When a good friend told me he was investing in a local vodka distillery outside of Corpus Christi I grabbed Emily and went on a quest to check this out. Not being a vodka drinker myself I arrived with an open mind. When we pulled up to the Sandia distillery we were immediately charmed by the Tasting Room and Lupita Aguilar’s warm welcome. You see her husband Royel Aguilar has turned their property into a full-blown vodka distillery after years of nurturing his passion for cooking and a prior run at making his own wine. Wild Rag Vodka offers three flavors – regular vodka, Texas Torch (a cinnamon flavor) and mesquite bean, and they are the only vodka distiller in the world to make and offer the latter. You can purchase their vodka at local liquor stores and restaurants listed here, or better yet grab some amigos and go check out their tasting room! See their hours of operation here. This is a fun little excursion off the beaten path.
Chef Steve McHugh of Cured in San Antonio at the Pearl debuted his own SANDIA MULE made with Wild Rag Mesquite Bean Vodka featured on The Local Palate Magazine. “Earlier this year, McHugh and his wife visited South Texas Distillery in Sandia, Texas, that recently produced its first batch of mesquite bean vodka. The vodka is “really smooth, and a little bit sweeter that traditional vodka, with faint caramel and coconut flavors,” says McHugh. Since sandia is also the Spanish word for watermelon, it was only natural to combine the smooth-tasting vodka with watermelon juice, lime, and ginger beer. “It’s kind of a South Texas play on a mule.” See the recipe here.