Category Archives: Event Recaps

I’m 30.

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.

View More: http://madisonkatlinphotography.pass.us/susiedrinksdallas

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.

View More: http://madisonkatlinphotography.pass.us/susiedrinksdallas

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!

Sourced Craft Cocktails Delivery Service

My prayers have been answered: There’s finally a cocktail delivery service in Dallas. I know what you’re thinking, “But, Tiffany … what about Lash Delivery, MiniBar, TopShelf, or any of the other many booze delivery services already in town?” Let me finish. Granted, there’s no shortage of alcohol delivery services in Dallas; the biggest difference is that Sourced is only one that’s delivering a cocktail experience rather than dropping off handles of vodka in brown paper bags. (Which, if that’s your thing, cool.)

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Picture courtesy of Sourced

The company launched in Austin in October 2015 by founder and CEO, Tim Angelillo, who enlisted the help and cocktail expertise of Brian Floyd, who earned his bartending chops under the tutelage of revered cocktail great, the late Sasha Petraske.  With these two at the helm, the delivery service has seen success in the Austin market and launched in Dallas in April 2016. The company prides itself in sourcing the highest quality ingredients and products from local vendors from Dallas and Austin, and is working to take on Houston by the end of the year.

OK, so here’s the premise: you want to throw a party, and you want to offer a legitimate cocktail rather than just beer and wine.  Problem is, you don’t have the tools, glassware, time, or know-how to actually make this work. (So is life.) That’s where Sourced comes in.  They will deliver everything you need to assemble, execute, and serve the cocktail of your choice, all in a nifty barrel complete with recipe card by knowledgeable cocktail specialist to teach you how to make it. (All within three hours of your order request.) Then, after your party is over, all you need to do is put all of the empty bottles, used glassware, and tools back into the barrel and Sourced will come by and pick it up from your front door. You don’t even have to wash anything.

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Peruse the website or mobile app to see the current cocktail offerings as they offer a rotating menu of at least a dozen available options.  Depending on the cocktail you choose, you can purchase in drink packs of 6, 12, 24, and so on, and the site breaks down the price per drink. I can tell you now, the prices are hard to beat.  This is coming from someone who frequents many a cocktail bar, and unless you’re ordering off of a very good happy hour menu, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a premium cocktail for less than $10.  Sourced cocktails break down to be about $6 on average.

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You don’t have to take my word for it; check out what Sourced is all about at sourcedcocktails.com. Throw a party, learn about cocktails, wow your guests, and take all of the credit. You don’t even have to do the dishes.

SOURCED CRAFT COCKTAILS
sourcedcocktails.com
Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
512-650-6246
Current service areas: 75204, 75214, 75205, 75206, 75219, 75226, 75201, 75270, 75202, & Austin

*Header image courtesy of Sourced.

Big Taste of Fort Worth 2016

Gourmet cuisine from Tarrant County’s best restaurants, premium wines from local wineries, an open bar serving one of THE BEST Texas whiskies, and rubbing elbows with some of the most influential members of the Tarrant County community … and all for a good cause … that’s what makes a great night.

For 37 years, The Barrett Havran Memorial Big Taste of Fort Worth has been creating these great experiences. Every year, they partner with the best of the best Tarrant County has to offer, including a VIP wine tasting, and an incredible auction to benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters. This year’s event was hosted at the beautiful Omni Hotel, in Fort Worth.

The live auction had several luxe packages including a seven-day stay in Tuscany, a Capital Grille dining experience with former NFL running back LaDainian Tomlinson (also a celebrity tasting judge at the event), and a luxury Fort Worth weekend including dinner for two at Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse, tickets to Bass Performance Hall, along with a night stay at the Worthington Renaissance Fort Worth Hotel complete with use of a new Lexus LS460 during the stay.

The silent auction included Pulsar Watches, various wines (oh, so many wines, including Champagne Taittinger, Robert Foley Vineyards, White Rose Estate) along with art, books, electronics, and clothing.

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The food tasting featured an all-star lineup of Whiskey & Rye our of the Omni Fort Worth, Del Frisco’s, The Capital Grille – Fort Worth, and Eddie V’s Prime Seafood.

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All the chefs brought their A-game to provide countless samples for guests to eat. There was absolutely no excuse for anyone to leave hungry … or sober, for that matter. (Thank you, Uber.)

About that … guests were invited to enjoy multiple open bars serving beer selections and Robert Mondovi Private Selection wines.

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The most amazing part was they were also featuring one of my new favorite whiskeys, Texas Silver Star.

This stuff … is amazing … and local. The artisans behind this concept are Mark Lusignan, Ben Alexander and Don Alexander of the Trinity River Distillery located in Fort Worth. This small-batch whiskey is distilled from select corn, barley and rye, and aged in new charred American white oak barrels for around 2.5 years. In addition, the team collects and stores rainwater in two 13,000 gallon steel tanks that they process and filter using reverse osmosis for use in their products. This event featured the Spirit Whiskey and, my personal favorite, Texas Honey. (Go out and find some. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.)

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In all seriousness, being a part of this event was completely amazing. The Barret Havran Memorial event supports Big Brothers Big Sisters’s mission to help at-risk youth graduate high school, avoid juvenile delinquency and prepare for college and job readiness. Seeing the outpouring of support from some of Fort Worth’s most influential community was incredible to witness.

The Fort Worth chapter of BBBS currently has 700 children on their waiting list. If you would like to learn how you can help impact these children’s lives, you can donate or volunteer at www.bbbstx.org.

Keep an eye out for next year’s Big Taste of Fort Worth event so you can be part of the change!

Baileys Almande Yoga with a Twist

Written by: Jamie Javor

Yoga. Brunch. Take those two beautiful words, tie them together with a cute little bow, and you get the perfection that was the Baileys Almande Yoga with a Twist event this past weekend. The action unfolded on the 7th floor of The Jordan apartment building, on the pool deck overlooking the city. (After all the rain we have been experiencing lately, the weather gods smiled down and gave us some much needed sunshine.)

Stephanie with V12 Yoga led the class while Rahim Quazi played the guitar. (V12 yoga has regular scheduled classes, but they also organize free yoga at different locations throughout the city.)

Yoga

So about this Baileys Almande … Ah. Mazing. Served with Vita Coco Coconut Water, blended as a frappe or on the rocks. (Recipes below.) While this new Baileys is of course alcoholic, it’s very difficult to tell because the liqueur is so light. The flavor isn’t too thick, or too thin, and has the perfect amount of sweetness. Definitely not too overbearing. The taste isn’t quite as potent as the original Baileys. The almond and vanilla flavors help make this drink uber refreshing and easy to drink on ice.

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Call me crazy, but I think it would be great in coffee too. It’s made with almond milk and is gluten and dairy free. Check out some recipes here or below.

State & Allen catered the vegan brunch that included fresh fruit, vegan granola, vegan sausage, and quiche. They don’t just do catering though. State & Allen has a brick and mortar and prides itself on being “Dallas’ first GREEN CERTIFIED restaurant”.

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Picture courtesy of Baileys

Us drinking yogis had a great, little workout and delicious vegan brunch with drinks … all in all, not a bad way to kick off Sunday.

Namaste.


Baileys Almande
Almondmilk Liqueur
www.baileys.com/en-us/baileys-almande.html
FACEBOOK | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM | PINTEREST

ALCOHOL CONTENT: 13% alc/vol
NOSE: almond, vanilla
FLAVOR: light, clean, refreshing
CREATED WITH: almond oil, almond essence, cane sugar, purified water, and vanilla — GLUTEN FREE. DAIRY FREE.
SIPPING SUGGESTIONS: over ice
PRICE: $24.99 (750 mL)


Aloha Almande 
(Created by Mixologist Leann Berry)
1 3/4 oz Baileys Almande
3/4 oz Ketel One Vodka
1 3/4 oz Vita Coco
2 pieces Fresh Pineapple
3/4 oz Pineapple Juice
1 cup Ice
Pineapple Slice for Garnish

Combine Baileys Almande, vodka, Vita Coco, fresh pineapple, pineapple juice, and ice into a blender. Blend until smooth. Pour contents into a Collins glass.

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Picture courtesy of Baileys

 

Very Berry Almande (Created by Mixologist Leann Berry)
3 oz Baileys Almande
2 oz Vita Coco
2 Blackberries
1 cup Ice
Blackberry and Lemon Twist for Garnish

Combine Baileys Almande, Vita Coco, blackberries, and ice into a blender. Blend until smooth.  Pour contents into a Collins glass. Garnish with blackberry and lemon twist.

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Picture courtesy of Baileys

 

THE SDD TEAM WAS INVITED TO ATTEND THIS EVENT FREE OF CHARGE.

 

 

Chefs For Farmers Mix-Off/Yes Chef! Event

This past Sunday I had the honor of being a judge for the Chefs For Farmers‘ sold-out Mix-Off/Yes Chef! event at Design District’s event space, DEC on Dragon. What did that entail, you ask? Well, I got a wear a big ol’ fancy sash that read, “CFF JUDGE” as I walked from table to table, sampling food bites and cocktails from some of the city’s best restaurants and bars.

Small Brewpub, FT33, The Joule, The Grape Restaurant, Patina Green Home and Market, Independent Bar & Kitchen, Uchi Dallas, and The Blind Butcher all had sous chefs in attendance to battle it out for best food. As for the cocktails, bartenders from Top Knot, Armoury, D.E., Parliament, The Theodore, Filament, Henry’s Majestic, Midnight Rambler, and Rapscallion came armed and ready with tins, spirits, syrups, and garnishes to wow the crowds and the judges … even this one who got caught picking pepper out of her teeth by an event photographer. Why am I so awkward?

My life sounds hard sometimes … I know. Especially when I showed up at 5PM really hungry. I think I sampled offerings from half  of the the competing chefs before the event’s moderator, Jimmy Contreras, came up to me smiling and said, “You know you have to try all of the dishes at the Judges’ Table upstairs at 6pm, right?” *Blink blink* “Well, I do now!”

Luckily, I made sure to attend the event in a flowy dress that allowed for over-consumption. With my newly gained knowledge I set aside my dishes in-hand and went to the rooftop to focus on more important things–the cocktails. The temperature was in the high 80s, so I was really looking forward to some icy concoctions featuring sponsored spirits, Patrón and Makers 46. I managed to sample half of the cocktails before being sitting down for the official judging portion of the event. (This is one situation where “slow and steady wins the race” isn’t a thing.)

(At this point, I am thinking that maybe I shouldn’t have had so many samples before sitting down. Oops.) When all of the samples of food and cocktails were assembled on the table in front of me, it all looked a bit daunting, but obviously I kept my cool.

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Or not.

I attacked the cocktails first as it was a hot day and all iced drinks were diluting at a rapid pace, and any drinks that did not feature ice was warming up just as quickly. You know my priority: SALVAGE THE DRINKS. Once I marked down my cocktail vote, I forged onward with the food bites and hoped that none of the many photographers crowded around the table would catch an unsavory photo of my chipmunk cheeks stuffed with food.

Winners were announced at the end of the event. (You didn’t think I was going to say who I voted for, did you?)

  • Returning champion, Brian Bell from The Blind Butcher, took People’s Choice Sous Chef again with his sausage and bone marrow BBQ dish
  • Sarah Green from the Joule took home Judge’s Choice for her Frito Hand Pie
  • Ryan Frederick from Henry’s Majestic won for Best Makers 46 cocktail
  • Jesse Powell from Parliament won both Best Patrón cocktail and overall People’s Choice Bartender

All winners’ dishes and cocktails will be featured at the three-day Chefs For Farmers 2016 festival, September 23-25. Tickets for the main event go on sale soon. Check the CFF Facebook page or website for more information as it is released.

Chefs For Farmers 2016
www.chefsforfarmers.com
September 23-25

San Antonio Cocktail Conference 2016

One should ever stop improving his craft … or drinking.  For that reason, a very special group of people come together each January to talk booze, learn about industry trends, raise money for a worthy cause, and celebrate all-things cocktail at the San Antonio Cocktail Conference.  Oh … and go to plenty of parties.  (So many parties.)

You can find the basics on my recap of last year’s SACC, but this year was a completely different experience.  First, I was over my fan-girl stage after meeting some of my favorite distillers/authors/bar(wo)men I’ve admired.  Second, I knew a bit more than to attempt to go the whole weekend without Gatorade or heartburn meds and only eating at events.  (You live, you learn.)  I also learned that, if you want to experience this the right way, you jump in head first … and take a running start.

THE HIGHLIGHTS:

I got whisk(ey)ed away.  If you read my stuff, you know I’m a fan of Tullamore D.E.W. (a.k.a. Tully*), so I was delighted to be invited to the seminar “Five Cocktails that Changed Irish Whiskey Forever” led by Tully’s U.S. brand ambassador, Tim Herlihy, and badass barman Stephen Halpin.  They waxed poetic about the origins of the drinks, mixed each up so we could try them out, and provided color commentary about whiskey and Irish drinking traditions … and, of course, led us in a few toasts.  The five cocktails here: Irish coffee (invented in an airport in 1942 … really?), the hot toddy, the high ball, the Pickleback, and the Irish Car Bomb.  (Needless to say, I was useless waste of space for the four hours following this seminar.)

I ate all the tacos.  (Not kidding, actually.)  My cohorts and I somehow ended up as stowaways on the annual Tito’s Vodka Taco Bus Tour alongside my spirit animal, David Alan, a.k.a. the Tipsy Texan.  We made a few taco stops, our bus got pulled over (as one does), and we drank vodka … lots of vodka.

I learned some things.  I had the opportunity to see my friend, Kevin of the Cocktail Enthusiast, talk about his time touring Cuba and experiencing their classic cocktails (you know, purely for journalistic reasons).  CZCT7F8UsAAKH-YNew 30th birthday trip plan: create my Cuba travel guide!  Other nuggets of knowledge picked up: how to make an authentic hurricane, bright yellow, super fast Camaros are super fun to drive (see my ride to SA on the right … thanks to Chevy!), and don’t wait to book your hotel.

If you’re at all interested in spirits, the history of cocktails, the bar industry and what makes it tick, etc., check out the SACC and attend a seminar or two.  This year they even had a yoga class and a seminar entitled “The Cocktails of Ian Fleming & James Bond”.  Awesome, no?  Since I got in later than I’d hoped, I wasn’t able to attend as many educational seminars as I’d hoped.  (Missed: “The Physiology of the Shake“, “Discovering Sotol“, and a seminar on politics and booze.)

BONUS: most of the seminars provide “hands-on” experiences.  Read: booze.

I drank tequila.  If you know me, this is unique.  I can appreciate a good agave spirit, but when it’s paired with chocolate … I appreciate it more.  Milagro Tequila’s JP De Loera teamed up with local restaurant Lüke to create incredible pairings of anejos and chocolates and talked participants through each–the flavors of each tequila and chocolate and why they work together.

I partied for a good cause.  The SACC is actually put on by Houston Street Charities.  A portion of the proceeds are divided amongst various children’s charities in the San Antonio region and they even host a service day during the SACC!

I explored Alamo City.  I did my best to walk everywhere.  (I believe that’s the best way to get to know a city.)  The San Antonio Convention and Visitors Bureau is a great resource for fun things to do, attractions, maps, hotel discounts, etc..

Stay up on all the SACC news on their website or social channels.  I hope to see you there next year!


SAN ANTONIO COCKTAIL CONFERENCE

sanantoniococktailconference.com
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2017 dates: January 11-15

*If you follow me on Snapchat … you also know this is my dog‘s name.  🐶

Honorable mention to the brunch setup for the hangover brunch I wasn’t able to eat at on Sunday!

FWFWF-Reserve Wine Tasting

The Fort Worth Food and Wine Festival has ammped up their game this year. Not only will they host a fabulous festival in March, they also have hosted special events thoughout the year. I was graciously invited to the reserve wine tasting that was held at the Modern Art Museum on February 4th.

This was a very intimate event where I enjoyed 26 pours of amazing wine. I should have gotten a medal for making it through all of them. (If you ever get the opportunity to attend any wine tasting, take it … it’s a great way to learn what you like.)

2012_SLDCSMy two favorite wines of the night were a treat because they have a bit higher price tags. I’ve been to Napa Valley a couple times and have learned that I love most wine that comes from the Stag’s Leap District. I was delighted to see something from the region–the 2012 Cliff Lede Cabernet Sauvignon (retails for $75); a complex wine with notes of blackberries and I get a hint of vanilla. Wine Spectator gives it 90 points and Robert Parker gives it 93 points.

My other favorite from the night was the 2012 Adobe Road Cabernet Franc from Knights Valley, Bavarian Lion Vineyard (retails for $58). This medium-bodied wine has notes of blackberries and cranberries and pairs very well with Italian food. The price is on the high end of most Cab Franc wines, but I think it is worth it.

I am so excited to attend this year’s festival in March. Tickets are on sale now and I would highly recommend going to #latenight- desserts after dark and/or Burgers, Brews & Blues.  Susie and I will see you there!


Fort Worth Food and Wine Festival 2016

March 31- April 3, 2016
fortworthfoodandwinefestival.com
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#FWFWF

Highland Park Draft & Dram

“I love scotch. Scotchy, scotch, scotch. Here it goes down, down into my belly…” This Ron Burgundy quote definitely embodied the day leading up to the delicious #DramAndDraft pairing event at the Meddlesome Moth presented by Highland Park. Some argue that scotch must be served neat … others would argue that scotch should be served on the rocks. But after this wonderful evening, I would suggest pairing it with a great craft beer.

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Garrett Youngbloog and US National Highland Park Ambassador, Steph Ridgway made it loud and clear that Highland Park Scotch Whisky goes great with craft beer. I have to say that it’s more than just a fancy boiler maker. The great craft beers they paired with the great scotch whiskies opened up flavors in both beverages that are perfectly complimented by other.

We greeted with a cocktail by Austin Gurley of High and Tight, the Lady of Shalot (Highland Park 12, Four Corners Local Buzz Honey Rye Ale, citrus bitters, Cardamaro). Then the tasting began …

Imagine drinking your favorite drink, then having someone offer you the same drink, but better. That’s what happened.

I definitely urge you scotch fans out there to pick up some craft beer the next time you pick up your favorite bottle of scotch. Not only should it compliment your scotch … but you might even find yourself not wanting one without the other!

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