Texas Hoe-Down

Sometimes life is sad. You can cry in your booze, if you want. I think that’s called a Whiskey Sour.
— Jarod Kintz

Texas Hoe Down BBQ

Texas  brings fond memories for my beloved who loves BBQ and Pecan Pie like his Grandma used to make so it seemed appropriate to celebrate with a Texas BBQ, white radish style. Smoked BBQ ribs had to be on the menu but since the smoker hadn't arrived yet we had to search high and low for the closest to Texas Ribs to be found in the PNW.  Finger licking good doesn't describe the flavor more like Swimming in Sauce that only your Pa knows the secret too... Delicious.  

However drinks were made at home  and needed to be both Girly and Cowboy Manly so we went with a famous drink from Austin Texas called The Usual aka whiskey sour for Men and Jalapeño Margarita's for the cowgirls and cowboys.  The Usual was Unusual with Whiskey that needed to have a hint of banana and peppercorns and apricot jam? Intrigued? I was as well when I read it in Men's Health ...I know strange, right.  But hey it was good, although it needed a little bit of adjusting for the Cowboys.  The Jalapeno Margarita was a fantastic make ahead from Ina Garten's recipe book "Make Ahead Recipes" that has you infuse your own vodka. Can you say "as spicy as you like?"  Hmm, next time Habanero's, Ghost Chili's?    The party was a hit with cowboys and cowgirls alike deciding that  Texas could be loved even when you live in the Pacific Northwest.

Ingredients for "The Usual"

"The Usual" aka: Men's Whiskey Sour

"The Usual" aka: Men's Whiskey Sour


  • 2 Oz Gentleman Jack Whiskey
  • 0.25 oz lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp apricot preserves
  • 2 whole black peppercorns
  • Ice for shaking
  • Lemon wedge for serving

Instructions for "The Usual"

  1. With a muddler in a shaker crush black peppercorns and apricot preserves together.
  2. Next add whiskey and lemon juice. Add ice. Shake until very cold.
  3. Strain drink into a glass over ice and serve with lemon wedge and mini cowboy if you choose.

Cowboy Jalapeño Margaritas

Jalapeño Margaritas

Jalapeño Margaritas

-Recipe from Ina Garten Make Ahead Cookbook


  • 1 -2 small jalapeños
  • 1  1/2 cups Tequila
  • 1 cup Triple sec
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)
  • 1 cup fresh squeezed lime juice (8 limes)
  •  Pinch of kosher salt
  • Ice

Instructions for Jalapeño Margaritas

  1. Pierce a jalapeño pepper in 8 to 10 places with the tip of a sharp paring knife and cut it in half lengthwise, leaving the seeds and the ribs. Place the pepper in a 4 cup liquid measuring cup, pour in the tequila, cover with plastic wrap, and allow to sit at room temperature for 24 hours. You are infusing the jalapeño, if you would like it spicier add another jalapeno.  Two is my preference.
  2. Discard the jalapeños and pour the tequila into a pitcher through a sieve to remove the seeds.  Add the Triple Sec, lime juice, lemon juice, honey, and salt and stir. Use immediately or cover and refrigerate for up to 6 hours.
  3. When ready to serve, fill 6  salted margarita glasses with ice and pour over the margarita mixture. Serve cold.


  • Serve Drinks with Deviled Eggs or Chips and Guacamole
  • Don't discard your tequila jalapeno's dry out and use in skillet cornbread