4.16.2014

Drinking Game: Scandal season 3 finale

Tomorrow, Thursday April 17th at 10/9c, everyone’s Facebook and twitter feeds will be lit up with all things Scandal. A few weeks back, I wrote that Scandal’s season three finale is sure to be explosive. I was right on the money as Mama Pope literally activated a bomb at the end of last week’s episode, so now we know she’s been up to all season!

To celebrate the season’s end, we’ve resurrected our popular Scandal Drinking Game!

So pop that wine cork, grab a seat on the couch, and take a drink when:


Olivia drinks a glass of wine



Olivia & Fitz get it on



Olivia & Jake get it on



Mellie and Andrew get it on
Last week’s episode ended with Andrew being in the location where the bomb is set to go off. However, I’m not ready to let go of Jon Tenney and the heat that he’s brought to the season so I believe that he will escape before things go boom.



Huck and Quinn get it on
No idea why this is happening, but no one is a fan.



Mellie gets drunk
Last week, the beautiful Bellamy Young was on a roll with the drink; her terrific boozy one-liners even started a #DrunkMellie trend on twitter. 



President Fitz learns of Mellie’s Big Jerry Big Secret



Papa Pope gives a read 
This season, he’s read everyone cover to cover and everyone is loving it! Joe Morton most certainly will receive a guest star nomination for all the of awards this year… Hate to say it, but all other male guest actors, and maybe female too, should just have a seat. #sorrynotsorry


We learn that Olivia and Harrison are siblings! 
The Brolivia theory has been thrown around since season 2, even though the only random clue is that we know very little of Harrison’s background. However, Harrison asking Papa Pope if it was ok to call him Papa Pope last week was either foreshadowing or the writers just having fun with us die hard Gladiators.



Lastly, take a drink if you’ve screamed at the TV. 
Scandal is known for messing with folks’ emotions, but your wine is here for you. Take a sip and relax.

As always, drink responsibly and have fun!! Tweet your favorite #Scandal moments and what’s in your glass to @HappyHourTour!

4.09.2014

FAME

Days: Monday-Friday
Times: 5-7pm
Drink Deals: $5 glass of wine, $5 Beer & Shot combos
Food Deals: $5 small bites

———-
Drink Up: The drinks, food, & service is outstanding. The 90s jams are nice addition, too! 

Spill the Wine: The crowd doesn’t get bumping until after Happy Hour.
———-


Chicago's Wicker Park recently got a new bar on the block named FAME. Ever since I learned of the new bar (with a Happy Hour!), I couldn't wait to check it out. While some people like to wait until a bar or restaurant has had time to work out any kinks, I prefer to check out new places soon after their opening. Like a good first date, everyone is usually on their best behavior and eager to please. 

Sure enough, FAME did not disappoint!

FAME stands for:
F - Food
A - Art
M - Mixology
E - Experience

Starting with food, FAME's Happy Hour offers $5 small plates. Arriving right at its 5pm opening, I was ready for dinner and ordered the flatbread gyro pizza while I waited for a friend to join me. The flatbread pizza is essentially an opened faced gyro sandwich, just not as messy. It's served on toasted pita bread which makes it sturdier than the average gyro sandwich.  I wolfed down the pizza so fast that I was a little embarrassed, but hey, it was that good! Other $5 bites offered are include grilled cheese, ramen noodles, and chicken pineapple flatbread pizza.

Flatbread Gyro Pizza ($5)
The art in FAME definitely gives off a "this is a hip place to be" vibe without coming off pretentious, the only thing I was worried about prior to my visit. I don't do hipsters. FAME is a nice space with high ceilings, murals painted on the walls and hanging works of art.  There are a few original pieces, along with some pop culture inspired pieces such as Jimi Hendrix lyrics beautifully painted in a foreign language. If art is really your thing, the pieces are also available for purchase for a pretty penny.


JG working a fashion piece of art - Peter Pilotto for Target

Rockstars not only inspire some of the art, but they also inspire the mixology menu. With drinks named The 27 Club, Almost Famous, and Smooth Operator it makes me want to go cruising with the windows down, music up, listening to the best of the 70s & 80s, sans drink of course. Unfortunately, the cool cocktails are not on the Happy Hour menu, but they are totally worth the $11 price. After a $5 glass of house cabaret, I ordered the Doppleganger cocktail, made with Tito's vodka, strawberries, basil, balsamic, lime & honey. Any long time Happy Hour Tour readers know that I just love a cocktail with fresh strawberries and the Doppleganger is another one to add to the list - thanks to that fresh basil and balsamic mix! If you're just sticking to Happy Hour, there are also $5 glasses of white wine and beer & shot combos.

The Doppleganger cocktail ($11)
  
Tito's vodka, strawberries, basil, balsamic, lime & honey
Overall, my experience at FAME was a great one! In addition to the 70s & 80s inspired drinks and music playing, FAME also played one of my favorite genres - 90s hip hop! When my friend Stephanie & I weren't busy sharing crazy dating stories for her project So This One Guy, we chatted with FAME’s Events & Marketing Coordinator, Hakim. We talked about our favorite cocktails and things we look for when we go to new bars. My answer? Cocktail samples! When a place is known for mixology, I'm always eager to try the drinks, but I don't want to shell out over $10 per drinks just for a taste. I’d really love if places did cocktail flights, like they do with beer and wine. So far, Houlihan’s is the only place I know to do so. Hakim took note and later gave me sample of hip hop 90s named, Rum-p Shaker, a rum cocktail mixed with orange zest, sage, and ginger beer float! The Rum-p Shaker is a nice crisp cocktail that was a welcome alternative to the usually too sweet rum cocktails at most places.

Rum-p Shaker cocktail ($11)
 Rum cocktail mixed with orange zest, sage, and ginger beer float
If FAME keeps up the great cocktails and service, the paparazzi may be stalking this place in no time!

-JG

———

FAME
Neighborhood: Wicker Park

2015 W. Division
Chicago, IL 60622
773.227.1110


3.26.2014

Fox and Hound Bar & Grill

Days: Daily
Times: All Day
Drink Deals: Check daily menu (pictured below)
Food Deals: N/A
-------- 

Drink Up: There’s plenty to drink up here with daily drinks specials, seriously – there’s  something for everyone.

Spill the Wine: No food deals. 

--------- 


For the past few weeks, I’ve been joining one of my oldest & dearest friends on her weekly pool league nights throughout the west Chicago suburbs. Every couple of weeks, her team rotates bars and a few weeks ago, I finally had an excuse to check out Fox and Hound Bar & Grill. I’ve wanted to check it out for some time, but I had heard mixed reviews, mainly about the drinks. However being a Happy Hour enthusiast, I’m also privy to some information, such as the fact that Fox and Hound had undergone a makeover with grand re-openings of the Chicagoland locations last year. 


Whatever Fox & Hound was before, its rebranding sure paid off!  On a Tuesday night, the bar was packed with folks playing pool,watching sports on big screen TVs , and diners dining in booths. Since the bar was so packed and I was tardy to the party, I assumed that I would have to order my drinks at the bar, but surprisingly the server spotted me as a new face in the crowd and quickly took my drink order.  That night, I ordered $6 Pinot Grigio and enjoyed my night so much that I quickly made sure to schedule a follow-up visit with  with HHT pal Tamika to check out the rest of the daily specials that I saw promoted throughout the bar.


Like a lot Illinois bars and restaurants, Fox and Hound does not have a specific Happy Hour due to Illinois Happy Hour laws, but it does have daily specials. On Wednesdays, there are dangerously delicious Skinnygirl cocktails for $3. I say dangerous because they go down so easy and at 130 calories there’s no reason to feel guilty. Also featured on Wednesday nights is $4 glasses of Skinnygirl wine and 1/2 priced bottles. For the fellas, there’s $4.50 Angry Orchard pints and $5.50 Big Sam Adam and Jack Daniels cocktails.

My first Skinnygirl cocktail was the Moscatorita, a skinny margarita mixed with Sauza Blue Agave Reposado Tequila, Skinnygirl Moscato wine, lite sweet & sour mix, and orange juice. I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel about wine and tequila, but the drink had me feeling pretty damn happy. The moscato masked the often strong punch of tequila, all while still having the flavor of the average margarita. 

The Moscatorita: 
Sauza Blue Agave Reposado Tequila, Skinnygirl Moscato wine, lite sweet & sour mix, and orange juice
For the next round, we both ordered the Bethenny Breeze, named after Skinnygirl founder, Bethenny Frankel. The Bethenny Breeze is a light vodka cranberry, made with Skinnygirl Bare Naked Vodka, cranberry juice, club soda, and lite sweet & sour mix. While the cocktail was also tasty, if both drinks were on my March Madness bracket, my pick would go to the Moscatorita. 

The Bethenny Breeze cocktail:
Skinnygirl Bare Naked Vodka, cranberry juice, club soda, and lite sweet & sour mix
In addition to hosting pool league, Fox and Hound also hosts many other events such as weekly Sip & Swirl painting night, Girls Night party, and your regular specials for drinking holiday such as St. Patrick’s Day. Unfortunately, there were  no food specials on my visit. However with all the events Fox & Hound hosts, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a food deal pop up from time to time.

And as for those mixed reviews from before the re-model, well, Tamika, who had previously not enjoyed her experience, could not believe how different this visit was – from the friendly service to the tasty cocktails (her previous complaint was simply that the cocktails were “just not good” before). Now, we both can see Fox and Hound as part as our regular rotation!

-JG

--------- 

Fox and Hound Bar & Grill 

4320 E. New York Ave.
Aurora, IL 
630.236.9183

foxandhound.com
twitter.com/The_FoxandHound

3.17.2014

How to Make… South of the Border Shamrock Shaker

Sure, I like Guinness and Bailey's as much as the next lass, but I also spent the last 11 years in Los Angeles, the tequila capital of the US (I just made that statistic up and it’s probably not true!). 

Me & mah green beer!
 
And as such, this year, I’d like to celebrate my quarter-Irish heritage with little kick, a tequila kick! Of course my cocktail must be GREEN and what better way to add GREEN to your cocktail than food coloring Midori liqueur?! 

Count your lucky charms, you just found a new fun & frisky South of the Border Shamrock Shaker!

  

Here's what you'll need: 
  • 1.5 parts Tequila 
  • 1 part Midori
  • .5 part Triple Sec 
  • Splash of Orange Juice  

Now, just shake all this up in your cocktail shaker. Pour over ice AND enjoy! 

Shamrock Shaker or Ectocooler?!!

--JB

3.12.2014

Get Your Drank On: St. Patrick’s weekend - Chicago


St. Patrick's Day 2013. Two drinks are better than one!

Since St. Patrick’s Day falls on a Monday this year, most bars & restaurants are kicking off their celebrations starting this Saturday, March 15th. While any fun loving establishment is sure to have St. Patrick’s weekend drink & food specials, finding those deals can sometimes be harder than finding a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. Luckily, I was able to track some down!

Cheers!
Jennie

CHICAGO

Crossing Tavern - 2548 N. Southport Ave.
Green Beer specials
Opens at 9am on Saturday, March 15th. Free breakfast sandwich for those who arrive between 9am-10am.

Epic - 112 W. Hubbard St. 
$4 Bud Light, $5 312 beer, $5 Jameson shots
Opens at 8am on Saturday, March 15th, with $5-6 breakfast sandwich specials. At 12:30pm, a costume contest kicks off for Sexiest Leprechaun (we need to see photos!) and Best Overall costume. There will be a DJ so you can do your best Irish jig!

Fame - 2015 W. Division St. 
$7 Guinness bottle & Irish shot combo
Opens at 12pm on Saturday, March 15. This new bar on the block will also be serving $5 corn beef flatbreads. DJ here, too!

Lottie’s Pub - 1925 W. Cortland Ave.
$25 drink package includes Mimosas, Bloody Marys, and Miller & Coors drafts
Drink package is for 9am-1pm, Saturday, March 15th. RSVP is required for the event. Chicago Fire often films at Lottie’s Pub so if you’re lucky maybe you’ll spot some of the cutie cast members!

Rockit Burger Bar - 3700 N. Clark St.
$4 Green Beer, $5 Guiness & Jameson, $7 Car Bombs
Starting March 15th through St. Patrick’s Day, Rockit Burger Bar will celebrate the holiday. Food specials are priced from $4-14, including a St. Patrick’s Day Burger topped with corn beef and sauerkraut.

WEST CHICAGO SUBURBS

Bar Louie - 22 E. Chicago Ave., Naperville, IL 60540
$4 Green Beer, $5 Irish Whiskey, $6 Car Bombs
The drink specials will last all day long, all weekend! Other Bar Louie locations are sure to have specials just as good so be sure to check out their site for your local Louie. 

Mullen’s Bar & Grill - 3080 Warrenville Rd., Lisle, IL 60532
$4 Green Beer All weekend
Mullen’s will also feature Irish grub and different plans playing though out the weekend. Check out their Facebook page for music lineup.  


Have a deal not to be missed? Please free free to email or tweet us at @HappyHourTour

2.28.2014

Drinking Game: 2014 Academy Awards

Raise your glass! It's the 2014 Academy Awards Drinking Game!

Roll out the red carpet – it’s that time of the year once again, the culmination of an awards season notable for its tight races, the ascension of fashion goddess Lupita Nyong’o, and Pharrell Williams’ awesome Mountie hat... Ladies and Gentleman, it’s Academy Awards time! 

Lupita Nyong'o rocks the silhouette dress and shows no fear with color!!! All hail the queen! Pharrell's mountie hat needs no introduction... All hail the king!

This will be my first Oscar night in years that I’ve spent away from the old Happy Hour Tour HQ smack-dab in the middle of Hollywood! How I’ll miss the buzzing helicopters circling the Kodak (now Dolby) Theatre less than a mile away and the man selling counterfeit Academy Awards T-shirts as JG and I walked to The Woods after the show! But this year – I’ve got this drinking game and these helicopter sound effects to keep me happily buzzed and buzzing! 
  BLUE JASMINE Jello Shots and HER Favorite Cosmopolitan!

While I’ll be drinking BLUE JASMINE Jello Shots and HER Favorite Cosmopolitans in Milwaukee and JG will be enjoying the company of the Windy City Bloggers, you too can play along at home with a nice sparkling wine and caviar (or Texas Caviar)! 

All right, all right, all right…* Let’s get this party started! Take a drink: 

1) Anytime a wild card nominee wins!
This year’s races are tight – with typical Oscar predictors like the Producers and Directors Guild Awards honoring two front-runners – GRAVITY and 12 YEARS A SLAVE. Don’t discount the crowd-pleasing AMERICAN HUSTLE which isn’t far behind. 

 Babes Chris Hemsworth and (Academy President) Cheryl Boone Isaacs reveal the Best Actor Nominees back on January 16th.

Add to this a truly wild Best Actor category with award-winning performances from Matthew McConaughey, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Leonardo DiCaprio, Bruce Dern, and Christian Bale (if we’re counting ensemble awards) and stiff competition between Lupita Nyong’o and Jennifer Lawrence for Best Supporting Actress – and we’ve got races tighter than Bradley Cooper’s permed curls (gong!). 

Tight races open the door for anything happening, which means we could be seeing some wild card wins! 

2) Anytime someone breaks out into song or dance!
Change the title of this show to “There Will Be Singing and Dancing.” What do you get when you mix producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron (responsible for bringing us CHICAGO, HAIRSPRAY, and “Smash” and the recent “Sound of Music Live!”) with happily dancing host Ellen DeGeneres and recently announced presenters Bette Midler, Anne Hathaway, and Pink? Lots of singing and dancing! 

Judging by this promo alone - we can expect a musical kind of show!

Did I mention the show will also feature tributes to heroes in the movies (jazz hands, Norma Rae, I said jazz hands!!) and the 75th Anniversary of THE WIZARD OF OZ? Don’t forget the Oscar nominated “Best Song” performances. Good luck getting FROZEN’s “Let it Go” song out of your head! 

Get your tippity-tap-tap-tap shoes ready and take a drink because a) you love musicals so much you can’t contain your excitement or b) you can’t stand musicals and it’s either take a drink or leave the room. 

3) Anytime Ellen or any presenters poke fun at any of the extreme make-up or fashions of this year’s nominees.
What did you get a bigger kick out of – the spectacle of Jonah Hill’s massive chompers in THE WOLF OF WALL STREET, the nouveau-retro high-waisted pants from HER, or AMERICAN HUSTLE’S hair-as-character-development combovers, perms, and sultry waves? 

Quirky Oscar Fashions, Dentistry, and Hair - don't mess with the hair!

Given the solemnity of some of the nominated films and the reliably depressing “In Memoriam” tribute, the Oscars love to bring levity to the show whenever they can. This often occurs by making fun of the outrageous stylings of the nominated films – either during the host’s introduction or visual sight gags that move the show along.

3b) On the topic of extreme make-up, take two drinks if anyone who has anything to do with JACKASS wins an Academy Award!
Shut it down, we can all go home for the future is here and it is bleak. Just kidding – BAD GRANDPA is somewhat deservedly nominated for Best Makeup and Hairstyling, though DALLAS BUYER’S CLUB is a safer bet to take home the Oscar. 

Yes, we live in a world where a Johnny Knoxville movie could win an Oscar!

4) Anytime someone gets played off the stage during an acceptance speech.
With so many golden statues to hand out in so little time, expect some Oscar winners to get played off the stage. Let’s hope they don’t use the JAWS theme song to cut this year’s winners off as they did last year – that sh*t was embarrassing and awkward for everyone, including those of us watching at home. Take a drink to numb the awkwardness. 

 Not only was Cuba Gooding Jr.'s "I Love You" speech in his win for JERRY MAGUIRE an expression of genuine joy, he also showed future winners how to get the crowd off their feet as you get played off the stage!

5) Anytime a winner seems genuinely grateful to win the Oscar!
I get it. Winning an Academy Award is the highest achievement in the entertainment industry. But I also understand the criticism that the show is the industry’s celebration of self-importance. That’s why I love a truly genuine acceptance speech (or those actors who can make it seem genuine – I mean they win the award for acting, right?!) with shout-outs to family, higher powers, the true-life characters who lived the roles, etc. Even if the winners forget to thank their people, it’s all the more realistic. 

As always, drink safely and enjoy the show! And share your favorite Oscar moments with us on our Facebook wall – facebook.com/TheHappyHourTour

Just keep livin’!*
JB

*The wise words of nominee (and current awesome-est person on HBO), Matthew McConaughey. 

The Academy seems to be poking fun at their image this year with hilarious Instagram pics like the one above. Follow them @theacademy. 
And follow us at @thehappyhourtour :)!

2.26.2014

Drinking Game: Scandal season 3 winter premiere

Tomorrow night marks the long awaited return of Scandal. Folks have been freaking out so much that #CopeWithoutPope has been trending on twitter since the last new episode back in December. Not to worry Gladiators, Olivia Pope & associates are back with a brand new episode every week until the sure-to-be explosive season finale in May. 


Since our season two finale drinking game was a hit, what better way to welcome back The Gladiators and co., but with another drinking game? Grab a bottle of wine and tune into ABC at 10pm/9pm central on Thursday night!

Follow along and drink anytime…

Source: Us Magazine

You catch a peak at Kerry Washington’s baby bump. This season has been reduced from 22 to 18 episodes due to the pregnancy. Since we’ve been without Scandal for 77 days, I wonder how much Kerry has grown between episodes. Even the best Birkin bags and chic ivory coats can’t always hide a baby bump.


The President Fitz calls Liv. The phone calls between these two are so incredibly hot, despite the fact that most of the time the only words that are uttered are “Hi.” If more guys watched Scandal, they would cut out all the vague texting and just call to say “Hi.” Seriously, it’s hot.


Adnan Salif makes an appearance. The audience has no idea who this Adnan character is, but last year, we were promised that we’d learn more about Harrison’s back story. So far, the only thing we know is the very mention of Adnan Salif has him spooked. Harrison will probably need a drink if Adnan shows up, so drink up!


Quinn double-crosses someone. Is she really a member of B316? Is she really a Gladiator? Are she and Charlie really in a relationship? In the last episode, Quinn crossed so many people that no one’s sure what side she’s on, and she probably doesn’t either. Follow this rule alone and you’ll be buzzed in no time.


Chug the whole damn bottle if we find out what Mama Pope is up to! Here’s what we do know so far: Mama Pope is alive, she can take out a doctor and a flight crew, land a plane, get her hair did, pick up a fly outfit, and strut down Pennsylvania Ave. all in 24 hours and without a care in the world. Whatever she’s up to, it’s going to be gooooood!!! 

For your extra boozing pleasure, here are several season 2 rules that still apply. Drink every time:

Olivia drinks a glass of wine

Olivia’s lip quivers

Olivia & Fitz get it on

Someone says “mole”

As always, drink responsibly and have fun!! Tweet your favorite #Scandal moments and what’s in your glass to @HappyHourTour!

The aftermath of last season’s drinking game

Cheers! JG





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