I turned 30 last month. When their number came up, some friends my age mourned the end of their 20s, some celebrated a second 29th birthday, and others just ignored the coming of another decade completely. I decided to do none of these and instead opted for a giant party. (Because I love a good party.) My wonderful sister took it upon herself to plan a shindig the likes of which won’t be matched for quite a while.
The black and white party was held in my dad’s backyard at our home in Arlington–it was decked out with globe lights, swan floats in the pool, gold mylar balloons and giant white balloons with tissue paper tassels, and a large screen playing “Casablanca”. Guests were asked to wear black and white and I wore gold. It was, in a word, perfect.
My sister let me put my hands on ONE thing for the party–the bar. Instead of hiring a bartender and stocking a full bar, I asked four of my favorite barmen in Dallas to create and batch out a drink for the evening. I’ll just say that guests weren’t left thirsty. Stephen Halpin (formerly of Parliament and now the US Brand Ambassador for Patrón Spirits), Brian McCollough (owner of Vicini and The Standard Pour), Austin Gurley (High & Tight), and Christian Armando (formerly of The Standard Pour) were my chosen mix masters, and they each created fantastic drinks featuring some of my favorite spirits.
ROSÉ ALL DAY FT. PATRÓN (Stephen Halpin)
Patrón Citrónage Orange, rosé wine, St. Germain, strawberries, raspberries
Garnished with a lime wheel
CLEARWATER REVIVAL FT. ABSOLUT ELYX (Brian McCollough)
Absolut Elyx, Yuzu, lemongrass, pineapple syrup, champagne vinegar, topo chico
Garnish like wheel
BLUEBERRY GINGER COLLINS FT. TULLAMORE D.E.W. (Austin Gurley)
Tullamore D.E.W., ginger liquor, tropical syrup, lemon, soda
Garnished with a peach
SOUTHERN BLOSSOM FT. PISCO PORTÓN (Christian Armando)
Pisco Portón, Rosé, Giffard Pamplemousse, lime juice, simple syrup, rose water
Garnished with a rose petal
One cannot live on liquid alone, especially when a party is outside in June … in Texas. I decided that some boozy popsicles would be the ticket, and French 75s were the perfect thing to freeze. Check out the full French 75 popsicle recipe using Bulldog Gin and Mia sparkling wine.
And last, but not least, no party of mine is complete without shots … I don’t care how hold I am, they’re happening. For this occasion, I decided that I’d get basic and separate the men from the boys (as it were) with Tullamore D.E.W. shots. As some of you may know, it’s my favorite Irish whiskey … I even named my dog Tully.
Since the booze was handled (and handled well), goodies needed to be on-hand to soak up the liquor. They stocked a donut bar with some of Dallas’ best from Hypnotic Donuts, a popcorn bar with all the fixins from Pokey O’s, delicious hors d’oeuvres, a party bus (you know, for safe transportation for our guests), and a badass gif photo booth, and you’ve got yourself a hell of a celebration.
I cannot begin to describe how meaningful it was to be surrounded by family and friends to celebrate my birthday. If I must age, I’m glad that it’s surrounded by loved ones.
Special thanks to William Grant and Sons, Absolut Elyx, Patrón, Tullamore D.E.W., Pisco Portón, Campari USA for the liquor and SimpleBooth/The Infinite Agency for the photo booth.
Even more special thanks to my amazing sister who planned such an amazing party and everyone who helped her pull it off, especially my awesome parents!