Still Austin is known for its whiskey, but right now the company’s founder, Chris Seals—who splits his time between Austin and Amarillo—is excited about another product. This spring, the independent distillery introduced its newest spirit: The Naturalist, a 100-percent handmade gin. It’s the first rye gin made in Texas, and uses rye and corn grown by Texas farmers. 

Jon Schrepel, the head distiller at Still Austin, says the unique rye base is complemented by the flavors of 12 botanicals, including juniper berries, citrus peels and coriander seeds. Like its flagship straight bourbon whiskey, the gin is enjoying national acclaim. Last year, the New York International Spirits Competition named Still Austin its “Texas Gin Distillery of the Year.” 

The light, botanical flavors of gin make it a popular cocktail base during the summer months, so we asked Seals and his team to provide us a few of their favorite recipes using The Naturalist. 

Bees Knees

2 ounces The Naturalist Still Austin American gin
3/4 ounce lemon juice, freshly squeeze
1/2 ounce honey syrup

Add Still Austin gin, lemon juice and honey syrup into a shaker with ice; shake until well-chilled.

Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon twist and enjoy responsibly!

Makes 1 cocktail

To make honey syrup: 
1/2 cup honey (adjust to taste)
1/2 cup water

Add ingredients to a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir until honey is dissolved. Allow to cool and transfer to an airtight container. Refrigerate.

The Outdoor Type

Creator: Jehudiel Barba

1 ½ ounces The Naturalist Still Austin American gin
1 ounce fresh grapefruit juice 
½ ounce fresh lime juice
¾ ounce simple syrup

Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker over ice. Shake until very cold; strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with a quarter moon of fresh grapefruit and sprig of fresh rosemary.   

Makes 1 cocktail

French 75

1 ½ ounces The Naturalist Still Austin American gin
½ ounce lemon juice, freshly squeezed
¼ ounce simple syrup (optional)
2 ounces sparkling wine

Combine gin, lemon juice and simple syrup into a shaker with ice; shake it like a Polaroid picture! Strain into a champagne flute, coupe glass or chilled cocktail glass. Top with sparkling wine. Zest a twist of the peel and rub between your fingers over the cocktail. Drop right into glass to add extra lemony goodness!

Makes 1 cocktail