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 oak-soaked liquor. I’ll never forget my first taste a few years ago, sitting across from Ryan Autry, bar manager at the time at The Blind Rabbit. “You have to try this,” he said, grinning devilishly as he slid a glass of Garrison Brothers bourbon over to me. Its dark and mysterious cherry wood look, vibrant nose and flavors that soar from the glass instantly set it apart from the pack. I was hooked, and I guess Ryan was too, because he later took a job with the Texas brand.
When a bartender of his caliber leaves a restaurant, one would assume that certain details of the bar’s program would slip. But when news broke last year that Josh Davies, a 23-year-old barback turned bartender who learned the ropes under Autry, won first place and $10,000 at the Garrison Brothers Bourbon Brawl, it looked like the bar was raised, pun intended.
Building on the success Josh has had with the Garrison brand, he’s designed something completely different for this year’s Garrison Brothers Bourbon Takeover of America event, which runs until the end of September. It’s called Southern Smoke, which is a blend of Garrison Bros. Honeydew, mezcal, Vine peach, peach habanero cordial, honeydew, aquafaba, citrus and bitters, and sipping one seems like the perfect way to end our scorching summer.
Bourbon Takeover of America locations and more information can be found at Garrison Brother website or download their phone app.
The blind pig
31431 Santa Margarita Drive, Rancho Santa Margarita
4975 Lakeview Avenue, Yorba Linda