Midnight Rambler's Hell Hound Cocktail Will Help You Grow Up as a Drinker

Categories: Drinking

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Amy McCarthy
The kind of cocktail that doesn't even last long enough to be photographed.
When you're drinking at a place like Midnight Rambler, you have to make it count. I wandered into the speakeasy-style bar in the basement of the Joule Hotel after dinner with friends, knowing that I was the fool who would soon be parting with her money. It's hard to find a cocktail on the menu here for less than $10, but that absolutely won't stop you from going into a financial hole to try them all, even if you're not exactly sure you're even drinking.

The menu at Midnight Rambler seems remarkably small until you realize that they've left off most of the classic drinks, your Manhattans and Negronis, that every bartender working at a bar of this caliber could make in their sleep. Even though the cocktail offerings only fill a few pages, they are surprisingly diverse. There are fancified tiki drinks, delicate Champagne cocktails, and sophisticated digestifs. There is even a bowl of punch that costs one hundred whole dollars. And then there is the Hell Hound.

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Meet the Marfa Cocktail Guru Who Will Infuse the Perot's Social Science Event Tonight

Jennifer Boomer
Don't put ginger ale in this you dilettante.
When Ashley North Compton isn't busy as a graphic designer or psychology graduate student, she is making homemade bitters and herbal infusions in her Marfa home. Compton's interest in homemade bitters and infusions is really a secret cover for her love of herbs.

"Herbs have really amazing restorative properties and many also happen to go really well with different liquors," says Compton. And she'll be sharing her love and knowledge of herbs, infusions and cocktails at two separate Dallas events this weekend as part of a partnership with Oil and Cotton, Oak Cliff's favorite collaborative creative space.

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Clark Food & Wine's Spicy Apple Cooler Is So Spicy, and Good, but Could Be Great

Categories: Drinking

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Amy McCarthy
Attack of the Killer Jalapeno.
The interior of Clark Food & Wine does not appeal to my bohemian sensibilities. It is too clean, too organized, and a place that I am likely to get kicked out of for swearing too loudly after several cocktails. Bars, in my estimation, are not intended to be neat and tidy places; this one very much is.

This is not an indictment of the concept, only an observation made on a recent visit. A row of mason jars filled with cocktail accoutrements like limes and cherries were tediously unscrewed and then closed again as each cocktail was garnished. This is the kind of place that is considered casual by people who ordinarily have their food brought to them by men in gloves.

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Malort Is the Punishing New Shot of Choice for Some Bartenders, in Dallas and Beyond

Categories: Drinking

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Seriously, nasty.
Belly up to a bar in Dallas these days (especially one that's an industry hangout) and chances are high you'll see shots of Fernet tossed back by the customers or staff. The Italian amaro has become an industry favorite, loved for its bitter, almost painful bite; it's a bartender's handshake. Eventually the bitter made its way to the other side of the bar, becoming a customer favorite as well.

Before Fernet, bartenders typically ordered shots of Jameson. It has endured as one of the most popular whiskeys for a quick fix, in Dallas and elsewhere. In short: customers love to throw back what they see their favorite bartenders throw back. It's how many of us drink.

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Dallas' Best Liquor Stores, Ranked

Categories: Drinking, Lists

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Lauren Drewes Daniels
Spec's: It's what's for dinner.
Liquor stores are the grown-up equivalent of toy stores. These are the places that lushes are more excited to go to than anywhere else, and will happily plunk down a huge chunk of money on barrel-aged, triple-distilled ways to make our heads hurt really, really bad the next morning.

We've rounded up the city's ten best, and ranked them according to just how easily they can facilitate your drunkenness.

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Lonestar Taps and Caps in Lewisville is Open and Filling Crowlers (Yes, Crowlers)

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All photos by Kelly Dearmore
The tap wall at Lonestar Taps and Caps with its motto painted at the top.
Since 2006, a Father-Son duo has helped give the suburbs north of Dallas a true beer-nerd clubhouse in the form of Lonestar Beverages in Carrollton. But as of the past week, Sam and Rick Ali have added a seductive new element to craft-beer loving here in the Dallas-area as Lonestar Taps and Caps, a long-time dream of the Ali's is now open and already hopping. Until the soft-opening back on December 5, possessors of empty growlers had to choose between a well-meaning but meager selection from Whole Foods in Addison, or trek down to Lakewood Growler or Craft and Growler in Expo Park to fill up on to-go, draft-style sexiness.

Sitting on the Southeast corner of the Sam Rayburn Tollway/State Highway 121 and Josey Lane, just inside Lewisville's city limits, bordering Carrollton and The Colony, the 1,800 square foot Taps and Caps is quite the destination for hop-heads, stout-snobs, and porter-pickers.

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Parliament's Gin Fizz: So Good You Won't Mind Everyone Telling You It Looks Dickish

Categories: Drinking

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Amy McCarthy
So delicious that it's NSFW.
I have an almost magnetic attraction to dishes and drinks that are fussy. Call it a natural predisposition toward being high-maintenance. If it requires some kind of complicated technique or a bunch of painstaking work to make it happen, I want to try it. Unfortunately, because the things that are best in this world take a lot of time, I often end up loving my highly-detailed discoveries, which makes me the asshole who makes the bartenders at Parliament shake up several Ramos gin fizzes every time I stop by.

We briefly mentioned this cocktail in our list of 2014's best cocktails, but the Ramos gin fizz is worth more digital ink than just a quick blurb. There are good cocktails, and then there are those that make you realize that you just can't go back to drinking bad booze anymore. Even when you've got only $10 left in your pocket, you're still going to have an overwhelming urge to take the bus down to Parliament and spend it all on just one more fizz.

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Moonshine Is Invading Dallas Bars

Categories: Drinking

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Stonedeck
Jars of moonshine behind the bar at Stonedeck. The author especially recognized the second jar from the left.
When I was in college, moonshine was hardly a trendy thing; the backwoods spirit distilled from a corn mash was an all out ass-kicker that could quickly put you down. One of my friends returned to classes each fall with a gallon jar of maraschino cherries whose red liquid had been swapped out with a measure of this devil-spirit. We'd eat cherries like beer nuts till our stomachs burned like fire.

I'd also seen moonshine at weddings and other celebrations. It was typically passed around in a Ball jar that had previously been used to put up a surplus of summer tomatoes. The first sip of moonshine burned your mouth, your throat and all the way down to your center. If you tried to breathe, it turned into napalm in your nose. And for me, it never gave up until I did. Moonshine kept up the burn for each and every sip until I wrote it off altogether a few years later.

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CBD Provisions' "Sherry Meads a Drink" Cocktail Is Smooth, Sweet and Served Over "Sonic Ice"

Categories: Drinking

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Amy McCarthy
Sherry meads a drink? No, YOU mead a drink.
I know nothing about sherry, except that it got that guy in Edgar Allan Poe's The Cask of Amontillado in some serious trouble. As such, I don't make a habit of ordering it on its own, or choosing a cocktail with sherry as the main ingredient. But thanks to the craft cocktail revolution, the spirit that had been relegated to the back of our kitchen pantries as cooking wine is starting to see a resurgence.

Despite my ignorance, sherry has rapidly cropped up across cocktail menus as a component that can add a touch of smoothness and sophistication to an otherwise spirit-forward or strongly-flavored cocktail. Not coincidentally, I was also sure that a few of CBD Provisions' Sherry Meads a Drink cocktails would infuse my broke ass with enough smoothness and sophistication to make it look like I actually belong in the Joule Hotel.

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Tacos and Tequila Is Now Serving Hangovers and Hangover Cures in Uptown

Categories: Drinking, Tacos

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Cody Neathery
Either the first T or the second T, depending on how you rank your Ts.
Nestled between Crush Craft Thai and a liquor store, and across the street from Dee Lincoln Steak and Burger Bar, is the newly opened TnT Tacos and Tequila. The Austin-based restaurant comes from the same group that birthed the Blue Mesa chain. The polished industrial style of the interior delivers a sleek laid back vibe with an airy downstairs patio as well as a rooftop bar that gives a mixed view of Uptown and downtown. Once the upstairs bar is complete and the weather is right, there will be no shortage of V necks for as far as the eyes can see.

If you're going to have "Tequila" in your restaurant name, you better bring your A game. TnT does. Narrowed down to three categories of tequila (Blanco, Reposado, and Anejo), their menu is loaded with more than 100 tequilas for you to challenge your liver on any given day. There are even a handful of premiums to choose from.

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