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.  

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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Deep Eddy Vodka and Absolut unveil tasty new flavors with Texas roots

Deep Eddy Cranberry VodkaNew flavored vodkas from Deep Eddy Vodka and Absolut are hitting Texas shelves this month, just in time for spring break madness. And both are riding the wave of growing demand for flavored vodka with local roots.

While vodka remains at the top of the heap for sales of alcohol — commanding 34 percent of all liquor sales — its sales are relatively flat. There are, however, two bright spots for vodka sales: small brands and flavored vodkas.

Craft is where it’s at. The Distilled Spirits Council says that in 2001 there were 24 craft distilleries in the U.S., but by 2013 the number ballooned to 434 small distilleries in operation. The small producers are growing at a faster rate than the big boys. In fact, Texas favorite, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, was one of the industry’s fastest growing brands according to industry analysts Impact Databank.

Flavored spirits are growing 10 times faster than total spirits according to the Beverage Information Group and make up 26 percent of all vodka sales. There are hundreds of flavors of vodka. Think about it, when you walk into a bar it’s not uncommon to see shelves lined with Cherry, Citrus, Mango, Cranberry, Apple, Coffee, Pineapple, Strawberry, Vanilla and even Marshmallow vodka among countless others.

Deep Eddy Vodka introduces Cranberry

Local vodka maker Deep Eddy knows a good thing when it sees one in the booming trend of flavored vodkas. Almost a year after introducing its wildly popular Deep Eddy Ruby Red Vodka, the folks at Deep Eddy have launched the brand’s third flavored vodka, a cranberry vodka released in February.

“The growth that Deep Eddy Vodka has seen over the last four and a half years has been truly amazing.  We have grown the brand over 200 percent a year since we started in 2010, and we continue to see strong growth on our straight vodka and each of our flavors.  We attribute this growth to offering a truly differentiated product that has created a new category within the space.  Our focus on real ingredients – real tea, honey, fruit – has been the recipe to our success, and we followed the recipe again with the new cranberry flavor that we launched this month,” said Chad Auler, co-founder of Deep Eddy Vodka.

The new cranberry-infused vodka starts off its life the same way as all of Deep Eddy’s vodkas, by being distilled 10 times and charcoal filtered four times. It is then flavored with cane sugar and New England-grown, non-GMO cranberries. It finishes its life the same way as all of its vodkas, too: in my belly.

Sipped straight, it bursts with sweet cranberry with raspberry undertones. It’s just sweet enough to mask the slight warmth of the 70 proof alcohol as it eases back. Deep Eddy suggests that it mixes well with beer or Champagne. It’s delightful served with sparkling water and a twist of lime. Try this recipe:

Deep Eddy Cranberry Breeze  

  • 2 oz Deep Eddy Cranberry Vodka

  • 2 oz club soda or sparkling water

  • 1 oz grapefruit juice

Pour ingredients into cocktail glass filled with ice. Stir. Garnish with a slice of lime.

Abolut Texas Limited Edition VodkaAbsolut Texas Limited Edition goes for local appeal 

Similar to Deep Eddy Vodka, Absolut is taking aim at both the flavored and “drink local” markets, with the release of Absolut Texas, the eighth addition to its Limited Editions portfolio.

The Limited Edition series introduces specially designed bottles and flavors to appeal to specific audiences, like Absolut Karnival celebrating the Brazilian party, Absolut Colors with a rainbow pride flag celebrating equality, and a few city specific editions for Brooklyn, Chicago and London to bring local relevance to a global brand. The Texas edition is the first state-specific product.

Absolut Texas is packaged in a boldly attractive bottle, with artwork was created by San Antonio-based contemporary artist Cruz Ortiz. It features a stylized cowboy boot kickin’ it up with a Texas star. Some are skeptical that putting Swedish-made vodka into a Texas-themed bottle is enough to convince savvy Texas consumers to buy it. There is an old Texas saying, “It don’t take a genius to spot a goat in a flock of sheep.”

Mark Shilling, CEO of Austin-based Revolution Spirits isn’t impressed with the Absolut gambit. “I’m all for cool packaging and marketing, etc., but this just seems overly gimmicky to me. Kind of like the Six Flags version or something,” he said. “If you’re gonna try to sell vodka in Texas with a boot, at least stick it in a pair of Luccheses.”

One Texas-based craft distiller who chose to remain anonymous sees the Absolut marketing ploy as the company’s attempt to capitalize on the success of small, local distillers. He confided, “This is Pernod Ricard’s [parent company of Absolut] attack on craft distilling in Texas. It is reminiscent of Anheuser-Busch coming out with Ziegenbock to try to take a piece of Shiner Bock. It likely won’t be the last attack by corporate raiders against the craft industry. The product is so-so. Not terrible.  [It tastes like they used a] decent quality chemical additive pumped into Absolut.”

Marketing approach and packaging aside, Absolut Texas features a unique cucumber and Serrano chili pepper flavor recipe is “inspired by Southwestern cuisine.” Yes, Serrano is a Southwestern flavor, but cucumber? Regardless of its authenticity, it tastes pretty damn good.

Sipped straight, it tastes like a spring drink lush with cucumber, with an ever-so-slight tingle coming from the chili pepper. It’s delightful with nothing but a chill, yet it begs to be mixed in a cocktail. Absolut Texas would be a fantastic base for a Bloody Mary, however it mixes well with several other ingredients like cranberry, pineapple and citrus. Absolut recommends this recipe:

Absolut Tejano

  • 2 parts Absolut Texas

  • 3 parts grapefruit soda

Build over ice in a highball glass, garnish with a lime wedge and a chili-salt rim.

Whether you want to really drink local or drink a locally themed drink, these are two tasty flavored vodkas worth a try. Deep Eddy Cranberry Vodka sells for $19 and Absolut Texas goes for $20. Both are available at Urban Wine + Liquor in downtown Austin.

An abbreviated version of this story first ran on CultureMap.

Disclosure: Samples were provided by both Deep Eddy Vodka and Absolut.

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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. 

Texas-flavored Bloody Mary recipes for your Sunday Funday

The perfect Bloody MaryThere are billions of reasons for day drinking on a Sunday: you need a little hair of the dog, your NFL team is winning, you’re thirsty in church, it’s the holidays and you have a house full of family drama, to name a few. And there is no better concoction for a Sunday Funday than a Bloody Mary. Brunch says to it, “You complete me.”

We owe a debt of gratitude to the French for our pervasive Sunday elixir. Legend has it that the Bloody Mary was created by Fernand “Pete” Petiot at Harry’s New York Bar in Paris in the early 1920s and after the end of that ghastly period known as Prohibition, he imported his basic recipe to the King Cole Bar in New York.

Over the years the Bloody Mary has taken on a myriad of styles while staying true to its core ingredients. The basic backbone of a bloody — vodka and tomato juice — gives it an ideal frame for an immeasurable variety of spices and garnishes to customize it to suit your mood.

Recently I stumbled across a wonderful book by Judy Bennett, Bloody Marys: Sanguine Solutions for a Slew of Situations, that has dozens of scrumptious recipes to fit any reason you have for drinking a cocktail. In her book, Bennett mixes wit and wisdom as deftly as she mixes booze and bitters. It’s full of clever anecdotes to accompany each recipe.

As a food and drink writer, I felt it was my duty to work my way through the book, finding the recipes I like best for conjuring a mid-day haze on a lazy afternoon. We are fortunate to have several excellent hand-crafted vodkas made right here in Texas like newcomers 1876 Vodka and Starlite Vodka from Treaty Oak Distilling Co.; and stalwarts like Deep Eddy VodkaDripping Springs VodkaSavvy Vodka and Tito’s Handmade Vodka. I substituted all of the recommended vodkas in Bennett’s book Texas vodka to give them a local flair. Give these a try.

Bloody Mary made with Texas Vodka

Go Packers
This is the official tailgate recipe of the Green Bay Packers, but you can make it suitable for a Longhorns, Cowboys or Texans game by mixing it with local Deep Eddy Vodka.

  • Generous amounts of Worcestershire sauce, 4-5 dashes
  • 3 drops Tabasco sauce, or to taste
  • 3 dashes celery salt
  • Juice from 1 lemon wedge
  • 2 fingers Deep Eddy Vodka
  • 2-3 fingers tomato juice
  • Dill pickle spear, to serve (optional)
  • Garlic-stuffed green olives, to serve (optional)
  • Pepperoncini, to serve (optional)

Add ice to a 12-ounce plastic cup and set aside. Put the first four ingredients in a second plastic cup and add the vodka and tomato juice. Pour the mixture into the first cup, then pour everything back into the second cup. Keep pouring back and forth until it is well blended. Squeeze a little lemon, garnish and serve.

My Kids Found My “Private Drawer”
For those times you just want to forget what just happened, try this tangy and spicy Mary.

  • 1 shot Dripping Springs Texas Orange Vodka
  • 1 shot sake
  • 1 tsp. wasabi
  • 6 ounces tomato juice
  • 1 tsp. dried ginger powder
  • 1 tsp. soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. lime juice
  • Fresh cilantro to serve

Shake and strain all the ingredients (except the cilantro) into a Collins glass with ice. Garnish with cilantro and drink way the memory of what just happened.

This is My First Really Healthy Relationship
When your heart is going pitter patter for someone special, here is a classic recipe for two.

  •  Several dashes salt and black pepper
  • 1 jigger Starlite Vodka
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 2 tsp. lemon pepper
  • 1 tsp. horseradish
  • 2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 8 ounces high-quality tomato juice
  • 1 fresh lemon, cut in wedges, to serve
  • Several pickled asparagus spears, to serve

Rim two Old Fashioned glasses with the salt and pepper in equal measure. Combine the remaining ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Strain and pour over ice in the prepared glasses and garnish with lemon wedges and asparagus.

The Way to a Man’s Heart is Through His Stomach, But That’s Not Where I’m Headed
When you’ve conquered the early phases of romance and are ready for the power of time tested aphrodisiacs for a real Sunday Funday, this recipe is for you.

  • 46 ounce bottle of tomato juice
  • 1 garlic clove
  •  ½ avocado
  • ¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 ounces lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp. steak sauce
  • 2 tsp. cracked black pepper
  • 2 tsp. celery salt
  • 2 tsp. hot sauce
  • 1 tsp. horseradish
  • 1 750ml bottle of 1876 Vodka

Excluding the vodka and garnishes, whirl the ingredients together in a blender. Fill pint glasses with ice and 2 shots of vodka each. Top with the tomato mixture, then garnish with an asparagus spear and a stalk of celery.

Whether you are looking for a Bloody suitable for Queen Mary or for something appropriate for a Roman circus, there is a recipe for you in Bennett’s Bloody Mary bible. I know which one I’m mixing next.

Samples were provided by 1876, Deep Eddy Vodka, Savvy Vodka, Starlite Vodka and Tito’s. I still have some left if you want to come over and mix up a few more batches with me. Cheers!

This story was originally published on CultureMap

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W Austin breaks out the old school jams in the Living Room to introduce autumn cocktail menu

There is nothing like the warm hiss and pop of vinyl  just before the song starts to put you in a nostalgic mood to hear some of your favorite tunes. The W Hotel Austin is busting open its album vault to spin new and old songs in the Living Room lounge with Spin/Spun, a weekly jam happening every Tuesday night. Tonight, Tuesday, October 23 at 7:00 kicks off the first set with the introduction of the fall cocktail menu.

The W’s top mixer, er libationist, Joyce Garrison says, “The fall menu is a fusion of cocktails that we are really passionate about. I wanted to feature fresh, seasonal ingredients combined with unexpected flavors that would allow guests to try new drinks and still come back for their favorites.”

Some of the cocktails the cocktails available in the W Hotel Living Room include:

  • bluegrass: Dripping Springs vodka, blueberry, mint, lime
  • new york, I love you: Maker’s Mark bourbon, cinnamon, Noilly Prat sweet vermouth
  • tailgate: Deep Eddy vodka, egg whites, blood orange bitters, Paula’s Texas Orange
  • r & r: Cruzan Aged Rum infused with Rooibos tea, peppadew, pineapple
  • brothers quarrel: Buffalo Trace whiskey, St Germain elderflower liquor, Canton ginger liquor, Laphroaig 10yr scotch, burnt lemon
  • last word: Tanqurey gin, green chartreuse, Luxardo marachino liquor, lime juice
  • midnight in valencia: Cinco vodka, Patron coco, ancho chili, orange

Your job will be to pair the perfect cocktail with your favorite tunes from the Pixies, Smashing Pumpkins, BB King, or The Black Keys.

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AUSTIN IS THE 4TH DRUNKEST CITY

The Daily Beast ranked the 40 drunkest cities in the U.S. and my lovely city, Austin, ranks #4. I’ll drink to that! Austinites drink 13.77 alcoholic drinks per month, which is actually more than the top three cities. I guess its not hard to imagine that this is a boozy city with the large population of college students, the abundance of good bars and the fine distillers like Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Deep Eddy Vodka, Republic Tequila, Dripping Springs Vodka, Treaty Oak Rum, Savvy Vodka and Graham’s Texas Tea. Who did I miss?

How many drinks do you drink in a month?