Cocktail Friday: Election Day edition

BH_Election Day_BottleIf you’re gay, or just progressive, and you follow Texas politics, Election Day fills you with a sense of hope and dread. It’s enough to make you start drinkin’. Or just continue doing so. In recognition of that, we added an extra Cocktail Friday edition this week with a bourbon drink called the Swing Vote. Because we can use a good swing to the left today.

1.5 oz. Basil Hayden’s Bourbon

3/4 oz. Madeira

3/4 oz. honey syrup

1/2 oz. lemon juice

Grapefruit bitters, grapefruit slice, mint.

Making it: Combine all the liquid ingredients in a shaker and add ice. Add one dash of bitters. SHake. Strain into an old fashioned glass with ice. Garnish with a wheel of grapefruit and mint sprig.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Cocktail Friday: Sparkling Blood

Solerno and SparklingA few weeks ago, I gave a recipe for a cosmo made with Solerno, an Italian liqueur distilled from blood oranges. Well, now that it’s Halloween, it’s only fitting I introduce any bloody recipe with the same potable. It’s ghoulishly delicious, and would make a unique imbibable for your Halloween-themed get-together.

1 part Solerno blood orange liqueur

2 parts prosecco

2 parts Italian soda or San Pellegrino flavored soda (your choice)

Selection of berries

Making it: Combine all ingredients; muddle berries (or other fruits) as you desire. Stir. Pour over ice (strain if desired). Add fruit as a garnish.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Preview: ‘Project Runway All Stars’

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Gunner Deatherage

As cheesy as “all-star” seasons of reality shows are, I totally get why they are addictive — and easy for producers: Lure back proven drama queens, bitches, egomaniacs and know already know the fur with fly.

So it’s no surprise the new version of Project Runway All Stars — which debuts tonight on Lifetime — stacks the deck with 14 returning contestants … and all but two of which (Season 4 drag queen costumer Chris March and Season 7 bitchy gay Jay Sario) are from the past three seasons (10, 11 and 12). Catty competitors Helen and Alexandria (Season 12) join sweet gay deaf boy Justin LeBlanc, but they can cast looks he doesn’t need a sign language interpreter to figure out.

Season 11′s Kate Pankoke (she also was on Season 12), Samantha Black, Benjamin Mach, finale runner-up Patricia Michaels and eventual winner Michelle Lesniak are a clique, as are Season 10′s uber-gay Fabio Costa and Gunner Deatherage, Sonja Williams and winner Dimitri Sholokhov. (They aren’t the only returning faces: So is host Alyssa Milano, judges Isaac Mizrahi and Georgina Chapman, and mentor Zanna Roberts Rossi.)

Because they all are returning faves, many of whom made it to late in the game, there aren’t any obviously outclassed contestants … but neither are they all likable. That’s OK. Still, such familiarity reduces the surprise factor, but for the most part if you’ve been a fan of recent seasons, you’ll continue to enjoy it.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

WATCH: ‘The Daily Show’ in Austin

The Daily Show always gets to the heart of a matter, and there’s probably no better coverage of Ebola — and of the frenzy over covering it — than what aired last night on the show, which originated from Austin. The entire episode, though, was awesome … especially the opening credits and the rivalry between Austin and Dallas and an interview with Wendy Davis. To watch the whole episode, you can go here, but the excerpt below is a great look at Ebola.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Scenes from the Big Oyster Bash

IMG_8009Chefs from FT33, The Grape, Knife, Stock & Barrel, TJ’s Seafood, The Slow Bone, Spoon and others competed at the first annual Big Oyster Bash Sunday (held, appropriately enough, on Pearl Street), and as one of the hosts and judges, I had the distinction of announcing the judges’ selection for best of the lot, and the winner was … Stephen Rogers of Gemma, who did two dishes: A steak tartare and a baked oyster on the half shell.

The inaugural event was well-attended, and the wine and beer held out longer than the food, which was well-received (including two non-oyster dishes: a pork and grilled pimento cheese sammy from The Grape and a croissant bread pudding from Stock & Barrel’s John Stevens, who tied with John Tesar of Spoon and Knife for attendees’ favorite). There were special appearances (by the Dallas Naked Cowboy and the Dallas Mavericks drum band), plus plenty of happy people.

Here are some scenes from the festivities. Chefs for Farmers’ main event will return to Lee Park in April.

 

 

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Cocktail Friday: The Star-Eyed Julep

StarEyedJulep Cocktail_Zodiac VodkaThe vodka brand Zodiac launched earlier this month, and the first market to receive a bottle was Dallas, so good for us! They know Texans can drink. We asked them to provide us with a recipe for Cocktail Friday, and they tapped Standard Pour mixologist Brian McCullough to come up with this, the Star-Eyed Julep, to reflect the brand’s celestial namesake.

2 oz. Zodiac vodka

3/4 oz. orgeat syrup

3/4 oz. lime juice

Powdered sugar

Mint sprigs

Nutmeg

Making it: In a julep cup (traditionally pewter, but anything in a pinch, even glass, pictured) add 5–6 mint leaves and muddle 4 or 5 times. Add vodka, syrup, lime juice and a small spoonful of sugar; fill halfway with crushed ice. Stir ingredients until incorporated. Top with remainder of ice, and sprinkle with nutmeg and more mint to garnish.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

What to expect on ‘Project Runway’ tonight? It depends on which you watch

trds_101rc_05152104_bq-1080The finale of the current season of Project Runway is tonight, and I have no idea who will win (though I’m pulling for Sean and will plotz if Char wins), but there’s more to fashion tonight than just the main show; immediately following the finale will be the premiere of Project Runway; Threads. It’s a great companion series to Toddlers & Tiaras: The show focusses on teens and tweens who are fashion designers, assisted by their parents in executing their designs. The premiere features three contestants, including very gayish 13-year-old Alabaman Bradley; Christian Soriano serves as chief judge.

Maybe I don’t understand the trends in reality television, but I just don’t find watching children put into pressure-cooker situations to make for good TV. I mean, American Idol already has teenagers being judged harshly, but the show feels dumbed-down, especially with host Vanessa Simmons’ condescending narration. (She brings one 12-year-old to tears within the first half hour.)

Next week, Project Runway: All Stars returns with seasoned (adult) contestants preceding this show. I think I’ll change channels once All Stars ends — if I wanna see kids cry, I’ll watch videos of Neverland Ranch.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

WATCH: WaterTower’s ‘Bonnie & Clyde’ cast goes ‘Bang Bang’

CriminalOK, so Kayla Carlyle doesn’t have a wardrobe malfunction like Nicki Minaj did at the VMAs, but otherwise this music video — produced by WaterTower Theatre to promote their current production of the musical Bonnie & Clyde (which I quite enjoyed) — has all the trappings of a fun time. Just watching Depression-era gangsters lip-synch to Jessie J, Ariana Grande and Nicki to “Bang Bang” is hilarious (especially starting around two minutes in). Enjoy!

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

When it comes to dating (or hooking up), do you have a racial preference?

“The heart wants what it wants,” the saying goes, but even if that’s the case, does broadcasting a racial or ethnic preferences on a hookup app smack of honesty … or racism?

It’s a question many gay men have probably asked themselves in the age of Grindr, Scruff, Growlr, Jack’d and other such apps. “Not into Asian guys — sorry, just a preference” is probably familiar to some. Others are more coarse: “No blacks! No exceptions!”

This summer, the blog Angry Homosexual took up this cause with an experiment: The author (himself Asian) posted two profiles on Grindr with equally impressive stats and pictures. The only difference? One profile was for a white guy, one an Asian. And the author found that the white guy did a lot better in the dating market.

According to him, there’s a hierarchy that goes “white, Latino (honorary whites), Mixed, Asian, Black, Indian, etc.” I’m not sure where he gets all those stats, but I won’t dispute them here.

Anyone who knows me knows that I do not discriminate on race or ethnicity. I have been in relationships with white, Southeast Asian, Arab, black, mixed race and Latino men over my adult life. To me, hot is hot … and nice is nice, interesting is interesting, a good person is a good person. Am I attracted to men who “turn me on” more than those who have good qualities but I don’t find physically appealing? Sure, we all do. But race is never a factor for me.

I wonder if, once you start dating outside your own race, you have a sense for physical beauty that’s more expansive than if you never did. For instance: If you grew up idealizing blond hair and blue eyes, chances are black, Latin and Asian men don’t fit into that. But what if you dated a bald guy? Once you got beyond the color of the hair, and developed an attraction for a sleek head, would you start to think, “Hmmm… dark-skinned heads can be nice, too.”

The question I have about this, though, is: How do you feel about guys who express those preferences on their hookup profiles? If they aren’t attracted to one race, do you appreciate them being up-front about it so you don’t waste your time? Or is that assertion of one preference a breach of social decorum?

And maybe just as importantly: Does it matter what your race is? I mean, you rarely see “no white guys” on app profiles, so is being white the advantage the Angry Homosexual says it is? But I have seen black men saying “not into blacks” and Asians who do not wish to date other Asians. Is this better or worse?

And what about guys who only want a different race? Some men will ask, for instance, “You into black guys?” Is being into someone because of their race better or worse than not wanting someone for the same reason?

And how do you personally react when you see a same-sex interracial couple? Is it still a taboo?

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Food Network casting home cooks for reality series Saturday

Food Network host Alton Brown is due in Dallas later this month, but you don’t have to wait until then to meet someone from that channel. On Saturday, producers will be in Dallas searching for the next great home cook. Last season, the show America’s Best Cook (it will be renamed for the upcoming season) was won by Stephanie Goldfarb, a lesbian from Chicago, so the LGBT community is batting .1000 so far with queer cooks! (Subject to change.)

If you’re interested, come by the Dallas Farmers Market between 1 and 6 p.m. Oct. 18 with a savory dish (no desserts!) that highlights your cooking style, plus a photo of yourself and your dish. Or visit HomeCooksCasting.com for more details. Bonne chance… and bon appetit!

—  Arnold Wayne Jones