Though Kentucky and Tennessee have long been considered the whiskey and bourbon capitols of the country, Texas is increasingly making a name for itself as a whiskey producer. Walk into Spec's and ask for Texas whiskey, and they'll point you to a whole section filled with amber-hued liquor purporte ... More >>
Earlier this month, I attended the Great Whiskey Debate, a private event for whiskey enthusiasts in Houston. I received an invitation to cover the event, which is part of a touring series set up by Beam/Suntory, in part to raise brand awareness but also to highlight the differences between each type ... More >>
Although I wouldn't have called myself an aficionado until the last few years, bourbon has long been my go-to spirit of choice. Its warm sweetness is both comforting and relatively easy on the senses. In recent years, I've become more interested in discerning flavors among bourbons, sampling any num ... More >>
The first Houston Whiskey Festival is upon us. On Saturday, March 15, at the Julia Ideson Building, you can sample more than 60 whiskies from around the world (other spirits and cocktails will be available) while enjoying the cigar lounge, live brass bands, and more. (No tickets will be sold at the ... More >>
Since 2007, Absolut Vodka has been releasing a limited-edition flavor based on an American city every year. The first one was New Orleans, followed by Los Angeles, Boston, Brooklyn, San Francisco, Miami and Chicago. This year, the company has decided to create its first-ever state-inspired vodka i ... More >>
Texas spirits are getting some well-deserved international recognition.
Nothing pairs better with drinks than the right food. Except maybe movies. From the White Russians in The Big Lebowski to martinis in any (and all) James Bond films to the French 75, which rose to fame after its mention in Casablanca, films and cocktails have a long, mouthwatering history. Alamo D ... More >>
A Double Gold nearly guarantees these spirits are good.
These items can't make you a star bartender, but they'll make you a better one.
A new classic cocktail
Recently a few friends and I started a whiskey tasting club as an excuse to consume expensive liquor an opportunity to educate our palates on the nuances of high-quality blended malt beverages. At our second meeting, our sergeant-at-arms laid a bottle of clear spirits on the table. "Ahoy!," I sai ... More >>
5 food-related reasons to drive to Alvin.
With the cocktail movement booming in Houston, it seems as though you can hardly go to a bar or restaurant these days without encountering a list of cocktails. And on that list of cocktails, expect to find a list of the house specialty drinks -- concoctions created by (or for) that bar or restaurant ... More >>
Master distiller Troy Smith points to a few sacks of corn on the floor of the small warehouse that houses Yellow Rose Distillery in a quiet, residential area just north of Tomball. "We use organic corn from North Texas," he says. "And we grind it all by hand." That corn is the most important ingred ... More >>
Illustration credit: tabletinfographics.com You don't need Triple Sec or fancy ingredients to make a good, basic margarita. That's exactly what a good margarita is, after all: basic. If you decided not to brave the Cinco de Mayo crowds this year, just follow the simple diagram above to make the per ... More >>
If you want to be a real rock star, you can go ahead and forget about those Red Bull and vodkas you're so fond of. Legit rockers are fueled by bigger, harder and flat-out weirder doses of alcohol than the mere mortals hitting on the bartender at your local watering hole. Sure, a few of our musical ... More >>
Sure, most rock stars are probably happy with any bottle that happens to be within reach. Some rock stars, however, prefer to refine and perfect their booze intake, settling on a signature cocktail that suits their outsized personalities and consequence-free lifestyles. Rocks Off salutes these exc ... More >>
As Houston Press's resident goth, back-cracker, and hydroponist, we remain the expert on all things dark and spooky. Also, as a writer we can assure you that we know a thing or three about drinking. They say that the answer isn't in the bottom of a bottle, but we have a sneaking suspicion that that ... More >>
Have a G.G. Allin and bring in the New Year indecently!Everything is more exciting, sometimes even redeeming, when it has a cool name: Sexual acts, alcoholic beverages, movies, albums, etc. OK, maybe just sexual acts and drinks. Since there are thousands of sites that have the former covere ... More >>
Photo courtesy Patrón Spirits.Patrón master distiller Francisco Alcaraz has been working with tequila since 1968. He distilled his first tequila for the U.S.-based label Patrón in 1989.By the time the Eagles released "Tequila Sunrise," the first single from their second album Desperado in ... More >>
Photo by terren in VirginiaCandy overload. Must. Make. Cocktails.Once Halloween has come and gone, I'm always left with a giant pile of Halloween candy. I have eaten it, tortured people by bringing it in to work, and baked it into all kinds of cakes and desserts. But this year, I plan on tryi ... More >>
In Belize, my friend Kiv taunted an Englishman for sipping a pink cocktail, in a waterside tavern. After some words ending with the trite "You and what army?" the man and his buddies - British SAS commandos on leave from jungle training -- promptly heaved Kiv over a railing, into the cholera ... More >>
Pimm's and John Donne: Very, very British.Pimm's is another spirit in the grand tradition of booze as medicine. Its creator, James Pimm, developed the liqueur as a digestive aid for the patrons of his London oyster bar. The flavor caught the fancy of the British people. Say Pimm's out loud. I ... More >>
Choices...choices...Since I'm not a Texas native, I don't get Lone-Starry-eyed at the mere mention of Blue Bell ice cream, but I defer to its greatness. Blue Bell is not simply a taste of quirky provincial pride -- like Cincinnati chili -- but a champion amongst half-gallons, and a contender ... More >>
smiling_da_vinci I recently started drinking whiskey for the same reason most other people do -- because someone they knew was drinking whiskey. For the past decade, I'd stayed away from the brown stuff, because all the Crown shots from college had left a mental (not to mention liver) scar. ... More >>
A friend and I had just settled in to the bar at Simone on Sunset, a new wine and cocktail bar in Rice Village, when she commenced her preaching on the subject of gin. "I consider myself a gin missionary," she said. "A ginvangelist?" I punned back. "Yes," she declared. "A ginvangelist!" Sh ... More >>
Mmmmm. . .violets.Hopefully you've all gone out and gathered the requisite supplies, so we can get down to the real business at hand -- booze, and how to use it. Sure, you could just drink it neat. In fact, that's the first thing I do whenever I'm trying out a new spirit or liqueur. It's the ... More >>
Italian winemaker Ezio TrincheroStarting this Saturday, there are plenty of inexpensive ways to get your gourmet on in Houston this week, and it all kicks off at Block 7 Wine Company. Fresh off last night's wine dinner featuring acclaimed Italian winemaker Ezio Trinchero, Block 7 Wine Compan ... More >>
Think all bourbon comes from Kentucky? Think again.
Turner recommends Jameson Gold, if you can afford a glass.Don't gild the lily tonight when you're celebrating St. Patrick's Day. That's the advice of whiskey connoisseur and former front-of-house man for Branch Water Tavern, the effusive Evan Turner. "Keep it simple. Drink it neat. Those pro ... More >>
When I first visited III Forks to interview chef/ owner Ozzie Rogers, I couldn't help but notice how invitingly elegant the bar area was; bright and modern, yet simultaneously classic and timeless. So recently, after a long day at the office, I headed back to check it out properly. I found ... More >>
No, not champagne flutes, tequila tasting glasses at TQLA. As the name would suggest, TQLA is serious about, well, tequila. Bottles of every shape and size glow seductively along red backlit shelving covering much of the rear wall. One-hundred-and-sixty-seven varieties, to be exact, with eigh ... More >>
Troy FieldsHeading into New Orleans on I-55, just before you cross the fourth-longest bridge in the world (and the second-longest in south Louisiana), you'll pass a couple remote restaurants/bars that for reasons I can't explain fit perfectly in the alluvial landscape. The exterior of NOLA-th ... More >>
Why write about a drink whose names suggest such a pro-Canadian agenda in, of all states, Texas? Because right about now, we are probably all wishing we were in Canada. The upcoming weekend in Montreal sounds nice - high of 77 and low of 56. Hell, sitting through a Celine Dion concert, dealin ... More >>
caption goes hereHaving just returned from vacation literally about eight minutes ago, today's pearls of wisdom will not be sports-related (sports resumes in this space tomorrow). In my best efforts to derive some sort of synergy out of the 18-hour odyssey I just endured (Elkhart, IN to Houst ... More >>
Photo by Troy FieldsI took my friend Lee for a cocktail at Sugarcane (1919 Washington Avenue, 713-864-9463) to treat him special in honor of his imminent departure for a summer in Mexico. Normally that situation would call for a well drink and a "see you in September." But he's going to Monte ... More >>
I've been hearing how amazing the Bloody Mary at Beaver's (2310 Decatur St.) is ever since running into Chef Jonathan Jones one night a few months back at Anvil. He raved about his bacon-infused vodka, which seemed interesting, but not particularly alluring to me. Nevertheless, I was curious ... More >>
Nobody wants to talk about margaritas on May 6, the day after Cinco de Mayo. However, rather than avoiding discussing the source of the dreaded May 6 hangover, we thought we'd confront the Tex-Mex monster head-on. You can almost smell the lingering stench of artificial margarita mixes and poo ... More >>
Yesterday was "Lemonade Stand Day" in the City of Houston. And lemonade happens to be the perfect ingredient for our favorite cocktail. Try our recipe, and you'll likely lobby for Lemonade Day every day. The sidecar is a delectable cocktail said to have originated in the early 20th century. ... More >>
It's almost Derby time, and the anticipation is building. Celebrating the winning horse crossing the finish line, holding a mint julep, and laughing at all the poor suckers who will have to pay up on their harmless $5 bets is among the best feelings one can have as summer slowly creeps toward ... More >>
The Kentucky Derby is right around the corner, which means that outside of Christmas, more bourbon will be sold over the next two weeks for various Derby celebrations than during any other time period. If you're one of these thousands of people buying bourbon, there are a few simple rules you ... More >>
In college we knew this guy who was always trying and failing to organize a fundraiser around drinking. He clearly never talked to Cathy Clark, who runs Live It Big, a charity dedicated to helping small nonprofits get off the ground. Many of Clark's "camps" educate attendees about spirits o ... More >>
Uncle Slaton's got his Texan prideBack in the thickets with his Asian brideHe's got an Airstream trailer and a Holstein cowStill makes whiskey 'cause he still knows how -- James McMurtry, "Chocktaw Bingo" Thanks to an informant's tip, a real-life Uncle Slaton was busted earlier this month in Smith C ... More >>
Is the theme of the awesome Branch Water Tavern "fatty foods for lean times"?
Branch Water Tavern, the subject of this week's Café review, has a collection of rare American whiskeys behind the bar that really widened my horizons. St. George single-malt tastes like it was made in Scotland. It starts out as dark-brown ale and is distilled in a tiny copper pot still. It' ... More >>
© David Nathan-Maister and Oxygenee Ltd.Although it's taking place next month, spots will fill up quickly for Absinthe: Revealed, so we're doing you a favor by telling you about it now. On December 5 at 7:30 p.m., Avant Garden will be hosting a "celebration of tastings and truths" about o ... More >>
Photos by Katharine ShilcuttThe winning cocktailIf the results of Monday night's Manhattan Experience contest are anything to go by, the answer is yes. It appears -- for now, at least -- that bacon hasn't entirely jumped the shark. The winning entry in the Woodford Reserve Manhattan ... More >>