Category Archives: Contest

Maker’s Mark #TrifectaChallenge: The Belmont Jewel

Last year I put a little (read: very little) spin on the Mint Julep for a Maker’s Mark Trifecta Challenge.  This year, they asked the #TrifectaChallenge participants to put our twist on the Belmont Stakes’ signature drink, The Belmont Jewel.  The traditional Belmont Jewel is quite simple–bourbon, lemonade, and pomegranate juice.  A bit of a yawn, no?  Needless to say, I was eager to spice this cocktail up a bit; and I went for the daily double.



1.5 oz Maker’s Mark Bourbon Whiskey
2 oz lavender lemonade
1 egg white
Jellied pomegranate wine*
Dried Lavender
Lemon curl

Combine the Maker’s Mark, lemonade, and egg white in a sturdy shaker.  Shake vigorously for one minute, then add ice and shake for another minute.  Strain into a chilled julep cup, drizzle jellied pomegranate wine on top, then garnish with dried lavender and a lemon curl.

*Jellied Pomegranate Wine
1.5 cups pomegranate wine
0.75 cup fresh lemon juice
1 oz gelatin
0.5 cup white sugar

Combine wine, lemon juice, and gelatin in a pot. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Add sugar, stirring until dissolved. Return to a hearty boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

While we can’t drink this from the August Belmont Memorial Cup (which happens to be cast in silver and made by Tiffany & Co.), you can still shake one up at home.   If it sounds like too much effort, go for the traditional Belmont Jewel.

1.5 oz Maker’s Mark Bourbon Whiskey
2 oz lemonade
1 oz pomegranate juice
Lemon curl

June 1, through midnight on June 3, stop by Maker’s Mark’s Instagram account and LIKE AND COMMENT on my recipe to help me win a trip to the distillery.  Pretty please?


I received these a bottle of Maker’s Mark to try out some recipes without payment.

Tokyo Joe’s Review & GIVEAWAY

I don’t enjoy being poked (hello, flirting on Facebook in 2006), but Denver QSR Tokyo Joe’s changed my tune last night.  I was invited in last night to try some of their goodies at the restaurant (I had some of their items delivered when they opened) including their new Poke Bowls and quite enjoyed the experience.

I started my night with a Lucky Buddha beer while waiting for my friend.  (I’d liken it most to a Heineken.)  Tokyo Joe’s offers a couple imported beers and a few Shiner options (CHEER?!?!?!), along with some of the usual suspects.  It being a Tuesday, I opted for a single beer and my friend went for their tea bar, which they stock with two of their five tea options at all times.


I sipped and ordered a few little bites–the Gyoza (steamed pork dumplings with Joe’s dipping sauce), Miso Soup, and white chicken Spring Rolls.  I was delighted to see three options of spring rolls–white chicken, tiger shrimp, and organic tofu.  The basil in them was refreshing and I nearly guzzled the peanut dipping sauce on its own.

We were encouraged to try the new (launching today, 2/3) Poke bowls (ok … they say that it’s actually pronounced pok-ay)–one tuna and one salmon.  The fish was fresh and incredibly tender and the avocado was perfectly ripe.  My favorite part?  They added chopped Macadamia nuts on my tuna bowl.  Hell to the yes.

Tokyo Joe’s offers much more than just the poke bowls–made-to-order sushi rolls, bento boxes (also launching 2/3), salads, additional bowls, and more.  And, if you’re like me, you feel empowered when you make decisions, but hate to do it at the same time.  Enter: TJ’s bowls.  Each bowl gives you limited (but generous) options with your choice of five proteins, three carbs, 11 sauces, and 13 vegetables.

Surprisingly, they also offer made-to-order sushi using fresh fish and REAL crab.  The CaliTartare Roll we enjoyed had a serious and unexpected kick to it and the lemongrass aioli was seriously delicious.

Don’t just take my word for this place … try it yourself!  In fact, they offered me a $50 gift card to give to one of you!  Check out the giveaway below to see how you can enter to win.  Good luck!

Facebook | Twitter
Richardson: 300 W Campbell Rd #140 | (214) 484-5211
McKinney: 7645 Custer Rd | (972) 332-8896

****I was treated to a meal at Tokyo Joe’s and they donated the $50 gift card for me to give to one of you!****

[rf_contest contest=’1479′]


Maker’s Mark #JulepOff 2015

I was honored to have been recruited by Maker’s Mark to participate in their first-ever #JulepOff!  The challenge: remix the Kentucky Derby classic, the Mint Julep.

Maker's Mark Mint Julep
Maker’s Mark Mint Julep

Their traditional julep is as follows:

1.5 parts Maker’s Mark Bourbon
Fresh mint
2 tablespoons simple syrup
Distilled water
Powdered sugar

Muddle mint and simple syrup. Mix with Maker’s Mark and distilled water. Fill a julep cup with crushed ice and pour the mixture over the top of the ice.  Sprinkle a bit of powdered sugar over the ice and garnish the drink with a mint sprig.

While delicious, I think we can do better here at Susie Drinks Dallas!  Presenting the Run for the Roses Julep!  We decided that rosewater would give the traditional julep unique flavor … and it looks sexy as hell.

Run for the Roses Julep

~12 fresh mint leaves (stemmed)
5 drops rosewater
1 oz simple syrup
2 oz Maker’s Mark Bourbon
Crushed or shaved ice
Rose petals
Mint sprig
Powdered Sugar
Julep cup

Muddle the mint leaves and simple syrup. (Don’t overmuddle or you’ll be sad.) Add the bourbon and rosewater, stir lightly.  Fill a julep cup with shaved or crushed ice then pour the mixture over the ice.  Garnish with a rose petal and mint sprig.  Lightly sprinkle powdered sugar over the drink.


Want to up the ante?  How about some Mint Julep Jelly Shots!?

2 packets unflavored gelatin
2 C chilled water
1/2 C mint leaves (fresh is best)
1/2 C granulated sugar
3/4 C Maker’s Mark bourbon
Mint sprigs

Put gelatin into cold water in a saucepan then let sit for about 5 minutes.  Add the mint leaves and sugar, then heat over medium heat for about 4 minutes, then turn the heat off and let sit for 15 minutes.  Strain and then stir in the Maker’s Mark.  Pour into shot glasses then refrigerate for at least 5 hours.

I’d greatly appreciate your support in the #JulepOff!  Please visit the Maker’s Mark Pinterest starting 4/23 and REPIN my recipe!  I have until May 1 to get as many REPINS as possible.

(Please only repin it once per account.)

Roses not your thing? Some other recipes I came up with are below!

Lavender Mint Julep
~12 fresh mint leaves (stemmed)
1 oz lavender syrup
2 oz Maker’s Mark Bourbon
Crushed or shaved ice
Mint sprig
Powdered Sugar
Julep cup

Muddle the mint leaves and lavender simple syrup. (Don’t overmuddle or you’ll be sad.) Add the bourbon, stir lightly. Fill a julep cup with shaved or crushed ice then pour the mixture over the ice. Garnish with a lavender stem and mint sprig.


Mile High Julep
6-8 min leaves

1 3/4 oz Maker’s Mark Bourbon
1/2 oz Ancho Reyes Chile Liqueur
1/2 oz ginger syrup
1/4 oz fresh lemon juice
Mint sprig

Combine ingredients in a julep cup and lightly muddle.  Add crushed ice and garnish with a mint sprig.


A huge thanks to my favorite guys over at The People’s Last Stand for their help getting the recipe perfect!

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.