There’s no hotter drink in America right now than bourbon, and distillers all over Texas seem to be blazing new trails when it comes to the oak barrel-soaked spirit. I’ll never forget my first taste of one a few years ago, sitting across Ryan Autry, GM and bar director at the time at The Blind Pig. “You have to try this,” he said, smiling devilishly as he slid a dram of Garrison Brothers bourbon my way. Its dark and mysterious cherrywood appearance and vibrant nose and flavors bursting from the glass instantly set it apart from the pack. I was hooked, and I suppose Ryan was as well, as he later took a job with the Texas brand.
When a bartender of his caliber leaves a restaurant, one would assume certain details of the bar program would slide. But when news broke last year that Josh Davey, a 23-year-old barback-turned-bartender that learned the ropes under Autry won first place and $10,000 at the Garrison Brothers Bourbon Brawl, it seemed the bar was raised, pun intended.
Building on the success Josh has had with the Garrison brand, he crafted something completely different for this year’s Garrison Brothers Bourbon Takeover of America event, which lasts until the end of September. It’s called Southern Smoke, which is a melange of Garrison Bros. Honeydew, mezcal, peach de Vigne, peach habanero cordial, honey, aquafaba, citrus, and bitters, and sipping one sounds like the perfect way to close out our blazing hot summer.
Bourbon Takeover of America locations and more info are available at Garrison Brother’s site or download their phone app.
The Blind Pig
31431 Santa Margarita Parkway, Rancho Santa Margarita
4975 Lakeview Ave, Yorba Linda