The Austin Chronicle

Texas Vodka Made from … Black-Eyed Peas?

By Wayne Alan Brenner, December 14, 2018, 10:00am, On the Range

Imagine: You’re in the future, just a couple weeks ahead, and it’s January 1, 2019.

What are you eating?

You’re eating black-eyed peas, right?


For luck, as the tradition has it. You eat black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day for luck – and because, cooked up right, they taste damned good.

And the night before that, on New Year’s Eve? What were you drinking?

If you were clever, you were drinking vodka made from black-eyed peas. For luck, right? And because, distilled right, it tastes damned good. And because that’s the tradition, too, isn’t it? Because everybody always –

Hold on just a little second now.

This vodka-made-from-black-eyed-peas idea isn’t traditional. Hell, it’s never been done before.

Until, that is, two of our fellow Texans by the names of J. Todd Gregory and Scott Billings teamed up to bring the world their BLK EYE Vodka – made from a combo of Texas-sourced black-eyed peas and corn, filtered through charcoal, presented to the market in limited-edition bottles that are enhanced by local artists and generally designed to make you go Whoa, that looks fierce.

And now they’re promoting the stuff for, especially, welcoming the new year with. Because of, yeah, that whole black-eyed pea tradition thing.

They figure that we could all use a little luck … and if the tradition works as an edible, it’s gotta work as a drinkable, right?

But we’re rational human beings, aren’t we? That’s true for most of us, anyway, and so we don’t much cotton to that superstitious shit – except in a wink-wink, nudge-nudge sort of way.

We’re interested in, you know, empirical quality.

But, because sometimes there’s nothing better than embracing a joyous tradition, and especially because this unique black-eyed pea vodka of Todd and Scott’s took a silver medal in the New York World Wine & Spirits Competition and double gold at the 2017 Global Spirit Awards … we reckon we might, at the very least, save our Tito’s or Stoli or whatever for a different time of year – and toast to the incoming twelve months with a few rounds of BLK EYE Vodka.

See if we don’t, friend, see if we don’t.

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