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.
To me, it always seemed that tequila was the shot you ordered after you had a few too many and needed an excuse for eating late night pizza. After my night of tequila tasting with Milagro Tequila, the spirit is so much more to me.
The night was an in depth look into the smells and tastes of different types of tequila. Before tasting anything, we were given an aroma kit with samples of all the different notes you get from tequila. (I think of doing this when tasting wine, but not tequila.) The twelve aromas ranged from lemongrass and pineapple all the way to black pepper.
Now, Milagro is no ordinary Tequila. When the owners tasted the final product, they said it was a miracl (hence the name Milagro). The owners wanted to pay homage to the heritage of tequila, and it shows in the process. This tequila is made from 100% blue agave tequila from the Jalisco Highlands. (Blue agave is sweeter and creates a more fruity and aromatic tequila.) The master distiller employs a century old cooking method using a traditional hand built brick oven. The agave is slow-roasted for 36 hours. That is a long time in the tequila world, but it creates a much better tequila. Once the agave is roasted, it goes into Milagro’s two pot system for the distillation, a pot still and a column still. The column still creates the smoothness found in Milagro.
Curious as to how good Milagro really is? Milagro entered the San Francisco World spirit competition in 2007. The Select Barrel Reserve Repasado was awarded best of show. Not only did it beat out other tequilas- but rums, gins, and vodkas. Milagro currently has more awards than any other tequilas. Milagro ranges from $37 for Milagro Silver to $102 for the Select Barrel Reserve Anejo. My personal favorite is the Milagro Añejo. It has been aged in American oak barrels between fourteen and twenty-four months. This aging process gives this tequila a spicy and savory taste.
Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is a holiday celebrated in parts of Mexico annually on November 1 and 2 to honored loved ones that have passed. (Catholics celebrate a similar holiday, All Soul’s/Saint’s Day.) Celebrants prepare altars (ofrendas) and decorate them with flowers, candles, sugar skulls, and more along with pictures of the deceased and offerings to them (food, drink, candies, etc.)
In true Susie Drinks fashion, I have some cocktail recipes using some authentic elements to celebrate the Day of the Dead. The Margarita Muerto uses marigold-infused tequila because marigolds are the traditional flowers used on ofrendas–they believe that the bright color and scent guide the souls to the altar. The Modelo Ofrenda Picante uses mezcal as it’s often offered to spirits.
Rim glass by dipping it in lime and then dried marigold petals, then set aside in the freezer to chill. To prepare the margarita, combine the marigold-infused Sauza tequila and other liquid ingredients in a shaker and shake until well chilled. Double strain into chilled glass.
Rim shot glasses by dipping them in lime and then Tajin. Combine ingredients in a shaker and shake with ice until chilled. Serve with a lime wedge.
MODELO OFRENDA PICANTE (Recipe by Andrés Chopite of Parra, Austin)
Negra Modelo Negra™
3/4oz Montelobos Mezcal
3/4oz fresh lime juice
1/2oz agave syrup
3 bar spoons Worcestershire sauce
3 dashes habanero bitters
4 slices habanero peppers
Tajín® Clásico Seasoning
Red chili slices
Rim a Collins glass with Tajín using lime juice. Add all ingredients to a shaker, excluding Modelo Negra, Tajín rim, red chili slices and lime wheel. Shake and strain into the prepared glass. Top with Modelo Negra.
***Sauza Tequila and Bread Winners provided SDD with product for this write-up.***
Planning to attend Dîner en Blanc? If you didn’t attend last year, I can imagine the whole concept is incredibly exciting and romantic … with that nagging feeling of terror. “Did they really say we have to bring in a TABLE and CHAIRS?” Yes, you bring your entire party in our your back … and leave with it, for that matter.
You MUST take yourself and a guest, a square table (28-32″ wide), chairs, and a white tablecloth. (Keep in mind that not showing or breaking the rules could get you banned the following year. Tough.)
You MAY take food, drink, tableware, table decor, flowers, a garbage bag, etc.
You CANNOT take anything that’s not white (woof) or alcohol (major womp).
Apothic Wine is this and last year’s wine sponsor, so if you were preemptive and ordered your wine beforehand for pickup at check-in … bravo you. If not, sucks to suck because it’s not a BYO event bc of the grumpy old TABC. But fear not, DEB attendees, I have some options for you.
Option #1: Don’t forget your opaque “water” bottles. (It’s important to stay hydrated, right?) 🍷👉🏼🍼
Option #2: Get your friends together before for a few drinks. Last year we noshed on charcuterie and some snacks while throwing back a few before heading to the bus pickup. Establish a solid booze situation and food base so you’ll have less to carry. (And make sure to avoid anything that would be a problem for people wearing white. Duh.)
Here are the drinks that I’ll be making at my DEB Présoireé this year:
1.5 oz Patrón Silver
1 oz Elderflower liqueur
0.5 oz Local lemon juice
0.5 oz Simple syrup
2 oz Sparkling wine (I’ll be using Moët, the official champagne of DEB!)
Combine all of the ingredients in a cocktail shaker except the sparkling wine. Shake vigorously and strain into a champagne flute. Top off the cocktail with some sparkling wine and finish with a lemon twist while making sure to twist the lemon over the cocktail to release the oils.
Recipe and image courtesy of Patrón International
AGAINST THE GRAIN MARTINI (gluten-free martini)
3 parts Stoli® Gluten Free
Splash of Dry Vermouth
Garnish with an olive or cocktail onion
Shake or stir ingredients with ice. Strain into a chilled martini glass and garnish.
LAST YEAR’S WINNING RECIPE:
THE INDIAN SUMMER
3 parts Hendricks Gin
1 part lemon juice
1 part St. Germain
Muddle grapes with other ingredients, then shake with ice until well chilled. Double strain into a chilled coupe.
A few weeks ago, Stock & Barrel Kitchen Americana in Bishop Arts District hosted its first spirited dinner with Don Julio, aptly named An Evening of Agave. I happily attended, albeit slightly worse for the wear since I had just returned from my first ever Tales of the Cocktail experience a few days prior, but hey … tequila. ‘Nuff said. The dinner was an intimate affair offering only 15 seats, at the bar and involved not only a four-course dinner paired with cocktails highlighting the Don Julio line of tequilas, but also an interactive educational experience led by none other than Senior Don Julio brand ambassador, the ever delightful and engaging Jorge Raptis.
The dinner experience opened with introductions from Stock & Barrel Chef/owner Jon Stevens and Bar Manager Jeremy Koeninger before they gave Jorge the floor to tell us more about the history behind Don Julio as well as the thoughtful process that turned agave into the tequila that was before us. He spoke about the philosophy behind Don Julio that drives the manner in which they cultivate, harvest, and cook the agave, as well as distill, bottle, and age the tequila, and why production volume should never compromise the level of product quality.
The ambiance of the event was very casual and interactive, so the guests were encouraged to ask questions and have an open dialogue about the food and cocktail courses, as well as the Don Julio tequila itself. There were tasters of different tequilas for each guest, in addition to the cocktail pairings, so needless to say (but I’m going to say it anyway), our intimate group of bar guests became very fast friends.
Now of course, while the tequila was very smooth and enjoyable, Chef Jon Stevens was not about to let it overshadow the food courses. He made this clear by simply bringing out the first course: Wild Salmon Tartare with avocado cream, grapefruit segments, Yukon potato crisp, and lemon verbena. It was a bright flavor punch to my palate, tempered very well by the subtle fattiness of the salmon. The course was complemented by Jeremy’s cocktail creation dubbed Electric Love, which featured Don Julio Blanco, verbena, and Cocchi Americano, an Italian aperitif wine. The Blanco’s crisp, citrusy flavor paired with the tartare dish and its accouterments beautifully.
Chef Stevens’ second course (my favorite of the meal, without a doubt) was Mediterranean Octopus Carpaccio with tangerine, radish, and honey pimento. The thinly sliced octopus had hints of smoky char that I loved, but by its very nature of being carpaccio, it was an ethereal deliciousness that I kept chasing. The next thing I knew, I had devoured my second course, wishing I could have a second helping, maybe even a third. My friend Paige expressed a similar sentiment, with a wistful face when she found her plate empty as well.
The cocktail pairing for the octopus course was an Ancho Bravo, made with Don Julio Reposado, demerara syrup, and Ancho Reyes. The Reposado coupled with the demerara brought a slightly cinnamon-y warmth that lent itself well with the smoky, meaty octopus, and the Ancho Reyes provided a welcome spicy kick. It was pretty boozy, so I took my time to sip and savor it.
We bounced back pretty well though when the third course arrived: Braised Berkshire Pork Belly with creamy Brussels sprouts and preserved cherries. Chef Stevens had prepared us well by having the first two courses whet our palates, leading us to this wholly satisfying and deliciously unctuous pork belly dish. The creamy Brussels and dark berry tartness of the cherries ensured that the dish would satiate our taste buds without being too heavy.
The third course paired with The Oleroso Agave, a cocktail with Don Julio Añejo, Oleroso sherry, and Luxardo syrup served up in a coupe glass. It was a spirit-forward concoction that accentuated the savory notes of the pork belly, and the sherry played well with the preserved cherry sauce. I especially enjoyed this pairing as Añejo is typically my favorite tequila expression, with the extra time the tequila spends aging in barrels. The flavor comes out with honey and caramel notes that I just love.
Our fourth and final course was the Butterscotch Pot de Creme, served with vanilla cream, sourdough crisp, and sea salt. This dreamy and delectable dish was served with a taster of Don Julio 1942. The butterscotch pot de creme was silky and light, and the sprinkle of sea salt elevated the dessert to another level of deliciousness. The sourdough crisp offered a welcome crunchy texture to the dinner’s velvety finale, and the deeply caramel and chocolate notes of the Don Julio 1942 brought this particular Night of Agave to a definitively beautiful conclusion.
Based on the overwhelmingly positive feedback from guests after the Don Julio dinner, Stock & Barrel hopes to keep the spirited dinner series going every other month, with each one featuring a unique spirit. For more information, check out stockandbarreldallas.com or follow Chef Stevens (@stockbarreltx) and Jeremy Koeninger (@jeremykoeninger) on Instagram for any event announcements and updates.
While it’s hot outside, it’s really tough to still look cool … and even harder to keep your cool when entertaining. Luckily, my friend Jaclyn Mittman is giving me some outdoor entertaining pointers for my summer parties. Her biggest advice: texture.
We got together for a quick tablescape lesson and some tequila cocktails … because, summer. Scroll to see what we got into.
What inspired your tablescape?
Rustic summer. I love the look of the distressed wood with modern, elegant pieces like gold flatware and matte black dinnerware. The white peonies and eucalyptus offered even more texture and elevated the entire table without having to add a lot of color. I tend to stick with neutrals so this tablescape reflected my design style perfectly.
Where can we get this setup … like STAT? Target has the best, affordable pieces for entertaining! And the best part is it’s so reasonably priced that you can have multiple sets/motifs.
What is your best advice for entertaining?
Texture! Add texture to the table by adding in layers with a table runner, napkins, or florals and plants. Also alcohol. Alcohol is a must when entertaining.
Music can also completely set the tone and mood for any party. When entertaining, I stick with Spotify for their pre-made playlists based on mood or the type of party you’re throwing. I know I can let it play and not have to worry about it the rest of the time. Also, a great Bluetooth speaker is the way to go. I love the JBL Xtreme Splashproof Wireless Speaker for parties. (NOTE FROM SUSIE: feel free to use my boozy playlist!)
Do you have any special tips or tricks for summer entertaining?
Make sure you’re wearing something breezy, because the host is always running around. Also, make sure you’re providing guests with water, shade, and (if possible) fans! (And did I mention alcohol?)
Since it’s warm outside, we obviously needed something to cool us off. Enter: tequila cocktails. We went for something that was light but potent–TheResting Garden Margarita. Plenty of tequila and some fresh juice keeps this recipe light and drinkable and the grilled mango garnish makes it gorgeous to boot.
The Resting Garden Margarita 1 3/4 oz Roca Patrón Silver 1/2 oz Patrón Citronge Mango
1 oz fresh lemon juice
3/4 oz agave syrup
6 sage leaves (plus more for garnish)
Pinch of salt
Grilled mango slices
Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker and shake with ice to chill. “Double strain” the drink by pouring it through a fine mesh strainer into an ice-filled old fashioned glass. Garnish with sage leaves and a grilled mango slice.
We went with Roca Patrón Silver as this recipe doesn’t have much going on … so you can taste the quality of the tequila. (Because good liquor shouldn’t be covered up, y’all.) If you haven’t tried Roca Patrón Silver, it has notes of black pepper, a citrus nose, and a smooth taste.
What made you start your blog, JaclynMittman.com? I originally started my blog as a place to share my beauty findings and to be able to review makeup products I used regularly. As it turns out … people wanted to read it. It has turned into beauty, fashion, lifestyle, and more!
What is your go-to sunscreen this summer?
I swear by Aesop’s Avail Body Lotion with Sunscreen. It doesn’t feel heavy like most sunscreens and it easily absorbs and doesn’t leave a white cast on your skin. It also smells incredible!
Kind of loving your outfit … it’s perfect for summer. Where can we get it? Top – Choies Black Off Shoulder Half Sleeve Blouse in black, $11.90 Shorts – Madewell San Diego Cover-Up Shorts in strokedash, $39.50 $29.99 Heels – Steve Madden Christey Heel in black suede, $109.95
I like to entertain … like … a lot. The worst part, though, is being forced to be tied to the bar so you can make everyone drinks or to keep it tidy when the one messy friend inevitably spills all the things. (Dammit, Linda.) Say “adios” to playing babysitter to the bar and batch out a cocktail (or three) for your Cinco de Mayo fiesta.
For Cinco de Mayo, the easiest thing to batch out is, of course, margaritas. And (hold on to your sombrero), the US imported 12.3 million cases (yes, M-M-M-M-M-million) of tequila in 2014 … and Texas is apparently one of the top 10 tequila consuming states in the US. So yeah, a drink with tequila is a slam dunk.
This Cinco de Mayo, I’ll be visiting family in Pennsylvania to celebrate my grandmother’s 90th birthday. Luckily, on her last visit to Dallas, my mom and I introduced her to margaritas … and she loved them. Needless to say, once I land in the Keystone State, I’ll be swinging by a liquor store to pick up the makings of this remixed margarita just for her.
So, why Sauza? It’s made with 100% blue agave in Jalisco, Mexico the same way it has been made since 1873. The agave is put into production within 48 hours which gives the tequila a crisp flavor.
Perfect Pear Margarita (serves 8)
2 cups Sauza® Signature Blue Silver Tequila
1/2 cup lemon Juice
1/2 cup lime juice
1 cup simple syrup
1 cup pear syrup
Mix all ingredients in an ice-filled pitcher. Serve in margarita glasses garnished with a rosemary sprig and lime wheel. (Ignore the color … because it’s delicious!)
1 cup pear purée
1⁄4 cup Sugar in the Raw
1⁄2 tablespoon fresh ginger, chopped
1 cinnamon stick
1 pinch grated nutmeg
In a medium saucepan, combine all ingredients over medium heat and stir until sugar dissolves fully. Reduce to low and simmer for 10 minutes. (The syrup will thicken-up slightly.) Strain and store in an airtight container in a refrigerator for up to two weeks.
I was given the chance to participate in this campaign and was sent items from Sauza to promote.