Cool off with a Deep Eddy Lemon Vodka shandy

Deep Eddy Lemon Vodka Shandy
Deep Eddy Lemon Vodka Shandy

 

Riding a huge wave of success, Austin based Deep Eddy Vodka introduced its fourth flavored vodka this year with Deep Eddy Lemon Flavored Vodka. At a tender age of five years old, Deep Eddy is one of the fastest growing vodka brands in the U.S. Last year the company secured $13 million in financing and opened a new distillery to be able to satisfy our thirst.

Deep Eddy Lemon is made with column distilled vodka and flavored with real lemons from California. That’s exactly what it tastes like – tart and slightly sweet with a smooth boozy finish. The lemon flavored vodka takes is place on store shelves and bar backs next to the wildly popular Deep Eddy Ruby Red Vodka. Like the grapefruit flavored Ruby Red, the lemon is delicious just with a splash of seltzer, but it’s also versatile in summery, refreshing cocktails.

Try this cold and ultra-refreshing drink on a hot summer day.

Deep Eddy Lemon Vodka shandy

  • 4 ounces Deep Eddy Lemon Flavored Vodka
  • 1 beer (preferably local, light style)
  • 4 ounces Topo Chico
  • 4 tablespoons frozen lemonade
  • 8 ice cubes
  • 2 lemon wedges

Blend ice cubes, frozen lemonade and Deep Eddy Vodka until it’s the frothy consistency of a Slurpy. Pour into a pitcher and mix in the beer and Topo Chico. Garnish with lemon wedges.

This makes enough for two pint glasses of sunshine. Grab your sweetie, a pitcher of Deep Eddy shandy and head outside to relax for a bit.

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Deep Eddy Vodka provided a sample of this product at no cost.  

2014 Wine Ride “The Oregon Trail” Visits 3 Texas Cities in October, 2014

Wine Ride

Diane Dixon, the brains behind Keeper Collection, is always scheming fun ways to present amazing food and wine pairings. She has created a portfolio of spectacular annual events including  CITYWIDE 86’D, which recently won a “Best of Austin Award” from the Austin Chronicle,  Chef’s Under Fire, Somms Under Fire and of course The Wine Ride. Each one has a unique way of involving guests in an amazing experience with culinary and beverage talent.

This year, the Wine Ride – The Oregon Trail, wine and food pairing event, will be held in Houston at Kipper Club Test Kitchen with food from Chef Graham LaBorde on Saturday, October 18, 2014, in Dallas/Fort Worth at Clay Pigeon Food and Drink with food by Chef Marcus Paslay on Sunday, October 19, and in Austin at W Austin with food from Chef Thomas Riordan on Monday, October 20, 2014. At each of the three events  guests will learn about the terroir and wines of Chapter 24 Vineyards,  the Oregon wines of Raptor Ridge, which will be paired with a three-course meal.

I’m a sucker for Oregon wine. The only thing better is having Oregon wine expertly paired by extremely knowledgeable sommeliers and chefs. Advanced Sommeliers will present a wine education program before the dinner in each city. In Houston, the brilliant David Keck will show his magic, Dallas guests will be awed by Jason Hisaw, and Austin will be treated to a spectacular session with the brilliant June Rodil.

There are only fifty seats available in each city. It will be an amazing experience to eat and drink with these pros in such an intimate setting. Tickets are a bargain for $95.

Diane Dixon and Devon Broglie
Diane Dixon and Devon Broglie

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Deep Eddy Vodka to open new Hill Country distillery & tasting room

Deep Eddy Ruby Red VodkaDeep Eddy Vodka is on a path to nationwide popularity, and the Austin-based company just landed $13 million in financing to continue its growth.

The funding will be used in part to finish a new distillery and tasting room located in the Hill Country near Dripping Springs. The new facility, which is set to start production at the end of this month, will have the capacity to crank out more than two million cases of vodka each year.

A tasting room grand opening is planned in October. The space, which will reflect the Deep Eddy vibe, will feature indoor and outdoor areas to sip vodka cocktails and listen to live music. With this new space, Deep Eddy enters a neighborhood that is quickly becoming a beverage mecca. Jester King Brewery, Argus Cidery, Revolution Spirits distillery and the new Treaty Oak Distillery are all located nearby.

In addition, the investment will let Deep Eddy grow its staff. “We have 58 employees nationwide working at the distillery, in our corporate office in Austin and in marketing and sales,” says Eric Dopkins, CEO. “We need personnel in every state to expand our marketing and awareness of the brand. We plan to add four additional positions, but may add more.”

Deep Eddy is no stranger to growth. Since it was founded in 2010, the company has been growing at a phenomenal pace. “We have had sales north of 250 percent year to date and we expect August to be record breaking,” says Dopkins.

“Every item we make, including the Deep Eddy Sweet Tea, our straight vodka and Ruby Red are all doing well. Our Cranberry-infused vodka that we introduced earlier this year is already the number one selling cranberry flavored vodka and our Ruby Red is the number one selling grapefruit flavored vodka. Our growth is fueled by consumers trying our vodka and telling their friends about it.”

Deep Eddy Vodka has a few more tricks up its sleeve, too. The company will introduce a new flavored vodka by the first of the year and plans to let customers try the new flavor at the distillery’s tasting room before it’s available in stores.

This story was originally published on CultureMap.

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5 favorite holiday cocktails of Austin movers and shakers

Ruby Jule and Coco LectricIn between the office parties, your neighbors’ holiday parties and your friends’ crazy Christmas parties, there are bound to be a few times during the holidays when you find yourself without an invitation for an evening out. That’s no reason to bypass holiday cheer. Five prominent Austinites share recipes for their go-to seasonal drinks to order at a favorite bar or to mix at home.

Booze and Burlesque

Ruby Joule and Coco Lectric, co-founders and headliners of The Jigglewatts Burlesque troupe, keep a busy schedule with performances every Friday at theGibson Lounge in Maggie Mae’s on Sixth Street, at private events, as well as in other singing and acting gigs. They also take the show on the road, with performances in places such as Las Vegas and Montreal, where burlesque is see a high art.

All of that work is paying off for the electric duo, with accolades piling up. Joule, a classically trained ballet dancer, has been named “Crown Princess of Burlesque,” at the New Orleans Burlesque Festival 2013. Lectric, a classically trained dancer, actor and vocalist, has landed the No. 5 spot on the “Burlesque Top 50” list compiled by 21st Century Burlesque Magazine.

It’s not all silky long gloves and twirling tassels. Joule and Lectric like to sip and enjoy an occasional cocktail at home or in quiet bars where they can linger over a conversation. The Gibson Lounge, where they have a Friday-night residency, fits the bill with cozy furniture. “I like the Gibson because the serve all-fresh squeezed juices here,” says Joule.

Her go-to holiday potion is a twist on the Cherry Frost, a combination of black cherry liqueur, brandy and crushed ice, topped off with sparkling white wine that is at home at any Christmas party. Joule says, “The brandy has a warming effect for cold days, the champagne makes it fancy and cherry liqueur gives it that little pizzazz. Of course, it’s gluten-free and vegan.”

Ruby Frost

  • 3 ounces champagne
  • .25 ounce Cherry Herring liqueur
  • .25 ounce brandy

Pour all ingredients together and garnish with a cherry.

Lectric likes to imagine escaping the chill of December to soak in the sun on a tropical island. She says, “I prefer an escapist drink that is light and tart. I like to indulge over the holidays with extra treats, so a crisp drink made with fresh-squeezed lemon juice and tequila hits the spot for me. Besides it’s Paleo friendly and gluten free.”

Coco’s Island Getaway

  • 1.25 ounce Tequila Avión Silver
  • .75 ounce fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • Fill with club soda

Shake and strain over ice and serve in a tumbler with a lemon garnish.

If they fully gave in to the mood of these drinks, Joule and Lectric would dance on stage together inside a dueling duo of oversized margarita glass and champagne tulip with sugared rims. Lectric purrs, “I love Latin dances, and tequila makes everyone want to dance extremely sultry dances with a lot of hips.”

Joule counters, “I would have a lot of rhinestones on in my dance, because I need to sparkle like the champagne. The music would be a dirty, bluesy swing. Underneath the glitter, I like a little grit.”

I’ll drink to that.

Keith KreegerThe Old Fashioned Potter

Keith Kreeger, the creative hands behind the art flowing forth from the Kreeger Pottery studio, is enjoying a rocket ride of success, with his art showing up in such swank restaurants as Pearl & Ash in New York and the ultrahot Qui here in Austin. He’s come a long way from his humble beginnings as a summer-school pottery student at Skidmore College.

Kreeger recalls, “I took one potter class in college and completely fell in love with the process. I was in the studio 14 hours a day and made a ton of ugly pots that I thought were great.”

After completing school, he owned a craft gallery on Cape Cod for a dozen years. The gorgeous Texas weather and his wife’s family’s ties to the state eventually brought him to Austin. “When you marry a Texan, you tacitly agree that someday you, too, will be a Texan,” he says.

It turns out that becoming a Texan is a really good thing for Kreeger.

“Austin has been really good to me,” he says. “I thrive in this creative community. I’ve always had my pottery followers, and I really appreciate those craft lovers. The past couple of years, the trend of people being deeply interested in the origin of their food and wine has carried over into people caring about the kind of plates the food is served on. I’ve been fortunate to be in some good places, and things have grown really well.”

His days at Skidmore in the bitterly cold winters of Saratoga Springs, New York, influenced his taste in cocktails, too. When he was a senior, a professor took him to the cool, grown-up whiskey bar 9 Maple Ave and introduced him to the Old Fashioned. “It felt cool ordering it, because none of the other students were in that dark, mahogany-paneled bar,” said Kreeger. “It became my cocktail. Now I drink it when it gets cold outside.”

Kreeger’s Old Fashioned

  • 1 sugar cube
  • 2 healthy dashes orange bitters
  • 2 dashes Angostura
  • 2 ounces Angel’s Envy  Bourbon

Muddle the sugar cube with the bitters in the bottom of a rocks glass. Stir in one ounce of the bourbon over two big ice cubes until the sugar is dissolved. Add the remaining bourbon and stir with two more ice cubes. Garnish with an orange twist.

Kreeger makes a mean cocktail at home because he is drawn to process of making them, just as he is with cooking and in the studio. He believes in following the right steps to get the right result. He is just as happy to order an Old Fashioned at Whistler’sor Weather Up, as he enjoys the experience, the craft and the process that goes into those places.

Kate Hersch Cocktail Napkin Queen’s Morning Crush

Even if Kate Hersch didn’t display her wry wit on linen cocktail napkins, the twinkle in her eye would reveal the cleverness bubbling under the surface. Hersch, owner of August Morgan, started the company seven years ago by repurposing vintage needle point pillows and selling them at stores like Barneys and One Kings Lane. She is now branching out into other home accessories, such as acrylic trays, blankets and those whimsical napkins.

Like the Sorcerer’s Apprentice trying to find a place to contain all of the water, Hersch uses August Morgan as a place to try to capture her overflowing creativity. She seems to be a never-ending fount of droll cocktail humor splashed across tidy white cloth napkins.

“My inspiration comes when I drink,” muses Hersch. She started creating the cocktail napkins two years ago with four patterns and has been continually adding designs ever since.

For Hersch, the holidays are an excuse to start her inspiration engine early in the day. She said, “My holiday cocktail of choice is a Bloody Mary to start the morning off right. I like them spicy with a lot of olives. I like to keep it local with Deep Eddy VodkaDripping Springs Vodka or Tito’s Vodka.”

To keep things going, there is no reason to mix just one at a time.

August Morgan cocktail napkinsHersch Bloody Mary

  • 12 ounces Deep Eddy Vodka
  • 3 cups tomato juice
  • 2 teaspoons prepared horseradish
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • .5 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1.5 cloves garlic, passed through a garlic press
  • .25 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 ounces freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp. steak sauce
  • 2 tsp. cracked black pepper
  • 2 tsp. celery salt
  • 2 tsp. Tabasco
  • 1 tsp. wasabi
  • 1 tsp. dried ginger powder
  • 1 tsp. soy sauce
  • Several speared olives to garnish

Excluding the vodka and garnishes, marry the ingredients in a blender. Fill a glass pitcher with ice, add the vodka and stir in the tomato mixture. Pour into ice-filled pint glasses, then garnish with a totem pole of olives and a stalk of celery. Makes 10 drinks.

When I asked her what new cocktail napkin design this Bloody Mary would inspire, she barely paused before she quipped, “Do you know those Chinese Crested Dogs? You know the ones that are bald except for a flowing tuft on its head, paws and tail? I’d have a picture of one of those with its paw perched on a tipped over bottle with a caption underneath saying, ‘hair of the dog.’”

I think we may see several new cocktail napkin designs from August Morgan after this holiday season.

Tim League Alamo Movie Mogul’s Midnight Run

Tim League, the founder and CEO of the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, the theater chain known for its indie films, quote-alongs, film festivals and in theater dining, has a deep appreciation for good movies, food and cocktails. When League gets a hankerin’ for holiday hooch, he doesn’t have to go outside the bars in his theaters. However, he prefers to head to Midnight Cowboy, a former brothel turned cozy cocktail lounge that he opened across the street from the Alamo Ritz along with Alamo Drafthouse beverage director Bill Norris and bar manager Brian Dressel.

League would rather head to the Cowboy for a cocktail than go through the machinations on his own. “At home,” he says, “I don’t make too many complicated cocktails.  I usually drink beer or wine. My dad and I built a wine cellar a couple of years ago, so I tend to open a bottle rather than stir a cocktail. I go to Midnight Cowboy regularly for my cocktails. I love their creations, and I can justify regular visits by calling it quality control assurance work.”

For his Christmasy cocktails, League leans toward classic whiskey drinks, such as twists on an Old Fashioned, a Manhattan or a Vieux Carre. “This year, though, I’ve been quite smitten with a riff on the Vieux Carre that is built with rum instead of whiskey,” he says. “They [the crew at Midnight Cowboy] call it the Navesink Towers, named after the Navesink Lighthouses in New Jersey, home of Laird’s Distillery, the producers of the Bonded Apple Brandy in the drink. Javier and Brian from Midnight Cowboy perfected the drink, and it has become my 2013 favorite holiday cocktail.”

The Navesink Towers

  • .75 ounce Laird’s Bonded Apple Brandy
  • .75 ounce Smith and Cross Navy-Strength Rum
  • .75 ounce Cocchi Americano
  • .25 ounce Apfelkorn
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 2 dashes Josh Loving’s 5-spice bitters

Stirred and served over a large ice cube in an old fashioned glass and garnished with an orange twist.

When asked which film he would to watch to pair his holiday drink, League replied, “The Vieux Carre is a New Orleans cocktail, so if I were to watch a movie while sipping a Navesink Towers, I would have to go with the greatest New Orleans film of all time: Werner Herzog’s Bad Lieutenant.” Damn, that’s a good choice.

Whether you head to your favorite bar or make these drinks at home, these Christmas cocktails are sure to make your eyes twinkle and your cheeks rosy.

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Deep Eddy Ruby Red Vodka is a Perfect Drink for Spring Break

Deep Eddy Ruby Red VodkaThe good folks at Deep Eddy Vodka blitzed SXSW parties with their new concoctions, Deep Eddy Ruby Red Vodka. It was raising rosy cheeks and cheerful grins all over Austin with its fresh kick. Their latest flavored vodka was all the buzz.

Lucky for me, I came home after a night of sipping Ruby Red at South By parties to find two liter bottles of the glorious elixir had been dropped off at my house by a sweet Deep Eddy employee (no, not one of their hot  Bettys). Perfect timing! Beautiful Wife and I were headed out of town for a little spring break getaway on a quite Texas lake. We couldn’t ask for a better companion to take along.

Deep Eddy Ruby Red is made with the same vodka distilled 10 times in a state of the art column still in north Austin. They then blend in real grapefruit juice to give it a tart zip, a slight sweetness, a thick, silky texture and an alluring pink color. It smells just like a freshly cut grapefruit. Well, a grapefruit that’s been drinkin’. The juice drops the alcohol down to 70 proof, but it still warms you up goin’ down if you sip it straight.

One look at the label, and its clear how this bottle needs to be treated. That sassy pin-up girl dipping her toe in the water with the phrase “Dive in” floating over her head says it all for me. Beautiful Wife and I hauled the bottle to the dock on the lake to do as we were told.

If you are a purist, you can make your own version of a Vodka Greyhound just by pouring Deep Eddy Rub Red on ice. We went for an adaptation of the classic cocktail, Lace Panties, by pouring half a glass of Ruby Red over a few hunks of ice and topping it with a quarter measure of Topo Chico Agua Mineral. We forgot to bring a lime with us, so we garnished it with a gentle Texas breeze and a satisfied smile.

If you are the cocktail type, try Ruby Red in a Grapefruit Gimlet.

  • 1/4 cup Deep Eddy Ruby Red Vodka
  • 1/4 cup Deep Eddy straight vodka
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons Simple Syrup
  • Ice cubes
  • 2 lime slices

Place first four  ingredients in cocktail shaker; fill with ice. Cover and shake the hell out of it for a bit. Strain into two Martini glasses and garnish with lime slices.

Deep Eddy Ruby Red Vodka will hit store shelves on April 1, 2013. You can find it in any of the fine restaurants, bars and stores that sell the other Deep Eddy products.

What are you waiting for? Dive in!

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Deep Eddy Vodka provided samples of this product at no cost with no expectation for a story. 

Thanksgiving cocktails with Dripping Springs Texas Orange

ach Thanksgiving we stuff ourselves with fantastic beer in preparation for the big rivalry game, The University of Texas vs. Texas A&M. Each year we get so full of beer and fried-gooey-crunchy snacks we find it too difficult to jump off of the couch to yell at the TV. This year, why not try a light, refreshing cocktail while watching the game to avoid that over-stuffed feeling.

Never fear, Gary Kelleher, the man behind Dripping Springs Vodka, has introduced a new specialty spirit just for Texans and just in time for Thanksgiving: Dripping Springs Texas Orange Vodka.  To make this flavored vodka, Dripping Springs selected Segovia oranges from the Rio Grande Valley. Gary says, “These are the best oranges around. They have deeper, orange-ier flavor. We wanted to capture the flavor of the Valley as if you had poured Dripping Springs Vodka straight over a fresh Rio Grande Orange.”

This new flavored vodka starts off with the same 20 times micro-distillation process is that Dripping Springs Vodka goes through. Then they zest the oranges, hand select the very best bits of zest and steep it like a cup of tea in the vodka in a 100 percent copper pot still. It then goes through 20 more micro-distillations to give it clean, pure flavor.  Its 100% Texan and 100% fresh with nothing artificial and no additives.

Not everything in Texas is big. This specialty vodka is made in 50 gallon batches, which are the smallest commercial batches in the world. Dripping Springs has 10 little stills running all day and all night. For this limited edition first run, they produced only 1,000 cases. That’s not a heck of a lot to keep thirsty Texas football fans happy, so they better start making more in a hurry.

The challenge with that is that Rio Grande Oranges aren’t available year round.  Dripping Springs bought all the oranges they could, made the first batch and then oranges went out of season. The oranges are just now coming back into season, so we may not run into any unseemly shortages.

Time for some recipes. Gary likes to drink his new Texas Orange chilled with a little Topo Chico Agua Mineral. The slightly sweet vodka goes well with the crisp mineral water. When he’s kickin’ back for game time, he has another favorite recipe.

Burnt Orange (Gary Kelleher’s original recipe)

  • 1 ½ ounces Dripping Springs Texas Orange
  • ¾ ounce Aperol
  • ¾ ounce Lillet Blanc
  • 1 ounce orange juice
  • 1 ounce tonic water

Pour all ingredients in a tall iced glass and stir.

Garnish with an orange twist and serve.

Hook ‘em!

For the fans that prefer a shade of maroon, try a Texas twist on the Sea Breeze.

Texas A&M Breeze

Combine the ingredients in a cocktail shaker and shake it like an offensive lineman.

Serve in in a large wine goblet with ice.

Garnish with a slice of orange, and serve.

At the end of the game, why not celebrate your team’s victory with a little bubbly?

French Orange Martini

  • 1 ½ ounces Dripping Springs Texas Orange
  • 1 ½ ounces St. Germain liqueur
  • Champagne
  • super-fine sugar for rimming

Rim a martini glass with confectioner sugar.

Shake liquors in a cocktail shaker filled with ice.

Strain into the prepared martini glass.

Top with Champagne.

The Thanksgiving weekend isn’t just all about football. Let’s not forget the shopping extravaganza the next day. Bargain hunting can be every bit as stressful as a fourth-and-goal. Here’s a little shopper’s helper to get you through.

The Black Friday

  • 2 ounces Dripping Springs Texas Orange
  • 1 ½ ounces creme de cacao, white
  • Hershey Kiss for garnish
  • powdered cocoa for rimming

Pour the ingredients into a shaker with ice cubes.

Shake vigorously.

Strain into a chilled cocktail glass rimmed with cocoa.

I tried it chilled, straight up in a stone-cold martini glass to experience the unadulterated flavor.

Look Crystal clear with enough heft to cling to the glass like a hungry lover.
Smell Gentle scent of orange blossom, glycerin and slate.
Taste This is a lazy summer afternoon in bottle. The orange is bright, mildly sweet and slightly tart without being overpowering. It balances well with vanilla and wood flavors and is present from the first sip all the way through the long, silky finish.
Price $16

 

Dripping Springs Texas Orange was recently released and is available in like Twin Liquors and Specs in Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth and Houston. I found my bottle at Twin Liquors. Dripping Springs plans to distribute the orange sunshine statewide in the future.

This may be the last Thanksgiving for the storied University of Texas vs. Texas A&M rivalry. We man need new cocktails for a new rivalry next season. We’re in luck. Dripping Springs Texas Orange was born out of playful experimentation. According to Gary, the best part of having Dripping Springs Vodka is indulging in his passion of trying different recipes and different flavors. They may come out with other Texas seasonal fruits like Ruby Red Grapefruit and Fredericksburg Peaches. Do we need something purple for a Horn Frogs rivalry game? I’ll be on the watch for it.

This article also appears on CultureMap Austin.

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Dress Up, Dress Down: Savvy Vodka and Deep Eddy Sweet Tea Vodka

Austin, Texas knows how to live graciously with refined, yet unpretentious style. It also knows how to live easy in shorts and flip flops poolside or by the lakes. Austinites feel right at home lounging on a rough-hewn dock and mingling in cocktail attire at an art opening in the same day. Fortunately we have home-grown vodkas that suite both of those moods: Savvy Vodka and Deep Eddy Sweet Tea Vodka.

For those nights when you feel sophisticated and want a drink to match, Savvy Vodka fits the bill. When you’re feeling down home, Deep Eddy Sweet Tea Vodka is as comfortable as a worn pair of cut-offs.

To learn a little bit more about both of these spirits I visited an unassuming building in North Austin which houses the distillery of both vodkas. Chad Auler, founder and CEO, gave me the low-down on the operations. Like Auler, a sixth-generation Texan, both vodkas are Texan through-and-through.

Savvy Vodka

The Savvy Vodka recipe calls for local ingredients, including high quality corn from south Texas and water from central Texas. In developing the recipe, the Savvy team tested multiple ingredients. You might think that the son of the founders of one of Texas’ oldest wineries, Fall Creek Vineyards, would go with grapes. Nope. Auler finds grape vodka to be a little more astringent and potato a little thicker than he prefers. He chose corn because it imparts a hint of sweetness on the nose. The Savvy team was shooting for a flavor profile that was balanced, smooth, slightly sweet and creamy.

According to Auler, there are three things that make great vodka:

  1. The distillation process
  2. Proper filtration
  3. Quality water

There are two types of distillation – column and pot. Vodka goes through multiple rounds of distillation and each round removes more impurities. Pot distillation is the original method, used for hundreds of years and is still used by boutique distilleries and large operations alike. With pot distillation, the distillate has to go in and out for one distillation and then repeated. In a column, the distillate is circulated continually. The column holds an exact temperature to keep it right at boiling point of ethyl alcohol which allows the bad alcohols to cook off while preserving the good stuff.

Auler found a renowned still maker out of Kentucky who steered him toward a custom designed column still to get the best quality. The continuous distillation allows for the vodka to be distilled the equivalent of 20 times or more in a single run. It’s not only efficient in distillation, but it’s also environmentally efficient. To cool the vodka as it vaporizes, keeping the cycle going, Savvy continually cycles 2,000 gallons of cold water. The recirculating water is used for up to a year, saving thousands and thousands of gallons. Not only that, but the still itself uses a fraction of the energy of a pot still. Savvy and conscientious.

Next comes the filtration. Savvy Vodka is filtered six times over activated charcoal to remove any remaining impurities. The aim is to produce the smoothest vodka possible.

Water is essential to vodka, because the multiple distillations give it higher alcohol content than desired. In fact, the Savvy Vodka comes off the still at an eye watering 190 proof. They diluted that hooch to a palatable 80 proof using, what Auler describes, the best water in Texas. The water comes from aquifer on the Fall Creek property owned by his family. They have run independent tests conducted by the Lower Colorado River Authority and the University of Texas to validate its purity.

Here is Chad describing the water’s source.  

 [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j9o3KWY9Phs[/youtube]

Auler is typically a martini drinker, but on hot summer days when friends invade his back yard he makes what he calls a Daryl Royal.  He mixes Savvy Vodka with Topo Chico and a splash of grape juice and a squeeze of fresh lime. It’s a refreshing outdoor drink with a touch of sweetness without being over bearing. His drink recipes and job in the beverage business obviously make him a magnet for visitors. He claims he hasn’t run out of vodka at home yet, despite his friends’ consumption. That’s because he hasn’t invited me over yet. Yet.

I gave it a try, and I would make a run on his stock. I tasted this straight, slightly chilled in a chilled martini glass to release the aromas. 

Look Crystal clear like fresh water melting from a million year-old iceberg, flowing at its own pace, viscous and silky.
Smell Delicate floral scent, light and clean. 
Taste Silky smooth hint of sweet almond, dough and pepper. It has a smooth lingering finish with a mild bitterness on the end. 
Price $21

 

I gave Beautiful Wife a blind taste of Savvy next to another premium vodka. She winced at the strong taste and heat of the first vodka, describing it as harsh and overly peppery. She smiled slightly at the second one and described it as smooth, thicker, less peppery and even kinda sweet. She preferred the second glass, the Savvy vodka. There’s more to her than beauty.

Deep Eddy Sweet Tea Vodka

Sweet iced tea is ridiculously popular in Texas. It’s not a stretch for it to be mixed with alcohol to make a fun libation. Deep Eddy Sweet Tea Vodka was born a bit more than a year ago when Auler decided to formalize a joint marketing relationship Savvy had with Sweat Leaf Tea, mixing a fun cocktail known as the Sweet and Savvy. Auler met with Clayton Christopher, the founder of Sweat Leaf Tea, realized they have the same strict outlook on making a quality product. The two decided to partner and launch a new product named for a favorite spring-fed swimming pool.

Like Savvy, Deep Eddy uses local corn, water and local honey from Good Flow Honey. It’s not completely local, but it’s all natural 100% pure cane sugar. The black tea is brewed from whole Indonesian tea leaves. Chad and Clayton tested hundreds of tea leaves and made a selection of a very classic tea that had exactly the taste profile they were looking for. 

I think they hit the mark. I tasted this over a few cubes of ice in a rocks glass. Just the way I’d drink it on a hot summer day.

Look Deep caramel brown with a weighty viscosity forming long tears on the side of the glass.
Smell It smells exactly like Grandma’s fresh brewed tea with a hint of honey. Perfect for sipping pool side on a hot summer day.
Taste The approach is all black tea and honey. The mineral backbone of the vodka sneaks in with a hint of heat that lingers with the sweet honey finish. It’s as bracing as the first dive into the cold spring fed waters of Deep Eddy pool in Austin. 
Price $16

 

Between Savvy and Deep Eddy, the still is cranking out around 35,000 to 40,000 cases this year. Right now the two brands are available only in Texas, but that could change in the future. You can find both at your favorite bars, restaurants and shops throughout the state.

My friends who live outside of Texas, keep your eyes peeled for these vodkas to creep over the border. Friends in Texas, you know what I’m talkin about. Whether you are ready to dress up or dress down, you’re covered. Go get ya some.

What are you drinking?