Category Archives: Margarita

Get Buzzed by the Buzz Button

Have you heard of the new mouth numbing cocktail garnish cursing cocktails across the country? It’s the Szechuan button—also called the toothache plant, buzz button, and electric daisy—a yellow flower that can alter your tastebuds and numb your mouth, even with just a wee nibble.

The tongue-numbing garnish has even made its way to the menu at  TGI Fridays on its Blackberry Buzz Rita. The cocktail itself is refreshing, perfect for the Texas heat, but the buzz button gives the margarita some edge. Take a sip and enjoy the cocktail’s bright flavors, then take a nibble of the button. You’ll notice a slightly bitter flavor, then your tongue will tingle slightly. Once you feel a little prickle, take another sip of your cocktail and notice how the flavors evolve.

Beyond the Blackberry Buzz Rita, the rest of new TGIF cocktail menu* has a few unique offerings, from cocktails that glitter and change color to one that they just light on fire. Because, why the f**k not? TGIF’s bartenders go through a rigorous training program and are encouraged to continue learning, exemplified by their annual World’s Bartender Championship, so it follows that they try to push the envelope. Following the 2017 trend, TGIF even offers a version of a frosé made with rosé and strawberry. (If anything, it’s perfectly Instagrammable.) Hurry in, because these new cocktail will only be available for a limited time.

TGIF, as always, offers their well-known bar bites, juicy burgers, and nostalgic broccoli cheese soup. (Damnit, I’m craving BCS now!) Their new offerings let you one up yourself with the option to add a second meat to your dinner. I mean … who wants to choose just one meat when you can add on a steak? I enjoyed the ribs this trip for the first time, and they literally fell off the bone, proving that TGIF still gets it done in the kitchen.

Stop in and get buzzed by the buzz button before it’s off the menu!

These cocktail are only available at select TGI Fridays locations.


This is a sponsored post paid for by TGI Fridays.
Thanks to Kathryn H. for the hand modeling!

How to Cinco Better

This year, Cinco de Mayo and Derby Day land on the same day. (God, help us all.) Since I love big hats and margaritas, I wanted to give each its own parties. So, we Cinco-ed early so I could show you all the shortcuts to get your Cinco party done early to give the evening to the Derby!

Since I get a little crazy sometimes making two or six batched drinks for parties, I decided to let my guests play bartender a little. I batched out a traditional margarita recipe and made fresh purees—blueberry, strawberry, and mango—then put out mason jars so everyone had their own “shaker”. Then, all you need is festive, paper straws and lime wheels for garnish, and tada … the easiest margarita bar ever. (I also put out freshness basil and a muddler for an extra flavor.

CLASSIC MARGARITA
1.5 oz Pura Vida Tequila Silver
1 oz Pura Vida Naranja orange liqueur
0.75 oz lime juice
0.25 oz simple syrup

Since Cinco de Mayo celebration seems to be all about tequila, I also gave my guests three expression of Pura Vida Tequila to taste. This tequila is a new favorite of mine. Made in Jalisco (as it must be to be be called  tequila), the brand has Texas roots and is incredibly smooth.

The biggest thing to remember is: less prep means less dishes. Since I tend to be a messy cook, I opted to cater our little meal. La Ventana, a Dallas-based taco shop that makes authentic Mexico City tacos and goodies and now has five locations across DFW. I’ve always loved their breakfast tacos, so I started my party at 11am so I could be sure there were breakfast tacos on the table!

Since their breakfast tacos aren’t the only thing they do well, we stocked up on their traditional options like steak, pastor, lengua (beef tongue), and barbacoa. There was a little something for everyone, and since their tacos are made on corn tortillas, even my gluten-free guests could dig in.

The tacos were, of course, amazing, but their signature dessert, churros con cajeta, took the cake. (Pun only kind of weirdly intended.) These things are addictive, and I’m OK with it.

And what’s a party without favors? Last year, I made my own adult pinata, but this year … I found someone to do it for me. This fun website, Nipyata, has themed pinatas for every holiday FILLED WITH BOOZE AND CANDY, and it even comes with a papier-mâché bat, blindfold, and rope. Starting at $69.99, it’s a fun addition to a fiesta, bachelorette party, etc. (Even cooler, you can add custom fortunes and even a hand-written note—think gender reveal, people!)

We had a blast whaling away on it. Give some “adults” a few margaritas and the chance to take out some pent-up aggression on an inanimate object with no repercussions and the goal of unlocking more boozy goodness … it’s on.


PURA VIDA TEQUILA
puravidatequila.com

LA VENTANA
taquerialaventana.com

NIPYATA
nipyata.com

National Margarita Day 2017

ALL DEALS AVAILABLE FEBRUARY 22 UNLESS OTHERWISE INDICATED.

Stop into Sigel’s on February 22 for their tequila sale with more than 50 tequilas marked down!


ASADOR
Margarita Deal: $5 select margaritas (Flama de Asador, house margarita; The Razzle, raspberry; The Kinky Berry, strawberry basil)
Location: 2222 Stemmons Freeway
Dates: 5-10pm

CANTINA LAREDO
Margarita Deal:$8 Perfect Patrón Rita (Patrón Silver and Patrón Citrónage Orange Liqueur, normally $12.25) 
Location(s): all
Dates: 2/18 – 2/22

CHINO CHINATOWN
Margarita Deal: $5 margaritas, frozen or rocks
Location: Trinity Groves

EL CHICO
Margarita Deal:$4 Cucumber Chili Margarita (spicy blend of Sauza Cucumber Chili Tequila, Cointreau Orange Liqueur and margarita mix, normally $7.50)
Location(s): all
Dates: 2/19 – 2/22

EL FENIX
Margarita Deal: $2.99 house margaritas (rocks or frozen)
Location(s): All
Dates: 2/17 – 2/26

GEMMA
Margarita Deal: $6 Blood Orange Margaritas
Location: Knox/Henderson
Dates: 10:40pm-1am

HENRY’S MAJESTIC
Margarita Deal: $7 Watermelon Tajin Margaritas (watermelon, tequila, triple sec, lime, honey, Tajin)
Location(s): Uptown
Dates: 2/17 – 2/26

HIGH FIVES
Margarita Deal: $2 margaritas
Location: Knox/Henderson

LA VENTANA
Margarita Deal: free margarita samples, $2 el Jimador margaritas and $2 Chambord swirls
Perks: Luchador appearance
Location(s): Addison location, 3-5pm; Downtown, 5-7pm

MEXICAN SUGAR
Margarita Deal
: $14 margarita flight (Hibiscus/Smoked Pineapple/Classic)
Location(s):
Plano

PILIKIA
Margarita Deal
: $6 apple/pear or strawberry/kiwi margaritas
Location(s):
East Dallas

SIGEL’S
Margarita Deal: free tastings of Sauza Hornitos Black and Silver
Location: 5757 Greenville Ave. & 3209 N.Fitzhugh ONLY
Dates: 5-8pm

SNUFFER’S
Margarita Deal: $3 house margaritas (rocks or frozen)
Location(s): all
Dates: 2/20 – 2/26

SOCIAL HOUSE
Margarita Deal: $3 off margaritas
Location: Uptown, Addison
Dates: 4-7pm

T. BLANCO’S MEXICAN CANTINA
Margarita Deal: FREEEEEEEEEE 5-7pm along with light bites
Perks: GRAND OPENING DAY! DJ, raffle
Location: 15207 Addison Road (Addison)
Dates: 5-7pm

TACO HEADS
Margarita Deal: $5 margaritas
Location: Fort Worth

URBAN TACO
Margarita Deal: $5 hibiscus, acapulquena, or de oro margaritas
Location: 5757 Greenville Ave. & 3209 N.Fitzhugh ONLY
Dates: 5-8pm

WOODSHED SMOKEHOUSE
Margarita Deal: $5 margaritas, frozen or rocks
Location: Fort Worth

Salsa Limon – Fort Worth Centro

I’m pretty sure most Fort Worthians (I think that’s what we are called) will agree that Salsa Limon turns out some of the best tacos this side of Arlington. That said, I was really excited to hear that they opened a new location in downtown Fort Worth in the Tower building. This isn’t just a typical Salsa Limon … oh no … because this one serves liquor. Now you can get a margarita or a spiked agua fresca while enjoying the yummy tacos. Blessed be the taco gods.

Salsa Limon is trying to honor and preserve true Mexican taquerias–they use only the freshest ingredients. Their best selling taco is the El Capitan, which just happens to be my personal favorite. A buttery, toasted flour tortilla, Oaxaca-Jack cheese, pickled cabbage, onion, cilantro, and whatever filling you want. BRB I have to go wipe my drool real quick. I’ve always gone with my “safe” order of a Chicken El Capitan, but I got to experience some different meats that might have changed my order. I tried the Tripa for the first time last week, and to my surprise, I enjoyed this Mexican delicacy. If you want to just trust me that it’s really good, but not know what part of the animal it comes from … stop reading now. For those of you who are curious: cow intestine.

Now for the salsa. I may or may not be known to ordering large quantities of their amazing salsa and to keep it in my fridge … but let’s not spread that around. So the tomatillo (my favorite) and piquin are traditional taqueria salas, and the jalapeño and habanero are family recipes. Basically, if you haven’t tried all of their salsas, especially the jalapeño, you must. I personally believe that the range from mild to crazy hot goes a little like this: tomatillo > piquin > jalapeño > habanero. Salsa Limon says that piquin is spicer than the jalapeño, but try it at your own risk.

salsa-limon-2

The difference between this location and the others, as previously mentioned, is that they have booooooze to calm your fired-up taste buds. I would recommend the sour margarita as it’s as pure a margarita as you can get here. All the limes are squeezed by their fun orange juice machine regularly, so it’s fresh fresh fresh. Not into margraitas? You can also add rum, vodka, or gin to their agua frescas. I personally enjoy the hibiscus tea with gin.

 

Bonus- This location is perfect for late night. I have always felt that downtown Fort Worth was lacking in late night eats- problem solved. They are open till 3 am Friday and Saturday nights. Double bonus- they have a pretty great patio that looks onto the streets of downtown.

Salsa Limon- Centro
Website
Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
550 Throckmorton Street (Fort Worth)
817-615-9760

Hours:
Monday- Thursday: 7am-10pm
Friday- Saturday: 7am-3am
Sunday: 7am-9pm

 

National Margarita Day 2016

Monday, February 22 is National Margarita Day … definitely one of the more important holidays of the year.  If you’re around Dallas, stop by one of the places offering awesome deals on the limey tequila goodness.

If going out on a Monday isn’t your thing (which I just will never understand), try your hand at homemade margaritas sans the sugary (and, ahem, pedestrian) mixes with my Blood Orange Mid-Winter Margarita.  Since blood oranges are in season from December to May (give or take), it’s the perfect way to punch up the traditional recipe.  (Since it’s quite colorful, it makes for a great picture, too!)

BLOOD ORANGE MID-WINTER MARGARITA
1.5oz tequila
0.75oz of Monin Blood Orange Syrup
0.75oz fresh blood orange juice
0.75oz fresh lime juice + a bit more
chile salt

Combine liquid ingredients in a shaker.  Add ice and shake for 15 seconds.  Dip the rim of the glass in lime juice and then the chile salt.

Want a bit of spice?  Throw in 1/2 oz of Torani’s Sweet Heat ghost pepper syrup!

light back

Primo’s: New Ownership, Old Favorites

Primo’s is a Dallas institution in it’s own right. It would be harder to find a cheesier enchilada or a frostier happy hour margarita than the familiar offerings at this beloved industry favorite.

In case you missed it, Primo’s closed its doors in 2013 and reopened them again in early 2015 under new ownership. The new owners attempted to update Primo’s tried and true menu, much to the chagrin of many once-loyal fans. It wasn’t working. I have wonderful news for Primo’s loyalists and Tex Mex enthusiasts alike: Primo’s is, once again, under new ownership; and this time, new owners Dirk and Mark Kelcher (of Ron’s Place and now Cedar’s Social) intend to restore Primo’s to its former glory. Primo’s fans can expect to see the majority of the original menu, with a few thoughtful additions  that don’t take away from what Primo’s should be.

Some welcomed additions to Primo’s menu include a variety of new specialty cocktails, as well as a collection of aptly dangerous tequila flights. While Primo’s Tex Mex menu is full of old favorites, their re-vamped cocktail menu is creative and playful- in a good way. If you’re feeling indecisive, throw caution to the wind and consider allowing  the bartender to craft you an off-menu libation based on your personal preferences. I was lucky enough to sample several off-menu creations, such as the delightfully zippy Basil Jalapeño Margarita and the cleverly crafted Moscow-Rita, prepared with ginger beer in place of triple sec. While all of the specialty cocktails I sampled were interesting and delicious, I would be remiss not to remind everyone how comforting and satisfying Primo’s house marg so happens to be. Not too sweet, not too tart, and nice and smooth; simple and darn near perfect.

I can happily confirm the Kelchers are delivering on their promise to stay true to Primo’s old school Tex Mex roots. The chips are crispy and hot, the salsa spicy, the queso decadently thick and cheesy, and the guac is fresh and chunky. Primo’s beef tacos cause grease to dribble down your chin in the best way possible. Meanwhile, the chicken tacos are quite possibly the ultimate soul-warming comfort food … apart from, of course, the enchiladas. Fajitas are served sizzling, decorated with sexy little char marks that cause one to salivate in anticipation.

Ongoing specials include Margarita Tuesdays, including $3 margs and $7 taco plates, along with Happy Hour Monday-Friday, 3:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m., including $3 domestic drafts, house wines, house margs, and well. $7.99 lunch specials are available Monday-Friday from 11:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.


Primo’s Tex Mex Grille
www.PrimosTexMex.com
Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
1400 Hi Line Drive, Suite 116 (Design District)
(214) 390-7671

Hours of Operation:
Sunday- Monday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Tuesday- Saturday 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.

Snuffer’s Happy-Tizer Happy Hour

Did you know that the Snuffer’s on Lower Greenville is haunted?  Well, it sure is.  Just ask the servers and they’ll send over one of their staff members that have had a paranormal experience pop by your table and tell you a couple ghost stories.  … or they’ll just tell you about the scary good deals they’re now offerings during happy hour on their Happy-Tizer Menu.

Y’all know that I love a good happy hour, so when I was invited in to try out their new options, I didn’t shy away.  Monday-Friday, 3-7pm you can now get select mini-apps for as little as $2.  That’s right … two buckaroos … a pair of greenbacks … just a couple Washington’s … you get the idea.

As always, the Dallas favorite offers happy hour beers and margs as low as $3 to make your visit truly happy.  Think $3 house margaritas (frozen or on the rocks) and drafts (Bud Light, Samuel Adams, & Dos Equis) and $4 house wine and shooters.  While I’m not a huge beer drinker, it felt right ordering one to sip … and then a house margarita … and then another beer.

The real excitement as of late is their new happy hour food offering, a.k.a. their Happy-Tizers.  Check out the picture below.  All that goodness can be yours for $22.  And for that price, you can try all of them … and you should.  Their fried pickles and mushrooms are legendary* and these small servings are just enough to satisfy your craving but not take over the meal.  (Though, really, what’s wrong with a meal of fried pickles and mushrooms?)  Their tortilla chips were seasoned just right and the onion rings and buffalo wings were perfectly satisfactory.

If you’re trying to decide what to order on this little menu, skip the burger quesadilla and the queso … save those options for Blue Goose down the street.  They’ll get an “E” for effort on those, though.

Stop in and check out the new happy hour serving sizes at any of their locations, but don’t forget the beers and things.  Oh … and make sure to order at LEAST the personal-sized Cheddar Fries.  (Because it’d be rude to leave without a helping of them.  After all, they’ve been around longer than you … if you were born after 1978.)


SNUFFER’S RESTAURANT & BAR

snuffers.com
Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
10 locations

*at least to me.  For nearly my entire college career, when I was in a bad way the day after a good party, I knew Snuffer’s fried pickles and loaded Cheddar Fries were my saving graces.  They never failed.

***Snuffer’s invited me in to enjoy selections from their Happy-Tizers free of charge.***

#SauzaPitcherPics & Recipes

Let’s be real for just a second: What even, is the point of ordering a beautiful cocktail if you don’t plan on giving said libation its 15 minutes of fame on social media? My fiancée knows the drill now. (One aspect in which I have him totally trained.) Whenever we order cocktails at a bar or restaurant, he dutifully slides his glass towards me without taking a sip, so I can capture his drink in its pure, unadulterated state prior to his first sip.

Sauza Tequila has picked up on the fact that folks enjoy showing off their beverages; in response, they launched a fun campaign to get tequila fans snapping and posting away on Instagram (and in the blogosphere): the Sauza Pitcher Perfect Picture project!

IMG_9073

According to Sauza, margaritas are the most popular cocktail to order in pitcher form; I think we can all agree, there’s just something so dang alluring about an icy pitcher of that limey goodness. (Unless you are Susie, but we won’t go there.) Margaritas also happen to be the most frequently “shared” drink on social media. (I just want to point out, someone gets paid to sit around and figure this stuff out. Where can I sign up for this job?)

Michelle Yam, travel, food and lifestyle photographer, paired up with Sauza to share some tips on the fine art of booztography. This is serious business, y’all.

  • Natural light goes a long way in lending appeal to cocktail photos, so take full advantage of sunshiny days, whether it’s on a patio or indoors with sun streaming in through the window.
  • Playing with focus can be a great way to set up an interesting shot. Try playing with the tilt-shift function on the Instagram toolbar in order to blur out surroundings with ease.
  • Pump up the contrast and saturation to enhance texture and drama in your shot. (pun lightly intended)
  • Shadow-jockeying is a thing, especially if you are shooting outdoors. Be mindful of where shadows are being cast prior to snapping away.
  • Play the angles. Glassware can be tricky to photograph from a straight-on view. Sometimes, an aerial shot, or shooting from an angle, results in a much more attractive snap.

IMG_9067

The next time you prepare a refreshing pitcher of margaritas at home, here are some tips from Bobby Gleason, master mixologist at Beam Suntory, to get your cover girl ready for her close-up.

  • Rimmed glasses– or even pitchers- take your photos to the next level. Coarse, kosher salt works best for a salt rim. Try an alternative rim, such as Tjin Spice or smoked salt for added flavor and visual interest.
  • Kick up the heat and the color with some fresh muddle jalapeño; reserve a slice of red or green pepper for the rim.
  • Opt for solid or hollow ice cubes as opposed to crushed or shaved ice; it photographs better.
  • Experiment with fresh herbs for a color accent.
  • And by all means, don’t forget the requisite wedge or slice of lime!

Preparing a pitcher of margs capable of evoking tequila envy on Insta is only half the battle though, right? Thankfully, Sauza has shared three Pitcher Perfect recipes that are perfectly refreshing for summertime- and they are easy to put together. No blender required!

Sauza Cucumber Chili Rita
2 cups Sauza Cucumber Chili Tequila
1 cup DeKuyper Triple Sec Liqueur
2 cups fresh lemon sour
Juice of 6 whole limes
Slices of limes for garnish (optional)

Add ingredients to an ice-filled pitcher. Add sliced limes and stir.
Serves 8


Sauza-Rita
1 can Sauza Signature Blue Reposado Tequila
1 bottle light beer
1 can frozen limeade
1 can water

Pour limeade and beer into pitcher with ice. Fill limeade can with Sauza Blue Reposado and pour into pitcher. Finally, add a can of water. Stir.
Serves 9


Sauza Strawberry Margarita
1 ½ cups Sauza Signature Blue Silver Tequila
½ cup DeKuyper Triple Sec Liqueur
1 cup Pucker Strawberry Schnapps
3 cups sour mix
Sliced strawberries (optional)

Add ingredients to an ice-filled pitcher. Add sliced strawberries. Stir.
Serves 8 

For inspiration, check out some of Instagram’s Pitcher Perfect offerings, by searching for the hashtag, #SauzaPitcherPics.

www.SauzaTequila.com
Twitter: @Sauza
Facebook: @SauzaTequila
Instagram: @SauzaTequila
Pinterest: @SauzaTequila
YouTube: SauzaTequila

***Sauza Tequila graciously provided me with a fun, booze-filled care package in order to assist me in the process of crafting my own #pitcherperfectpicture.***