Part Six of this ongoing series presents Texas spirits that are so unique, they deserve a special(ty) category all to their own.

Build Your Texas Bar: The Specialty Spirits

Part Six of our Build Your Texas Bar series presents what we call the Specialty Spirits. These are spirits and liqueurs that lack obvious inclusion in any of the broader categories (vodka, whiskey, rum, gin, agave), at least among Texas brands. 

Of course, arguments could be made that the Austin Cocktails belong with the vodkas, or that La Bestia Defavorable would be at home among the whiskeys. But we think all of these products are just unique enough to be labeled “specialties” before anything else. 

And they’re all very good, in our view, worth reserving a permanent spot for in your home bar: 

  • The Kinsman Rakia tastes amazing (by itself, or in any of the 32 cocktail recipes they’re publishing in December 2014); 
  • The Tenneyson Absinthe will change your understanding and appreciation for what absinthe is, and is supposed to be; 
  • The Balcones Rumble is a truly outstanding and authentically “Texas” product; 
  • The Austin Cocktails are flavorful, creative, and low calorie; 
  • La Bestia Defavorable is perhaps the most innovative of the group, and worth driving all over your city to find, if possible; and
  • Paula’s Texas Orange and Lemon products are high quality essentials for any Texas liquor cabinet.

As with the other parts to this series, entries below 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 an unusual Texas spirit, 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

This inventory was last updated December 12, 2014. 

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 Agave Spirits
The Mixers
The Moonshines (coming soon)


Kinsman Handcrafted Premium Texas Rakia
Parent Brand: Dorcol Distilling Company
Hometown: San Antonio, Texas
Notable: Balkan style white apricot brandy; 160 proof; Gold Winner, World Spirits Championship 
Distillery Notes by TX Spirits Geek

Tenneyson Absinthe Royale
Parent Brand: Tenneyson Absinthe Royale
Hometown: Austin, Texas via Pontarlier, France
Notable: Swiss style, colorless absinthe distilled in the French birthplace of absinthe; 2-Time Gold Medal Winner 2011 San Francisco World Spirits Competition

Balcones Rumble
Parent Brand: Balcones Distilling
Hometown: Waco, Texas 
Notable: Multiple distinguished awards; distilled from Texas wildflower honey, mission figs, turbinado sugar and natural Texas Hill Country spring water
Kindred Spirits: Balcones Rumble Cask Reserve; Balcones Baby Blue Corn Whiskey; Balcones True Blue Corn Whiskey; Balcones Brimstone Corn Whiskey; Balcones True Blue 100 Proof Corn Whiskey
Distillery Notes by TX Spirits Geek

Austin Cocktails Paradise Found
Parent Brand: Austin Cocktails
Hometown: Austin, Texas
Notable: Pre-mixed cocktail in a bottle; fewer than 100 calories per serving; a combination of vodka,  natural coconut water, stone and citrus fruits, basil, and organic agave nectar
Kindred Spirits: Vodkarita; Tea Twister; Cucumber Vodka Mojito

Ranger Creek La Bestia Defavorable
Parent Brand: Ranger Creek Brewing & Distilling
Hometown: San Antonio, Texas
Notable: Unusual, un-aged white whiskey spirit distilled from belgian style beer
Kindred Spirits: La Bestia Aimable; Ranger Creek Rimfire Mesquite Smoked Single Malt; Ranger Creek .44 Texas Rye Whiskey; Ranger Creek .36 Bourbon Whiskey
Distillery Notes by TX Spirits Geek

Paula’s Texas Orange
Parent Brand: Texacello dba Paula’s Texas Spirits
Hometown: Austin, Texas
Notable: Handmade liqueur using fresh orange peel, no artificial flavoring
Kindred Spirits: Paula’s Texas Lemon

Leave a comment

Liquid error (layout/theme line 141): Could not find asset snippets/email-collection.liquid