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Area distilleries making their mark

Profile image for Denton Record-Chronicle Editorial
Denton Record-Chronicle Editorial

Jack Daniels. Smirnoff. Bombay. Johnnie Walker.

Readers who partake of a cocktail now and then will recognize those tried-and-true brands. They've been around a long time.

But what about Witherspoon Distillery in Lewisville, Devil's River Whiskey in Frisco or Western Son Distillery in Pilot Point? Have you ever heard of them?

Ten or 15 years ago craft beer brewing became "a thing" and small-batch brewers began chipping away at market shares of Budweiser, Coors and Corona.

Now, craft beer brewing has seen better days. Witness the closure of Audacity Brew House in Denton a couple of months ago.

Enter craft distilling. If you don't believe the liquor landscape in thirsty Texas is changing, look no further than North Texas.

Western Son Distillery makes gin, bourbon and rye whiskey in Pilot Point, which was once known for peanut production. But you'll find no peanuts in the vodka. Western Son makes small batches of vodka out of corn infused with Hill Country peaches, Piney Woods blueberries, watermelon, South Plains cucumber, Texas Ruby Red grapefruit and South Texas prickly pear.

Prohibition-era bootleggers must be turning over in their graves. Hill Country peaches?

Take a look at Witherspoon Distillery in Lewisville. You can pick up a bottle of bourbon aged for 12 months in old barrels that once held dessert wines such as port and sherry. Move over Jim Beam!

Witherspoon also sells a combination of whiskey and beer in a bottle.

Devil's River in Frisco make a caramel and honey-flavored whiskey. One of its bourbons has already won some awards. They say the secret is in water -- pure, unfiltered spring waters that wash over Texas limestone.

We love entrepreneurial creativity and innovation. It's one of the things that makes Texas great. But we think we will continue drinking cocktails that are not infused with lavender, bluebonnets and other Texas wildflowers.

The distance between cologne and liquor should remain as wide as possible.