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Texas wouldn't be Texas without Margaritas, and you can't make a Margarita without tequila. Thankfully, some exciting new tequila brands are helping keep the good green flowing.

Build Your Texas Bar: The Agave Spirits

Part Five of our Build Your Texas Bar series presents the Texas-based agave spirits, which is our general term for liquor distilled from the blue agave plant. In essence, this covers three categories of products: tequila, mezcal, and products that would otherwise meet the definition of "tequila," but for their origin. 

This is the most unusual installment in this series because, with one exception, all of the products identified below are primarily products of Mexico, not Texas. The word "tequila" is a trade term that legally refers to agave spirits produced in the Jalisco region of Mexico, so it's not possible to have a true "Texas" tequila. It is possible, however, to have an agave spirit that's just as good as tequila, even if it doesn't originate in Mexico. That's the case with the very high quality El Perico products from Railean Distillery in San Leon, Texas. 

It's also possible to have a tequila that finishes its production in Texas, as illustrated by several of the brands listed here. Texas-based brands like Republic Tequila (with our favorite Texas-shaped bottles) and Dulce Vida are getting creative with their aging techniques, adding remarkable distinction to their offerings. Dulce Vida's Lone Star Edition, for example, is tequila aged in Garrison Brothers Distillery Texas Straight Bourbon Whiskey barrels. 

There's only one Texas-based mezcal brand that we know of, and that's Wahaka Mezcal based in Austin. Their smoky mezcal products taste as good as their beautifully artistic labels look. 

As always, entries that include "Distillery Notes by Texas Spirits Geek" result from our collaboration with Texas spirits expert Andy Creel (aka, the Texas Spirits Geek) to share detailed information he's collected from his personal visits to distilleries across Texas. Clicking on the Distillery Notes entry will take you directly to the Texas Spirits Geek website, where you can read more about the featured brand.

If you're a producer of a Texas-based tequila or mezcal, and we have not included your brand below, or, if you’re a producer and have additions or corrections to this guide, please send us a note to hello@fourstjames.com.

Not Shown: El Perrito Tequila, San Antonio via Tequila, Jalisco, Mexico

This inventory was last updated December 5, 2014. Texas-based agave spirit brands not photographed and/or represented as of publication are: 

- El Perrito Tequila, San Antonio via Tequila, Jalisco, Mexico
- Puro Verde Tequila, College Station via Jalisco, Mexico

To read other entries in the Build Your Texas Bar eight-part series, follow the links below: 

The Vodkas
The Rums
The Gins
The Whiskeys
The Specialty Spirits
The Mixers
The Moonshines

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Railean El Perico Silver
Parent Brand: Railean Distillery 
Hometown: San Leon, Texas
Notable: Made from 100% Blue Agave
Kindred Spirits: El Perico Reposado; Railean White Rum; Railean Spiced Rum; Railean Reserve XO; Railean Small Cask Rum
Distillery Notes by TX Spirits Geek
Website: www.railean.com
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Wahaka Mezcal Joven Espadin
Parent Brand: Wahaka Mezcal
Hometown: Austin, Texas via San Dionisio Ocotepec, Mexico
Kindred Spirits: Mezcal Reposado con Gusano; Mezcal Madre-Cuishe; Mezcal Joven Tobalá; Mezcal Joven Ensamble; Mezcal Espadín Botaniko; Mezcal Espadín Manzanita
Website: www.wahakamezcal.com
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Dulce Vida Organic Reposado
Parent Brand: Dulce Vida Tequila
Hometown: Austin, Texas via San Ignacio Cerro Gordo at Campanario, Mexico
Notable: World’s only organic 100% tequila brand; multiple awards across the brand; Lone Star Edition (not pictured) tequila aged in Garrison Brothers Distillery Texas Straight Bourbon Whiskey barrels; Extra Añejo tequila aged five years in wine barrels from Napa Valley 
Kindred Spirits: Blanco; Reposado; Añejo; Añejo Lone Star Edition; Select Barrel; Rocky Mountain; Extra Añejo 
Website: www.dulcevidaspirits.com
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Republic Reposado Tequila
Parent Brand: Republic Tequila
Hometown: Austin, Texas via Destilería Leyros, Jalisco, Mexico
Notable: Aged for seven months in American White Oak bourbon barrels; Silver medal winner, 2014 Denver International Spirits Competition; Silver medal winner, 2014 San Francisco World Spirits Competition; Platinum Medal, SIP Awards
Kindred Spirits: Republic Plata Tequila; Republic Añejo Tequila
Website: www.republictequila.com
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Z Tequila Reposado
Parent Brand: Pepe Zevada Z Tequila International
Hometown: Austin, Texas via Jalisco, Mexico
Notable: Multiple awards across the brand; Z Tequila Blanco (not pictured) awarded prestigious Double-Gold Medal at 2012 San Francisco World Spirits Competition
Kindred Spirits: Z Tequila Blanco; Z Tequila Añejo
Website: www.pepeztequila.com
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Tequila 512 Blanco
Parent Brand: Tequila 512
Hometown: Austin, Texas via Tequila, Jalisco, Mexico
Notable: Winner, Gold Medal, 2013 San Francisco World Spirits Competition; 2013 Gold Medal, SIP Awards
Kindred Spirits: Reposado, Añejo (not yet released as of December 2014)
Website: www.tequila512.com
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AMBHAR Plata
Parent Brand: AMBHAR Global Spirits
Hometown: The Woodlands, Texas via via Tequila, Jalisco, Mexico
Notable: Small batch; hand-poured into decanters designed to resemble Old West canteens
Kindred Spirits: Reposado; Añejo
Website: www.ambhar.com
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SOAH Source of All Happiness Reposado 
Parent Brand: SOAH Tequila
Hometown: San Antonio, Texas via Tequila, Jalisco, Mexico
Notable: Estate grown and bottled using 100% Blue Weber Agave
Kindred Spirits: SOHA Blanco; SOHA Reposado; SOHA Añejo; SOHA Extra Añejo; El Perrito Tequila (sister brand)
Website: www.soahtequila.com 
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Dos Lunas Tequila Reposado
 
Parent Brand: Dos Lunas Spirits
Hometown: El Paso, Texas via Jalisco, Mexico
Notable: Aged in new white oak and used Tennessee whiskey barrels for 9 months
Kindred Spirits: Silver; Añejo; Grand Reserve 
Website: www.doslunas.com

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