Cocktail Friday: Memorial Weekend Edition

It’s Memorial Day weekend! What to do for the three-day holiday?  Some summer refreshers should be in order — here are a few, culled from mixologists, bars and restaurants around the country, starting with a local. And we’ll see you back here on Tuesday after the holidays!

7DutchMuleDutch Mule

Spicy, sweet and a little bit sour, this recipe courtesy of Southlake-based Del Frisco’s Grille is just what the doctor ordered when you want something a bit more sophisticated than a so-last-year shandy.

1/2 oz. Nolet’s Gin

4-1/2 oz. ginger beer

Red grapefruit slices

Mint sprigs.

Making it: Fill wine glass 3/4 full with ice. Add gin and ginger beer. Place grapefruit slice in glass and top with mint sprig.

 

You Look Smashing 

Spyglass Rooftop Bar sits 22 stories atop Archer Hotel in NVC, serving small bites and crafted cocktails with unparalleled views of the Empire State Building and the New York City skyline. You’ll already look smashing up there, but this cocktail in hand won’t hurt either.

2 oz. Eagle Rare Bourbon

6 blackberries

3 mint leaves

1 lemon wedge

1/4 oz. maple syrup.

Serve in rocks glass.


Rise & Shine Coffee Cocktail

When you need more than a mimosa to get you back in the game after a long night of partying, opt for this easy-to-prepare energy bev crafted from liquid coffee concentrate, handcrafted at Barnie’s CoffeeKitchen in Winter Park, Fla.

1 oz. Fernet

3/4 oz. Amaro

3/4 oz. Grand Marnier

1/2 oz. simple syrup

1 Barnie’s Blend BREWSTICKS

Making it: Mix ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Pour and serve in a rocks glass. Garnish with orange twist.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Swimsuit Edition: Bonus Gallery

This week’s edition is crammed full of great pictures, but that still wasn’t enough for us or our readers. Here, then, are some more of the best (and raciest) photos from our swimsuit photo shoots that didn’t make it to the print version.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

FILM REVIEW: In time for our fashion issue, a look at designer ‘Saint Laurent’

1Even though Yves Saint Laurent began his career working at the House of Dior, he was more of the successor to Chanel in the universe of French fashion, updated for the swinging ’60s and indulgent ’70s with elegance that was also wearable comfort. (“Chanel freed women; I empowered them,” he famously said). He is credited with modernizing the smoking jacket/tuxedo look (especially for women) — a fact DIFFA used as a theme for several of its own recent collections — and when fashion was in freefall, he was the most consistently praised designer in the world.

You’ll learn virtually none of that, though, from watching Saint Laurent, which is surprising considering that the film runs a hefty two-and-a-half hours … even more so when you consider the vast majority of the film takes place during his heyday (and the rest in retrospect late in life, from a position of authority and perspective). Where is the exposition that puts YSL in context, both as a man and a brand? In short, not much. Maybe Saint Laurent, which is in French and a huge hit already in France, assumes its audience already knows the broad strokes about the man, the way Spielberg’s Lincoln doesn’t tell us much about the Great Emancipator’s humble beginnings in a log cabin. But the time commitment begs that it share more than it does.

One problem is that the director, Bertrand Bonello, doesn’t seem to know what kind of film he’s making: It is like Blow, a drug-fueled Virgilian decent into the hell of addiction? Is it intended to be like Coco Before Chanel, a fashion biopic, or even Valentino: The Last Emperor, a documentary about a moment in time presented here as a docudrama? Is it a boardroom drama about the business of fashion? Or perhaps he’s making a Parisian version of Tales of the City, as it graphically (lots of full-frontal!) shows YSL’s sex life, from his non-exclusive relationship with business partner Pierre Berge (Jeremie Renier) to his full-on sex parties? I still can’t tell.

And yet, Saint Laurent isn’t bad, just disappointing. (Frankly, the spate of fashion-centered films in the last few years is awash in bad biopic contrasted to excellent documentaries). Gaspard Ulliel, as Yves, does a compelling job portraying the designer, who suffers from creative block but struggles through. (He’s also quite easy on the eyes). It’s a strong, intense performance that is disserved by scenes that drag along pointlessly. You get a better sense for fashion from Iris (at the Magnolia) and Dior and I (at the Angelika).

Opens Friday at Magnolia.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Blythe Beck to open new concept, Pink Magnolia, in Oak Cliff

BlytheBlythe Beck has barely a week left leading the brigade at Kitchen LTO, Casie Caldwell’s “permanent pop-up” in Trinity Groves. She’s the longest serving chef as the concept, which is itself intended as a laboratory for concepts and chefs who might be able to open another restaurant somewhere else. And that time has come.

Beck and Caldwell are uniting for Pink Magnolia, their new partnership that will take over the shuttered Driftwood space in Oak Cliff. The name combines Beck’s famous love of one color  with her steely Southern influences, and will surely feature her signature “naughty” recipes. Best of all, it gives Beck, finally, a place to truly call her own, floorboards to shingles. It will open later this summer. Congrats!

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Swimsuit Edition: First look

T1 IMG_1116 copyOn Friday, our second annual Swimsuit Edition — featuring nine models, great summer accessories, multiple location shoots and tons of sexy (and often revealing) swimwear — hits newsstands. Last year’s was a huge hit and a big sellout, so pick up yours as soon as you can to see what’s hot (including a sneak peek of the brand-new collection by local gay designers Marek+ Richard) in poolside fashions this season.

Here are a few pix to whet your appetite. And you can see more exclusive photos later this week at DFW Style Daily!

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

‘Upstairs Inferno’ sets premiere date, Rice will narrate

DSC_6794Dallas filmmaker Robert L. Camina, who caused a sensation with his documentary Raid of the Rainbow Lounge three years ago, announced that out novelist and New Orleans native Christopher Rice — son of vampire chronicler Anne Rice — will narrate his newest documentary, Upstairs Inferno. The doc, which details the largest mass-death of gays in the U.S. — a fire at a New Orleans gay bar on June 24, 1973 — will have its world premiere in NOLA on the 42nd anniversary of the deadly blaze.

The gala screening, which will take place at the Prytania Theater on June 24, will include a Q&A with Camina and some yet-to-be-released guests. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased here.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Gay travel journos tour Dallas, eat too much and have too much fun

IMG_1588For a number of years, gay journalists from around the world (and the U.S.) have descended on North Texas to get a taste for what it’s like to live in, and visit, Dallas as a gay person. Ya know, if you don’t live here, you can imagine outsiders might think “Red State haters” and “George W. Bush’s hometown” more than “largest DIFFA fundraiser, Black Tie Dinner and gay church in the world,” so we need to welcome them and put on our best Stetson and tallest stilettos to show them what it’s like. (We expect they will write copious positive reviews of their experience to share with their audiences.) And based on my poll, mission accomplished.

Seven journos braved the trip that exposed them to life here. Paul (from Holland, second from left), returns to Dallas after having been here last five years ago. Fellow Amsterdam resident Edwin (center) remarked that he could move here permanently, given the chance.

It’s interesting how others see our city, as well. All were impressed by the “ample” parking (are they crazy?) and some were agog that the line dancers at the Round-Up Saloon could actually “click” their boots when they stomped around the dance floor. They also seemed to enjoy the ample food, which is always a huge part of press tours. They got to dine at Stephan Pyles’ Stampede 66, Henry’s Majestic, Dish and Meso Maya; and took cocktail classes at Cook Hall and with Leann Berry at Komali. That was just the start: They got massages at Green Lotus Spa; they took excursions to NorthPark Center, the Arts District, Oak Cliff and Klyde Warren Park; ventured to the museums and even took in Gaybingo on Saturday night, in addition to exploring the gayborhood and its nightlife.

It only took three days to do all this, and lots more; Steven Lindsey — himself a travel journalist (and frequent Dallas Voice contributor) — organizing a full but not overwhelming experience for them. So keep an eye out for stories appearing in Curve, The Out Traveler, Man About World and other gay pubs around the world in the coming months.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Cocktail Friday: ‘Mad Men’ Edition

6 Dewar's Old Fashioned

Don Draper

After seven season, Mad Men closes up shop on Sunday night with the series finale of the show that popularized ’60s-era culture from three-martini lunches to skinny ties. And the cocktails they drank over the decade got us a little thirsty — which would be the ideal potable for each of the main characters? Well, we put together a few recipes. Pick the one that goes best with your personality and get yer pretty ass over here, sweetie!

Don Draper: Dewar’s Old Fashioned

It’s no secret that Don is a whisky drinker (though he favored client Canadian Club on the show) but for the finale, let’s break out the scotch. and have a traditional old fashioned.

1 oz. Dewar’s White Label

1 tsp. sugar

2 dashes bitters

1 Sapphire Ultimate Martini

Roger Sterling

Orange slices

Maraschino cherries

Water (or soda)

Making it: Muddle sugar, bitters, 1 cherry and 1 orange slice in the bottom of a rocks glass with a splash of water or soda. Add scotch and ice, garnish with orange twist and/or cherries. Think about your childhood and marry your secretary.

Roger Sterling: Ultimate Martini.

Roger’s a gin drinker (fish, more accurately) so this really reflects his aesthetic.

1 1/2 oz. Bombay Sapphire Gin

A whisper of vermouth

Olive/twist.

9 Disaronno Godfather

Pete Campbell

Making it: Do it right: Chill a martini glass by filling with ice, swirled around. Then in a Boston shaker coat the glass side with vermouth to coat the sides and ice; discard. Refill with ice and gin. Shake. Strain into chilled glass with garnish. Make a droll remark and screw your secretary. (To turn it into a Peggy Olson, replace vermouth with tonic and serve in a high ball. Then smoke a joint and feel a little guilty about it.)

Pete Campbell: The Godfather

Pete may be weaselly, but he’s also the most progressive of the men on the show, always defending women, minorities and even gays (for the era).

3/4 oz. Disaronno amaretto

1 1/2 oz. whiskey.

Pour over ice. Rent a hotel room for an assignation with a shopgirl.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

STAGE REVIEW: ‘The Down Low’

The Down Low by Danny O'Connor  _Credit -Audacity Theatre      LabSimon (Jeff Swearingen), a fussy high school theater teacher gets a strange phone call from his colleague Aaron (Danny O’Connor), the school’s health teacher. Why has he been beckoned so suddenly? Will they finally become friends? Simon kind of answers the question himself when he asks Aaron: “Why is a naked African-American man dead in your bedroom?”

And so begins 85 minutes of dark-humored, often poor-taste (but hysterically funny) jokes about gay experimentation, inappropriate parent-teacher relationships, recreational drug use and the Polish secret police. Danny O’Connor also wrote this one-act comedy, called The Down Low, which is performed in front of a tiny 15 audience members in the home of one of the actors in East Dallas (it’s on Mockingbird Lane between Greenville Avenue and Skillman Street). There aren’t many seats available, if any still are in the two remaining performances, but do what you can to snag a few and see grassroots theater artistry that’s so alive, you can overlook how much it’s really about death.

The plot is wackadoo but strangely believable. Aaron wants to experiment with giving a blow job (“I’m not gay!” he insists, despite all evidence to the contrary) and things go horribly wrong, necessitating he seek help from Simon, the only gay guy he knows. (The implication: Gays are used to disposing of tricks who die brutally; it usually happens between gym and brunch, I suppose.) Aaron’s roommate Jack (Jordan Tomenga), a male nurse, and Jack’s FWB Kassia (Robin Clayton) also get dragged into the plot, which takes more turns than a mountain road before becoming not just dark, but outright menacing.

There’s much to love in the show, from the intimacy (the whole from of the house is utilized by directed Brian Grunkowski) to the off-handed line-readings (Swearingen and O’Connor are two of the best at what they do) to the deadpan dialogue that sneaks up on you with its sick humor. But say too much and you’ll ruin it. Suffice it to say, it goes where it has to, and takes you along for the ride. By the end, you’re more co-conspirator than watcher. That’s an exciting way to consume theater.

Through Saturday.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones