We're smack-dab in the middle of Lent but if your dreams are of a full meat spread, Bakersfield is serving up a feast this month. Two new full-service meat counters are opening: Wood-Dale Market's second location and Prime Time BBQ, Meats & Deli, which is set to open in the former home of Big Popy's Deli.

Wood-Dale, the popular market run by father and son Israel and Chris Vasquez, opened its second location Thursday at the Grand Island Shopping Center on Buena Vista Road (also home to Wiki's Wine Dive & Grill, Sol Y Luna and a Sully's).

A larger outfit than the Stine Road flagship, this market has a full deli case with dozens of sausages, seafood, local Santa Carota Beef and more. The Vasquezes also plan to offer sandwiches, soups and salads in the adjacent sandwich shop later this month.

Next week, Prime Time will open downtown at 1927 20th St. Run by Luis Morales, the business will follow in similar footsteps to Big Popy's, which occupied the spot from 2008 until last year. The full counter meat shop, featuring Harris Ranch choice beef, will serve fresh barbecue Monday through Friday as well as daily sandwiches. We'll have more details closer to the opening. Visit ptbbq.com for more details.

Cheers to Oscars

No matter who wins Sunday night, the viewing experience is a little more fun with some libations. In honor of Hollywood's big night, television personality/entertaining expert Mark Addison created a series of signature Oscar cocktails inspired by each of the best picture nominees. For more on Addison, author of "Cocktail Chameleon" (markaddison.com/cocktailchameleon), visit his website at MarkAddison.com.

“Darkest Hour”: The Churchill

In honor of "Darkest Hour," this Churchill champagne cocktail is a variation of a Manhattan-style cocktail created for Winston Churchill in the 1940s at the Savoy hotel in London. This version features the prime minister's beloved Scotch whisky and champagne, which he reportedly drank most every day from noon to night.

1 ounce Scotch whisky (Churchill preferred Johnnie Walker)

1/2 ounce lime juice

1/2 ounce sweet vermouth

1/2 ounce Cointreau

2 ounce champagne

Garnish: lemon peel

Shake ingredients together with ice, and strain into a chilled cocktail glass or coupe and top with chilled champagne. Garnish with the lemon peel.

“Shape of Water”: Swamp Fizz

Fizz cocktails were at their height of popularity in the '50s and '60s during which the “Shape of Water” is set. The Swamp Fizz combines green creme de menthe (also immensely popular in the era), citrus, sugar and club soda in classic fizz proportions with egg whites for added fizz. Bonus: The recipe accentuates the Creature's favorite food, eggs.

2 ounces gin

1 tsp. green creme de menthe

1 ounce fresh lemon juice

1 egg white

1 tsp. superfine sugar

Club soda

Garnish: lime zest

Add gin, creme de menthe, lemon juice, sugar and egg white to your shaker with ice and shake until well chilled. Strain into Collins glass over ice and top with club soda. Garnish with lime zest.

“Get Out”: The Sunken Place

Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) agrees to be hypnotized by his girlfriend’s mother to cure his smoking addiction but instead, (warning: spoiler) sinks into the “sunken place” where after an operation to transplant the mind of a white man into his body, Chris would remain in the void watching powerlessly. The Sunken Place cocktail looks innocuous on the surface but has a dark underside trapped beneath.

2 ounces rum

1 ounce coconut rum

2 ounces pineapple juice

1 ounce cream of coconut

Garnish: 1/2 ounce blue curacao and 1/2 ounce grenadine

Combine rums, pineapple juice and cream of coconut in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake well and strain into chilled martini glass. Combine the blue curacao and grenadine and slowly drizzle down the side of the glass. It will settle at the bottom and create a beautiful “black and white” layered look.

“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”: Three cocktails from inside Missouri

The themes in “Three Billboards ...” are dark and horrific, which is challenging to draw inspiration from for a festive Oscar cocktail... instead, drawing inspiration from the title and the film’s location, “3 Cocktails...” features Missouri based spirits incorporated into classic cocktails with a distinctively Ozark ingredients and themes. Three Cocktails from inside Missouri

Missouri Mule

1 1/2 ounce Missouri Sprits Bourbon Whiskey

3/4 ounce lemon juice

1/2 ounce Campari

1/2 ounce Triple Sec

Garnish: lemon wheel

Combine with ice, shake and pour into a highball glass. Garnish with lemon wheel.

Missouri Manhattan

2 ounces Missouri Sprits Corn Whiskey

1/2 ounce sweet vermouth

1/2 ounce agave nectar

2 dashes Angostura Bitters

Garnish: maraschino cherry, one king ice cube

In a mixing glass with ice, combine the ingredients and stir well. Strain over a king cube in an old fashion glass. Garnish with a cherry.

Missouri Martini

2 ounces Missouri Spirits Vodka

1/4 ounce extra dry vermouth

1/4 ounce pickle juice

1 dash of hot sauce

Garnish: dill pickle spear

Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake until well chilled. Strain contents into chilled martini glass and garnish with pickle.

“Call Me By Your Name”: Apricot Negroni Spritzer

The iconic Italian negroni is updated with apricot liqueur and French dry vermouth inspired by the film’s Italian location, the apricot orchards surrounding family’s Italian countryside villa and the French heritage of romantic lead character, Elio (Timothee Chalamet). (Note: No peaches were harmed in the making of this cocktail.)

1 1/4 ounce gin

1 1/4 ounce French dry vermouth

3/4 ounce Aperol

1/4 ounce apricot liqueur

3 dashes of orange bitters

Garnish: orange peel and apricot wedge

Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass and slowly stir to chill. Pour into a tumbler and garnish with a peach slice and a cherry.

“Dunkirk”: Dunkirk Toddy

The Dunkirk Toddy blends a classic English hot beverage with French cognac and Benedictine, resulting in a Franco-British hot cocktail that any of the 300,000 soldiers rescued in the operation would appreciate. The traditional hot toddy recipe is made with whisky but to give the classic toddy a French twist Addison substituted equal parts French cognac and Benedictine Dom with its lovely warming flavors and its pronounced herbal and spicy tones.

1 oz. Benedictine Dom

1 oz. French cognac

1 dash Angostura bitters

4 cloves

1 lemon peel

1 ounce fresh lemon juice

1/2 ounce honey

Top with hot water

Garnish: one cinnamon stick

Fix the cloves into the wedge of lemon and put into a glass mug. Add all the other ingredients and top with hot water. Stir gently and serve.

“Phantom Thread”: Dark Love

Dark Love is a champagne cocktail that embodies the volatile love affair between '50s fashion couturier and a young waitress. Parfait Amour (or Perfect Love) is a French violet liqueur, which when combined with blue curacao takes on a blackish tone. The blend of a the eau de vie (water of life), Parfait amour and champagne creates a sweet rich libation that is impossible to resist.

1 ounce Parfait Amour (violet liqueur)

1/2 ounce eau de vie Poire (pear brandy)

1/2 ounce blue curacao

5 ounces champagne, chilled

Garnish: orchid flower

Fill the shaker with ice, then add the Parfait Amour, brandy and liqueur, shaking until well chilled. Serve in a flute glass.

“The Post”: Black, White, and Read All Over

What is black, white and red all over...? The Washington Post — known for exposing the Watergate scandal and Pentagon Papers. The film (and this cocktail) draw allusions to the then and current presidencies. Black, White, and Read All Over looks like an all American coffee but a white Russian lurks under the surface and is stained by a red cherry syrup.

2 ounces cold-press coffee

1 ounce vodka

1 ounce coffee liqueur

1 ounce orange liqueur

1 ounce half and half

Garnish: 1/2 ounce maraschino cherry juice

Fill the shaker with ice and add the coffee, vodka and liqueurs, shaking until well chilled. Pour into the Irish coffee mug glass and float the half and half on top by slowly pouring it over the back of the spoon followed by the cherry juice.

“Lady Bird”: Kiwi Punch (aka Flightless Bird)

The Kiwi Punch conveys the struggle of Lady Bird (aka Christine) who desperately wants to fly off to an out-of-state college but feels grounded by her over-protective and critical mother. A kiwi is a flightless bird native to New Zealand as well as an indigenous fruit. Kiwi fruit give this punch its fruity punch and is served in a soda glass making it look unassuming while packing another punch of vodka. (Omit the vodka for a non-alcoholic version sans the punch!)

Serves 8

2 cups kiwi, peeled and diced

12 mint leaves

2 tablespoons sugar

3 limes, juiced

2 cups vodka

2 cups tonic water

Ice cubes

1 kiwi, thinly sliced for garnish

Garnish: Star fruit slice, mint sprigs

In a pitcher, combine diced kiwis, mint leaves, sugar, and half a lime juiced. Muddle the contents until fully combined. Fill the pitcher with ice and top off with vodka and tonic water. Stir, pour into eight tumbler glasses over ice making sure each glass receives equal amounts of kiwi and mint leaves. Garnish with a star fruit slice and mint sprig.

Stefani Dias can be reached at 661-395-7488. Follow her on Twitter at @realstefanidias.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.