Bites About Town: Best Brandy Ice in OKC

I feel a little too confident that I am the perfect person to deliver today’s post. If there is one thing I’ve learned in my twenty-something years, it is that I love fruity beverages, girly cocktails, and dessert drinks. All things that you may be embarrassed of or try to hide by chocking down a glass of red wine (which I also love). However I’m not afraid to admit my fondness for drinks that often leave you with a hangover. Piña Colada? I’ll take five. Club special? More please! Brandy Ice? Never just one.

Enter today’s “Bites About Town” post, featuring non other than, the brandy ice. A brandy ice seems to be fairly regional and oddly popular in Oklahoma. So today’s post also seems fitting as I’m on my outs of OKC before moving to Dallas next week. If you google a brandy ice, only descriptions for brandy alexanders come up. They are basically the same thing, but a brandy alexander is made with cream and a brandy ice is made with ice cream.

You can read my past “Bites About Town” where I talked about the best salad and matcha lattes in the city. I’m not sure I’ve ever been more on brand. Salads, matcha and brandy ices. Yup, sounds about right. Ok, without further a do..

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Junior’s Supper Club
Things to note: The OG. Junior’s has been around for 46 years and is a staple in OKC. Known for their red walls and brandy ices. They come in small or large. They are thick as can be and and are all around perfection from the texture to the flavor. A brandy ice at Junior’s is my favorite way to end the night. You may go for the BI, but find yourself staying for the live jazz music and chex mix.
Verdict: 5

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The Drake
Things to note: The Drake’s brandy ice is not your typical brandy ice. There are little flakes of ice in it lending it more toward a slushy than a milkshake. Not my cup of tea.
Verdict: 3

major props to Cheever’s for taking this photo just for today’s post!

major props to Cheever’s for taking this photo just for today’s post!

Cheever’s
Things to note: This is a hidden gem! People often finish their meal with a Pecan Ice Cream Ball when dining at Cheever’s, but don’t sleep on their brandy ice. I had Cheever’s for the first time a couple months ago and it was, well, delicious. It’s well balanced and has a great texture. A win all around.
Verdict: 5

photo courtesy of  Facebook

photo courtesy of Facebook

Mahogany Prime Steakhouse
Things to note: Mahogany makes a great brandy ice. Nothing to write home about, but not glaringly bad. However, I will order anytime I go!
Verdict: 4

photo courtesy of  Instagram

photo courtesy of Instagram

The Ranch
Things to note: This brandy ice is big. As you can see in the picture above with two straws, this brandy ice is best to be shared. However, I’ve never shared. I love the chocolate drizzle, but the martini glass bothers me. A classic brandy ice should be served in a tulip shaped glass.
Verdict: 4

I apologize for this blurry attempt at portrait mode.

I apologize for this blurry attempt at portrait mode.

Broadway 10 | Bar & Chophouse
Things to note: I love this brandy ice. It resembles more of a a vanilla flavor than chocolate that you often get in BI’s. It is topped off with chocolate shavings, but I find them to be the perfect addition. I highly recommend sitting at the bar at Broadway 10 to order a brandy ice and snack on the complementary bacon.
Verdict: 4

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Michael’s Grill
Things to note: So cold they have to serve them with a plastic spoon because a metal one will freeze! Michael’s brandy ice lends more toward the texture of frozen yogurt.
Verdict: 4

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Oklahoma City Golf & Country Club
Things to note: I want to love this brandy ice. Visually it looks perfect, but the flavor resembles that of lead paint. Harsh I know, but it’s the truth. I wish I could say this stopped me from ordering them… The brandy in this particular BI could be lightened up juuuuusst a bit.
Verdict: 2


Okay there’s my schpeal.

And the winner goes to… TIED between Cheever’s and Junior’s. You can’t mess with a classic like Junior’s, but Cheever’s did and they succeeded.

Annie

Happy Hour with Vim Vitae

Cocktails that are good for you? Oxymoron? Not in this case. I have three killer (in my opinion) cocktail recipes coming your way today. Each recipe is made with fresh vibrant ingredients thanks to Vim Vitae

Vim Vitae, formally know as Vim + Vigor, is an organic, raw, cold-pressed juice company based out of Dallas, but can be found all over Texas, Oklahoma City, and Little Rock. Vim Vitae's mission is to feel amazing about yourself and your choices, every single day. With delicious and nutritious juices, they make it easy to incorporate healthy choices into your day. Their line of juices ranges in flavors and products, all developed by nutrition experts and food lovers.

I've been a Vim Vitae fan from the early days. Fun fact, the founders Annie & Liz are cousins originally from Oklahoma City. Annie's dad and my dad were fraternity brothers and her dad was also my landlord my senior year of college. Home Sweet Lahoma! Annie and Liz also lived in that house while they were in college. 

It's fun to have seen them grow and evolve while continuing to develop new products. From cold-press juices, adding in exotic flavors, savory soups and their newest line of limeades. V V's new limeades are just perfect. They are exactly what I want to grab for in the afternoon when water won't make the cut. I have no problem downing one knowing they are made with few and real ingredients. Things like ginger, basil, agave, acai berry, cardamom and more. 

Despite them being my afternoon pick me up, today we are talking happy hour. Ramping up the deliciousness of limeades by turning them into cocktails. Vim Vitae's limeades come in five flavors. Since I couldn't pick just one, I chose three, creating a Lavender Cardamom Gin Lemonade, Basil Agave Mint Mojito and Hibiscus Berry Vodka Smash.  I can't wait to sip on these drinks all spring and summer long.

First up is the Lavender Cardamom Gin Lemonade. Simply inspired by the colored label I knew I wanted to add lavender. Lemon, gin, and lavender simple syrup get shaken with gin and garnished with a lavender sugar rim. Disclosure I hate gin. But in this cocktail, I love gin. 

Lavender & Cardamom Gin Lemonade
serves 2

Ingredients:
1 cup Vim Vitae Cardamom Limeade
1.5 oz or 3 Tbsp. lavender simple syrup (recipe to follow below)*
2 shots or 3 oz gin
1/2 lemon
ice
lavender sugar for garnish*

Directions:
*Using a tablespoon of lavender and two tablespoons of sugar, blitz in a single serving blender or crush the lavender buds into the sugar using a mortar and pestle or end of a wooden spoon. Spread sugar in a thin layer on a plate. Run a lemon wedge along the edge of your martini glasses. Dip into the sugar and set aside. 

In a cocktail shaker, combine Cardamom Limeade, simple syrup, gin, squeeze of lemon and a big handful of ice. Shake until combined then pour into martini glasses. Sprinkle a little lavender sugar into the glass and enjoy!

Lavender Simple Syrup:
Combine 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup water and 1/2 tablespoon lavender buds in a sauce pan over medium-low heat. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Strain out the lavender buds then place in a mason jar and cool in the refrigerator. 

Mojitos are my favorite cocktail. When I tried the Basil Agave limeade I knew it would be turning into a mojito!

Basil Agave Mint Mojito
serves 2

Ingredients:
1 cup Vim Vitae Basil Agave Limeade
6-8 large leaves of basil and mint
2 shots or 3 oz white rum
1 lime
sparkling water or club soda
ice

Directions:
Tear your basil and mint up and divide evenly amongst 2 glasses. To get the most flavor from your basil leaves, one leaf at a time, place in the palm of your hand then smash with your other hand, then proceed to tear up. Cut your lime into fourths. Squeeze 1/4 lime into each glass with the mint and basil. Using a muddler or the end of a wooden spoon, muddle the herbs and lime juice together. Pour 1 shot of rum and 1/2 cup Basil Agave Limeade into each glass. Fill with ice and top with sparkling water. Stir to combine. Garnish with a basil leaf and lime wedge. 

This last drink is so easy and even easier to drink...oops! I used the Hibiscus Flower Limeade combined with mixed berries. The hibiscus adds a suspicious taste to the drink that you'll love but wouldn't guess if you didn't know what it was.

Berry Vodka Smash
serves 2

Ingredients:
1 cup Vim Vitae Hibiscus Flower Limeade
1/4 cup mixed berries (I used a package of frozen berries I let thaw out)
2 shots or 3 oz vodka
1 oz or 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
sparkling water or club soda
ice

Directions:
Divide mixed berries among two glasses. I used raspberries, blackberries and strawberries. Using a muddler or end of a wooden spoon smash the berries together in the bottom of the glass. Add a shot, 1/2 cup Hibiscus Flower Limeade, and 1 tbsp. lemon juice to each glass. Fill the glasses with ice and top with sparkling water. Stir to combine. Garnish with a few berries and lemon wheel. 

Can I get a #takeasip? Vim Vitae Limeades can be found locally at Native Roots Market. The originals can be found locally at Whole Foods. All retailers listed here. Thank you Vim Vitae for the delicious limeades and opportunity for this post!

Annie

*All photos by KGC Photography