Beer’s not the only thing brewing in Texas; tip your Stetson to these six spirit producers.
by Jenny Adams
Tito’s Handmade Vodka | Austin, Texas
Widely regarded as the first company to revive distilling in Texas, Tito’s vodka has a corn base and is six-times microdistilled in small-batch quantities via an old-fashioned pot still. The result is an incredibly smooth sip, closing with a barely sweet finish. It earned double gold at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition in 2001.
Treaty Oak Platinum Rum | Austin, Texas
Named for a sacred tree that has stood in Austin for more than five centuries, this molasses-based rum is incredibly light on the palate, blended with Hill Country water and carbon-filtered. Sugar, nutmeg and cinnamon notes make it an outstanding choice for a classic daiquiri or an old-fashioned bowl of punch.
Railean “El Perico” 100% Blue Agave Spirit | Galveston Bay, Texas
Like Champagne, you can’t call something tequila if it’s made outside the official, tequila-producing regions of continued next page continued from previous page Mexico. Distiller Kelly Railean’s agave spirit (i.e., the “tequila” she makes in Texas) is created with agave nectar sourced from Jalisco, Mexico. The 80-proof finished product has notes of lemon, lime and dried pineapple, and a clean, bright finish.
Roxor Artisan Gin | Dripping Springs, Texas
After it gave the world Dripping Springs Vodka, San Luis Spirits created Roxor, a fragrant, floral, pot-still gin using 12 distinct botanicals. Juniper hits the palate first, then secondary notes from Texas-grown pecans, grapefruit and lime; there’s sarsaparilla, cinnamon, coriander and orris root in the bottle, too.
Garrison Brothers Whiskey | Hye, Texas
Garrison Brothers creates each vintage using Texas-grown corn and winter wheat and barley from the Pacific Northwest. The spirit ages two years in American white oak; the Texan climate (hot afternoons, cold mornings) plays a significant role in deepening both the color and flavor.
Paula’s Texas Spirits | Austin, Texas
Paula Angerstein produces lemon and an orange liqueur; each begins with fresh fruit zested by hand, resulting in luscious, bright and vibrant liqueurs preferred by bartenders around the state for margaritas.