenue (Uptown)
(469) 893-9400

Atwater Alley
atwateralley.com
4900 McKinney Avenue (Uptown)
(469) 893-9400

 

McKinney Oktoberfest

It’s September, which means it’s time for Oktoberfests across the world celebrating all-things German—most often seen: beer and brats. (Have you ever understood why they aren’t actually in October?)

Here in North Texas, We’re lucky enough to have two world-class festivals—in Addison and McKinney. McKinney’s FREE* Oktoberfest, which happens to be their 10th this year, will be held September 22-24, and this family-friendly three-day event will offer everything from strudel and steins to entertainment like live music, children’s events/activities, and more.

Did we mention beer? Because there will be plenty of it. “McKinney’s Oktoberfest features authentic German bier such as Hofbrau Original and McKinney’s own beers from Franconia and TUPPS breweries. Oktoberfest offers an excellent opportunity to try multiple German flavors and styles all at one event with a bier garden that covers 14 blocks.” If you want to learn more about German beer, they’re offering Meet the Brewmaster sessions (reserve a spot online).  They’ll also be tapping a rare 200-year old keg. 😳 Now, that’s not messing around with the devil’s brew.

However, if you DO want to mess around with beer instead of drink it (at least for a short time), you can enter the Hofbrau Stein Holding Competition. The winner will get a paid trip to compete in Vegas. No kidding. If you’d rather move with it, they’re also having stein holding and beer barrel races along with giant beer pong. (Times when a beer gut doesn’t come in handy.)

If holding a beer isn’t entertaining enough for you, they’ll also have live music on two stages, brat eating contests, weenie dog races, and children’s entertainment. (And you can’t forget the chicken dance.)


mckinneyoktoberfest.com
#McKinneyOktoberfest, #DowntownMcKinney
Facebook: /downtownmckinney
Instagram: @DowntownMcKinney
Twitter: @DtownMcKinney

Friday, Sept. 22, 4 to 11 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 23, 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 24, noon to 5 p.m.

 

*Some activities and food/drink require a nominal fee.

Admission and parking is free. Access a map of the free parking lots. A designated zone for drop-offs and pick-ups is located on the west side of Mitchell Park on Benge Street, between West Louisiana and West Virginia streets. Complimentary shuttle service is offered Friday and Saturday of the event. Festival goers can park off-site at First McKinney Baptist Church, and enjoy round trip transportation. Shuttles depart every 15 minutes. 

 

The Ultimate Cocktail Experience Returns for a Bigger 2017

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again … the only thing better than drinking is drinking for a good cause.

And that’s why I’ve enjoyed The Ultimate Cocktail Experience (the event formerly known as Trigger’s Toys). The event has, for five years already, brought the bar industry together for one spectacular event featuring pop-up bars, entertainment, and a hell of a lot of fun for a really incredible cause.

The general idea is that, one bar is great, but six make for a real party. So, each year, a theme is selected for the event, then captains conceptualize pop-up bars with their teams under the year’s theme. This year’s captains, cocktails, and bar themes are:
– Mexico City: Brad Hensarling & Megan McClinton, The Usual (Margarita)
– London: Omar Yeefoon, Shoals (Gin and Tonic)
– New Orleans: Keisha Cooper, Shoals (Sazerac)
– Hong Kong: Robbie Call, frmly of Filament (Rob Roy)
– Casablanca: Andrew Stofko, Hot Joy (Mule)
– Havana: Ravinder Singh, Rapscallion (Daiquiri)
(Each pop-up will also be accompanied by a food truck.)

In past years, the event has featured bar and hospitality talent from some of the best venues right here in Dallas. This year, the event has beaconed talent from across the country—and from as far off as Australia—to participate. Making the trip to support the cause will be Ash Hauserman of Blacktail in New York (Best New American Cocktail Bar*), Iain Griffiths from London’s Dandelyan (Best International Hotel Bar and Best Cocktail Bar in the World*), Ezra Star from award-winning Drink (Boston), and Mitch Bushell formerly of Melbourne’s internationally renowned Black Pearl.

Trigger’s Toys, the charity to benefit from the event, is a Dallas darling. “The organization is dedicated to reducing the financial and emotional stress placed on chronically ill children and their families by providing financial assistance and supplemental therapy to those in need.” Last year’s event raised more than $200,000, and their goal is to surpass that in 2017.

Bryan Townsend of The 86 Co., founder of the event

THE ULTIMATE COCKTAIL EXPERIENCE
ultimatecocktailexperience.com
Facebook | Instagram
September 30, 2017, 6:30pm
Klyde Warren Park (Dallas, Texas)
21+ only

PURCHASE TICKETS

General Admission – $65
Event entry (6:30pm)
Champagne upon entrance (while it lasts)
Passport to all (6) bar concepts with cocktails
One food truck item

VIP – $125 (Limited Quantity Available)
Early entrance (6:00pm)
Champange upon entrance
(3) Vegas Area Tokens – $60 value
Complimentary Valet Parking – $20 value
Passport to all (6) Bar Concepts with cocktails
One Food Truck Item

Trigger’s Toys | Ultimate Cocktail Experience 2016 from Beyond on Vimeo.

*Named at the 2017 Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Awards

The Calamity of the Eclipse

So the eclipse is coming up on Monday, August 21, and people are really f**king excited about it. Since we won’t be able to see the next one until April 2024, I guess I get the appeal.

Everyone is talking about the super small town directly in the path that will get the best “view” of the eclipse that’s been inundated with entirely too many people, the best eyewear, etc … but I really only care what libation will be in my hand when I “see” it.

That said, I’ve seen a lot of other recipes for cocktails with a dark liquor float on top, but I thought I’d go for the next level of gimmick. I created ice balls with activated charcoal in them to look like the moon, and I mixed up a riff on a traditional gin cocktail, the Bees Knees, that’s gold in color … ya know, like the sun. I chose to use Calamity Gin because it has delightful citrus notes along with light hints of juniper, rose, and cardamom. I also threw in just a bit of Ancho Reyes ancho chile liqueur to give it some heat. To make it festive, I made ice balls colored with activated charcoal*.

***Before using charcoal in your cocktails, or before ingesting activated charcoal at all, really, you should know the risks. Yes, risks. Charcoal is showing up now in juices and capsules to act as a health aid to do anything from reduce gas, improve digestive health and lower cholesterol to acting as a killer hangover cure. But, what people aren’t telling you is that, while it does all that good s**t, it also can mess with your medications. Since it’s a natural purifier/filter, it can render your medications ineffective. Meaning: DO NOT DRINK THIS IF YOU’VE TAKEN ANY MEDICATION LESS THAN TWO HOURS BEFORE, AND DON’T TAKE ANYTHING FOR AT LEAST ONE HOUR AFTER. That is, unless you’re ok with your birth control failing, ladies.***

CALAMITY OF THE ECLIPSE
2oz
 Calamity Gin
0.75oz fresh squeezed lemon juice
0.5oz honey syrup
0.5oz Ancho Reyes Liqueur
560mg activated charcoal (usually two capsules, do not use casing)*
5oz water

The night before, dilute the activated charcoal into 5oz of water. Stir, then funnel into a round ice mold. Freeze overnight.
Mix the remaining liquid ingredients together with ice until chilled, then strain into a rocks glass over the charcoal ice ball. Enjoy immediately.

 *If you’re not comfortable using activated charcoal, there is black food coloring! Or even purchase a pomegranate juice for a fruity take on this cocktail.

Calamity Gin was nice enough to give me a bottle of gin to play around with to find a fun recipe for the eclipse and sponsor this post.