Let’s celebrate the day Americans got rid of a pesky law and regained the right to openly knock back a few.
On December 5, 1933, with the ratification of the 21st Constitutional Amendment, Americans regained the right to openly knock back a few. Thus ended the dark days of Prohibition wrought upon the land by the 18th Amendment. We were free to a raise a few fingers of whiskey in salute to Utah, the final state to pass the repeal amendment. We were free to stir up a bowl of high-octane holiday punch, take a sip, and squeak, "Sweet Baby Jesus, that’s good stuff."
A little more than a year after what became known as Repeal Day, the Gottfried Krueger Brewing Company would give us the innovation of the beer can. Alcohol flowed throughout the Republic. Eventually, the production of alcoholic beverages reached artisanal levels, giving way to craft beer, craft distilling, and craft cocktails. Bartenders would no longer be called simply, Joe, Aunt Mary, or Petey. They could earn the title of mixologist. Petey the Mixologist just rolls off the tongue. Salt Lake City would become home to a thriving craft beer scene.
Fast-forward from 1933 to 2008, when Balcones Distilling was established in Waco, Texas. A year later, the company released the first legally sold Texas-distilled and -bottled whiskey, Baby Blue Blue Corn Whisky. Made from roasted blue corn and expressing notes of bright fruits, chiles, and cotton candy, Baby Blue is a potent spirit with a long, peppery finish. It’s bold and it's complex. And we can’t think of a better whiskey with which to mix our drinks in honor of the upcoming Repeal Day.
East India Sour
1½ ounces Balcones Baby Blue
1 ounce lemon juice
1 ounce orange juice
¼ ounce cardamon syrup
Candied lime wheel, for garnish
Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake until cold to the touch. Strain into a rocks glass with ice.
Texas Two Step
½ ounce grapefruit syrup
1½ ounces Balcones Single Malt or Balcones Baby Blue
1 ounce grapefruit juice
2 dashes bitters
Grapefruit rind twist, for garnish
Mix first four ingredients in glass and stir. Top with ice and then Topo Chico.
2 ounces Balcones Baby Blue or Balcones Single Malt
½ ounce lemon juice
3 – 4 ounces ginger ale
Lemon wedge, for garnish
Add all ingredients into ice-filled highball glass and garnish.
For more information on Balcones Distilling, visit the distillery’s website. Photography: Courtesy Balcones Distilling
Subscribe to the monthly Taste of the West e-newsletter below.