Jess Pryles

Libations: The Hill Country Howdy, a bourbon cocktail

garrison brothers texas bourbon in glass with burgermary jess pryles
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I am a girl who likes to drink whiskey. Specifically, I find myself drawn to bourbon, ordered on the rocks. It tastes even better, somehow, when served in really chunky glass with a nice, heavy base. It’s the little things, y’all.

Garrison brothers bourbon cocktail in crystal glass

I shy away from sweet drinks and mega-fruity cocktails, and that leaves me with a pretty scarce choice in the brown liquor cocktail department. I love me an Old Fashioned, and even a Sazerac from time to time, but I love coming up with new twists on simplistic bourbon cocktails. So, when Garrison Brothers kindly sent me a bottle of their Single Barrel as a ‘welcome to Texas’ gift, I came up with this gem.

Now, to be clear, this is some special bourbon. Each batch is hand selected by the master distiller and it’s the first single barrel straight bourbon whiskey ever made in Texas. It needs no help at all, but it can’t hurt to gild the lily sometimes. Drawing from GB’s Hill Country roots (if you haven’t been out to their gorgeous distillery in Hye, you need to), I paired it with another classic Hill Country staple, the peach. Don’t get me on a technicality here, I know the Fredericksburg peaches are usually yellow, but for this recipe I went with white peaches and pink peppercorns.

Just enough sweetness to compliment, just enough spice to add dimension, and the right amount of subtlety to pay due respects to the bourbon. Summer sunsets in a glass. Recipe is after the pics.

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The Hill Country Howdy cocktail

The amount of syrup vs bourbon you use is purely dictated by taste. Want a double? Go for it. Just add a little syrup at a time until you reach your preferred mix.



  • Good quality bourbon (preferably Garrison Brothers!)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 fresh peaches, sliced
  • 2 tbsp pink peppercorns


  1. Place peppercorns inside a towel and use a plate or rolling pin etc to crush them up and release the oils.

  2. Place sugar, water, peaches and peppercorns in a small pan, place on stove on a medium heat and bring to boil. Allow to boil for 10 minutes.

  3. Turn off heat, and use the back of a wooden spoon to crush the softened peaches against the side of the pan. Don't completely break them down, or you'll end up with a cloudy syrup.

  4. Once the mixture is cool, strain through a cheesecloth (or use a kitchen cloth as per the pic - much cheaper and easier!) and a sieve. You may want to strain the mix twice to get to a crystal clear appearance.

  5. Put a huge ice cube in your favorite whiskey glass, add in the bourbon and the syrup to taste, and enjoy!

By Jess Pryles

Jess Pryles is a full fledged Hardcore Carnivore. She’s a cook, author, and TV personality specializing in the field of meat, with a particular expertise in beef. She’s also a respected authority on live fire cooking and BBQ. Born in Australia, she now resides in Austin, Texas.

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