Ask A DFW Expert: Fourth Of July Cocktails

June 19, 2014 5:00 AM

Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images

Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images

There’s no better way to celebrate the country’s birthday than with fireworks, barbecue and booze. And when it comes to booze, Alex Fletcher, one of DFW’s best mixologists—has been kind enough to share a few of his most prized cocktail recipes that are certain to keep everyone in the party spirit.
Alex Fletcher
Victor Tangos
3001 N. Henderson Ave.
Dallas, TX 75206
(214) 252-8595

It’s not only the incredible food that makes Victor Tangos one of the hottest spots in town, it’s also the ever-evolving menu of innovative cocktails created by its talented executive bar manager Alex Fletcher. Fletcher is no newcomer to the DFW cocktail scene, and has a lengthy list of awards to prove it. But since joining Victor Tangos in the fall of 2013, Fletcher has catapulted his cocktail repertoire with everything from fruits, vegetables and fresh herbs to housemade bitters, syrups and shrubs.

Related: Most Creative Cocktails In DFW

One of Fletcher’s most acclaimed cocktails is the Lost In Translation, an ambrosial melange of Japanese 12-year-old whiskey, tangy vermouth and a complex sugar syrup made with oyster mushrooms. Fletcher says the drink is a play on the “5th sense umami” representing something deep, funky and gratifying. It’s also an ode to his favorite actor Bill Murray.

victortangos lost in translation Ask A DFW Expert: Fourth Of July Cocktails

Lost In Translation cocktail (Courtesy of Mei Chu Jau & Victor Tangos)

Lost In Translation
One Serving


  •  2 oz. Nikka Taketsuru 12-year-old whiskey
  • .5 oz. Cocchi Vermouth de Torinio
  • .75 oz. mushroom-thyme demerara sugar syrup (recipe below)

Mushroom-Thyme Demerara Sugar Syrup
Yields 1 liter


  • 24 oz. fresh oyster mushrooms
  • 4 cups Demerara Sugar
  • 4 cups water
  • 3 oz. soy sauce
  • 3 pinches cracked black pepper
  • 2-3 oz. fresh thyme
  • lemon peel from one lemon


Combine all of the ingredients in a medium pot and simmer until mixture thickens and is reduced by 1/3. Strain mixture and refrigerate until ready to use.


Rim glasses with a ground mixture of black and white sesame seeds, a pinch of salt and a dash of cumin. Serve with a candied shiitake mushroom on a toothpick (recipe below).

Candied Shiitake Mushrooms

Rehydrate dried shiitake mushrooms in a bowl of warm water and squeeze off excess moisture. Coat mushrooms with a 3:1 ratio of sugar and salt before baking on a parchment-lined sheet in a 350-degree oven for about 10 minutes or until crisp.

victortangosbarbados punch Ask A DFW Expert: Fourth Of July Cocktails

Barbados Punch Bowl (Courtesy of Mei Chu Jau & Victor Tangos)

Barbados Punch

Victor Tangos is famous for its sharing plates and boozy punch bowls, including Fletcher’s popular Barbados punch bowl, an aromatic mix of Barbados five-year-old rum, lemon, ginger ale and blackberry tarragon shrub. Fletcher says that unlike most boring punches, this punch is something that will make your guests salivate and want to come back for more. This recipe is based on parts per cocktail, and should be multiplied for the amount of people being served.


  • 2 parts Barbados five-year Rum
  • 2 parts lemon juice
  • 1 part honey syrup (recipe below)
  • 1 part blackberry shrub (recipe below)
  • 2 parts ice water
  • 8 oz. or more ginger ale
  • Mint and sliced oranges for garnish

Honey Syrup

Combine and chill 2 parts honey with 1 part hot water.

Blackberry Tarragon Shrub


  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup champagne vinegar
  • 1 cup fresh blackberries
  • 2 oz. fresh tarragon

Combine washed blackberries with tarragon and brown sugar. Refrigerate for at least 2 days to intensify flavors, then add it to vinegar and store in a clean bottle until ready to use.

Related: Best Places To Watch Fireworks In DFW

Ilene Jacobs is a freelance writer living in Dallas, Texas. Ilene enjoys writing about a variety of topics, ranging from food, fitness and travel, to kids, pets and senior care. You can find some of her work at