Dulce Vida is for the most discerning of tequila drinkers: The company produces the world’s only 100 percent organic tequila in small batches, and they’ve won numerous awards for their efforts, including accolades from the San Francisco World Spirits Competition, New York International Spirit Competition, and tequila.net, among others. While the company headquarters is here in Austin, the agave they use comes from Los Altos, Mexico, and is produced in a facility that values sustainability. And you’d better believe it’s manly—it’s 100-proof, versus the usual 80-proof.
Each bottle of Balcones Distillery whisky is assigned a handwritten batch number, and the wax seals are individually stamped. While all of their whiskies are top quality, the Texas single malt is racking up awards, including for Best World Whisky of the Year from the Wizards of Whisky Awards.
Dripping Springs Vodka has seen a huge upsurge in popularity in the past few years—and with good reason. Made from non-GMO corn and Hill Country artesian spring water, the vodka is micro-distilled in small batches over 20 times in the company’s proprietary, handmade stills, then filtered through activated carbon to create a smooth, easy-to-drink spirit. They were awarded Best in Class at the International Wine and Spirits Competition, as well as given the Vodka Purity Trophy.
Longtime Austinites know the story of Treaty Oak Distilling’s namesake, the original Treaty Oak, under which Stephen F. Austin signed a treaty with Native American tribes. The tree was poisoned in 1989 but ended up surviving against the odds, and the distilling company has done pretty well, too. They will open a new 8,000-square-foot distillery in Dripping Springs at the end of the year, and their founder, Daniel Barnes, was named 2014 Distiller of the Year by MicroLiquor.
Nothing says Texas like Hill Country whiskey made with limestone-filtered water from the Trinity Aquifer, aged in charred oak barrels. Almost all of the ingredients in Rebecca Creek’s whiskeys come from local farms and their barley grains are recycled as food for livestock. The company crafts their whiskey in a 3,000-liter copper still that was handcrafted in Germany, and if you can make it to San Antonio, the distillery itself is worth a visit.
PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF DULCE VIDA ORGANIC TEQUILA – AUSTIN, TEXAS