The best way to while away Austin’s summer months is with good friends, good food and an outstanding beverage in your hand. From handcrafted whiskey, vodka, tequila, beer and Texas wines to the bars, restaurants and tasting rooms just waiting for you to enjoy them, our summer drinks guide has got you covered. Cheers to summer and bon appétit!
The Wine Proprietor: Ron Yates
Owner & President of Ron Yates Wines
“I’ve been in the wine business in Texas for 10 years and my family’s farmed and ranched in Texas for eight generations. Our Spicewood Vineyards has won numerous awards and I’m happy to say that even though my new vineyard, Ron Yates Wines, has only been open a few months, our 2014 Texas High Plains Tempranillo has already won a Double Gold Medal at the prestigious San Francisco International Wine Competition. This Tempranillo is laced with lush cherries and earthy spice on the palate, accompanied by aromatics of red plums and blueberries. I love sharing our wines with people who don’t believe Texas can produce world-class wines – it’s wonderful to change their minds! Customers frequently remark on how balanced our wines are, and talk about the pride every member of our staff exudes when hosting guests on the property.”
The Chef: Bryan Gillenwater
Owner & Chef at Bryans on 290
“Starting as a Boy Scout, I’ve always loved cooking over an open fire. You could say that live fire cooking is my signature trademark … my Johnson City restaurant really allows me to get back to my roots. We’ve been featured in Texas Monthly, Rock & Vine and Crush, as well as San Antonio newspapers.”
Chef Gillenwater’s Pairing: Wood Grilled Beef Loin with Buttermilk Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Grilled Asparagus and Tomato with Truffled Demi-glaze and Ron Yates Wines High Plains 2014 Tempranillo
“This particularly great Tempranillo pairs well with the smoky beef loin. From its big fruit noses to the mid-palate earthiness and mild tannin finish, this red wine from Ron Yates Wines really enhances the flavor in the beef.”
Photographs by Lindsey Lee
The Whiskey Proprietor: Marsha Milam
Founder of Ben Milam Whiskey
“I’m what you might call a serial entrepreneur; I love creating. I’m especially proud to have had a guiding hand in KGSR’s Unplugged at the Grove, the Austin Film Festival and Chuy’s Christmas Parade. My latest endeavor, Ben Milam Bourbon, just won Double Gold at the prestigious San Francisco World Spirits Competition. With notes of caramelized sugar, cinnamon and oak, our bourbon is a smooth, easy-sipping whiskey best enjoyed neat. When given time to breathe, the nose becomes almost like perfume – beautiful! Personally, I enjoy it on the rocks but, on a hot day (and that’s most days here in Austin), it does make a fine Mint Julep.
The Chef: John Beasly
Executive Chef at Shady Grove
“I studied at the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco. Before joining Shady Grove, I was Raw Bar Chef for McGuire Moorman Hospitality, running the raw bars at Clark’s Oyster Bar and Perla’s. Besides California, I’ve also worked in Kansas City and New York, but I really love cooking for Texans.”
Chef Beasly’s Pairing: Grilled Tri Tip Steak with Ben Milam Bourbon
“We rub the tri tip with an achiote paste and olive oil and then refrigerate it for two days, infusing the steak with flavor. The smooth notes and the hints of caramel and vanilla, wood and smoke in Ben Milam Bourbon really complement the steak’s big, bold flavors. It’s my perfect pairing for what people in Texas love to eat and drink.”
Photographs by Lindsey Lee
The Brewer: Josh Hare
Founder & President of Hops & Grain Brewing
“My days always involve bluegrass, bicycles, beer and an urge to enhance the human experience. Our beer is crafted by some of the finest folks in Central Texas in a way that makes the community and environment better. So you really can feel good about that drink in your hand. I mostly like to enjoy it outside, following a bike ride or trail run – it’s crisp, clean and refreshing and the first one pairs well with the one after it. Plus, the design on the can is pretty cool, so it’s got that going for it, too.”
The Chef: Aaron Franklin
Co-founder & Owner of Franklin Barbecue
“My wife Stacy and I hosted big backyard barbecues for years before we opened our trailer in 2009, then our brick and mortar restaurant in 2011. We’ve been lucky enough to feed thousands and gain some fun recognition over the last seven years … and make some cool beers with friends!”
Chef Franklin’s Pairing: Pot Roast & Mashed Potatoes with Hops & Grain River Beer
“This is the dish that really got me into food as a kid and cooking as an adult: it’s a nostalgic homage to everyone’s grandma. What goes best with Pot Roast & Mashed Potatoes is something clean and simple like River Beer; you can enjoy it with your meal without fatiguing the palate. The guys at Hops & Grain are some of my favorite brewers – they make truly excellent beer by being creative and reserved.”
Photographs by Lindsey Lee
Kick back and relax on the patio with Dogwood’s Texas Sunset cocktail. Sip on a combination of Deep Eddy Ruby Red Vodka, Paula’s Texas Orange Liqueur, a splash of fresh lime juice and Champagne. As the hot summer day cools down, so will you while enjoying this sweet and mellow concoction.
The Dogwood West Sixth
715 W 6th St.
The Dogwood Rock Rose at Domain NORTHSIDE
11420 Rock Rose, Suite 130
Wine is a celebration of life. Spicewood Vineyards takes that seriously, in the cultivation of its grapes, in the creation of its incredible Texas wine and in the enjoyment of shared experiences at the winery. Nestled in the Texas Hill Country amongst 32 acres of vines is the picturesque location. Come enjoy the delicious award winning wines, and relax your body and mind in this tranquil setting.
1419 Burnet County Rd. 409
Spicewood, Texas 78669
With Austin expecting the hottest summer on record, this drink is designed to keep you cool while enjoying the outdoors. The only places to get the Fresh Picked are at the Deep Eddy Tasting Room and your own home. Just build the ingredients in a glass and enjoy!
2 oz. Deep Eddy Lemon Vodka
1/2 oz. lime juice
1 oz. homemade strawberry puree
Soda water to top with
Deep Eddy Vodka Tasting Room
2250 E. HWY 290
Dripping Springs, Texas 78620
In Austin, tequila isn’t saved for special occasions. It’s a standard go-to. Locally owned and operated, Tequila 512 is the perfect anytime tequila. It’s triple-distilled and made with 100% agave and volcanic spring water. Smooth enough to enjoy neat but bold enough to liven up any cocktail, Tequila 512 won Double Gold and Best in Show at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition.
Read more from the Food Issue | July 2017