The Alamo Drafthouse Vintage Park theater in Houston had its first anniversary this week, and I was pleased to attend a party celebrating that milestone last night. When I get an opportunity to host or program films at the Alamo, it's usually at Vintage Park, and I love the theater. It's a beautiful facility that still boasts a 35mm projector (along with several Sony 4K digital projectors) even though it was only built a year ago - that's rare. The theater also has auditoriums of all different sizes, which means I've sat in some very intimate screenings that reminded me of the little theater in Saved by the Bell - my highest compliment.
To celebrate the first anniversary, and to celebrate the fact that we can now order cocktails at the Houston Alamo (for years they only had a beer and wine license), they threw a cocktail party so guests could try out all of the new libations.
Our own Bill Norris was meant to attend, but unfortunately Bill's been sick lately (feel better, Bill!). So we got the next best thing: Houston's cocktail master, and owner of Anvil Bar & Refuge, Bobby Heugel. Here's Heugel along with the Houston Alamo's Geoffrey Abdallah, crusader of the cocktail license, The Highball's Heather Smith who was also mixing for the evening, and the Houston Alamo's owner, Neil Billingsley-Michaelsen. (all photos by Marc Brubaker.)
So what were they making? Anything we wanted! But they had a few recipes at the ready:
Scottish Mist: Dewars White Label, lemon juice, ginger syrup, Prosecco
The Rumbus: Bulleit Whiskey, raspberry syrup, lemon juice
Got Milk: vanilla bourbon, Myers Dark Rum, cream, pecan syrup
78704 (a Bill Norris special): basil, cucumber-infused Waterloo Gin, lemon juice, simple syrup, celery bitters
Ditty Bom Bom: pineapple Reposado Tequila, lemon juice, egg white, habanero syrup
Wanderlust: vanilla-infused Bulleit Bourbon, Dolin Sweet Vermouth, Averna, cherry bitters
Twinkle Twinkle: gin, pomegranate liqueur, lemon juice, orange blossom water, cream, simple syrup
Witchy Woman: citrus-infused Tito's Vodka, Strega, maraschino liqueur, lemon juice
We also got to try The Clooney, a new standard margarita on the Alamo's cocktail menu made with George Clooney's Casamigos Ultra-Premium Tequila.
And we had a special anniversary cocktail Heugel created just for the event:
As well as another menu standard, the Mexican Chocolate Shake:
I'm so excited about the new cocktails at the Alamo, because I spend a lot of time there and I deserve to spend that time drinking bourbon. I followed up the anniversary party with a screening of The Lego Movie, so suffice it to say last night was my best night ever. I look forward to recreating it as often as possible.
Live in Houston? Join me, Drafthouse Programming Director (and BAD correspondent) Robert Saucedo and AICN's Nordling for a mystery movie marathon on March 2nd! I just started making plans to bring in a special secret guest who happens to be the coolest and whom I know the BAD crowd will love, so keep that bouncing around in your brain box.