drinks

The Art of Patrón

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We’ve all heard the common myth that different types of alcohol affect people in different ways, and I don’t care that science says there’s no truth to this: I know for a fact that tequila makes me happy.

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I was invited out to taste some amazing cocktails from some of Austin’s best mixologists at the recent Art of Patrón event. An event that will live in my memory as one of the best I’ve been to all year, and that’s saying a lot.

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The space they rented out was gorgeously decorated, and filled with more food, drinks, and activities than I could complete. Well, almost. 

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After sampling their Roca Silver, Reposado, and Añejo by themselves (all of which being sheer perfection in their own right), I was invited to try their coveted Patrón En Lalique Serie 1. At $7,500 per bottle, which comes out to about $375 per ounce, it lived up to expectations. I like to imagine this is the tequila Beyoncé drinks when she wants to reward herself.

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We tempered the tequila with delicious bites passed around, and even quail, cooked open-fire onsite by Bryce Gilmore of Barley Swine and Odd Duck fame. Did I mention their were cupcakes made with Patrón’s XO Cafe line?

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When we needed a break from constantly consuming, we sat down to make arts and crafts. That’s right. It was called Art of Patrón for reason! Not only that, we got to view art, and even take an oculus rift tour of how their tequila is made! We finished the night sampling each and every inventive cocktail offered, of which there were many. I unabashedly will call Patrón my favorite tequila, and hope they come through town again next year!

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The Best Cocktails In Austin


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As a member of the Austin Food Blogger Alliance, it is with great pleasure, and perhaps a bit too much of a sense of duty (you read that right), that I present to you the places to get the best, damn cocktails in our fair city.

Nicolai McCrary Photography – Qui

Qui

5pm-10pm

1600 E 6th Street Austin, TX 78702 (512) 436-9626

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Nicolai McCrary Photography – Qui

As a card-carrying member of the East Side, I can’t express enough of my love for Qui, and its ever-inventive cocktails. (When I first went, they were all Game of Thrones themed!) Their menus change fairly frequently, and they do not disappoint ever. On anything.

Odd Duck

Odd Duck

Odd Duck

5pm-10pm

1201 S Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78704 (512) 433-6521

Few things are more inventive than the food at Odd Duck. One of those few things, is their cocktails. Their new, daily happy hour includes some amazing $5 moscow mules.

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Claire McCormack Photography – drink.well

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207 E 53rd St, Austin, TX 78751 (512) 614-6683

Everyone due north of anything downtown, knows to visit drink.well. They are the cocktail kings of the (barely) north! I guess I should stop with the Game of Thrones references….

Midnight Cowboy

6pm-2am

6th Street

This small, luxe space was formerly occupied by a massage parlor, hence the name. Mystery abounds, reservations are practically mandatory, and this bar eschews loud, club-like scenes for intimate booths with cart service; you get your drink made table side, and the bartenders truly know their stuff. Last time I went, I just told the man what types of drinks I normally like, and he blended up something customized, and wonderful just for me.

La Condesa

La Condesa

La Condesa

5pm-10pm

400 W 2nd St, Austin, TX 78701

You can’t mention cocktails in Austin without an honorable (in a good way) mention of margaritas. Margaritas aren’t the only thing they have, but they do make incredible ones.

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Trace

Trace

5:30pm-10pm

W Austin, 200 Lavaca St, Austin, TX 78701 (512) 542-3660

I drink so much at Trace that I’d like to formally apologize for whatever it is I may have done there. I don’t know what it is, but maybe they do. Sorry, just in case. (This is all code for: the cocktails are great!)

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The Highball

The Highball

4:30pm-2am

Lamar Plaza Shopping Center, 1120 S Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78704 (512) 383-8309

Where do you go when you want an amazing pub quiz, or just want to chill very elegantly before a movie?

Justine’s Brasserie

Justine’s Brasserie

6pm-2am

4710 E 5th St, Austin, TX 78702 (512) 385-2900

This avant grade, hip spot is known as much for its food and vibe as its drinks. Bonus: the bartenders double as vinyl djs. The French 75 is always a favorite.

Justine’s Brasserie

Peche

4pm-1am

208 W 4th St, Austin, TX 78701 (512) 494-4011

From absinthe to handmade cocktails, to a open-late kitchen and extraordinarily knowledgeable staff – Peche has it all. Happy hour is usually 4-7, every day but Saturday and all night Sunday-Monday. I go for the Spicy Bees Knees when they have it, and they can custom make just about anything if you let them know the flavors you’re looking for.

East Side Show Room

5pm-2am

1100 E 6th St, Austin, TX 78702 (512) 467-4280

I honestly feel deeply ashamed that it’s been a few weeks since I’ve been to East Side Show Room. Those guys are the best, and past visits have taught me that they sometimes have absinthe if you ask nicely.

 

Eastside Queen

Whisler’s

Whisler’s 

4pm-2am

1816 E 6th St, Austin, TX 78702 (512) 480-0781

It appears unassuming, but the interior is absolutely breathtaking at this craft cocktail bar. Expect amazing drinks, and equally exceptional food trucks at this slightly off-the-beaten-path bar.

Whisler’s

The Gatsby

4pm-2am

708 E 6th St, Austin, TX 78701 (512) 320-1526

The Gatsby is a great stop downtown with a 20’s flair. I’m a big fan of the Old Sport with old-fashioned bitters, and a bit of lemon oil.

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Weather Up

 Weather Up

4pm-12am

1808 E Cesar Chavez St, Austin, TX 78702 (512) 524-0464

Infinitely secretive, and hardly advertised, this place draws the crowd that wants to be ‘in the know.’ The cocktails are expertly crafted, and they have an obsession with ice, which clearly works in their favor.

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Weather Up

Garage Bar

5pm-2am Tues-Sat

503 Colorado St, Austin, TX 78701 (512) 369-3490

Winners of a recent ‘best drink in Austin’ contest (and also in a crazy-cool location – it’s literally hidden away in a parking garage). They also have a great weekday 5-7 happy hour with discounts on both cocktails and wine.

 

Fun + (Mostly) Free Events

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Wednesday the 10th: Enjoy sips and treats at the Away Spa at The W from 6-9.

Friday the 12th: Check out the Fit Foodie 5K! They have amazing stuff happening all weekend long, including a tasty kick-off party at Searsucker, and yours truly will be out there working up a sweat. (It’s my first 5K.) Also, MOD at the LBJ is going to be a can’t-miss event. The tickets are $40 in advance, but that includes an open bar, appetizers, and 60s fashion.

Saturday the 13th: It’s the Austin Weird Homes tour!

Monday the 15th: Departure Lounge is celebrating their first anniversary with happy hour pricing all night, all week, from the 15th-20th. I can personally vouch for how delicious their wine flights are.

That’s all I have at the moment, but follow me on Twitter for last minute updates, and surprise finds. (Trust me, they happen.)

Austin Eastciders: Not Just A Canned Response To Overly Sweet Ciders

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When I learned that Austin Eastciders was hosting a party at La Barbecue to celebrate the release of their new can, I was beside myself, but not just for the obvious reasons. My partner’s absolute favorite food in the world is barbecue from La Barbecue, and his number one drink of choice is cider from Austin Eastciders. I was admittedly tempted to threaten to not let him attend the event with me unless he agreed to a few slave-like conditions, but I’m not always that mean.

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A big thing that he raves about when it comes to their cider, is that it tastes like the cider he grew up on. (I should probably mention that my boyfriend, like Eastciders’ founder, is from England.) He’s always assumed that the apples in America are much sweeter than the ones they grow in Britain, giving American ciders an intensely sweet taste. Austin Eastciders’ Original product is made from bitter-sweet European apples, as well as American dessert apples, giving it a dry, complex flavor that the Champagne connoisseur in me loves. At 4.8% alcohol by volume, and given its large 16 ounce can, the Eastciders Original is easily a patio pounder with a unique taste, and I can see why that boyfriend of mine is so partial to it.

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Full disclosure: I was in the beginning phase of a low-carb diet when I attended this, so I only got to take baby sips. Lots and lots of baby sips. Believe me though, my boyfriend looked happy as a clam. No, happier than that. He looked like happy as an Englishman eating Texas barbecue and drinking cider.

Happy Hour At Peché


Peché has got to be one of the best places for happy hour in town.
Expertly crafted (select) cocktails for $5, and half off food from the bar menu.


We had the salted cod and potatoes, it was amazing and only cost $4.50.


Every drink we had was delicious. Did I mention that
they have all day happy hour on Sunday and Monday?


If you can find a better cocktail in Austin, let me know.