Restaurants / Bars

The 12 Days of Cocktailing in Dallas: A Tippler’s Version of a Live Action Advent Calendar

BY // 12.11.18

The 12 days of Christmas is just fine and dandy with its maids a milking and swans a swimming. Alas, I have no heifers in my yard, so instead, I will do 12 days of cocktailing. Please consider joining me on my new tippler’s Advent calendar.

With that pre-ordained number of days as my plan, I will strategize my venues for indulging and outfits to wear while imbibing. I should probably truly think ahead and book a suite at Passages Malibu (hopefully adjacent to La Lohan or another recently off-the-wagon TMZ celebutante) for my liver to recover in January.

Please feel free to copy this formula for success. In fact, if you want to be me on this journey, I will provide some outfit suggestions. Also, pull out some Tom Ford Bond villain-esque glasses and when making your bar reservations simply say “You have no apologies to make in advance for your behavior since you will be Billy Fong this evening.”

Day 1

Venue: Mansion Bar at Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek

Cocktail: Hopefully it’ll be a chilly night so you can warm up by the fire with a hot toddy.

Outfit: As this is truly the start to a marathon and not a sprint, ease-in with something classic. Hermès had all sorts of yummy items straight from the menswear runway that would be perfect when I recently popped into their Highland Park Village store. To feel more at-home at your home-away-from-home then opt for some Hadleigh’s herringbone slippers for your fireside moment with a long lost confidante.

Day 2

Venue: The Charles. It’s a somewhat recent discovery since it did just open in the last year (don’t accuse me of being late to the game dammit).

Cocktail: The decor is beautiful yet verging on the aesthetic of a trust-fund playboy from an Italian automobile family — I truly adore that sense of luxurious whimsy. (Check out the bathrooms and you’ll see what I mean.) A straight-up 12-year-old scotch or bourbon and Diet Coke (you’ve got to stay rail-thin if you want to pull off a bathing suit in St. Barths come January vacay).

Outfit: A classic Brunello Cucinelli cardigan, Ralph Lauren Purple Label fleece joggers, and Tods sneakers.

The Charles Dallas restaurant
Ricotta gnudi with sage and brown-butter honey at The Charles, the new Dallas Design District restaurant.

Day 3

Venue: Circo

Cocktail: A bottle of Roederer Cristal Rose, 2005. Stick a straw in it and call it a day.

Outfit: I hope you read my piece on discovering this new addition to the Uptown Dallas neighborhood. The owner, Barbara Adelglass, has created an atmosphere that demands glamorous and fun (definitely not fussy) attire. I’d say go with a Balmain tracksuit as long as your arm candy has on a frock from Hedi Slimane’s new Celine collection. Ballers do it best as they do it large.

Day 4

Venue: Alice

Cocktail: In case you are feeling a little vitamin C deficient (perish the thought of catching scurvy during the holidays), then go with the blackberry mint julip.

Outfit: Saint Laurent makes for the perfect svelte entrance when hopefully something from Portishead is playing in the background. Perhaps a leather moto-jacket and skinny jeans.

Day 5

Venue: Mirador

Cocktail: After a quick office poll we collectively decided something that is pink is perfect for what many of us like to think of as our home-away-from-home. Perhaps an Aperol Spritz would be the fizzy spark to an enchanting conversation about fashion with a view of downtown.

If by chance you find yourself this holiday season at Mirador for lunch or brunch then definitely order the Eggs & Bacon. It’s the liquid breakfast of champions made with lemon, maple syrup, Nonino Amaro, Buffalo Trace Bourbon, raw egg white, orange bitters and with a candied bacon garnish

Outfit: As this restaurant is housed on the top floor of Forty Five Ten an outfit can be purchased on the way in. That said, I have recently gravitated towards their Martin Margiela offerings. I’m hopeful that the whispered rumors are true and that they will soon be carrying the new Row menswear line.

Day 6

Venue: Bullion

Cocktail: Singapore Sling. Why? Because on a recent visit I was so intrigued that the bartender, Austin, was well-educated on cocktails that seemed appropriate for Trader Vicks. They also have some chic Polynesian barware for those types of flame ready and fruity drinks. A close second was something that immediately caught my eye when perusing their cocktail menu — the Corpse Reviver #2 (which they credit with originating in the 1920s at the Detroit Athletic Club).

Outfit: Dior Homme. It’s a swank joint, but the curated music selections might lead you to move your hips and start dancing. The body-conscious suits that flowed down the fall 2018 runway show from Kris Van Assche are perfect for this vibe.

mirador
Mirador, located on the fourth floor of Forty Five Ten’s Downtown Dallas flagship.

Day 7

Venue: Mi Cocina. One night should take place in Highland Park Village, my nirvana of shopping. Perhaps after a drink or three, you might decide to do indulge in some retail therapy. Hopefully, it won’t be one of those liquor-induced confidence moments of “I don’t need to try this on, I’m sure it’ll fit” while in Tom Ford’s boutique.

Cocktail: Duh — a Casa Dragones margarita.

Outfit: I’m envisioning après tennis wear (pull out some Lacoste). Since this is the midway point for the 12 days of cocktailing, I’m hopeful I can get in at least one workout. And, Mi Cocina is practically walking distance from DCC. Plus, who doesn’t like to be thought of as “sporty.”

Day 8

Venue: Grapevine. For anyone who knows me well, honestly I rarely venture outside of my comfort zone. That zone being this dive bar on Maple and the Mansion’s patio.

Cocktail: The staff there knows my usual, which I have affectionately dubbed the Sprose. Perfect for my Asian drinking tolerance it’s a Rose mixed with Sprite (50/50 — that ratio has been known to change depending on the hour or the evening).

Outfit: Call this dealer’s choice. Anything really goes as I have shown up here with girls in long Chanel gowns after a Crystal Charity Ball. For this holiday season, perhaps I’ll dabble in some Enfants Riches Déprimés (translated as “Depressed Rich Kids”). This relatively new line references Bauhaus and Surrealist art and seems perfect for the costumes for a Broadway version of Napoleon Dynamite.

Day 9

Venue: Midnight Rambler at The Joule Hotel

Cocktail: As this place has a speakeasy vibe, then perhaps a Zephyr gin martini (since I only like fruity things, then a cosmopolitan). Or, a holiday appropriate cocktail such as The Revolution Will Not BE Wassailed, a concoction of spiced cider, Demerara Syrup, Lustau East India Oloroso Sherry, Hamilton’s Black Jamaican Rum, Paul B’eau VS Cognac, Plantation Original Dark Rum, and mineral saline

Outfit: Something louche and languid. Since it’s in the basement of The Joule, then maybe a slinky pajama ensemble with Gucci Princetown slides to make it seem like you just rolled out of the bed of your suite upstairs.

Day 10

Venue: Grange Hall. Hopefully, I got my calendar dates correct since this uber-exclusive enclave is only open on Thursdays.

Cocktail: Definitely one of their specialties — the Too Pretty To Work which consists of cognac, Crème de Cacao, Quina and Rosé Champagne.

Outfit: This is an evening for Thom Browne. The adjacent apothecary is known for high-end items with some whimsy which is how I would describe Browne’s nerdy WASP clothing. Also, in case you’ve had any party fouls this holiday season (ex: too much PDA under the mistletoe at a friend’s party) you can always order a gorgeous floral arrangement while at Grange Hall as a token for “I’m sorry.”

Day 11

Venue: The French Room Salon at the Adolphus Hotel. Since opening its doors in 1912, the walls of this downtown icon I’m sure have all sorts of stories to tell. My delightful colleague, Christina Geyer, was recently there for dinner and has declared that their Christmas tree is the best in Dallas.

Cocktail: Channel your mid-century self and go with an old fashioned.

Outfit: The emerald green velvet suit I spied in the Band of Outsiders fall 2018 collection. It’s like an outfit straight out of a Wes Anderson film and I’ll take any excuse to channel my inner Tenenbaum.

Day 12 (the next day we rest)

Venue: It’ll Do

Cocktail: A combination of Jägermeister shots and Evian bottled water. Go big to complete your 12 days of cocktailing.

Outfit: As this is an open one day a week only nightclub, then it’s disco attire. Perhaps this is the evening for a full-blown Gucci bomb. Head-to-fishnet-covered-toes with no apologies. Plan on dancing with no abandon and hopefully sweating out some of the almost two weeks of liquor.

P.S. — I plan on offering some suggestions for the perfect impromptu, after-party at your home. That’s if the mood hits you after one of these merry nights of drinking and you can rally a well-heeled posse. Look for it at PaperCityMag.com tomorrow.

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