The Distillers: Deep Eddy Vodka
Celebrated for the success he made out of Sweet Leaf Tea, Clayton Christopher speaks of Deep Eddy Vodka as a kind of gift to the city that espoused his first venture. “We wanted something that was part of the DNA of Austin,” Christopher says, mentioning that his business partner, Chad Auler, grew up swimming at Deep Eddy Pool. When it came time to brand their vodka, they sought a name that would both be memorable to customers outside Austin and ring true with homegrown Austinites. The result was Deep Eddy Vodka and its sweet tea-infused counterpart, Deep Eddy Sweet Tea Vodka.
What sets Deep Eddy apart is its unique distillation process, which rids its vodka of the medicinal taste that so many others impart, while affording the sweet tea variant a nice, mellow bite after the initial burst of sweetness. When Christopher began studying how vodka is made, he realized that a column still is a formidable weapon in the creation of artisanal vodka—this rare, oddly-named device controls temperature more finely than traditional methods allow. “Through being able to control the temperature really precisely, you’re able to burn off the bad compounds,” Christopher explains. Deep Eddy Vodka continues to be made in a column still, each batch undergoing the distillation process 10 times.
Now available in 16 states and still made from Hill Country aquifer water (the sweet tea version also uses Goodflow honey), the two vodkas remain true to the city that inspired them.
For this savory cocktail, you'll need the perfect summer tomato. If you aren’t lucky enough to have a garden in your backyard, keep your eyes peeled at the farmer's market. One good-sized tomato, squeezed and strained, will provide plenty of water. Look for heirloom varieties like Brandywine or Cherokee Purple.
6 basil leaves
1 dash garlic salt
3 dashes celery bitters
2 oz tomato water
2 oz Deep Eddy Vodka
1/4 oz olive brine
In a shaker, combine and muddle the first three ingredients. Add ice and remaining ingredients. shake to froth and strain into a cocktail glass with a smoked salt rim.