Green Belt Cocktail

Cocktail O’ Clock: The Green Belt

Green Belt CocktailIf there’s one thing Austin likes to do in the summertime, it’s DRINK. When you’re dealing with hot-ass 100 degree sun on a daily basis, what else can you do?! Luckily alcohol brands realize our dire need for a cold cocktail, and there’s lots of fun, booze-focused festivities here on a pretty regular basis.

Take New Amsterdam Vodka, for example. They’re hosting the It’s Your Town party this Saturday, focusing on street art plus vodka (two things I can totally get behind). New Amsterdam Vodka says, “we’ve partnered with local street artist Bradford Maxfield to create seven original pieces of work for It’s Your Town, including a larger-than-life mural inspired by the nightlife and music scene of the city.”

I’m into it!

New Amsterdam Vodka was nice enough to share one of their Austin-focused signature cocktails with us. If you don’t live in the Austin area or can’t find Juiceland or Topo Chico near you… feel free to substitute with your favorite cold-pressed green juice blend and favorite sparkling water (La Croix, anyone?). It won’t be quite as Austin-y, but I guarantee it will still be delicious.

The Green Belt

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Endless Simmer Beer Trade

Beer Trade: Try Something New

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Whoever said “let’s make America great again” doesn’t know about the American ingenuity of craft beer drinkers. One of the best things about craft beer is that we all love to share. We’ve mentioned the great beer exchange, but let us not forget about beer trades. Typically between two people, a beer trade will consist of a set of parameters and a deadline for each person to meet and ship out a selection of beers. Beer trades allow us beautiful beer people to not only partake in a diverse amount of beers that we may not otherwise purchase, but to also try beers that are well outside of your geographic bounds.

One of my co-workers would bring up which beers his brother sent him from California in exchange for some local beers from the Northeast. He would brag about the most recent batch of Pliny or a small microbrewery in San Diego. Finally, it hit me: my wife has a cousin in Seattle. After a few texts, we set up a trade of our own from PA to Seattle and back. Success.

Of course, I am not the founder of the beer trade. This has surely been going since the dawning of craft beer. When visiting in Tampa, I was given business cards of fellow beer lovers to arrange a trade. They went on about how they are a member of a network that posts the beers in their cellar and then offers are made. I’m sure there are a bunch of networks out there (in addition to just arranging through personal relationships), but what appears to be a more exclusive network is The Beer Exchange.

At the Beer Exchange, you are required to create an account before even perusing through the options. First things first, provide your cellar, or inventory. From there, you can post what you have for trade, what you want and what is not for trade (your means of bragging about beer to people who care). For those fantasy football fans – think of this as your waiver wire. Finally, you can manage who your friends are and provide feedback through star ratings as well as providing actual reviews. This is a social network for beer people. WIN.

Even reddit has a beer trade thread. Obviously since it is on reddit, it’s a big deal. I will be trying my hand at the online beer exchange, however I personally think the easiest way to go is to trade with your personal friends. Find a friend in a far away land and pony up the bill to trade some suds. Let’s make America great again…one beer at a time.

Happy National Watermelon Day!

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Tomorrow, August 3rd is apparently National Watermelon Day…a holiday I’ve been personally pre-celebrating pretty much every day for the past three weeks or so. Fresh watermelon is pretty much my favorite thing about summer, but this year I’ve also noticed a plethora of watermelon drinks on the market. One of the tastier ones I’ve sampled is Sparkling Ice’s Strawberry Watermelon fizzy drink, and for the holiday occasion they’ve offered up this fabulous recipe for filling your watermelon with…what else? Watermelon!

Pomegranate Watermelon Summer Slush

Ingredients:
1/2 Personal-size seedless watermelon, chilled, cut & cubed (about 5 cups)
1/3 Cup Sparkling Ice Strawberry Watermelon
2 Tablespoons lime juice
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 to 2 Cups ice
Small watermelon wedge, spear of blueberries a few pomegranate seeds (optional for garnishes)

Directions:
In a blender, combine all ingredients and blend until smooth. Garnish as desired and serve in a hollowed-out watermelon shell for a fun “fish bowl” inspired drink.

Oh, and if you’re not liking this whole “mock” thing….sub in some hard stuff!
Sparkling Watermelon Vodka Lemonade

Ingredients:
3 Cups seedless watermelon pieces
3 Lemons, juiced
1/2 Cup Vodka
1/4 Cup Fresh Mint
2 Cups Lemon Lime Sparkling Ice

Directions:
In a blender, puree the watermelon and lemon juice, strain through a sieve into a drink pitcher. Add mint, vodka and Lemon Lime Sparkling Ice, then stir. Serve over ice and garnish with fresh mint.

Baileys Almande Mai Tai

Cocktail O’ Clock: A Healthier Mai-Tai

Baileys Almande Mai Tai

Bailey’s has a new addition to its line of liqueurs: Almande, a creamy, non-dairy drink made with almond milk. Not sure if you know this about me, but I love Bailey’s but I avoid drinking dairy milk because it does not get along well with my stomach… so this is fantastic news to me! The packaging is obviously very girly, and I am In. To. It.

This smooth spirit blends the luscious, nutty flavors of real almondmilk and real vanilla to create a versatile drink. Serve over crushed ice or mix with coconut water for a delicious summer cocktail.

YES PLEASE, love you, Bailey’s! While you can definitely sip this sweet drink on its own or over ice, Bailey’s also shared some delicious tropical recipes for this summer… so, I’m passing them along to you! This Mai Tai caught my eye because it combines Almande with two of my favorite summer flavors: coconut and watermelon. I can feel the island breezes blowing now!

You’ll have to forgive this ultra punny name (or just embrace it, like I did)…

 

Mai-Tai Interest You In Some Almande?

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Cocktail O’Clock: A Better Bloody Mary

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There’s no better way to brunch-bust a hangover than with a nice, tall bloody Mary. But as the weather gets warm, I often find a dark-red glass of tomato juice just doesn’t sound appealing in the morning. Fortunately, we have options, courtesy Supper @ Hotel Emma in San Antonio. Housed within the original Pearl Brewery brewhouse, Emma serves a unique lineup of clear cocktails that puts a unique spin on classic drinks. Their “Pearl” bloody Mary starts with a housemade tomato water, mixed up with lemon juice and mineral water for a lighter, fizzy BM experience. (And vodka, of course!)

“The Pearl” Bloody Mary

1 1/2 oz Vodka
2 1/2 oz tomato water ( See below for recipe)
.25 oz lemon juice
.25 oz mineral water
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artists lament from the townsend

Cocktail O’ Clock: The Artist’s Lament

artists lament from the townsend

Every Spring, Austin hosts the  Moontower Comedy & Oddity Fest, a festival all about – you guessed it – comedy. This year, Moontower features comedians like Martin Short, David Cross, Leslie Jones, Maya Rudolph, Janeane Garofolo, and more… and it’s happening this very weekend! In honor of the event, Justin Elliott, the Director of Hospitality and Bar Program Creator at popular downtown cocktail bar The Townsend has created a special drink, only available Thursday (4/21) through Saturday (4/23). It’s called the Artist’s Lament ($8) and it’s available at the bar, which is hosting a number of Moontower shows.

This drink is only on the menu during Moontower, and The Townsend will be a popular spot during the festival for comedy shows and, of course, drinks. If you’re not in Austin for the fest this weekend, no worries! We got the secret recipe to make this complex and bitter cocktail at home.

What Justin says about this drink: “Loosely based on the classic ‘Artist’s Special’ I present – in honor of the miserable lot that we all know comedians to be – the ‘Artist’s Lament.’ Basically it has a lot of the tasting notes of an Artist’s Special but it’s way more bitter and it’s definitely smoking about a pack a day.”

Sounds good to us! Bottoms up to the weekend, let’s laugh and lament.

 

The Artist’s Lament

1 oz Dolin Vermouth Dry
1 oz Bigallet Amer China-China
.5 oz (1:1) Simple Syrup
.75 oz Lemon Juice
.25 oz Port Charlotte Islay Scotch Whisky

Swizzle together with crushed ice and garnish with a mint sprig.

Cocktail O’Clock: Prosecco Raspberry Lemonade

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Don’t know about where ya’ll are, but in NYC this weekend we finally had some serious spring weather — as in break out the bubbly and brunch all day spring weather.

In the spirit of the season, here’s an effervescent spring cocktail that combined beautiful berries, some nice tart homemade lemonade flavor, and of course booze.

 

Prosecco Raspberry Lemonade

Ingredients

  • 1 Bottle Santa Margherita Prosecco Superiore
  • 1/8 Cup Sugar
  • 1/8 Cup Lemon Sugar
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Lemon Rind, Grated
  • 1 Cup Mashed Raspberries

Directions:

  • Combine sugar and juice in a small saucepan, bring to a boil
  • Reduce heat and simmer for 1 minute, stirring until sugar dissolves
  • Remove from heat
  • Stir in lemon rind and ½ cup of mashed raspberries
  • Combine mixture and Santa Margherita Prosecco Superiore in pitcher
  • Sprinkle remaining raspberries among the glasses

 

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