SANDIA, Texas – South Texas. A landscape unlike any other in Texas. Between San Antonio and the valley you’ll find all sorts of small towns including Sandia.
With a population of only 400, you’ll find a restaurant, a post office, and a small metal building that happens to be home to the very first distillery south of San Antonio.
“Like my dad used to say, he said this Sandia, Texas is God’s country,” Roy said.
Roy Aguilar’s family has been settled in Sandia for four generations and when it comes to spawning spirits, he didn’t go with tequila or whiskey, his drink of choice, vodka.
“I’ve always wanted to be different,” Roy said.
Roy’s reasoning for selling this sauce usually associated with our comrades across the pond is simple.
“I did some research and found out that vodka is probably the number one choice of drink as far as alcohol wise in the United States and Texas,” Roy said.
Not exactly what you’d expect to find so close to the border but then again, would you expect to find a tasting room in Sandia?
Prior to soliciting the sauce, Roy was a welder and actually built his barn dedicated to bringing the lone star state libation to the land.
“You know, welding in South Texas in 100 degree weather is not, you know,” Roy said. “At 50 years old it kind of gets old already. You want to do something different. So, I was looking at making a career change and doing something different.”
Roy dabbled in making homemade wine, studied up on making spirits, and got his permit in 2016. In that very short amount of time, Wild Rag Vodka is already available all over the state.
“The most surprising part of this vodka business is how true it is that Texans support local so well,” Roy said.
Roy single handedly handles all aspects of his vodka production from fermenting to bottling.
Roy may have tenacious Texas determination, but when it comes to the sudden success of libation his persistence might be at the heart of his success. What’s the secret to making good vodka? According to Roy, patience.
“It’s like anything you do in this world,” Roy said. “You want to put your best into it, and usually that’s what you’re going to get out of it.”
So, before you raise your fnial toast to Texas a stop at the Wild Rag Distillery in Sandia, Texas is well worth a stop on The Texas Bucket List.
“Well right before you kick the bucket, heck, you can go down with a good drink,” Roy said. “You come over here and have a little alcohol, and actually some really good vodka. And come visit God’s country.”