Friday, February 20, 2015

A Visit to Spec's

Heaven is Spec’s. The Texas liquor superstore is everything the alcohol connoisseur needs and wants- aisles and aisles of liquid awesome. Boasting 150 stores all over Texas, if Spec’s doesn’t have it, it’s likely able to get it for you. I stopped at my first Spec’s outside San Antonio and spent $200 without blinking. I was kicking myself because I didn’t have cash since Spec’s has a policy of 5% back if you pay with cash. So, to get this discount, I got cash, and stopped at the Spec’s in Austin. I spent another $100. I know, either I have to leave Texas or find a clinic that specializes in liquor warehouse addiction.

So what was at Spec’s that I had to part with my money so fast? There’s a bunch of reasons, but the main one has to do with Texas’ proximity to Mexico. Spec’s has tequila that Wisconsin doesn’t have and for really good prices. That means deals on Herradura, Cabo, Gran Centenario and--the Firewater Lounge love--Cazadores Reposado.

Spec’s is also a whiskey lover’s dream. I wanted to buy several Texan whiskeys, but settled on San Antonio’s Ranger Creek Rimfire Mesquite Smoked Texas Whiskey. Ranger Creek’s ‘small caliber’ (i.e.375 milliliters) offering is a scotch-style single malt, but instead of smoking it with peat, the Creek smokes it with mesquite. Yes, please. This is American whiskey sipping like no other. We’d share but we only have 375 milliliters!

Spec’s is so close to the Caribbean that specialty rums run rampant. One of our rum buys was Spirit of Texas’ Pecan Street Rum. Those that expect this to be a pecan-flavored rum will be disappointed; it is a rum that noses and finishes in pecans because its distilled with pecans rather than syruped with them. That said, it makes a wonderful old-fashioned.

Pecan Rum Old-Fashioned
Holly's Original

2 ounce Pecan Street Rum
5 dashes Boker's Bitters
2 dashes Angostura Bitters

Find a double old-fashioned glass. Muddle an orange wheel in the bottom. Add ice to the glass rim. Build the cocktail with the rum first, then the two bitters and stir gently to combine. Top with 7-up. Give the drink a couple more revolutions. If you can’t find Boker’s (here at Doc Elmegirab’s), you can try 2 dashes of Angostura Orange Bitters instead.

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