Five Local, Ah, Maybe Not Adult Beverage Secrets, Exactly?

But if you weren’t aware of these things before, you’re welcome

Continuing, here, to enhance our annual Drinks Issue with bonus intel for all your local fun-based program activities and general reading pleasure. They say “If You Know, You Know” – but you’ve gotta get that knowledge from somewhere, right? And here we are:

Momo’s Michelada Mix
OK, so it’s not really michelada season coming up right now. Micheladas – that refreshing Mexican drink made with beer, lime juice, assorted sauces, spices, and chili peppers – they’re more of a summer thing, an outdoor thing, aren’t they? But who’s gonna tell you when you can and can’t drink something you really like, right? And even when it’s cold here in Austin – they say it gets that way, not counting the odd devastating icestorm, for maybe two and a half days each year – even then, what, you can’t build some tasty micheladas for you and your friends indoors? The point here is: Whenever you drink a michelada, you want it to be good. And we know that Momo’s Michelada Mix is damn good, no matter what kind of beer you add it to. This mighty mix is made right here in Austin, by $2.13 champion Kc Andrew Hensley and his partner Marisa Williams, and you can find it being used by the best bartenders and sold in retail outlets all over the city. But you’ve probably heard of this thing called the internet, too, right? Which means that you can also get your Momo’s right here.

These guys are coppersmiths, real hands-on professionals. They’re located right here in Austin and in Santa Clara del Cobre, Michoacan. An artisan named Jonathan Beall founded the company back in ’97, but we first happened across Sertado’s stunning wares at a performance of Jennifer Sherburn’s dance troupe in 2017, and we’ve been unable to get the gorgeous metal glow out of our head all this time. But we have been able to get that glow (and its practical application) into our kitchens – and our mixological lives are all the better for it. See, that’s why we’re telling you about Sertado in this particular Drinks Issue listicle: Because they also make bar tools. Yes, they do. Do you use bar tools? Probably. And would you like to have some of these Sertado bar tools of your very own? Don’t make us have to define “rhetorical,” hoss.

Opal Divine’s Austin Grill
Michael Parker’s empire of good drinking and eating is concentrated, these days, in just one location. Concentrated, we say, because the goodness is real and inviting inside this locally raised restaurant where you’ll find a wealth of spirits and vittles (mmmm, those fish-and-chips, that chicken-fried steak) to satisfy both your average craving and at least a few of your most hedonistic desires. Hell, we’re still smiling about the excellent Whiskey Festival that Parker & company hosted some years back, and we know that Opal Divine’s has an extensive collection of worldclass distillations to choose from. (Pro tip: The “Wee Happy Hour” that runs from 3-4pm every weekday means half-priced single malts.) On the other hand, if we’re feeling a bit, ah, sassy, we might go for a cocktail like Opal’s Pinky Friedman: Tito’s Vodka, Paula’s Texas Orange, fresh lime, and pomegranate juice.

And, speaking of sassy

Yeah, should be a photo of the espresso martini at East Austin Hotel's Second Bar + Kitchen right here – but, omg, this chips & guac & tomatillo salsa is *chef's kiss*

Second Bar + Kitchen’s Espresso Martini
Yeah, we know these espresso martinis are having another global moment, and who knows when the flow of fashion will decide that the moment is over? We don’t give a fuck – we’ll be drinking these delicious things until the sun finally expands and engulfs our entire planet. Especially if, in that far future, we can still get them at Second Bar + Kitchen, where the cocktail is genius-move supercharged with Bendt Bourbon Cream (in addition to the Tito’s and caramel espresso). And even more especially if Second Bar + Kitchen is still where it just moved to: The ground floor interior of the East Austin Hotel, right there at 1108 E. Sixth. We had the pleasure of sipping this javalicious delight in their rooftop bar, recently, and we loved the whole easygoing vibe of the hotel so much that we’re trying to figure out some way to justify a staycation – or at least get one of those Pool Passes. Well, to be honest, we were also influenced by the tasty fare on the all-day menu. (OMG, that Congress Burger.) Pro tip – not for you, citizen, but for the SB+K powers-that-be: The roasted tomatillo salsa that accompanies the guacamole for your extra-thick tortilla chips? You need to enter that stuff into the Hot Sauce Festival next year, please; it’s nigh on perfect.

The Spiced Peary-Tini, a fine Perry's Steakhouse pairing

Perry’s Spiced Peary-tini
That’s Perry’s Steakhouse, yes, where – as if their steak program was other than phenomenal, as if their Pork Chop Friday wasn’t as delicious as it is legendary – they’ve started their Off-the-Menu features again, offering white bean pork chili and butternut squash soup and pumpkin cheesecake and (whoa) a Steak Flight with prime portions of Wagyu and Angus presented New York strip style. But, never mind the food – this here is the Drinks Issue. And the one special cocktail part of this limited-time menu (which runs through Nov. 30, so get it while you can) … the cocktail, we say, is this Spiced Peary-Tini, a refresher that’s so redolent of baked pears, so lightly cinnamon'd and brightened by a touch of citrus, that it’s a kind of liquid dessert right there in the glass. Very tasty. Of course your current reporter enjoyed it – he drinks all kinds of stuff – but his less boozy wife also thought this Peary-Tini was a superb accompaniment to dinner and well worth drinking on its own.

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