Episode 205 – The Atlas of Bourbon & American Whiskey with Eric Zandona

This episode’s featured cocktail is the Texas Grog. To make it, you’ll need:

  • 2 oz (or 60ml) Bourbon (bonus points if it’s Texas bourbon)

  • 2 oz (or 60ml) cold water (preferably filtered or distilled)

  • ½ oz (or 15ml) orange juice (fresh squeezed if possible)

  • ½ oz (or 15 ml) simple syrup

  • 2 dashes of an Aromatic bitters like Angostura

Combine all these ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice, shake vigorously for about 10 or 15 seconds, then strain into a double-rocks or bucket glass over ice, and enjoy. 

According to Eric Zandona:

“In the 19th century, several travellers observed Texans drinking in a wide array of grog shops, taverns, saloons, and ornate hotel lounges. Texan grog shops were most likely simple drinking establishments that served beer and a few simple cocktails, ‘grog’ being a term used to describe a mixture of spirits, water and citrus juice. Given that grapefruit, oranges and a variety of other citrus fruits have grown in the Rio Grande Valley on Texas’s southern border since the time of Spanish colonization, and early Texans were known for their fondness for whiskey, it’s not a stretch to imagine locals mixing these simple ingredients to make a refreshing drink.’

We love this cocktail not just because it’s a laid back proto-cousin of the whiskey sour, but also because it features ingredients that naturally occurred in a very specific environment. You go to the Caribbean, you drink rum. You go to Japan, you drink Sake and Shochu. When you go to Texas, there’s two things you can reliably count on: there will be whiskey, and you’ll more than likely be able to get your hands on some local citrus.


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