Austin-based Jeremiah Allen could have decided to make whiskey, vodka, or just about anything else as he entrée to distilling, but he instead decided on a decidedly atypical spirit: triple sec, that classic, clear orange-infused mixer. Why triple sec? Allen was disappointed with home-grown, artisanal products — most are either made in bulk or imported from far afield — so he thought he’d come up with a local alternative.
High Horse is a simple product — grain neutral alcohol, cane sugar, and natural flavors. Allen doesn’t exactly proclaim to hand-crush oranges between his thighs but rather uses commonly available ingredients, blending in small batches. The recipe? Easy: He tasted what was on the market, then tried to make something better.
The results speak for themselves: The liqueur is bright with a mix of navel and blood orange aromas, a hint of vanilla, and a slightly green herbaceousness that tempers any overt sweetness from dominating. Expectations are largely met on the palate, with a more obviously sour element muscling the sweeter notes to the side, which lets more of an orange peel quality find its voice. Things sweeten up as the finish builds and the more sour elements fade into the background. The drinker is left with an afterimage of chocolate-covered oranges, a dash of vanilla, and the bright essence of pure orange oil spritzed across the top.
Available only in Texas.
A- / $20 / highhorsetriplesec.com