Treaty Oak Distilling: Sneak Peek Gin-To the “Cocktail Lab”
Disclosure: I attended a complimentary distillery tour, and food and spirits tasting at Treaty Oak Distilling on August 1, 2018. All opinions are my own.
Welcome to Treaty Oak Distilling’s new Cocktail Lab! Located in the beautiful Hill Country, this Dripping Springs 28-acre distillery and ranch has changed a lot since opening to the public about three years ago…and there’s more to come. The onetime welcoming center and merchandise store has been renovated and converted into a charming Texas-inspired (air-conditioned) lounge. With a cool, laid back feel, nice natural lighting, various comfy seating areas and a retreat from the summer heat, the Cocktail Lab is a place you will want to kick your boots up and stay a while.
Treaty Oak is known for their great spirits and have recently decided to focus solely on perfecting their production of gins and whiskeys (while still offering four small batch craft brews available for on-site consumption only). They still offer their award-winning Waterloo No. 9 and Antique Gins (re-branded) and have recently introduced their take on a complex Old Tom gin named Waterloo Old Yaupon. This gin made from limestone filtered Texas spring water includes Yaupon holly, juniper, kaffir lime, anise, and wildflower honey to create a taste like nothing I’ve ever had before. Sweeter and less botanical than other gins, enjoy sipping it straight or in one of Treaty Oak’s tasty cocktail creations. (Psst…you’re in for a pleasant surprise with this one.) Three whiskeys are also available to choose from: Ghost Hill Bourbon, Treaty Oak Whiskey, and Red-Handed Bourbon. Again either on the rocks or have one of their master and friendly mixologists whip up something to your liking.
The approximately 40 person capacity space is currently only being used for private events; however, they hope to have it open to the general public by the end of September (at which time it will be a first come first served basis). Eventually, they intend on having a host, taking reservations, and offering dinner service brought form on-site farm-to-table Ghost Hill restaurant led by the amazing Chef Chris Andrews. Chef Andrews focuses on using only the best Texas ingredients and emphasizes the importance of renewable choices. The restaurant itself will soon get a bit of a makeover, elevating the décor to a slightly more upscale environment while keeping its woodsy, Texas-inspired charm.
Among the many things I absolutely love about Treaty Oak is their commitment to sustainability. From everything they serve in the restaurant, the ingredients they use in the liquors, and the way they have developed all of their processes to actually help the environment is mind-boggling impressive. Here’s is just a snippet of how Treaty Oak minimizes their carbon footprint and gives back to Mother Earth as stated by the lovely, intelligent, and highly passionate Jamie Biel – Director of Science and Sustainability:
WATER: Efficient use of water, rainwater collection, plans to capture storm water with berms and swells to prevent erosion and recharge aquifer, constructed wetland for wastewater treatment and reuse, low-water (xeric) native flora planted on site promotes biodiversity and water conservation. Will use treated wastewater for irrigation, dust suppression, and aquifer recharge.
WASTE: Recycling, compost, plant-based plastic cups and utensils that are compostable and recyclable; spent grain picked up by a local farmer for food stock; bartering with local farmers in exchange for honey, eggs, meat.
FARM TO TABLE: Plans to grow fruits, vegetables, and herbs on site to be used in Ghost Hill Restaurant, botanicals for gins, and cocktail program. Aquaponics (closed-loop system with fish providing nutrients for plant roots, plants filter water for fish, both can be harvested for use in the restaurant.
CARBON NEUTRALITY: Will plant a tree for each barrel sold. Local ingredients means less carbon associated with transport.
Next time you’re in the area, or want to take a scenic drive out to a great place for food, drink, and fun be sure to put Treaty Oak at the top of your wish list. I promise you won’t be disappointed. Cheers!
16604 Fitzhugh Road
Dripping Springs, TX 78620
Thursday & Friday 4-9pm, Saturday noon-9pm, Sunday noon-6pm
TAKE A TOUR:
Reservations can be made by clicking HERE. Available on Saturdays hourly at 1-6pm; duration 45 minutes. $15 p/p.
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