I absolutely LOVE Treaty Oak Distilling. I first visited during their gin event and have been looking for an excuse to go back ever since. That’s why I was so happy to be invited to the release of their whiskey and the opening of their newly remodeled Alice’s Restaurant. We drank well, ate well, and relaxed in the Hill County, all thanks to the awesome complex that is Treaty Oak. To fully experience the ranch, I’d recommend a 45 minute, $15 tour and tasting to start you off.
Treaty Oak Distilling crafts gin and whiskey because those markets are both rooted in tradition, but are open to disruption. From their website:
We are a self-taught collaborative. We are anchored in the roots of tradition and yet each inspired by unique cultural impulses. We embrace the scientific method, even as we collect artistic perspectives to blend with the distilling process. As a group, we’re driven to tinker and test. We are pushed to re-think the creative process the way disruptive musicians, chefs and painters do. We experiment with ingredients and how they’re sourced, with distilling techniques, with ways of finishing—always informed by hard-won knowledge.
We’re distilling ideas — disruptive, beautiful ideas — into flavor and always seeking a better way.
We started in their Cocktail Lab. The Cocktail Lab “is a new, unique space on the Treaty Oak property that marries the art of science, nature and the Treaty Oak unbound spirit. Patrons can expect an elevated cocktail experience unlike any other. A thoughtfully curated cocktail menu, classic hip-hop jams, and a natural sensory experience await.” The drinks from the lab are pretty crazy. They’re torching things, smoking things, sifting things… it’s amazing to watch. These cocktails are definitely several steps above whatever you’d find at your neighborhood bar.
After trying several mixed drinks with Treaty Oak’s whiskey, we went to sample the whiskey on its own. Treaty Oak’s Red Handed Rye Whiskey and Bourbon Whiskey are both deliciously distilled outside of Texas and are bottled in Dripping Springs. Treaty Oak is all about transparency – caught red-handed, these are not distilled by Treaty Oak.
The Ghost Hill Texas Whiskey, however, is crafted, distilled, and bottled in Dripping Springs. What’s awesome is this was actually my favorite blend, before I realized it was the only one that was 100% Treaty Oak made.
The food at Treaty Oak has seen a serious upgrade. Alice’s Restaurant is now the main onsite dining, “inspired by the world around us, patrons can expect a menu dedicated to using locally sourced ingredients that tell a truly unique Texas story.” Their traditional BBQ will still be served from The BBQ Pit food truck, so don’t worry if that was your style. Alice’s Restaurant, however, serves items like wedge salads, smoked quail, and chicken fried steak. We sampled their cauliflower soup, beets and arugula salad with fried goat cheese, wedge salad, and charcuterie board. The cauliflower soup was my absolute favorite. I could have just lifted the bowl and drink straight from it. If you have kids with you, they do have a kids menu with chicken tenders and a cheeseburger.
We were truly treated like royalty when we visited! Highlights from the menu included their beef tomahawk and fully fried up snapper with a honey dressing. I couldn’t believe the presentation of them! My favorite drink was their Kentucky Dreaming – red-handed bourbon, lemon juice, black tea, and mint syrup.
After touring, tasting, and dining, I’d recommend hanging out in the Rickhouse. It’s an open-air barn type building where you can sit, relax, and drink all kinds of Treaty Oak mixed drinks. There’s also usually live music under the trees for you to enjoy.
If you have family visiting for the holidays, I highly recommend taking them out to Treaty Oak for a wonderful cocktail and dining experience. It’s a casual and comfortable place that offers a unique distillery experience. I’m definitely taking Ghost Hill whiskey to all my holiday events this year.
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