When Nothing Could Save Me from a Hangover, Mariano's Fajitas Saved Me

Categories: Drinking

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Don't all hangover stories start with something yada something, "but it wasn't my fault"? As hollow as it may sound here, I feel the need to doubly express that my condition on a recent Sunday morning was not my fault.

I had innocently bellied up to the bar at Pier 247, the new casual seafood shack in Oak Cliff, and quickly made friends with two young guys that had just ordered their first-ever tray of crawfish. I showed them how to decapitate the critters, suck the fluids from their heads and squeeze the meat from their tails like toothpaste. They thanked me with a round of beers, and then with a few tequila shots, and then because this seemed like a wise thing to do at the time, a shooter of Red Bull and vodka. Who was I to turn their generosity down?

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Dallas' Five Best Bars for Morning Drinking

Categories: Drinking

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Ships isn't quite the same without the old NCR. The register now sits impotent near the bathroom.
Most of us drinkers stick to a fairly predictable schedule. During the week we drink when we get off work until the sun gets heavy in the sky, and then depending on how we feel we cap it off with one more at home. When Friday comes we're more liberal: We could care less about our interstellar orientation and we just drink until the bartender tells us to go home.

Not everyone works a steady 9 to 5, though. The shift workers and the artists who roll out of bed at 2:30 in the afternoon follow a different rhythm. Sadly, if you got off of work at 8 a.m., your desire to cap your shift off with a cold one is no less than your more standard circadian counterpart. Your options, on the other hand, are considerably restricted.

Here's where to drink if you work while the rest of us sleep, or if, one day, you just want to get an early start.

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The Valentine's Day Cocktails of Dallas (Photos)

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Photos by Catherine Downes
Winter is on its way out (fingers crossed), but Dallas is still serving up plenty of delicious seasonal spirits. I spent the past few weeks exploring some of Dallas' winter cocktails (you can view the full slideshow here). And while all the drinks are a foolproof way to escape Dallas' bitter cold front, these five might be most apt for heating things up between you and your babely Valentine.

Pictured above:
Love Potion #6 at Oak: Reyka Vodka, Byrrh Grand Quinquina, Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur, Blood orange puree and strawberries.

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Is the Mexican Martini Really Texas' Signature Cocktail?

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Gloria's
Last week Buzzfeed unilaterally matched cocktails with US states, giving just a vague description of its research -- "a combination of state of origin, popularity, and exclusivity." Some of them made sense, earning their names from the state's university, an infamous citizen or a major city. The Sazerac went to Louisiana, for instance, since state lawmakers declared it the official drink of New Orleans in 2008. (They didn't have anything better to do?)

Some of the choices, though, seem downright daffy, including, I think, the selection of the Mexican Martini as the signature cocktail of Texas. When was the last time you saw anyone drinking a Mexican Martini?

Here are three alternatives.

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Texas Wine Will Take on the Whole World at a Syrah Tasting on Monday

Categories: Drinking, Events

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Via Larry Darling
Texas Syrah grapes to other grapes: "Suck it."
American wine no longer has the second-class status it had years ago. California wineries are widely respected. The Washington Post and the New York Daily News have both declared Virginia to be the next "it" place for wine lovers.

So how does Texas wine match up against the world's best? That question will be settled at Texas Vs. the World, the Syrah edition, on December 9, a tasting that will allow the attendees to judge Texas Syrah (Shiraz, if you're a Yellow Tail drinker) against more prominent vintners. Gusto Tastings is hosting the showdown at Times Ten Cellar in East Dallas.

See also: Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings: Great at Picking Wine, Terrible at Converting Currencies

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The Garage in Denton Has a Shot Called "Statutory Grape," Which Is a Bad Idea

Categories: Drinking

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The Garage in Denton.
While out with friends last Friday night, Rachel Anne Ayers found herself at The Garage, one in a chain of bars that sits in Denton's Fry Street area and caters to one thing: "How Cheaply Can I Get Drunk?" The answer: quite cheaply. It's the kind of bar that's heavily trafficked by birthday celebrators attempting the fabled "Fry Street Crawl," wherein the birthday-haver attempts to ingest a free shot from all of the bars in the strip, and it's known for offering double-well drinks for a buck.

Attuned to the bar's reputation, Ayers naturally asked the bartender if they had any shot specials. Here was the response, according to Ayers' account on Facebook:

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Like Everything Else in the World, Whiskey Now Has its Own Dallas Festival

Categories: Drinking, Events

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Via Lee Carson
Beer and wine certainly have the run of the alcoholic festival circuit. Home brewers competitions, wine tastings, entire dinners built out of dishes incorporating beer -- the list goes on. But there's no reason whiskey shouldn't share some of that spotlight.

Whiskey is a unique booze. In the popular imagination it spans an enormous cultural gulf, from gnarled truckers to English aristocracy. If Mad Men is to be believed the Old Fashioned is the only thing anyone in the 1960s used for hydration, which would explain the cumulative hangover that turned into the '70s. A night of tribute is well overdue.

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Lakewood Growler, a New Growler-Filling Station, Is Coming to East Dallas

Categories: Drinking

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Double Mountain Growler
The best picnic companion.
The growler is an efficient and environmentally friendly way for craft beer drinkers to indulge their potable of choice. You pick up a 32 or 64 ounce glass jug, down your favorite beer, then get it refilled. The kicker is you can't just stick one under a tap. Your beer purveyor of choice has to be equipped with the right hardware.

Despite close proximity to a major university, the residents of East Dallas have long had to venture out to other corners of the city to get their growler fix. There's Craft & Growler in Fair Park and others scattered across the city. Now Lakewood Growler aims to fill that void.

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There's Now a Smartphone Attachment That Tests Blood Alcohol Level and Hails Uber

Categories: Drinking

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ABC Shark Tank
The Wall Street Journal ran an article this week about a handy little gadget you might want to get in line for. A straight line. And hold your hands down to your side.

Breathometer Inc. makes a smartphone breathalyzer test that can instantly tell users if their blood alcohol level is too high to get behind the wheel.

Last month the product was introduced on the TV show Shark Tank, and it was the first product to receive unanimous backing from all the sharks, including Dallas Mavericks' owner and savior of the Greenville St. Patrick's Day parade, Mark Cuban.

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Dallas Needs a Locally Brewed Sour Beer, but Don't Count on It Coming Soon

Categories: Drinking

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Lactobacillus free, I'm afraid
The last time I mentioned sour beer it was as an aside in a post about the appeal of Budweiser and other mass-produced domestic beers. I've always been an equal opportunity imbiber, as happy with a cold, crisp lager cranked out of a factory brewery as I am with a locally brewed craft beer. But I have a particular affinity for sour beers, the Old-World variants that make your face pucker and pack flavors I've heard described as barnyard and horse blanket in every sip.

I'm not the only one who loves them. NPR pointed out the growing popularity of sour beers at this year's Great American Beer Festival, and noted that they're easier than ever to find at your local bar or grocery store. Sour beers from far off breweries are certainly getting easier to order here in Dallas, but are there any local breweries that feature these Old World beauties?

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