Category Archives: Gift Guide

The Easiest Host Gift for the Fall

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Big Betty. The opinions and text are all mine.

Halloween. Potlucks. Thanksgiving. Football watching parties. Sunday dinners. Holiday parties. It gets exhausting thinking about how many times you’re going to be visiting someone’s home and, if you have some manners, toting a host/hostess gift. I’ve got you covered, my friends.

This cute company, Big Betty Wine (the real OGs thanks to their first hit product, the glass that fits a whole bottle of wine) has come to the rescue. All you need to do is order a pack of their Brews for You “six pack cards” and stop by your local Trader Joe’s on the way to the party. I love stopping into Trader Joe’s as they have seasonal and favorite individual beers your can pull to create your own six pack, therefore making each six pack special to that host.

Keep a pack of these gift card boxes and Sharpie in the car to scribble a little note to the host, and you’re done. (Really … it couldn’t be much easier. And you’ll look like Superguest for not showing up empty-handed.)

The six pack “cards” ring in at $9.99 for a four pack (with Prime shipping, thank you), so stock up on these and save yourself the $3.95 you’ll usually spend on a one-time use card. (Because he can use this gift box again … and it’s all about reduce, reuse, and recycle, rigth!?)

What would your perfect six pack be?

Instagram: @bigbettywine

#Brews4You #ad


Halloween. Potlucks. Thanksgiving. Football watching parties. Sunday dinners. Holiday parties. It gets exhausting thinking about how many times you’re going to be visiting someone’s home and, if you have some manners, toting a host/hostess gift. I’ve got you covered, my friends.

This cute company, Big Betty Wine (the real OGs thanks to their first hit product, the glass that fits a whole bottle of wine) has come to the rescue. All you need to do is order a pack of their Brews for You “six pack cards” and stop by your local Trader Joe’s on the way to the party. I love stopping into Trader Joe’s as they have seasonal and favorite individual beers your can pull to create your own six pack, therefore making each six pack special to that host.

Keep a pack of these gift card boxes and Sharpie in the car to scribble a little note to the host, and you’re done. (Really … it couldn’t be much easier. And you’ll look like Superguest for not showing up empty-handed.)

The six pack “cards” ring in at $9.99 for a four pack (with Prime shipping, thank you), so stock up on these and save yourself the $3.95 you’ll usually spend on a one-time use card. (Because he can use this gift box again … and it’s all about reduce, reuse, and recycle, right!?)

What would your perfect six pack be? Visit my Instagram and comment on the post about Brews for You before October 6 for the chance to win your own pack of gift boxes!

Instagram/Twitter: @bigbettywine

#Brews4You #ad

Travel Must-Haves

I’ve been traveling a lot more the last couple years since I quite my “job”. I like to think I’ve gotten better at it, but I’ve also realized that part of being good at traveling is having the right stuff so I can arrive at my destination somewhat refreshed. So, after some research and reading the helpful 12 Essential Travel Items – The Freedom Travellers blog here are some of my must-have items when I hit the road!

1. AWAY Luggage with Ejectable Charger
This suitcase is my new best friend. With four wheels that roll like butta and a tough, hard shell to keep your valuables safe. What’s more, you’ll never need a charge because the bags have a built-in (ejectable) battery! Even more exciting for someone like me who travels with a laundry bag is that there’s one built right into the bag. And they’re cute as hell.
$225-$295 at

2. TRTL Travel Pillow
Some of the most helpful travel items look … well, ridiculous. Case in point: the Trtl “pillow”. It’s a neck brace that you wrap around with the super soft tail with velcro. It’s machine washable and super light, so it’s easy enough to travel with.
$29.99 on Amazon

3. Powerbank
If your plane doesn’t offer electrical outlets as some are now, this will save the day. Arrive fully charged with this powerbank that holds more than five charges for an iPhone.
$29.99 on Amazon

4. TILE Bluetooth Tracker
These little bluetooth beauties help you keep track of your luggage using an app! While it won’t ensure your luggage shows up at your destination, you will know exactly where it is!
~$40 for a 4-pack on Amazon

5. L’Occitane Lavender Hand Cream
Keep your mitts moisturized with this heavenly smelling goop. With shea butter and essential oils, you can avoid the usual horror of dry skin! (Other scents and sizes available.)
$12 for 1oz on

6. Bucky Eye Mask
Traditional eye masks can be too tight, not fit our noses, or tend to just be downright heinous. This lightweight, foam mask is contoured and allows room for blinking and plenty of room for eyelash extensions for us ladies! (Available in 23 colors.)
$9.99 – $22.99 on Amazon

7. OLEHENRIKSEN Banana Bright Eye Crème
Right before landing, dab a bit of these vitamin C-rich cream below your eyes for a quick brightening effect.
$38 at Sephora

8. Cooling Eye Patches
Flights often mean early mornings, so get rid of those bags with these depuffing eye patches. Bonus: they’re natural and paraben-free.
$16.95 for 12 pairs on Amazon

9. Go2 Compression Socks
For long trips, it’s important to keep your blood flowing. If you’re (God forbid) in a middle or window seat, it can be difficult to get out and stretch your legs. Finding the best compression socks can help reduce swelling on these long flights … and we finally found some that aren’t hideous. (They come in 35 colors/designs!)
$12.13 on Amazon

10. Bose QuietComfort 35 Wireless Headphones, Series II
If you’re anything like me, the kid in the row behind you playing a video game with the sound on is basically the devil. Instead of having to deal with confronting the parents, best to get some noise canceling headphones. I’ve tried a few, but these are the winners. Bluetooth and soon to be Amazon Alexa-compatible, you’ll find plenty of use for the 20 hour battery life.
$349.95 (or custom for $449.95)

(Not pictured.) If you haven’t found the perfect travel slip-ons, these stretchy laces make it easy to shimmy out of your kicks.
$8.50 for three pairs on Amazon

I always travel with a bag of travel goodies that come in handy in a pinch. I take the same bag with me year after year and it never lets me down. The bag I use is a fake lv that was given me to by a friend. She has an extensive handbag collection and is always buying new designer replica bags in all the latest styles so she kindly gave me my replica Louis Vuitton handbag when she wanted a bigger one. I absolutely love it as it is just big enough to fit all of my essentials in. So, what exactly are my essentials? Well, make sure to pack helpful, little items like Advil, Simply Sleep, mouthwash, mints, hand sanitizer, ear plugs, etc. Especially the sanitizer. Travelling is so unclean it is unreal. Keeping a small bottle of some Hand Sanitizer Canada to hand can help keep you clean, which in turn keeps you well for your travels so you can focus on the world around you! As for extra comforts … don’t forget a small bottle of your favorite booze to make those special moments just a little more so.

Holiday Gift Guide 2016


1. Bosch Lithium Ion Screwdriver with Corkscrew Attachment | When you’re a little DIY and a little thirsty., ~$90

2. Bourbon Barrel Aged Maple Syrup | Breakfast has never looked so good … this limited edition USDA Organic pure maple syrup is aged in bourbon barrels, so it has 2% ABV.
Kroger or, $19.95/375 mL

3. Basil Hayden’s x Slow North Barman’s Candle Set | Basil Hayden’s Bourbon teamed up with some artisans to make some limited edition holiday gifts.  This set of candles came from Slow North and is soy wax poured in copper holders, and only 100 of them were made.  The scents compliment the nose of Basil Hayden’s–“Warm Welcome” and “High Spirits”., $75

4. Absolut Elyx Copper Coupe Gift Set |  Get luxe with a set copper coupes to compliment your Elyx martini.  (Their copper motif is inspired by the vintage copper stills they use to produce Elyx.  Like their other drinking vessels, for every set sold, they’ll help Water For People provide one month of safe water to someone in need., $79.95 for two
Need a less luxe version? Pier 1 Imports has a similar coupe for a touch less. Pier 1, $14.95

5. Essential Cocktail: The Art of Mixing Perfect Drinks | The author, Dale DeGroff, is said to be the godfather of classic cocktails and almost singlehandedly responsible for the resurgence of cocktails.  This book holds recipes for “100 essential drinks and 100 of their best variations” and is the perfect start for someone trying to appreciate the classics and the art behind the bar.  Let the education begin …, $24

6. GrowlerWerks uKeg | Growlers are super convenient, but it’s so much pressure to drink all that beer before it goes flat.  Enter the uKeg that holds 64 ounces of beer and keeps it cold and fresh for WEEKS., $159

7. Redbreast | How about a nice glass of 12 year?  Redbreast’s 12 Year Old is a perfect gift for a whisky lover thanks to its unique “Christmas cake” flavor.  The sweet notes are thanks to its time aged in Oloroso sherry casks and the finish is long and complex., $52

8. Cocktail Inspired Lip Balm Trio | This all-natural lip balm trio is inspired by classic cocktails with flavors like Tiki scented with mandarin oil., $22

9. Tarot Card Cocktails | Can’t decide what you’d like to drink next?  Leave it up to the of gods of fate with this Tarot-inspired 30-card deck., $24

10. Kikkerland Maraca Cocktail Shaker | Shake shake shake … shake your booze thing.  While it doesn’t hold but 250mL, the beech wood and stainless steel will definitely get you grooving., $23

11. Patrón en Lalique, Serie 1 | This limited edition is a first-time collaboration between Lalique and Patrón Tequila where only 500 bottles were made.  The 4-year extra anejo tequila is decidedly complex with notes of caramel, vanilla, and dried fruit and the bottle … well, it’s a work of art from the French crystal artisans at Lalique.
Available in select duty-free shops, $7,200/750mL, 40% ABV

BONUS GIFT: For that finicky foodie or brainy bartender, get them in on the ground floor of the coolest new kitchen and bar gadget around, the Spinzall, from Booker and Dax’s cocktail chemist, Dave Arnold.  It’s a centrifuge that takes the place of the $8,000 equipment usually required and cuts down the time required to make flavored oils, clarify juices, separate fats, and more.  Read more about the Spinzall and help them raise the money to produce the appliances on the link below., $699

2015 Holiday Gift Guide

gift guide 2015

I’ve always been wowed by those people who have those really unique seasonings or sauces … balsamic fig spread made with figs that were grown only on the east side of hills (because figs are just better when grown facing east?) or some rare salt that has was backpacked up to at least 14,000 feet by left-handed Mongolians in woven bags.  Treat your friends to the gift that can keep on giving and make them THAT host with a membership to The Hatchery, a monthly delivery service that delivers those unique condiments! | $36 for three months

A year ago, I launched the CHEERS line with Southern Fried Paper with some cheeky cards, gilded napkins, prints and coasters, and a desk calendar with a seasonal cocktail recipe for each month.  This print features “cheers” in six languages and is available in white, black, blush, and fuchsia.
SFP Studio (2524 Converse Street in the Design District) or | $26 (print), $18 (calendar)

These babies are not only sexy, but they have some seriously badass bones.  Made from reclaimed American Oak Whiskey Barrels and paired with Italian Leather, these water resistant watches make the perfect statement … that you love your booze enough to wear it. | $159

I was a Girl Scout … and our leaders always told us to be prepared.  Enter: the Drinking Jacket 2.0, a sort of sartorial Swiss army knife complete with a bottle opener zipper, built-in drinking mitts, a flask pocket, and more.  Oh, and it’s available in black, blue, red, and grey. | $95 (on sale now for $84.99)

Moscow mules only seem to taste right when they’re in copper mugs, amiright?  Get these Texas-centric mugs by a local company and sport the DeZavala Star! | $24.99

Most of us don’t have great mixology skills, so let this syrup do the work thanks to this sweet, cherry-citrus syrup.  Wrap it up with your friend’s favorite whiskey and it’s a damn perfect gift.
World Market, Total Wine & More, or | $4.99

Ice balls can take your in-home cocktails from usual to unique.  My team and I have tried quite a few of the molds on the market, but this one is our favorite.  It makes four balls at a time and allows for overflow. | $14.95

I love all the things at Jonathan Adler … all the things.  However, I can’t imagine a cooler candle than one that looks sexy and smells like  my favorite thing … booze!  The copper candle (shown) smells like bourbon with notes of plum, leather, birch, and cedar.  BONUS: the vessel can be reused as a vase after the bourbony goodness is burned up.  Vice candles come in champagne (copper), absinthe (chrome), and vodka (silver) and have a 40-hour burn time.
Jonathan Adler store or | $42

You just never know when you’re going to need a nip … so be prepared with this BPA-free collapsible flask that holds 16oz of your favorite poison.  Made in the USA, the inside is made of a food-grade lining and the outside is heavyweight cotton with cheeky designs or even Dallas-themed options!
Accents at Mockingbird Station or | $19

You’ve seen these badass copper pineapple vessels at your favorite bars around Dallas, but they’re more than just a neat tiki touch. Absolut Elyx crafted these gilded fruits to be sold alongside their clean, sipping vodka “crafted from single estate winter wheat”.  They chose the pineapple because it’s actually the international symbol for hospitality!  BONUS: Absolut Elyx teamed up with Water for People, so each Elyx Pineapple sold will give a month of safe water to someone in need. | $120

2014 Festive Finds Gift Guide


CHEERS by Southern Fried Paper & SusieDrinksDallas
,  a collaboration I’ve been working on with Southern Fried Paper, is now available for purchase! With boozy cards, prints, coasters, swizzle sticks, and more,  you can send a friend a note telling him he’s your cup of tea whiskey!

I mean … if you like me at all you’ll check out what we’ve done.  No pressure.

Price: $3.50 – $20
Purchase: At the Southern Fried Paper retail section of 2524 Converse Street or online starting December 15.



Nespresso’s new Vertuoline brewing system is sleek, slim, and pretty damn sexy looking.  Oh, and it brews a damn good cup of espresso.  It was one of Oprah’s “Favorite Things” this year … and, well … if it’s good enough for Oprah, it’s good enough for me.

If you need ideas for cocktails to get you buzzed and wired, check out some of my Buzzed Boozing recipes here!

Price: $299 for the VertuoLine system
Purchase: Online or at the NorthPark Center boutique

I obviously need something to put my yummy espresso in … duh.  I chose Nespresso’s Pixie Espresso cups in black (Ristretto), but they come in a bunch of colors, including rose gold!  (I won’t judge your color choice.)  I also just realized that it looks like a pod upside-down.

Price: $35
Purchase: Online or at the NorthPark Center boutique

shotwell caramels

Anyone can make an Old Fashioned in a glass, but how many of you can say that you can make it as a rich, chewy caramel?  Shotwell has a cute 4-flavor caramel sampler that includes each of their four featured flavors, including Old Fashioned and Craft Beer & Pretzel that is perfect for boozy gifting!

Price: $19.75
Purchase: Shotwell Candy Co.


My whole apartment is black, white, and gold, and that makes finding bar tools a bitch to find.  Luckily West Elm’s Deco Barware Collection is a set of gold-finish bar tools to help me round out my bar cart (which coincidentally was also purchased at West Elm).

Price: $79
Purchase: at West Elm or online


With flavors like “Drunken Monkey Jam” and “You’re My Boy Blue-berry Bourbon Jam”, you can’t go too far wrong with this 4-flavor boozy jam sample pack. Because toast deserves better than boring jelly.

Price: $15 for the 4 flavor sampler, $10 per full-size jar
: The Jam Stand


A local t-shirt company started by two Frisco teachers is making a splash with their soft, wearable tees.  Tumbleweed TexStyles lets you show your Texas pride … and your drink order!

BONUS: I’m giving away one WINE t-shirt (pictured right) this holiday season! To enter to win the shirt, you can either post this gift guide on Twitter and tag #FestiveFinds and @drinkdallas  -OR-  post your favorite gift on this guide to Instagram and tag #FestiveFinds and @susiedrinksdallas

Price: starting at $9.50 (and get 20% off any apparel, gear, and glassware with the code SUSIE)
: Tumbleweed TexStyles

While cold balls can be a problem, these are a solution.  The LoBall Whiskey Sphere is a stainless steel ball is filled with a cooling liquid that has a lower freezing point than water, so it stays cooler for longer.

Bonus: you can have it engraved with any text you’d like or even a custom image for just $10.

Price: $24.99 – $34.99

Complete with a spoon/muddler hybrid, bitters, cane sugar packets, a coaster, and recipes, this Carry-On Cocktail Kit is a tin that helps make the crying baby and the dry, recirculated air a little less awful.  Plus, getting drunk at 10,000 feet is easier.

Price: $24


This is all you need to know: alcohol + ice cream.  Brilliant, right?  BuzzBars offers sorbet and ice cream bars in flavors like Blitzed Berry (strawberry ice cream & rum), The Drunken Cookie (Cookies ’n Cream ice cream & whiskey), and the Larry King Heart Bar (berry sorbet & merlot wine).  You can order their BuzzPacks now (12-bar cases)!  Order ASAP because they’ll go out December 15-24.

Price: $100/BuzzPack (includes gift wrap & overnight shipping)
Purchase: At Spec’s or at



For more gift ideas, you can click here.

Gift Guide 2013

Gift Guide 2013

Welp, it’s that time of year again.  Time to deck the halls and get drunk with your awkward Aunt Milly at Christmas Eve dinner.  If you’re stressing about gifts for the special wino in your life, I’ve got JUST the gift guide for you!  Behold, some of my favorite things—and this year I watched the price tags!

1. Pittsburgh, PA artist, Kirsten Lowe-Rebel has started a line of boozy prints, KloRebel.  Handrawn with a look that will match a good bottle of hand-crafted whiskey, this art is framable and wearable!  Available in ornaments, money clips, bracelets, prints, and more.

Purchase at her Etsy Shop | Items start at $10

2. Who doesn’t love Uber?  With as little as a few taps on your smartphone, you’ve got a safe ride home after one three too many cocktails.  Give the gift of a DD that is always on call with an Uber gift card.  Easily sent immediately via their website, it’s a good last-minute option (not that you’d forget a gift or anything).

Send immediately from | Available in any denomination

3. This is the sexiest jigger you’ll ever see (I think??).  This Japanese-style jigger from Cocktail Kingdom measures 1/2oz and 3/4oz shots, and it’s gold.  Need I say more? | $15.95 each

4. W(h)et their whiskers (and whistles) with TX Whiskey!  One of my absolute favorite liquors, this Fort Worth-made intoxicant has a vanilla finish and is so smooth that it’d be a sin to drink it any way but neat (I suppose that “on the rocks” is OK, too.)

The bottle looks great on your bar, and each cork is different as they are made from recycled cowboy boots … and it comes with this teeny tiny Santa hat.

Purchase TX Whiskey at most liquor stores in North Texas and other TX-branded items at | $35 for the 750ml

5. Moscow Mules are still a thing (for me at least).  Drink them in style with these copper mugs, because a Moscow Mule in any other cup is just ginger beer and vodka.

Sur La Table or | $19.95 each

6. Did you know that some famous vineyards limit their output to make the bottles they sell more valuable, and sell excess to other labels?  Enter: 90+ Cellars.  Not only an incredible line of wines, but their options are very reasonable price-wise.

90+ now offers the option to send quarterly shipments of seasonal red, white, or mixed boxes of 90+ wines to your favorite someone.  (Just make sure you’re invited to uncork them!) | 6- or 12-bottle shipments, shipping included, $90/170

7. When the weather turns cold and your lips get chapped (the worst), don’t reach for the way-too-sweet or medicinal-tasting lip balms … Atlantic Farms’ Double IPA Lip Balm is where it’s at! | $6.50 per tube

8. These shot glasses “grr” in tiger (or something like that).  Bring out your wild side with these Animal Shot Glasses.  They’re black, so they look awesome on your bar … and they’re shot glasses, so there’s that, too.  Available in elephant, reindeer (pictured), horse, lion, and eagle. | $30 per shot glass

9. This tres chic brass Threshold Bar Cart gives your cocktail hour a “Mad Men” effect (busty secretaries not included).  And there’s just something so awesome knowing that your bar can be rolled anywhere …

Buy in stores or | $129.99

10. You bring a bottle of wine as a hostess gift: you’re a gracious guest.  You bring a bottle of wine as a hostess gift with one of these badass gift tags on it: you’re a gracious guest … who is also f$@king awesome .  Local paper goddess, Chelsea Cox Carpenter of Southern Fried Paper, sells these preciously-vulgar wine tags from her Design District studio (along with a lot of other fantastic paper goods).

Order from her Etsy Shop or stop by her studio | $9.50 for a pack of six

2012 Holiday Gift Guide

Boozy Advent Calendars
We’ve all done the chocolate calendar, but this is a fun twist to gift to the alcohol aficionado in your life.  Each little door reveals a 3cL sample of different alcohol (you can pick whisky or gin).  By December 24, you’ll have swigged 72cL of delicious spirits .  BONUS: one whisky door holds a 50 year old single malt Scotch.  This gives the term “holiday spirit” a whole new meaning.  Order ASAP so they don’t miss a day!

$128.01 (gin) or $240.08 (whisky) per calendar

alcohol advent calendar


BevShots Scarf
Why not make your drink a fashion statement?  Bevshots has items, from coasters to canvas prints, adorned with your favorite drink’s picture … magnified.  The scarves are large enough to be worn many ways and are available in many different drink prints (shown on the right in “Black Russian”).

$44.99 per scarf (currently on sale for $37.99) or (

bevshots scarf

The Original Whiskey Ball
A whiskey ball maker is a staple for any whiskey drinker’s bar (err … freezer?).  A larger piece of ice means your beverage will stay cold longer, without melting the ice as fast (therefore, no more watery whiskey!)  I have a set of these and LOVE them.  I always keep a couple frozen balls on-hand … because you never know when Don Draper could stop by.

$23.95 (set of two molds) 
(a cheaper alternative to last year’s)

Original Whiskey Ball

ALTUZARRA Collection from the Target + Nieman Marcus CFDA Collaboration
A luxurious-looking glass makes a drink taste more intriguing (or does it?).  Get a great set of glasses from Zara Home.  Take a tip from Southern Living and mix-and-match!

Black Tray – $79.99, Double Old Fashioned Glasses – $49.99 (set of 4), Cocktail Shaker $49.99
Target stores starting December 1 or on starting December 1 at 12:01am


Homemade Infused Liquors
A personal and thoughtful gift.  Use your imagination to come up with flavors.  Southern Living’s Apple Pie Infused Bourbon sounds tasty, no?  Here’s how I made it.

Get unique bottles from 

Cynthia Rowley Flask Bangle
C’est magnifique!  Available in gold or chrome, this statement piece has been souped-up and made functional (well, functional for a boozehound).  At Fashion Week in NY this year, Cynthia Rowley showed off these boozy bangles in her Spring 2013 line … and I swooned.  If anyone wants to gift one of these to me in gold, I’d be forever grateful.

$225 per bangle


A never-fail gift, giving someone a thoughtfully-chosen spirit is sure to raise his.  My go-to liquor store is Sigel’s on Greenville.  Ask for Ruben.  Don’t forget the bow.

Sigel’s, 5757 Greenville Ave