HTX Good Eats 2014
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Houston's Secret Cocktails

Houston restaurants up their drink game: Secret cocktails and hard liquor for Thanksgiving

Houston restaurants up their drink game: Secret cocktails, hard liquor

Sorrel Urban Bistro's Pumpkin Pie Martini November 2014
Sorrel Urban Bistro’s pumpkin pie martini. Photo by Marene Gustin
National Gin Day BCN Taste & Tradition Gin and Tonic
BCN Taste & Tradition's gin and tonic, or as it’s known, a gintonic, is the national cocktail of Spain. Photo courtesy BCN Taste & Tradition
Thanksgiving turkey with wine and fire in fireplace
A good wine is always a great way to toast the holiday, but hard liquor can also have a place at the table on turkey day. Photo courtesy of Tinnells.com
National Gin Day Hotel Sorella Mulberry Mash
The Mulberry Mash at Hotel Sorella. Photo courtesy of Hotel Sorella
Hearsay Gastro Lounge bar open neon sign
The recipe for Hearsay’s Grateful Pilgrim is shared here by bartender Andrew Hall. Hearsay Gastro Lounge/Facebook
Sorrel Urban Bistro's Pumpkin Pie Martini November 2014
National Gin Day BCN Taste & Tradition Gin and Tonic
Thanksgiving turkey with wine and fire in fireplace
National Gin Day Hotel Sorella Mulberry Mash
Hearsay Gastro Lounge bar open neon sign

Planning your Thanksgiving Day menu? Sure, you’ll want some wine to go with the turkey and fixings, maybe a Beaujolais Nouveau if you’re a fan of the new and overly hyped wine — it actually does make a decent pairing with turkey — but also a nice rose will work or a peppery New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc.

A good sparkling wine or a Prosecco is a good way to toast the holiday with passed appetizers or small bites.

But hard liquor can also have a place at the table on turkey day. (And we don’t mean just Wild Turkey.)

 Several Houston restaurants are offering special gin cocktails this month including BCN Taste & Tradition. 

If cranberry mimosas aren’t enough to get you through the Macy’s parade and the early cooking chores, than why not whip up some Bloody Marys?

Here’s a recipe from bartender Jessica Lopez of Hearsay Gastro Lounge. The secret is the beef bouillon.

Hearsay Gastro Lounge Very Best Spicy Bloody Mary
(No portions, Lopez says just tweak to taste.)
Tomato Juice
Tomato Paste
Lemon
Lime
Pepper
Salt
Cumin
Celery Salt
Beef Bouillon
Horseradish
Tabasco
.5 oz stout beer

Use jalapeno infused vodka. (Soak jalapenos, or anything spicy, in vodka for about a week.)

Serve tall or short, with ice. Using the spices from the mix create a spice rim by mixing everything on a plate. Dip the rim of the glass in lime juice then dip in the spice mix. Garnish with all sorts of pickled veggies (okra, pickles, green beans, limes, lemons, onions, etc.) and the most important part — bacon.

One or two of these will get you through the parade and onto the football watching part of the holiday, but don’t get too relaxed to keep an eye on the bird in the oven.

Here’s another from the Hearsay folks (who have opened a second location downtown) that works well for the main course. This is bartender Andrew Hall's specialty:

Hearsay’s Grateful Pilgrim
1.5 Old Grand Dad Whiskey
.5 frangelica
.5 Domaine de Canton
.25 Amaretto

Build in rocks glass, stir, and burnt cinnamon stick garnish.

Hall says it tastes like a nutty, smoky gingersnap.

Of course November is the month to celebrate the return of juniper berries, which means gin and tonic time. Nov. 7 was officially National Gin Day but there’s no reason not to celebrate all month long. Several Houston restaurants are offering special gin cocktails this month including BCN Taste & Tradition.

The newly opened Catalonian restaurant is adding a Spanish spin to the gin and tonic. The gin and tonic, or as it’s known, a gintonic, is the national cocktail of Spain and is prepared with great detail and the highest quality ingredients. Made with Hendricks gin, Fever-Tree tonic from India and garnished with lemon twist, cucumbers and fresh juniper berries. Sounds like a great sip to go with turkey and stuffing.

Dining at Sorrel Urban Bistro (eat here now before it closes) during the Thanksgiving season gives you a chance to sample a new fall cocktail menu that includes this pumpkin pie martini that sounds delicious. Here’s the recipe so you can make your own at home as well:

Sorrel Urban Bistro’s Pumpkin Pie Martini
3 oz. Enchanted Rock Vodka
½ oz. House-made Spiced Simple Syrup
½ oz. Cream

Place ice in shaker; pour 3 oz. of Enchanted Rock Vodka, ½ oz. of House-made Spiced Simple Syrup, and ½ oz. Cream over ice. Shake and strain.

Here’s a recipe to make your own pumpkin spice simple syrup at home that you can also use in other cocktails and lattes. The martini makes a great drink to go with lamb lollipops topped with cranberry chutney.

So whatever you’re cooking up this holiday, don’t just open a bottle of wine. Mix up some fine cocktails to wow your family and guests with.

Oh, and that Bloody Mary recipe, might just be a great morning after drink with a slice of cold pumpkin pie on Friday morning.