It must be that sweet, sweet hill country water, because distilleries both big and small, in Austin are putting out some of the best spirits in the country. There’s nearly a dozen distilleries in Austin and surrounding areas, with more popping up frequently, I’m looking at you Still Austin Whisky!!
Some of these distilleries have taprooms, and some don’t. Either way, I thought it’d be fun to create a guide for you all with some great recipes to pair with the best Austin Spirits! Now I’m no chef or bartender, so all of these cocktail recipes are super easy, and super simple. Be sure though, they’re easy and simple, but still fancy.
So check out these easy, but fancy cocktail recipes, there’s a little something for everyone. And drink up, Austin!
Blackberry Mojito with Treaty Oak Distilling Rum
Treaty Oak Distilling is brewing almost every type of booze out there and they take pride in giving Austin great alcohol. Their silver rum is their flagship product and should be a staple in every liquor cabinet!
Being the devoted rum fan I am, I have to give mega props to Treaty Oak Distilling in Dripping Springs for making not one, but two incredible rums, silver and barrel-aged. Who knew that Texas molasses could deliver flavor just as great as Caribbean sugar cane?
Blackberry Mojito Cocktail Recipe (yields 2 cocktails):
- 1/2 cup blackberries
- Handful of fresh mint leaves
- Juice of 2 limes
- 1 small spoon of sugar
- 1/2 cup Treaty Oak Rum
- Splash of club soda
In a small bowl, muddle blackberries. Then place mint leaves in the bottom of glasses. Divide and spoon the muddled blackberry mixture on top.
Add the Treaty Oak rum, sugar, and lime juice and stir. Fill with crushed ice. Finish with a splash of club soda and garnish with mint leaves and a few blackberries.
French 75 with Revolution Spirits Gin
French 75 Cocktail Recipe (yields 1 cocktail):
- 2 ounces Champagne or sparkling wine
- 1 ounce gin
- 1/2 lemon juice
- Spoonful of simple syrup
Combine Revolution’s gin with the simple syrup and lemon juice in a cocktail shaker filled with ice.
Shake vigorously and strain into an iced champagne glass.
Top up with Champagne. Stir gently.
Garnish with a twisted lemon peel.
Austin Reserve Gin is a “contemporary-styled” gin produced with a 100% neutral base of Missouri corn and macerated with juniper and five additional botanicals carefully selected to create a smooth yet powerful gin.
Revolution’s gin is what you experience when you combine Juniper, Rosemary, Lavender, Lemongrass, Grapefruit Peel and Pink Peppercorn. The rosemary and lavendar flavors are the most striking and make this gin such a unique taste.
As someone who never goes for gin, this Austin spirit and those beautiful herbal flavors has made me change my mind.
Revolution Spirits has a small taproom open on Saturdays out by Jester King on the outskirts of Austin. This distillery and it’s great Dripping Springs neighbors always make for a great afternoon day trip.
Blueberry Basil Vodka Tonic with Dripping Springs Vodka
Dripping Springs is micro-distilled the equivalent of 20 times in small 50-gallon batches before they’re mixed with pure, mineral-rich artisan spring water from Texas Hill Country.
The final step is a clarifying slow filtration through Swedish activated charcoal. Dripping Springs Vodka is both lush and balanced, with a such a smooth finish.
Blueberry Basil Vodka Tonic Recipe (yields 4 cocktails):
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup water
- ⅓ cup fresh blueberries, plus extra for garnish
- 4 large basil leaves, plus extra for garnish
- Tonic Water
This is the one cocktail that requires the a few steps and several ingredients, but believe me, the end result is so worth the work!
First, you’ll need to make the blueberry-basil syrup, but it’s super easy, just needs time to be made ahead.
Combine sugar, water, blueberries, and basil leaves in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring often.
Continue to boil until the blueberries pop and the sugar is totally dissolved, which is usually 2 minutes. Remove from heat, transfer to a heat-proof container, and then chill until cold.
To make cocktails: fill a glass with ice, add in two spoonfuls of your blueberry-basil syrup, followed by 1½ ounces of Dripping Springs Vodka.
Top off with tonic water, or lemon-lime soda if you hate tonic water like I do. Finish it off with a garnish of blueberries and basil leaves.
Grapefruit Moscow Mule with Deep Eddy’s Ruby Red Vodka
Deep Eddy’s vodkas are world-class and surely it’s thanks to water from aquifers deep under Texas. That, and all the high-quality and natural ingredients in their fruity flavored vodkas.
If you’re down with fruity spirits, you’ll have a blast checking out the whole lineup of flavored vodkas from this Austin distillery!
From Lemon, to Peach to classic Ruby Red and all the other flavors, the only thing you’ll notice miss is an abundance of sugar or corn syrup commonly found in many flavored vodkas.
Grapefruit Moscow Mule Recipe (yields 2 cocktails):
- 6 ounces grapefruit juice
- 3 ounces Deep Eddy Ruby Red Vodka
- 6 ounces ginger beer
- grapefruit wedges to garnish
The instructions are about as easy as they get for this cocktail, making it one of my go-tos!
Just pour grapefruit juice and the Deep Eddy Ruby Red Vodka over ice.
Then top with ginger beer (about a quarter of a can per drink) and a grapefruit wedge. So easy!!
Old Fashioned with Treaty Oak Distilling Bourbon Whisky
Treaty Oak is distilling almost every type of spirit under the sun and they’re using that fine, fine Texas Hill Country Spring Water. Their bourbon whiskys are stand-outs among the extensive line-up, but with good reason.
Treaty Oak Distilling brought their favorite bourbons to their Austin-area distillery, where they were blended and re-barreled into new American oak barrels to age. After resting under the hot Texas sun, they were left with their woody, peppery Red-Hand Bourbon Whisky.
Classic, Easy Old Fashioned Recipe (yields 1 cocktail):
- 2 teaspoons simple syrup (equal parts water and sugar, dissolved together)
- 1 small spoon of water
- 2 dashes of bitters
- orange peel
- 2 ounces Treaty Oak Red-Handed Bourbon Whisky
Stir ingredients together in a short tumbler with ice cubes for 20-30 seconds or until it’s pretty chilled. Peel an orange and twist the rind, then run it along the rim of a short tumbler. Finish off with an orange peel garnish
And if you wanna get fancy and do it full-on, all you have to do is strain your Old-Fashioned onto some fresh ice in a new tumbler and add a single maraschino cherry.
Spicy Cucumber Margarita with 512 Blanco Tequila
Blanco 512 Tequila WEBSITE
From Tequila, Mexico to Austin, Texas, 512 Tequila founder Scott Willis went to Jalisco in search of the perfect anytime tequila.
He returned to Austin with Tequila 512. He still goes back to Jalisco to taste every new batch of his 100% agave, triple-distilled tequila.
512’s Blanco Tequila was their first tequila and is still the most popular.
Spicy and soulful, this rich tequila made with agave and volcanic spring water (instead of Hill Country spring water!) will surprise you with its super smooth finish.
Spicy Cucumber Margarita Recipe (yields 1 cocktail):
- 1 spoonful granulated sugar
- a handful of diced cucumber, plus some slices for garnish
- 1 spoonful thinly sliced Serrano pepper, plus additional for garnish
- 3 basil leaves, plus some for garnish
- 1½ ounces Blanco 512 Tequila
- 1 ounce Cointreau
- 1.5 ounce lime juice
Add the sugar, cucumber, pepper and basil to a cocktail shaker. Use a muddler or wooden spoon to press down and twist the ingredients several times.
Repeat until the basil becomes fragrant, and then throw in the tequila and lime juice. Add ice to the shaker then close the top and shake it up! Strain the drink into a glass filled with ice.
Garnish with additional slices of cucumber, pepper and basil. I added an optional splash of club soda for some fizz.
Mighty Swell Canned Alcoholic Beverages (Bonus!) WEBSITE
So you might not always have the time to craft a killer cocktail with more than two ingredients. That’s when you need to grab some of Mighty Swell’s canned alcoholic beverages.
Available at most grocery and liquor and grocery stores, they come in three flavors: lemon, grapefruit and peach.
I grabbed one of my favorite flavors, grapefruit, to whip up one a fancy-looking drink in no time!
Lemon is another great flavor I love, it’s perfect for the hottest of days. I’m sure their third flavor peach is great too, I’m just not a fan of cranberries myself!
Either way, all of their canned cocktails are great when you’re in a pinch or you know, just doing on-the-go, outdoor activities and such.
Just crack one open and pour into a mason jar. Add fresh fruit, and a cute straw and you are good to go!
Other Austin Spirits:
Dulce Vida Spirits WEBSITE
Making great tequila means starting with the finest ingredients. The foundation of Dulce Vida’s tequila differentiates them from the competition: Organic. 100% Blue Agave. Los Altos (Highlands). Available nation-wide.
Tito’s Vodka WEBSITE
Tito’s Handmade Vodka is produced in Austin at Texas’ oldest legal distillery. They make it in batches, using old-fashioned pot stills, and taste-test every batch to make sure we get only the best. Available nation-wide.
Still Austin Whisky Co. WEBSITE | 440 St Elmo Rd E. Austin, TX 78745
Still Austin Whiskey Co. is a grain-to-glass distillery crafting simple grains into amazing spirits. Soon to be open, they’re located in South Austin right next to St Elmo Brewing, they’re the first whiskey distillery within Austin proper since Prohibition. I can’t wait to put these guys on this guide next year!
Texas Saké Company WEBSITE | 5501 N Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78751
Craft Saké maker in Austin Texas, pioneering the field of American Saké in the traditional Japanese style. Texas Saké Company brews craft saké in small batches using centuries-old techniques. Natural, refreshing, regional saké at its finest. Open Fridays and Saturdays for tours.