A cool greyhound could be the House’s libation of choice

San Antonio Express-News & Houston Chronicle

AUSTIN – As lawmakers ponder serious issues that impact Texans, at least one elected leader has taken the time to file a resolution that would designate an alcoholic beverage as the official drink of the 84th Legislature.

Rep. Drew Springer, R-Muenster, filed HCR 101, which would designate Texas vodka and red grapefruit juice as the official drink of choice this session.

“Texans enjoy a variety of mixed drinks, but perhaps no cocktail in recent times has taken on more of a Lone Star flavor than Texas vodka and red grapefruit juice from the Rio Grande Valley,” the resolution reads.

Although the concurrent resolution does not specify which brand of vodka must be used, Springer tweeted last week that he was pouring himself a glass of Ruby Red grapefruit juice and Tito’s Handmade Vodka, a local Austin company since 1995.

Springer said he filed the bill to give grapefruit and vodka companies the ability to market their products.

Last session, Springer named Shamrock, Texas’ St. Patrick’s Day Celebration as the official St. Patrick’s Day Celebration for the State of Texas, which brought in more than 1,000 additional visitors than the year before. He said he hopes this resolution will give Texas companies the same buzz.

“I’m just a huge supporter of economic development in the state of Texas,” Springer said.

Nicole Portwood, vice president of brand marketing at Tito’s, said employees raised a glass to the resolution in the office Friday.

“I think government can be so serious and so inaccessible that it can be nice for them to have a little fun every once in a while,” Portwood said.

The company’s recipe for the perfect Greyhound is 1 1/2 ounces of Tito’s Handmade Vodka and 3 ounces of fresh squeezed grapefruit juice shaken with ice and then strained into a glass of ice. Add salt around the rim to make it a Salty Dog, Portland said.

According to the resolution, there are at least 10 independent companies across the state that distill more than 15 different brands of artisanal and premium vodkas.

The Rio Grande Valley is also known for growing the nation’s best grapefruit, and in 1993 Texas red grapefruit was designated the official state fruit.

Terrie Crockett, vice president of Crockett Farms Inc, said the Harlingen company is known for its fresh ruby red grapefruits that can only be ordered online and in catalogues.

According to Crockett, many legislators have ordered the famous Rio Grande Valley fruits as gifts, including the Bush Family and the Comptroller’s Office.

“It’s a huge market here,” Crockett said. “We have it and everyone wants it.”

Crockett said the resolution could help business at Crockett Farms and noted that the cocktail would be much more delicious with fresh grapefruit juice instead of commercially bottled juice.

“Fresh real grapefruit from right off the tree in South Texas is incredible,” Crockett said.

However, lawmakers will have to get their fresh grapefruit juice quickly, Crockett said. Grapefruit season will only last a few more weeks and won’t be back until November.

The Legislature is dealing with more serious issues this session, Springer acknowledged, but added that his resolution, drafted in one hour, does not take away from what needs to be done.

“We still have plenty of time to deal with other issues,” Springer said.

ncobler@express-news.net

Twitter: @nicolecobler

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