This year’s Jack Daniel’s Art, Beats & Lyrics is bound to be epic given that the annual event is set to take place at Atlanta’s newly-opened Mercedes-Benz Stadium. For those unfamiliar, Art, Beats & Lyrics (ABL) is described as a “traveling urban art and music exhibition” that “supports visionary artists and musicians who share our values of authenticity, creativity, and individuality.” I’ve attended ABL on several occasions, and it’s definitely an event you don’t want to miss.
Click here to RSVPto the Atlanta Art, Beats & Lyrics event, which will take place on October 20 at 7 P.M.
Given that Revival is owned by former “Top Chef” contestant Kevin Gillespie, and has been receiving praise around town, the restaurant has been on my foodie to-do list for a minute. Tucked away in downtown Decatur, Revival is located in a quaint house on Church Street, which comfortably rests a few blocks from the hustle and bustle of Ponce. The Southern eatery is housed in what appears to be a converted home, creating an exterior that adds even more to the “dinner at grandma’s” feel of the restaurant.
During my visit to Revival, I sampled a great deal off the menu (thanks in part to their family style option), and opted to create a list of my personal favorites. So, here goes…
Bourboncello – I’ve never been much of a digestif person, but one sip of the bourboncello at Revival and that has swiftly changed. The bourboncello is made in house and features bourbon, orange oleo saccharum, and orange juice. The bourbon definitely packs some heat, but the orange helps in making the bourboncello an invitingly mellow sip.
Sweet Potato Dumplings – Since Revival is known for its Southern cuisine, the menu is understandably pretty heavy. There’s catfish, fried chicken, mac ‘n cheese, etc. I was in the mood for a meatless entree, so I opted for the sweet potato dumplings. A wise choice. The dumplings are a lighter choice on the entree menu, but are still on the hearty side thanks to the dumplings, which are made from sweet potato and mascarpone cheese. Mushrooms and greens tossed in a creamy sauce also accompanies the dish. The sweet potato dumplings are subtly sweet and serve as a nice companion to the savory greens. Only complaint is I wish there were more mushrooms. I counted maybe three or four. I’m a new fan of mushrooms, so you’ll have to excuse me.
For many, the similarities between music and cocktails may seem minimal at best. But during D’USSEcognac’s intimate D’USSE Remixer event in Atlanta, myself and a handful of others learned firsthand the parallels between booze and beats.
Before being treated to an intriguing intro to D’USSE courtesy of its creator Michel Casavecchia, we mixed and mingled while sipping on “Jasmine’s Punch.” Serving as the signature cocktail for D’USSE Remixer, “Jasmine’s Punch” was a not-too-sweet combination of D’USSE, St. Germain (my fav!!), pear liqueur, lemon juice, simple syrup, and Jasmine tea. It may have looked and sounded dainty, but it packed quite the punch.
From there, we headed to the studio to meet with producer extraordinaire 9th Wonder (Kendrick Lamar’s “DUCKWORTH,” Jay Z’s “Threat”) to create a remix to Jay Z’s The Black Album track, “Dirt Off Your Shoulder.” Before remixing Hov himself, which I may or may not have struggled with, 9th let us listen to the various components (isolated vocals, vocals with music, etc.) for Michael Jackson’s “Human Nature” and Earth, Wind & Fire’s “Fantasy.”
Her milkshake brought all the boys to the yard, and now singer/chef/”Milkshake” maven Kelis is sharing that shake recipe with the world. In honor of National Chocolate Milkshake Day, Kelis partnered with Baileys to create “My Milkshake,” a boozy milkshake featuring the Irish Cream. I gotta hand it to Kelis, I expected a super standard boozy milkshake recipe, but she added some unexpected (and potentially delicious) ingredients, including ginger beer, cayenne pepper, and ginger-infused whipped cream (say what?!!).
You can find the full recipe and a recipe video for Kelis’ “My Milkshake,” below. Cheers!
4 Scoops Chocolate Ice Cream
8 oz. Ginger Beer
3 oz. Baileys Original Irish Cream
5 Pieces Candied Ginger
1/2 tsp. Cayenne Pepper
Chili Cinnamon (To Rim)
Ginger-Infused Whipped Cream
Blend chocolate ice cream, ginger beer, Baileys, and cayenne pepper. Rim a tall glass with chili cinnamon. Carefully pour blended ingredients into your rimmed glass. Top with ginger-infused whipped cream and candied ginger. Proceed to bring all the boys to the yard.
It didn’t take long for pumpkin season to arrive. And now that it has, you can expect to find your favorite beverages laced with pumpkin spices, pumpkin syrups, and even pumpkin booze. If you’re gently easing into the pumpkin frenzy and are looking for a pumpkin-y twist on a classic cocktail, then look no further than my Pumpkin Moscow Mule. Inspired by the flavors of fall, the Pumpkin Moscow Mule combines Smirnoff No. 21, ginger beer, apple cider (my fav!!), and pumpkin pie spice. You can find the full recipe, below. Cheers!
Pumpkin Moscow Mule
1.5 oz Smirnoff No. 21
4 oz. Ginger Beer
Splash Of Apple Cider
Pumpkin Pie Spice
Grilled Lime Wheel
Add Smirnoff No. 21 to a copper mug. Add ice. Pour ginger beer and top with a splash of apple cider. Top finished cocktail with a dash of pumpkin pie spice and a grilled lime wheel.
Believe it or not, but my very first trip to New Orleans took place, this summer. New Orleans is an amazing city, but the sights, the sounds, and the tastes can all leave you in need of a vacation within your vacation. Thankfully, when the Hand Grenades proved to be too much, and when the surplus of beignets left me in a partial food coma, I was able to escape to the Loews New Orleans.
Located in Downtown New Orleans, the Loews New Orleans is a short walk to Harrah’s Casino, the French Quarters, and a number of other popular destinations in the city. It’s also in an area that’s tucked away just enough for you to feel like you’re not smack dab in the middle of all the action.
Upon entering the Loews, you’re met with a spacious lobby, which leads directly into the Swizzle Stick Bar. Obviously, a boozy plus in my book. With its classic New Orleans feel, the Swizzle Stick Bar was a visual highlight of the hotel. The menu at the bar boasts both Classic Cocktails and Swizzle Stick Originals. I think it’s only right to sample at least one original cocktail when visiting a bar for the first time, so I opted for the Congo Square. What’s in this curious concoction, you ask? Papa’s Pilar Dark Rum, Coco Lopez, Patron XO, Vida Mezcal, Ancho Reyes, fresh pineapple, lime, and Angostura Bitters. Yeah, it boasts quite the ingredients list.
Although the Congo Square is about as complex as they come, the ingredients come together to create a worthwhile sip. Funny enough, hours before sipping on the Congo Square, I visited the actual Congo Square in Louis Armstrong Park. And believe it or not, the Congo Square cocktail was strangely reminiscent of the Square itself.