Now, a little on the Negroni: it’s a classic Italian cocktail that has been around since the early 1900s that is made with equal parts gin, Campari, and red vermouth with an orange peel garnish, served on the rocks. Campari is a bright red, bitter, Italian liqueur that gives this drink its unique flavor profile. The Negroni is considered an apéritif, which the Italians will sip before a meal to prepare their stomachs.
I know that we’ve all had a traditional Negroni or two this week, so to stir things up a little, I tried my hand at Strawberry Negroni Popsicles for a pool party yesterday! These pops are as easy to make as they could be and are a perfect way to cool down in this oppressive heat.
STRAWBERRY NEGRONI POPSICLES
1 1/2 lb strawberries, hulled
6 T turbinado sugar (Sugar in the Raw)
2.5 T Seersucker Gin
2.5 T Campari
2.5 T Sweet Vermouth
1 T Orange Flower Water
Combine hulled strawberries and sugar in a blender, let them sit for 10-20min, then blend until smooth. Add other ingredients and blend for another 20 seconds. Freeze in popsicle molds for at least 8 hours.
It’s almost time for my favorite weekend of the year..that’s right- the Fort Worth Food and Wine Festival. This year, the festival will be held March 30 – April 1, 2017. Tickets just went on sale, so don’t wait- or you will be sorry!
Here is a recap of last year if you need more convincing of how awesome this weekend truly is.
February 4th is the 14th annual Pisco Sour Day! Taste some classic sours as well as some intriguing new takes on the Peruvian cocktail at several locations including (but not limited to) Jettison, Armory De, Quarter Bar, La Duni Northpark, Bolsa, Cafe Salsera, and Victor Tangos.
(If you’ve been a reader for a while, you’ll know that Brian and Susie are both big fans of the distilled grape spirit.)
Can’t be asked to make it out tomorrow? Make your very own Classic Pisco Sour at home!
Pisco Portón’s Classic Pisco Sour
2oz Pisco Portón
1 oz fresh lime juice
1 oz simple syrup
1oz egg whites
Dash of Angostura bitters
Add all the ingredients in a blender. Blend on high for 15 seconds. Stop blender and add 5 cubes of ice, then pulse the blender 5 times. Strain into a coupe glass and garnish with 3 drops of Angostura bitters.
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.
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.
The Sidecar, another of the classics out of New Orleans, is perhaps one of the first cocktail I remember hearing about in my childhood. Incredibly simple–brandy, lemon, and triple sec–it’s none too sweet. Luckily, the sugared rim adds a nice amount of sweetness and plenty of sexiness.
The Sidecar has seen many offshoots, but is said to have come from the Brandy Crusta. It’s disputed to have been created at either Harry’s Bar in Paris or Buck’s Club in London–either way, it has been mentioned in just about every cocktail book since World War I. Wherever it came from, its ingredients have remained constant.
2oz brandy (I went with Hennessy V.S.O.P. Privilège)
1oz fresh lemon juice
1oz triple sec (like Cointreau)
Combine ingredients in a shaker with ice then shake until very well chilled. Strain into sugar-rimmed glass.
If you’re looking to experience Dallas’s best Sidecars, join SDD Contributor Tiffany and I for a Sidecar Tour tonight, December 15, sponsored by Hennessy! We’ll start at Rapscallion at 6pm … join if you dare!
***Thanks to Hennessy for providing a bottle to create the cocktail!***
Y’all … this weather is weird. 30º one day, 60º the next … it’s enough to give anyone a sniffle. The best cure? A hot toddy.
The Hot Toddy (or tottie or “hot whiskey”) is traditionally made using a dark spirit (usually whiskey, rum, or brandy), hot water, sugar, and some spice. Typically, we see lemon added to make it … you know … more “medicinal”. And while they’re said to be a good way to mitigate cold symptoms, I’ve found that I enjoy them whether I’m sickly or not.
The word “toddy” itself comes from the Hindi work tārī, which was a drink they made using the toddy palm. The British adopted and adapted the drink (as they do), and then it made its way to America’s deep south and they did the same using rum and local spice and sugars, but these drinks were served cool. The more well-known HOT version is thought to have come from Scotland and was used as a cold cure.
Wherever it came from, I’m a fan. That said, I came up with a version that will add some (literal) spice to your holiday …
Hot Toddiablo 1½ oz Maker’s Mark
1/4 oz Ancho Chili Demerera Syrup*
1 bag Harney & Sons Hot Cinnamon Spice tea
3 oz hot water
2 dashes Orange bitters
Combine ingredients in a mixing glass, then stir until combined.
Glass: hot drink glass Garnish: orange slice and cinnamon stick (and slice of ancho chile if desired)
Ancho Chili Demerera Syrup
2 cups demerera sugar (Sugar in the Raw)
1 cup water
2 ancho chilis, stemmed and seeded
Bring ingredients to a boil in a saucepan, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and let sit for 20 minutes. Strain through a find sieve, and let cool completely. Store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
Hi, my name is Tiffany, and I’m a cocktail onion addict.
Whew! There, I said it. It was love at first sight – I remember that night so clearly: My friends and I were sitting in a dimly-lit corner of a New Orleans restaurant during Tales of the Cocktail and were primed to order our first round of drinks. Our local Absolut Elyx brand ambassador, Kyle Paris, was with us and suggested that I try the Gibson martini, and I’M SO GLAD I LISTENED TO HIM. (He knows things sometimes.) I love me a well-made dry martini, but when you garnish it with a crunchy, briny, house made cocktail onion? Game over. Take me away.
What I couldn’t believe was how long it took me to eat my first ever cocktail onion. In all honesty, I vaguely remember seeing the little pearls on various bar tops, but it never occurred to me that they were briny. I always thought they were raw, and I’m definitely not a fan of eating raw onions. Yuck. However, now that Kyle had set me straight, I had so many questions. Why have my bartender buddies been withholding this pickled treasure from me? Do all of my favorite bars back home have cocktail onions? If so, do they make the cocktail onions in-house? Am I the only one with whom Kyle shared this brilliance?
I needed answers.
My Dallas Gibson cocktail discovery mission had a rough start. I had the unfortunate incident of receiving a Gibson that was garnished with cocktail onions from the bottom of a very large, very old-looking jar. (The bar name will be withheld to protect the not at all innocent.) To say the least, it was an unpleasant experience – the onions lacked the freshness and crunch that I enjoyed so much with my first Gibson. I learned a paramount lesson that night: Store-bought jarred cocktail onions be gone. Say it with me: House made garnishes only!
That’s when I partnered up with Kyle to organize the first ever (as far as I know anyway) Absolut Elyx Gibson Tour. We reached out to some of our favorite bartenders around the city to see if any would be interested in coming up with their own cocktail onion recipes. As it turns out, many of them were.
Six friends on average at each boozy stop.
Who knows how many Gibsons to consume.
The Absolut Elyx Tour was officially on.
STOP #1: VICINI
Our first stop was in the ‘burbs at Vicini Frisco. Barman Brian McCullough served up some delightful Elyx cocktails with his variation of the cocktail onion – pickled spring onion bow ties. I really enjoyed Brian’s version; it had welcome, grassy notes, the familiar brininess, and a touch of whimsy. What’ s not to love?
STOP #2: BOULEVARDIER
From Frisco, the Tour braved Friday rush hour traffic all the way down to Bishop Arts District to pay Boulevardier a visit. This popular restaurant/bar is one of the few spots that already make their own cocktail onions. Ashley Williams made an excellent classic onion garnish; so excellent, in fact, that I enjoyed six of them. (Two onions per cocktail, carry the three … you do the math.)
STOP #3: THE MITCHELL
After two delightful stops, the Tour was starting to hit its stride. From Boulevardier, we Uber’d our way downtown to The Mitchellwhere they offered not one but two cocktail onions to sample that night, one in a “garden brine” and one made with hatch chilis. I’m a bit of a spice wimp so I steered clear of anything marinating in a hatch chili situation, so I opted for the garden variety. Without hesitation, I popped the onion in my mouth, anticipating a deliciously briny vegetable medley. What I got instead was a mouthful of sharp, raw onion. Oh boy, that was surprising. No kissing for me that night for sure. I downed the rest of my Gibson to alleviate the biting flavor.
STOP #4: MIDNIGHT RAMBLER
Without hesitation, the Elyx Gibson Tour soldiered on to a tried and true spot down the street, Midnight Rambler. They garnish their Gibson, The Silvertone, with a mighty fine and smoky chipotle onion, to which I was no stranger. The Elyx was flowing and skewers of golden brown onions perched on about half of the cocktails on the bar top for a solid hour. This was the 4th stop on the tour and the group was feeling gooooooood — and Susie had finally joined us. (A little tardy to the party.)
By the time we made it to the fifth and last stop of the night, most of our friends had already bid us farewell. So then there were the final four.
STOP #5: HIGH & TIGHT
We approached the bar at High & Tight, excited to see what our favorite bar-behind-a-barbershop’s man behind the stick, Austin Gurley, had in store for us, and I am so happy that we made it to the last stop. The cocktail onion was so surprisingly flavorful, with citrusy notes of grapefruit and a spicy, peppery kick. It was by far our favorite of the night!
The Elyx Gibson Tour proved a success, and what kind of cocktail onion addict would I be if I didn’t try to cover more ground? A few days after the tour, I visited Hugo Osorio at The Theodore to sample the onion batch he prepared. The onions were wonderfully balanced with crunchiness, brininess, and jalapeño spiciness … so yeah, pretty much cocktail onion heaven.
This last Gibson falls outside of the Dallas area … like, really far outside. But, due to its Absolut awesomeness, it had to be included. A few weekends ago, I went to Chicago and had the pleasure of ordering the Elyx Gibson off of Vol. 39‘s brand spanking new cocktail menu at The Kimpton Gray Hotel. As far as I was concerned, it was kismet. The cocktail onion had bursts of Chinese five-spice and red wine vinegar. It sparkled atop my glass like a garnet jewel. If you ever find yourself in downtown Chicago, don’t think twice before visiting this bar. Thank me later.
I write this in hopes of drawing out existing Gibson lovers and converting the Gibson-ly ignorant into cocktail onion enthusiasts. And then, maybe one day, this particular tipple will experience a comeback of Old Fashioned’s proportions. A girl like me can dream, right? In the meantime, if you’re curious about trying out the Gibson for yourself, give me a call. I’m always down.
SPECIAL THANKS TO ABSOLUT ELYX FOR HELPING US MAKE THIS NIGHT HAPPEN!
Vicini: 7777 Warren Parkway #104 (Frisco) Boulevardier: 408 N Bishop Avenue #108 (Bishop Arts District) The Mitchell: 1404 Main Street (Downtown) Midnight Rambler: 1530 Main Street, inside The Joule Hotel (Downtown) High & Tight: 2701 Main Street #180 (Deep Ellum) The Theodore: 8687 North Central Expressway #1804, inside NorthPark Center (North Dallas) Vol. 39: 39 S. La Salle Street, inside the Kimpton The Gray Hotel (Chicago, Illinois)