Category Archives: Sponsored

Viva la #PatioVida at OTB

I’m a queso fiend … I’m not ashamed to admit it. Add a patio, some nice weather, live music, and friends, and I’m one happy girl. Since I was meant to be leaving for a trip to Mexico next week that fell through, I needed a little tequila and sunshine to soften the blow.

Turns out, On The Border was the spot to get both, because OTB is helping us take our patio happy hour game to the next level this summer with amazing food and drink deals. What’s more, select locations will have live music every Thursday on their patios across the country this summer. (Dallasites: you can enjoy fantastic live music and a lively patio at their Knox location!)

I ventured out the last couple of Thursdays to enjoy the festivities with friends, and each was more bold than I when ordering. I’m a creature of habit–if I know I like something, I go with it. (Mostly because I’m too lazy to be bothered to order something else.) I took a bit of a chance on my last visit and used OTB’s #PatioVida Quiz that suggests food and drink pairings. (My result was their new Limeade Fresca and Empanadas … which I promptly enjoyed.)

Since I’m hugely into drinks, we’ll talk booze first. Starting in May (and ending September 4), OTBs across the country started offering a seasonal margarita, a Watermelon Margarita, made with watermelon purée! To make it more exciting, OTB is offering this fresher-than-fresh margarita for just $4 all day on Thursdays! (For $1 more, make it a grande, and for $2 more you can make it a Coronarita!)

Not into tequila? (I hear you, friends.) OTB is now offering four new non-tequila cocktails–the Limeade Fresca,  Cuba Libre, Padre Island Tea, and Poncho Punch–all unique, new options for OTB.

They didn’t stop at new drink options–they are also offering new food items on their bar menu that launched last month. If you want to try all of their new items, make sure you’re in for happy hour (4-7pm weekdays) where you can get snacks starting at just $2. (If you’re too cheap to shell out the $2 for queso, go ahead and sign up for Club Cantina and get a free queso or sopapillas!)

So, cheers to inexpensive happy hour snacks and booze at OTB this summer. And make sure to snap pictures of your visit and post them using #PatioVida!

 

 

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

National Bubbly Day

National Bubbly Day is June 3!

We’re obviously obligated to celebrating the effervescent elixir that has improved more than one wedding/New Year’s Eve/casual Tuesday afternoon and my health in 2017 (no kidding). While I’ll be hanging in my pool with some mini bottles of Segura Viudas to commemorate the day (screw the forecast that’s calling for rain), there are plenty of other ways to celebrate. Enjoy a chilled glass, boozy popsicles, sparkling sangria, or my newest creation, the basic girl favorite frosé (recipe below).

Visit my Instagram page (@susiedrinks) before Sunday, June 4 at 6pm for the chance to win a bubbly goody bag from Segura Viudas including a full size bottle of Segura Viudas Brut and two mini bottles, a portable Bluetooth speaker, a badass cava straw like the one in my picture, and some other goodies.


The frosé has been a recent favorite around town, but I decided to triple down on the booze by adding orange liqueur and vodka. (Because, I mean … it’s me.) Using frozen strawberries automatically chills the drink, so no ice is required that would eventually water it down.

Segura Viudas Frosé
1 cup frozen strawberries
1 cup of Segura Viudas Rosé
0.5 oz agave syrup
0.75 oz Cointreau
1 oz Reyka Vodka

Blend all ingredients on high. Pour into a flute, then top off with more rosé. Garnish with a strawberry half and a sprig of mint.

 

 


Special thanks to Segura Viudas for providing the giveaway goodies!

Seersucker Gin Gin Juleps for the Kentucky Derby

Grab your gaudy hat and seersucker suits, boys and girl, it’s time to get to the starting line for the Kentucky Derby!

The traditional drink of the Derby is, as we all know, the Mint Julep. Traditionally made with whiskey, sugar, mint, and a touch of water. the well known cocktail has been the feature of bars at Churchill Downs for nearly a century. No kidding, it’s said that they serve about 120,000 of them each year!

Not being one for tradition, I wanted to put a twist on the usual Mint Julep recipe. Luckily, Seersucker Southern Style Gin challenged me to come up with a cocktail that I’d serve at my Derby party using their brand new spirit, so I had a fun starting point and a unique spirit to work with.

To highlight the botanicals in Seersucker (citrus, coriander, juniper, mint), I paired it with a genever (the father spirit of gin) and ginger syrup. (So, really, this should be a called a “Gin Gin Gin Julep”!) The flavors play nicely together and make for a unique take on the well known recipe.

GIN-GIN JULEP
1 oz Seersucker Southern Gin
0.5 oz Bols genever
0.25 oz simple syrup
0.5 oz ginger syrup
~5  mint leaves
Top with Club soda
Garnish with a piece of candied ginger.

 

Seersucker itself is proud of its riff on the traditional julep, the Gin Julep. (They added citrus to bring out the botanicals and reserved the water.)

GIN JULEP (Recipe courtesy of Christopher Ware of Azar Family Brands)
2 oz Seersucker Southern Style Gin
0.25 oz of lime juice
0.25 oz of lemon juice
0.5 oz of simple syrup
~5 mint leaves + more to garnish

Combine gin, citrus juices, mint leaves, and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker, then muddle mint lightly. Strain into a julep cup over crushed ice. Garnish with more mint.

 

SEERSUCKER SOUTHERN STYLE GIN
seersuckergin.com
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~$26 for 750mL
Available in 200ml, 750ml, and 1.75L

Pictures by @JureeGoode.

Throw Together a Cinco de Mayo Fiesta with Moe’s

Cinco de Mayo is coming up, and this year it’s on a Friday. [Cue amateur hour.] While every restaurant will make their best attempt at a margarita and slap a $3 price tag on it, you may want to avoid the hordes of partiers looking for cheap drinks. That said, sometimes it’s best to host your own fiesta–then you can make your margaritas as strong as you want (and know that they don’t have well tequila in them) and share good food with your amigos.

My friends and I put together a little fiesta to celebrate Cinco a bit early. To make things easier, we ordered catering from Moe’s Southwest Grill (promotion). The party was simple–catered food, a margarita bar, and, of course, a piñata.

To make it a little more festive, I put together a margarita bar so each guest could create their own margaritas. My guests could choose their citrus–lime, key lime, orange or blood orange–and sweetener–Patrón Citrónge Orange, blood orange syrup or “Sweet Heat“, Torani’s ghost pepper syrup. We wrote the traditional margarita recipe in chalk on the ground so even a novice could get it right.

This year, to celebrate “Cinco de Moe’s”, Moe’s created a new, margarita-inspired drink, the Moe-Rita, that combines limeade, lemonade, orange and some other goodies. (If you’re at one of their restaurants, you can get it from the Coca-Cola Freestyle machine. To make things even easier, guests could use the Mo-Rita as the base of their margarita and spice it up as they desired.

Instead of grilling up fajitas and stressing myself out trying to cook rice perfectly (just not my strong suit), I let Moe’s cater everything. I went with the fajita bar that came with everything we could have possibly wanted to pile onto a tortilla–chicken and beef, rice, beans, mixed onions and peppers, shredded cheese, lettuce, sour cream, guac and pico de gallo. Their catering comes with chips and salsa and we went all in with queso (which is quite fantastic).

Moe’s even covers dessert … their crispy sopapilla chips are my new obsession. They were a hit and my guests were more than happy to take a bag home (I may or may not have been grabbing one here and there all week. They’re real damn dangerous.)

Every party needs a little entertainment … and party favors. I stepped into Fiesta for a piñata (they’re quite inexpensive there and there are plenty of options). I filled my colorful llama with mini liquor bottles (plastic ones to avoid breakage), Mexican candies and snacks and hangover helpers (Advil packets and TUMs). You’re never too old to take a swing at a piñata!

Feeling inspired and want to win? Host your own fiesta, and make sure to post a picture of your Moe-Rita creation on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter using #MoeRitaMixer. Moe’s will pick one entrant to win a FREE catering for up to 50 people!*

MOE’S SOUTHWEST GRILL
moes.com
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Thanks to Moe’s for partnering with me for this promotion and setting us up with great food and the Moe-Ritas!
*Entries will be judged on originality and creativity. The winner will be announced on June 15th and can host their event anytime in the month of July 2017. For more information, visit www.moes.com.

Recipe: Orange Cava Popsicles ft. Segura Viudas Brut Cava

Summer is coming … and it’s going to be a rough one, so being poolside with a cocktail and something cold is going to be the way to cope. Since all day pool parties aren’t always conducive to mass amounts of liquor, I figured out a little less aggressive way to up my booze intake … and get some extra vitamin C while I’m at it–Orange Cava Popsicles.

Made with a few simple ingredients, the easy to make popsicles are a perfectly refreshing poolside treat. Just freeze overnight and, voila, a boozy treat to cool you off … and they look pretty damn cool, too.

Orange Cava Popsicles
1 cup Segura Viudas Brut Cava
1.5 cups orange juice
0.5 cups water
3 tablespoons agave syrup (or other flavored syrup to your liking)
Orange halves

Combine liquid ingredients and mix until the syrup is dissolved. Place an orange slice in each popsicle mold, then fill with the mixed liquid leaving a little room for expansion from freezing. Depending on your molds, either place sticks in the molds immediately, then freeze overnight, or let freeze for one hour before placing the sticks.

If you want to go full-tilt basic, grab some fresh juice (or some extra cava) and drop your popsicle in. The drink will change with every sip since the popsicle will gradually melt into it!

SEGURA VIUDAS CAVA
seguraviudasusa.com
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#OpenUpCava #SeguraViudas

***Special thanks to Segura Viudas for buying the bubbly for these goodies!***


A McKinney Must-Do: Arts in Bloom

The annual Arts in Bloom and Wine Festival is coming back to McKinney in a few short weeks (April 7-9) … and they’ve added two days! The festival will feature work by national and local artists, music by local acts, great food from McKinney restaurants, and … of course … wine from local growers.  (Do you get the local angle yet?)

The festival was recently named on “GuideLive’s list of 50 can’t-miss festivals this spring” … so that’s something.

So, what must you know before heading to historic McKinney?

  • There will be a Wine Garden featuring wine from 14 regional Texas wineries.  Wine, y’all.  Buy a commemorative wine glass for $20 and get 10 tastings to find your favorite.  (They’ll have wine by the glass and local beers available, too.)
  • You can soak up the booze with food from vendors serving up goodies from state fair favorites to Smoked Gouda burgers and gourmet popsicles.
  • You can stay a while and enjoy the live music on one of two stages with a little something for everyone.
  • It’s free.  Even parking is free with shuttle service straight to the festival.
  • You’ll see some fantastic art from more than 150 artists including sculptors, painters, photographers, woodworkers, and more from right here in North Texas showing right beside national artists.  And all of it will be for sale.
  • It’s family-friendly.  They’ll have a Kids Creation Station where your little ones can do arts and crafts and be entertained by someone other than you.
  • Frisbees are not allowed.  (Just sayin’.)

For more information about the festival, call 972-547-2660 or visit www.artsinbloomtx.com

ARTS IN BLOOM
artisinbloomtx.com
2017 Dates: April 7-9
Historic Downtown McKinney (111 N. Tennessee Street)

 

 

Afternoon Picnic in the Park

Spring is coming, but it seems Dallas has already decided to give us spring weather.  With perfect sun nearly every day, it’s important to get outside and enjoy it before the temperatures are too warm to do so.  I invited some friends to join me in the park across the street from my home for a little bubbly picnic to enjoy the weather.  (Somehow we caught the only overcast day we’ve seen in a while, but it was still lovely.)

No weekend meal before 3pm is ever complete without bubbles, so I stocked up on Segura Viudas Brut Cava and Rosé … and plenty of ice.  (I used Segura Viudas’s bottle calculator to determine how many bottles to get … and then got an extra bottle because I know my friends so well.)  The cava was a nice choice thanks to its crispness and mild floral note, which is light and pairs nicely with many items.  We started on the sparkling wine while we set up–pillows, blankets, plenty of trays (key), and some snacks.

While we were focused on the drink, we figured the definition of a picnic was a meal outside, so we each brought a little something to snack on.  We started with the biscuit bar, complete with homemade whipped honey butter, Irish Whiskey Jam, Trader Joe’s Fig Butter, and other goodies.  Kathryn brought caprese skewers and watermelon/feta skewers, both drizzled with balsamic glaze, and we sprung for Kuby’s chicken salad (really, the best around) with endive and crackers.  For sweets, we picked up donut holes and I made no-bake cherry cheesecakes, which were incredibly easy and tasted fantastic.

The perfect little treat for the end of the meal was Strawberries and Cava gummies made with Segura Viudas But Cava by Chris Henley (a.k.a. Betty Cocktail).  I am very particular about the consistency of gummies and I LOVED these.  The flavor was delightful, and we were told that they still have booze in them, which is unique for gummies as the alcohol is usually cooked out.  (Chris also brought her little pup along to enjoy the festivities.)

 

The picnic was a delight

Just make sure you get a wagon to haul everything!

 

SEGURA VIUDAS CAVA
seguraviudasusa.com
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#OpenUpCava #SeguraViudas

***Special thanks to Segura Viudas for buying the bubbly for our picnic!***


GALentine’s Day Brunch

I’ve never been a huge fan of Valentine’s Day (and no, not in a sad girl way), but after years of low key, forced romance with respective boyfriends, I’ve learned that it’s actually a great opportunity to spoil your friends.  Because, really, love comes in all sorts of forms … isn’t that what Hugh Grant told us in “Love Actually”?

I got some of my girl friends together (and surprisingly, two dudes) for a fancy, little plein air brunch this past weekend.  I went a little full-tilt girly brunch with French macarons, yogurt parfaits, cookies, quiche, and croissants.  I didn’t make a dang thing (very unlike me) because I wanted to have one no-stress party.  It was the best decision I have made in a while.

I sweetened the deal (and ensured a longer brunch session) with a mimosa bar featuring Segura Viudas Brut Cava, blueberry and orange juices, and St-Germain Elderflower Liqueur.  Everyone was able to make their perfect mimosa concoction.  Trader Joe’s has a fantastic selection of unique juices for mimosas, just stay away from the carbonated options as it can make your mimosa too effervescent.

A fun, extra touch on the brunch was adding party favors at each place.  Segura Viudas makes the cutest little (totally totable) splits that were perfect as placeholders.

So, what are your favorite Valentine’s Day traditions–both with S.O.s and friends?

SEGURA VIUDAS CAVA
seguraviudasusa.com
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#OpenUpCava #SeguraViudas

 

***Special thanks to Segura Viudas for sponsoring our brunch!***