When you tell people you have a spirit business, you often then get some great tales from people about the best gin, rum or whiskey they’ve had. Last week, we had one such conversation with a super interesting American fellow now living in NW of England. The conversation caught our interest so much we had to learn more as it was all about Texas and a bourbon he loves called Alamo from that state. Yes, a bourbon from outside of Tennessee.
Lone Star State
Texas, you may or may not know, has a fascinating history. You may have noticed it is the only state flag to have a star, as it was once an independent country before becoming a state within the United States. Here's a brief overview of the story of the Republic of Texas:
In the early 19th century, Texas was a part of Mexico, which had gained independence from Spain. Mexico encouraged American settlers to migrate to Texas, hoping they would help develop the sparsely populated region. However, tensions soon arose between the Mexican government and the American settlers, primarily due to cultural differences and disagreements over issues such as slavery and local governance.
In 1835, these tensions escalated into armed conflict, known as the Texas Revolution, as the Texian (American) settlers fought for independence from Mexico.
The Battle of Alamo
The Battle of the Alamo was a key event during the Texas Revolution. It took place in early months of 1836 at the Alamo mission in San Antonio, Texas. The battle occurred between Texan rebels, seeking independence from Mexico, and Mexican forces led by General Santa Anna. The Texan rebels, including famous figures like Davy Crockett and Jim Bowie, defended the Alamo against overwhelming odds (they were outnumbered by 6000 to 200) but ultimately lost the battle.
The revolution culminated in the decisive Battle of San Jacinto on April 21, 1836, where Texian forces, led by General Sam Houston, defeated the Mexican army commanded by General Antonio López de Santa Anna.
The Texians Sam Houston became the first president of the new republic. However, Mexico refused to recognize Texas's independence and considered it a rebellious province.
The Republic of Texas existed for nearly a decade, during which it faced numerous challenges, including financial difficulties, border disputes with Mexico, and struggles with Native American tribes. Efforts were made to establish diplomatic relations with other countries, particularly the United States, Britain, and France, to gain recognition and support.
Finally, on December 29, 1845, the United States annexed Texas, and it became the 28th state of the Union. However, the annexation of Texas played a significant role in escalating tensions between the United States and Mexico, leading to the Mexican-American War in 1846.
Today, Texas proudly embraces its unique history as a former independent nation. The Lone Star flag, which was the flag of the Republic of Texas, symbolizes the state's proud heritage. The period of Texas's independence is still celebrated and remembered as a crucial chapter in its rich and diverse history.
Texas is known for its unique and diverse drink culture, with a variety of famous drinks that represent the state's rich history and flavours. Here are a few examples:
Margarita: Texas is often credited as the birthplace of the margarita, a refreshing cocktail made with tequila, lime juice, and orange liqueur. There are many variations, including frozen or on the rocks, and flavoured options like strawberry or mango.
Lone Star Beer: Lone Star Beer is a popular Texas beer brand that has become synonymous with the state. It is a light lager that has been brewed in Texas since 1884 and is often enjoyed at barbecues, rodeos, and other Texas gatherings.
Shiner Bock: Shiner Bock is another well-known Texas beer brand produced by the Spoetzl Brewery in Shiner, Texas. It is a dark lager with a rich, malty flavour that has gained a loyal following both in Texas and beyond.
Texas Tea: Texas Tea, also known as a Long Island Iced Tea, is a strong mixed drink that combines vodka, rum, tequila, gin, triple sec, lemon juice, and cola. Despite its name, it does not actually contain tea but is famous for its potency.
Ranch Water: Ranch Water is a popular cocktail in Texas, especially in the West Texas area. It is made with tequila, lime juice, and Topo Chico, a sparkling mineral water that originated in Mexico. It is a refreshing and light drink perfect for hot Texas summers.
Big Red and Crown Royal: This combination of Big Red, a sweet and creamy soda, and Crown Royal whiskey is a popular mixed drink in Texas. The unique blend of flavours has gained a cult following in the state.
Alamo Distilling Co., which is located in San Antonio, Texas, near the historic site of the Alamo mission was inspired by the Battle of Alamo. The creators of Alamo Distillery aim to pay tribute to the rich history and culture of Texas by incorporating elements of the Battle of the Alamo into their branding and marketing. They offer a range of spirits, including aged rums and flavoured variations. Alamo products are known for their high-quality production process and distinctive flavours.
In terms of bourbons, the state has seen a growing craft distillery movement in recent years, and many of these distilleries are producing their own unique bourbons. Some other notable bourbons from Texas include:
Balcones Texas Single Malt Whisky: While not a traditional bourbon, Balcones distillery in Waco, Texas produces a range of award-winning whiskies, including their Texas Single Malt. It is made with malted barley and aged in oak barrels, resulting in a rich and complex flavour profile.
Garrison Brothers: Located in Hye, Texas, Garrison Brothers distillery is known for its Texas Straight Bourbon Whiskey. They use a traditional corn, wheat, and malted barley mash bill and age their bourbon for a minimum of two years, resulting in a bold and flavourful spirit.
Treaty Oak Distilling: Based in Dripping Springs, Texas, Treaty Oak Distilling produces a variety of spirits, including bourbon. Their Ghost Hill Texas Bourbon is made from a blend of corn, wheat, barley, and rye, and aged for at least two years. It offers a smooth and well-rounded flavour profile.
Ranger Creek: Ranger Creek Brewing & Distilling, located in San Antonio, Texas, produces a small batch bourbon called Ranger Creek .36 Texas Bourbon. It is made using a traditional corn, rye, and malted barley mash bill and aged in new charred oak barrels. The result is a balanced and robust bourbon.
To see our hampers and gifts including some of the ingredients discussed here, please visit our bourbon product pages.
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