The Texas Hill Country is known for its endless beautiful views and wineries. However, did you know that it also offers even more boozy adventures like breweries and distilleries? So, what Texas Hill Country distillers should you visit for your spirits and liquors? Which ones have tours and serve cocktails? It’s no secret that Desert Door Distillery is among our favorite Texas distillery to tour and unwind at. It is featured on our Texas Hill Country Distillery Tour. Desert Door takes it to the next level, and we are excited to share this unique gem with you.
Desert Door Distillery: Where it all Started
In the deserts of Texas, you should shake out your boots before wearing them and look twice before stepping or sitting. It’s a place where mesquite, cacti, and agave set the landscape and where 3 Texans set out on their journey to creating the first and ONLY Sotol Distillery in the United States, Desert Door. After meeting at The University of Texas, these military veterans knew they wanted to resurrect the Texas sotol plant after hearing many stories that Texans would make moonshine from the spiky plant during America’s prohibition era- and that was how Desert Door was inspired.
The Desert Door Experience
On our last visit to Desert Door Distillery, we were able to grasp the concept of what exactly sotol or Desert Spoon is and how it’s processed. If you already have a love for Tequila and mezcal, you must give sotol a try. These spiky plants can grow up to 100 years old, giving off an earthy spicy taste. Sotol was used to make the first alcoholic beverage ever consumed in Texas 800 years ago. Desert Door did not go into detail about how they process their sotol because the process is proprietary. However, we did learn that they only use wild-harvested sotol, meaning they don’t cultivate or farm the plant, thus preserving valuable resources like land and water. They then express the sugar from the plants, ferment the juice, and last distill the spirit in a custom-made hybrid still.
In Driftwood, in the midst of the Texas Hill Country, this tasting room and outdoor seating welcome you Texas-style. With this laidback and fun atmosphere, we enjoyed great live music and, of course, unique cocktails.
Sotol Cocktail Review
Trying almost every cocktail on their menu, I have to say that The Comanchero is one of the best cocktails I have ever had! It’s a bit spicy, a little bit sweet, and incorporates sotol nectar (a byproduct of their distilling process) that shows off the unique flavors of their Texas stool.
Tasting notes from Desert Door: Desert Door Original is as versatile as vodka but far more intriguing and complex. When it comes to craft cocktails, it can one-up the usual suspects from bourbon to gin to tequila. We find it most compelling in a Ranch Water, Desert Paloma, or River Rita.
Why Desert Door?
When asked what they would like potential visitors to know about Desert Door, here is what they said, “We’re a unique spirit and pretty unique company. We’re a young company, but we’re passionate about our Texas sotol. We believe we are crafting a world-class spirit, and we want to share it with everyone. There aren’t very many truly original things left to discover in this world. We think Desert Door Texas sotol is one of them. We hope our door will lead you to the spirit of the desert. But wherever it takes you, we’re sure you’ll enjoy the journey.” This is an ideal place to enjoy The Hill Country and Texas Sotol.
Book your Dripping Springs Distillery Tour, by visiting Desert Door Distillery, with Texas Tipsy Tours.
An Interview with Desert Door
Can you tell us a little bit about your distilling process?
We can’t give away too much, as our process is proprietary. I can tell you that we use only wild-harvested sotol. We express the sugar from the plants, ferment the juice, and then distill the spirit in a custom-made hybrid still.
What sets Desert Door apart from the others in the area?
We’re the only Sotol distillery in the United States. That makes us pretty unique. Plus we use only wild-harvested sotol, meaning we don’t cultivate or farm the plant, thus preserving valuable resources like land and water.
What would you say is your all-star drink and why?
The Comanchero. A little bit spicy, a little bit sweet, this delicious cocktail incorporates sotol nectar (a byproduct of our distilling process) and really shows off the unique flavors of our Texas sotol.
What is the general vibe of the Distillery on a Saturday?
Laidback and fun. We’ve got both indoor and outdoor seating. We have great live music and of course amazing cocktails. This is an ideal place to enjoy Hill Country and our Texas Sotol.
What would you like potential visitors to know about Desert Door?
We’re a unique spirit and pretty unique company. We’re a young company, but we’re passionate about our Texas sotol. We believe we are crafting a world-class spirit and we want to share it with everyone. There aren’t very many truly original things left to discover in this world. We think Desert Door Texas sotol is one of them. We hope our door will lead you to the spirit of the desert. But wherever it takes you, we’re sure you’ll enjoy the journey.