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The Bull and The Pearl: Meet Houston's Latest Hip Pop-Up

They're not recreating the wheel, they're building a new one.

Whiskey Sour

The best whiskey sour I have ever had was last summer at my fiancé's house. His father is great at making cocktails, and after I mentioned I had enjoyed a whiskey sour but wished it hadn't tasted so artificial, he decided to make one without the sweet and sour mix, instead using fresh fruit. Let me tell you, this is the way to go. With fresh orange juice, lemon juice, a little bit of sugar and bourbon, this whiskey sour became one of my absolute favorite mixed drinks. And it was "topped" with a cherry — a maraschino cherry, that is.

Ice Cream Float

Ben McPherson, left, and Matt Wommack are building a fan base for an eventual restaurant.
Courtesy of The Bull and the Pearl
Ben McPherson, left, and Matt Wommack are building a fan base for an eventual restaurant.
All this drink needs is a stick of sugar cane.
All this drink needs is a stick of sugar cane.

Cool treats like ice cream are wonderful during the summer, but they're even better when mixed with soda. One of my favorite combinations is lime sherbet with ginger ale. But if the tart-sweet combo isn't your cup of tea, you can always stick to something classic like vanilla ice cream and root beer, or take a sweeter route and try this recipe from the blog Eat. Drink. Love. This blogger makes a strawberry syrup, then adds about a quarter cup of the cold syrup to a tall glass, followed by a couple of scoops of strawberry ice cream and club soda.

Spiked Milkshake

Now if you want your dessert and your cocktail at the same time, make a milkshake with a little something extra. Try making a salted caramel one with vanilla ice cream, milk, salt, caramel sauce, and bourbon or tequila, or make things tropical by re-creating Bobby Flay's Bananas Foster Milkshake with rum, bananas, caramel, cinnamon, milk and vanilla ice cream. Of course, the standard ­Baileys milkshake works as well; how about a chocolate milkshake spiked with Baileys Irish Cream Liqueur?

Tequila Sunrise

Be careful when drinking a tequila sunrise. The intense sweetness makes it easy to chug...especially if you drink it with a straw. But if you can sip on one of these tequila-based cocktails with orange juice and grenadine, or pomegranate juice instead of grenadine, then you should definitely make one this summer. The bright orange juice layered with the deep pink/purple pomegranate juice will make for a beautiful presentation, too.

Paloma

Quench your thirst with this tart and sweet cocktail. A classic Paloma includes silver tequila, lime juice, grapefruit juice, sugar and club soda (some recipes suggest grapefruit soda instead of the juice and club soda). Combine all the ingredients except the soda in a cocktail shaker, then pour into a prepared highball glass with a salted rim garnished with a tart grapefruit slice. Topped with club soda (or grapefruit soda) and ice cubes, this fizzy, sweet and zippy drink is just what you need when lounging poolside.

Summer Fruit Sangria

Enjoy the flavors of the season by incorporating them into a sparkling white wine sangria with brandy. Take a whack at this recipe from Cooking Light magazine featuring cherries, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries and nectarines. Combine these five fruits with brandy, and let the flavors blend for approximately two hours. Add apricot nectar and a bottle of your choice of sparkling wine, such as Prosecco or Cava, a Spanish sparkling wine. Red wine is a perfectly acceptable substitution.

Mint Mojito

If you can't get away to the Bahamas this summer, then bring the Bahamas to you by making a mint mojito. Muddle mint with lime juice and sugar, then add white rum and club soda. Garnish it with a few more sprigs of mint and a stick of sugar cane. As you sip on this refreshing drink, take a bite off the sugar cane stick.

Orange Shandy

If you're more of a beer lover, then create a beer-based cocktail such as Martha Stewart's easy Orange Shandy. Make your own simple syrup, then combine with orange zest and coriander seeds. After it cools, strain it and add to orange juice and lemon juice. Combine this spiced orangeade with a light beer, such as a pale lager, pale ale or ginger beer.
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Bar Beat

Julep Nears Opening
Alba Huerta talks Southern cocktail history.

Kaitlin Steinberg

'Who knew I could exercise so much patience?"

Alba Huerta laughed as she recounted the two-year process of getting her new Southern cocktail bar, Julep, from conception to opening. Well, almost opening. According to Huerta, we'll be sipping bourbon from beneath the shade of our wide-brimmed sun hats within the next three or four weeks.

Huerta is more than just an award-winning bartender from Anvil and The Pastry War, though. She's also quite the cocktail historian, as she's happy to prove whenever asked about the concept behind Julep.

"The julep was once medicine," Huerta says, explaining that the strong mint flavor would cover up the taste of harsh medicines. "Then it was a cocktail, and then a status symbol. It became important after the Civil War. The cost of ice was three times more than the cost of dairy, so if you could afford a julep filled with crushed ice, you'd made it."

Soon we'll all be able to feel like we've made it, too, when Julep opens at 1919 Washington. Huerta admits that the neighborhood isn't what it was when she acquired the space two years ago, but she's so pleased to open a lively bar in an area where the neighbors have embraced her and the concept. She says many people have asked about the location; most other businesses under the Clumsy Butcher restaurant group umbrella are ­either downtown or in Montrose.

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