(Courtesy JEM Beverage Co.)
The "eat-local" movement has been wildly successful, but until recently drinking local has been restricted to microbrews. There’s a new happy hour upon us, however, with the dawn of North Texas' intoxicating, craft-distillery boom.
In Lewisville, Witherspoon Distillery is busy bottling Witherspoon’s Texas Straight Bourbon Whiskey and Witherspoon’s River Rum for its rapidly growing fan base. Both can be purchased during one of four guided tours of the distillery each Saturday or at several area liquor stores.
Texas Silver Star Whiskey offers both a smooth spirit whiskey and a sweet whiskey liqueur called Texas Honey, which uses Round Rock Honey from the Texas Hill Country. Along with Herman Marshall small batch whiskeys (Texas Bourbon, Texas Rye and Texas Single Malt) both these companies’ brands have become mainstays at Dallas-Fort Worth bars and restaurants, as well as dozens of liquor stores.
Perhaps the most prolific in the area, JEM Beverage Co. in Carrollton is home to five small-batch spirits. Southern Son Handcrafted Southern Vodka, Red River Texas Bourbon Whiskey, Western Son Handcrafted Texas Vodka, South House Southern Moonshine and Stingray Spiced Rum offer plenty of variety in their purest forms, but the vodkas and moonshines are each also available with three different fruity infusions. Tours are available on a limited basis and many varieties can be purchased at local liquor stores.
Meanwhile, Firestone & Robertson Distilling Co. in Fort Worth is bringing Lone Star ingredients such as yellow dent Texas corn, Texas soft red winter wheat and yeast derived from Texas pecans to its Straight Bourbon Whiskey and TX Blended Whiskey. On select Saturdays, visitors can take a guided tour ($15) and get a taste of these local whiskeys, also available at many liquor stores around town.