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Treaty Oak Has Special New Flavors for the Spirits Lover on Your List

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Treaty Oak out of Austin has introduced three new spirits, just in time for your holiday parties or gift list.
  • treaty oaksWaterloo Antique ($25.99) is the first barrel-aged gin from a Texas distiller.
  • Red-Handed Bourbon ($29.99) is the first bourbon to be double barrel aged after blending in Texas.
  • Treaty Oak Barrel Reserve ($25.99) is the longest-aged rum to be released by a Texas distillery.
These are in addition to the Treaty Oak Rum, Waterloo Gin and Starlite Vodka the distillery already produces. All are available at premium liquor stores in the area. And the awards have begun to pour in. At the 2013 Great American Distiller's Festival in Austin, each of the spirits won a gold medal with the Barrel Reserve also being named best in category. In all, the distillery won six of the 18 awards handed out at the festival. Awards are all well and good, but how do they taste? The Red-Handed Bourbon is a mixture of two Kentucky bourbons that were blended and double barrel-aged here. The end result is possibly a little less sweet than you'll find in Kentucky, but with a little great spice from the double exposure to new oak barrels. Think more of a whiskey that tastes more like a rye, and enjoy it either by itself or in your favorite cocktails using rye, such as a whiskey sour, a Manhattan or even a hot toddy. The Barrel Reserve rum has a great complexity than you'll find in a white rum, so don't grab this bottle and start making mojitos. Take a taste and you find notes of caramel and butter even. One sip reminded me of scene in "White Christmas" when Bing Crosby talks about "hot buttered rum, light on the rum." What could more welcome in winter than that? The Waterloo Antique gin is a little more complicated. Barrel aging has given the alcohol an almost tea-like color, so you probably won't be using this in your usual gin and tonic. The aroma is intensely floral with some wild greens in the mix. Then comes the first taste. If you're expecting pure gin botanicals, you may be in for a shock. They're there, but so is so much more. Think of a whiskey-like backbone. Or think of chartreuse, which two friends said it reminded them of. With so much going on, you may want to reserve this as something you sip with a cube of ice in it or, since it's 94 proof, with a splash of water. The folks at Treaty Oak have offered the following two cocktail recipes, both of which use Waterloo Antique:
An Antique Old Fashioned and an Escopeta Julep

An Antique Old Fashioned and an Escopeta Julep

Escopeta Julep 2 ounces Waterloo Antique Gin 1/2 to 3/4 ounce (sweeten to taste) mint simple syrup (see note) Mint sprigs, for garnish In a julep style glass add crushed ice, Waterloo Antique Gin and mint simple syrup. Stir to combine until glass frosts up and top off with a bit more crushed ice. Garnish with a few fresh mint sprigs and serve. Note: For mint syrup, add one part sugar and one part water to a pot on the stove and bring mixture to a boil. Throw in a bunch of fresh mint leaves, turn off the heat and let the mixture sit and macerate for about 10 to 15 minutes until you have a strong mint flavor. Strain out the mint and let the syrup cool before mixing into drinks. Makes 1 cocktail. From Treaty Oak Antique Old Fashioned 2 ounces Waterloo Antique Gin 1/4 to 1/2 ounce simple syrup (sweeten to taste) (see note above) Angostura bitters Orange Into a rocks glass with one large ice cube or a few medium sized ones, add Waterloo Antique Gin, simple syrup and 2 to 3 dashes of Angostura bitters. Gently stir your drink (so you don't create too many air bubbles) until thoroughly chilled. With a vegetable peeler remove a strip of orange peel and fold the peel in half over the glass to express the oranges essential oils. Rub the rim of the glass with the orange peel and drop in the glass. Makes 1 cocktail. From Treaty Oak
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