I am in a paid partnership with Modelo Negra, but all opinions are my own. Please drink and enjoy responsibly (if you’re 21)!
This past weekend’s Gold Lion Barbershop pop-up featuring Modelo Negra was a new level of pop-up. Beer, beautifully crafted beer cocktails, Mexican chocolates, and some of the best BBQ sliders I’ve eaten in a while were enjoyed. Attendees were also able to get quick trims or braids, play cornhole, and enjoy the DJ’s fantastic music.
There were three fantastic “beertails” brought to us by Jesse Powell, and my favorite was the Modelo Transcending.
.25 oz lemon juice
5 oz ginger/cardamom syrup
top with Modelo Negra
garnish with a mint sprig
Thank you again to Modelo Negra for inviting me to such a fun event!
There’s a new bar in town, it’s right at the edge of Deep Ellum where Elm meets Malcom X Blvd. Formerly Idle Rye, it’s now called Bitter End.
I experienced all of this for myself when I went to Bitter End for the first time last month. The first thing I noticed was that there is a solid patio which is where they hosted Puppies on the Patio every Sunday in April where they welcome your four-legged companion and kept free pupsicles in stock. But don’t worry … the patio is always pup-friendly and there’s a chance they will bring back Pups on the Patio for an encore. (Crossing my fingers!)
Inside, you can find vibrant art of famous rock legends along the wall which ties into the cleverly named cocktails—Walk the Line, The Madonna, and The Selena, to name a few. You’ll also find a raw bar full of oysters on ice from all over. Bitter End will always carry Gulf and Blue Point Oysters, but there are other types on rotation like Sweet Jesus oysters. (Seriously.)
If raw oysters aren’t your thing, I recommend the charbroiled oysters or clams. They are wood-grilled with garlic herb butter and Parmesan and served with a toasted baguette that is excellent dipped in the leftover herb butter! The menu isn’t all oysters—they also have burgers, Nashville hot chicken sliders, salads, lobster rolls (on pretzel buns!), and other delicious pub food.
As far as cocktails go, you’re going to want to try them all! I am somewhat obsessed with the Ziggy Stardust (rum, maraschino liqueur, grapefruit and lime). They use a mini clothespin to fasten the garnish to the glass and it’s adorable (and very insta-worthy). If you want something a little less sweet, I would suggest you Walk the Line (bourbon, spiced pear, lemon and egg white). It sounds like a weird combo, but go with it! I also discovered my new go-to coffee cocktail—I still love you, Twilight Lounge—called the Madonna (frozen coffee liqueur, espresso vodka topped with whipped cream). It’s going to be perfect for Dallas’s hot weather and late night patio season.
Now let’s talk about their events…
Mondays and Tuesdays, ALL DAY: $5 champagne and $1.50 oysters
Every day, 5-7pm: $5 wells, wine and beer
7 days a week, 10pm-2am: reverse oyster happy hour with $1.50 oysters
There are more than 20 TVs, so it’s also a perfect spot to watch your favorite sports team and there will be various specials for select games. Now would be a great time to check out Bitter End while cheering on your favorite Dallas team …
It’s starting to warm up, and when this time of year rolls around, I’m personally always looking for low calorie beverages that won’t leave me feeling put out (bloated, tired, tipsy … you name it). So, with summer right around the corner, Schofferhofer Hefeweizen Pomegranate should be on your list of fruit-forward bevs to try … and drink beside a pool, on the lake, at the beach or whatever your plans my be!
Schofferhofer Grapefruit was created back in 2007 and was super successful when it was introduced at Epcot’s Food & Wine Festival at Walt Disney World back in 2012, so they’ve been working on some new options. Now their newest edition to their fam is the pomegranate flavor!
This beer doesn’t taste like beer, and I can appreciate that for my people out there who don’t like it. (But y’all are #crazy.) I’m talkin’ like, lighter than a shandy. That being said, it’s super unique in that it’s 50% pomegranate juice, 50% hefeweizen and that’s exactly the order in which you’ll taste it too. Sweet like juice up front, mild wheat beer taste on the finish that’s not overpowering. So if you like beer that doesn’t taste like beer, this could totally be your jam.
If you do like beer, this might also be for you in the following instances:
– You want something fruity to mix it up and stay “hydrated” since it’s already 50% juice.
– You want to use it as a mixer with a seltzer water to stay even more “hydrated”.
– You want to make a punch with it by adding some gin or vodka.
You can add this beer to your cart at these DFW retailers: Total Wine, Specs, Goody Goody, Whole Foods, Kroger, Market Street, Winco Foods, Central Market, Sprouts, some other spots, and even Bed, Bath & Beyond!
So really it comes down to would I recommend it, sure, if you are in the mood for a light, fruity drink.
STATS Special ingredients: pomegranate juice ABV: 2.5%
There’s a new rosé in town and you’re going to want to grab yourself a bottle before it heats up in Texas! Like, really … we’ll wait while you run down the street for a bottle.
You back? Cool … I’ll continue. [Open the bottle and drink along with me.]
This isn’t just any ol’ rosé—it’s Jon Bon Jovi’s rosé that he created with his son, Jesse Bongiovi and former Notre Dame hockey player, Ali Thomas. It’s called Hampton Water, and it dove into the Dallas scene last month with an epic party at the Joule hotel in a kickoff event for KAABOO Texas (the killer music festival featuring The Killers coming in May).
The intimate event called “The First Sip” featured plenty of Hampton Water Rosé and an acoustic set by Jon Bon Jovi himself—no big deal, right?? The event was at the heated rooftop pool deck at the hotel and the second that I stepped out of the elevator, it was clear what a big deal this rosé was at least trying to be. … and it was.
All of Dallas’s elite came out to enjoy a glass of rosé from Dallas athletes like Jason Witten and Dirk himself (bless that man)and alumni from The Bachelor to bloggers, media reps and businessmen. It was a huge turnout and the room was buzzing with excitement for both the performance and the launch of KAABOO and Hampton Water. (Just so much to celebrate.)
Have you already poured yourself a glass?
Now let’s talk about why the Wine Spectator featured it as one of the top 100 wines of 2018: The blend comes from wine makers in the South of France and is made from the perfect blend of Syrah, Grenache, Cinsault and Mourvèdre grapes. It has a nice clean taste with hints of fruity flavors like cherry and watermelon. It has a really balanced, crisp finish which makes it perfect for pretty much any occasion where wine is involved (which should be all the time, right?). Once patio season hits, I have a feeling we will be seeing it all over Dallas. (Hence our aforementioned note to HURRY.)
Also coming to Dallas is the three-day music festival called KAABOO on May 10-12 which will be headlined by Sting, The Killers, Kid Rock, and Lynyrd Skynyrd. KAABOO describes itself as “People against dirty” and “The perfect weekend escape, described in a word that comes from whatever the hell we feel like yelling when we’re high on life and having fun.” It’s taking place at the AT&T Stadium, and you can be sure here will be lots of cocktails available (including Hampton Water Rosé, obviously) along with craft beers, cabanas, six stages and even a Vegas-y pool club!
As I was sipping my glass of rosé and googling how much KABOO tickets are—which are very affordable as far as music-festivals go btw—the crowd starts hustling towards the stage for Jon Bon Jovi’s private set when he played through his well known hits like “American Pie,” “It’s My Life” and “Livin’ On A Prayer.” I now officially have about 179 Jon Bon Jovi recordings on my phone … and I’m only exaggerating a tiny bit there.
Grape Varietals: Syrah, Grenache, Cinsault, Mourvèdre
Color: light peach
Aroma: bright fruits
Palate: hints of fruity flavors like cherry, strawberry, and watermelon with just a slight minerality
Finish: long, dry
Region: France — Languedoc-Roussillon
Hampton Water hamptonwaterwine.com
In Dallas, you can find the rosé at Central Market, Pogo’s Wine & Spirits, Nick & Sam’s, Hotel ZaZa, Imoto, Tei-An and Uchi
We’re always looking for a good reason to celebrate … and an excuse to drink at lunch. In the spirit of celebration, it’s a great idea to keep these important days of the year on your calendar. Get ready to party in July!
Too lazy to add them yourself? That’s ok … you can subscribe to my silly holidays calendar here: http://bit.ly/2yUjPjK
January 1: Bloody Mary Day
January 11: Hot Toddy Day
January 17: Hot Buttered Rum Day
January 25: Irish Coffee Day
January 31: Brandy Alexander Day
February 18: Drink Wine Day
February 22: Margarita Day
February 27: Kahlua Day
March 3: Mulled Wine Day
April 7: Beer Day
April 9: International Gin & Tonic Day
April 17: World Malbec Day
April 19: Amaretto Day
May 7: Cosmopolitan Day
May 13: World Cocktail Day
May 16: Mimosa Day
March 18: World Whisky Day
May 25: Wine Day
May 30: Mint Julep Day
June 1-7: Negroni Week
June 4: Cognac Day
June 5: Moonshine Day
June 11: Gin Day
June 14: Bourbon Day
June 19: Martini Day
June 30: Mai Tai Day
July 10: Piña Colada Day
July 11: Mojito Day
July 14: Grand Marnier Day
July 19: Daiquiri Day
July 24: Tequila Day
July 25: Wine & Cheese Day
July 27: Scotch Day
August 2, 2008: International Beer Day (changes annually)
August 16: Rum Day
August 25: Whiskey Sour Day
August 28: Red Wine Day
September 15: Creme de Menthe Day
September 20: Rum Punch Day
September 28: Drink a Beer Day
September 30: Mulled Cider Day
October 4: Vodka Day
October 16: Liqueur Day
October 19: Gin & Tonic Day
October 21: Mezcal Day
November 7: World Gin Day
November 8: Harvey Wallbanger Day November 12: Happy Hour Day
November 20: Beaujolais Day
December 5: Repeal Day
December 10: Lager Day
December 13: Screwdriver Day
December 20: Sangria Day
December 24: Egg Nog Day
December 31: Champagne Day
Miami is a lot. I hadn’t visited the 305 in almost ten years, and I’ll admit that I didn’t have the best impression of the city … but when your favorite people in the world that lives in London adds some vacation to a work trip to hang with you, you comply … gladly. So once dates were set, trip planning began. While the city itself is a lot, hotel rooms (and AirBnBs and VRBOs and even hostels) are equally as … a lot. The hotel search was daunting to say the least.
But then I was delighted to discover the newest Kimpton in Florida, the Kimpton Angler’s Hotel smack dab in the heart of Miami Beach just a couple blocks from beach access. (As my readers know, because I make no mystery of it, Kimpton is my favorite hotel brand.) It seemed to have everything that we wanted from our accommodations—location, a casual bar that had quality cocktails, a pool, a view, and spacious rooms. Even more, like all Kimptons, they offer a complimentary wine happy hour every night, and this hotel even offered daily on-site wellness activities from yoga to boot camp.
We made our reservation and drove up on the day with a ridiculously full car to check in. The valets were as helpful as I’ve experienced anywhere and the hotel staff were eager to show us a perfect stay. Even the lobby was welcoming with unique art pieces and the signature Kimpton scent that I just adore.
Our room was gorgeous and spacious, which was a welcome respite from the fast-paced city around it. The bathrooms were just as roomy and clean with a powerful shower with cobalt blue tiles that we both died for.
We looked for the amenities that we’ve come to expect from Kimptons—a yoga mat, robes, and more. Since this is a beach hotel, they also provided a beach bag and towels! And, as one always needs when traveling to a beach destination of any kind, our balcony provided a little peek at the water.
To get a better view, we ventured up to the rooftop pool, which was complete with plenty of towels, chairs, sunscreen, and space for days. Grab a glass of wine at the complimentary happy hour and then hop up to the pool to watch the stunning sunset.
While Miami has plenty of amazing bars and restaurants (you know we went to a ton of them … for research purposes!), but we didn’t even need to leave our hotel to find the perfect happy hour spot. Minnow, their lobby bar, has perfect bites and cocktails to get your night started or wound down on the perfect note. If they don’t have a cocktail on the menu that tickles your fancy, just ask the friendly bar staff for a suggestion.
I was happy to see that they would be expanding and opening a restaurant, Seawell, shortly after our visit in “early 2019”. They promise an “American seafood restaurant will feature locally sourced ingredients and regional classics including a selection of ‘raw bar’ items and platters.” With outdoor seating and Minnow next door, it seems like it’ll be a nice addition to the hotel’s offerings for a date night or business meetings.
The Kimpton Angler’s really helped change my mind about Miami, and I hope I have another good reason to visit so I can enjoy their hospitality again.
March 22 is World Water Day. Water is an incredibly precious resource, and there are billions around the world that don’t have access to a clean, reliable source for it. Not for profit Water for People works to supply water to those people.
2.1 billion people around the world don’t have access to safe water and 4.5 billion lack access to adequate sanitation. Women and children spend more than four hours walking for water each day, and more than 840,000 people die each year from water-related diseases.
So, to lessen the number of people in need, Absolut Elyx teamed up with Water For People to supply water and water sources to them. They’ve upped the game each year for the last four, and this year’s a doozy. For every bottle of Elyx or copper pineapple sold, Absolut Elyx will supply one week of safe drinking water (~140 liters) to someone in need. They’ll also donate a week of water for every Instagram post bearing the hashtag #RaiseItForward March 22 to April 22. Even more: This year, if they reach our goal of 10,000 posts, they’ll increase the donation to one month of safe water for every post.
I’m delighted to be working with Absolut Elyx to spread the word about this great cause. So they allowed me to sweeten the deal by giving anyone who uses the hashtag #RaiseItForwardTX the chance to win a copper swan ($399 value) or one of three copper coupes ($39.50 value each).
Elm Street Cask & Kitchen may be filling the spot of Grayson Social, but they are certainly setting themselves apart from the previous southern-style restaurant. This new joint has all the comfort food you could possibly need … and the whiskey list to match, The space lends a feel of porch sitting at Grandma’s after enjoying a home cooked meal.
They’re all about the whiskey and bourbon at Elm Street Cask & Kitchen, and if their “Whiskey Bible” doesn’t do it for you, then I don’t know what will. The extensive book features history lessons, cocktail recipes, and plenty of information on whiskey. As for their cocktail menu, they feature drinks such as their Maker’s Mark Mint Julep, Old Fashioned, Whisk(e)y Sour, and even whiskey flights. (For non-whiskey drinkers, they also have wine, beer, and various signature cocktails available.)
I went with the Kentucky Buck (Four Roses whiskey, fresh muddled strawberries, lemon, ginger, and bitters), and it was SOOOO refreshing—perfect for those wanting to get into whiskey drinking, but not necessarily be hit with it like a sack of bricks.
Now, as a Southerner, I take my Southern-style cuisine very seriously. They do a great job providing traditional Southern fare alongside current crowd favorites like hushpuppieswithroasted chili honey butter and Crushed Avocado (aka guacamole) with chimichurri and black pepper crackers.
The main dishes are packed with flavor and cooked perfectly. I suggest the Beer Can Chicken with apple cornbread stuffing, almonds, charred carrots—order it with can of Lonestar for just an extra $2! The Bourbon Braised Short Rib with Lakewood Bourbon Barrel Temptress glaze, asparagus, and brown butter mashed potatoes was also quite intriguing and we decided was worth a return visit for us. If you’re into fish, you might enjoy the Pan Seared Salmon with black-eyed peas, ham hock, pickled shallot, and watercress.
The only logical way to end a filling meal is to overstuff yourself with delicious sweets—am I right? It’s pretty hard to choose between the Cast Iron Bread Pudding and the Banana Cream Pie … so just go ahead and get both.
Elm Street Cask & Kitchen offers Happy Hour pricing Monday-Friday from 2pm to 7pm featuring $5 bites, $5 select drinks, and $12 chili dog/draft beer/TX bourbon shot combos.