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Austin Whiskey Distillery Opens a Floating Lake Bar Pop-Up

Plus, Austin bars and bartenders snag cocktail award nominations, and more news

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A whiskey tasting room.
Fierce Whiskers’s tasting room.
Fierce Whiskers
Nadia Chaudhury is the editor of Eater Austin covering food and pop culture, as well as a photographer, writer, and frequent panel moderator and podcast guest.

McKinney neighborhood distillery Fierce Whiskers is opening up a floating pop-up bar on the water for the summer. It’s part of its new straight rye whiskey launch, which it began distilling in September 2020 for this summer release. The Stubborn Bar will be found at an undisclosed location on Lady Bird Lake. Drinks include the Texas straight rye whiskey straight up or on the rocks, an Old Fashioned, and the Austin cocktail made with egg whites, lemon, honey, peach tea, and orgeat. People can snag a chance to attend the temporary bar by joining its email list. It will be open on the weekends from Saturdays to Sundays on June 3 to 4 (though it’s already booked up), June 17 to 18, and June 24 to 25 from 2 to 8 p.m.

For those who don’t get to go to the floating bar, Fierce is also hosting a party at its distillery on Saturday, June 10 with food, drinks, and a concert by pop musicians Neil Frances with the Bros Fresh. Early tickets for the first 30 people are $30; then it’s $38 with VIP for $120.

Austin bar accolades continue

The next round of Tales of the Cocktail’s Spirited Award nominees was announced this week. Austinites and Austin places include Drink.Well’s and Daijoubu’s Caer Maiko Ferguson (U.S. Bartender of the Year category), Nickel City (U.S. Bar Team and U.S. Cocktail Bar), and the Roosevelt Room (U.S. Bar Team). The regional nominees were announced in April. Finalists will be announced on July 27.

In more Texas whisky news

Scotch whisky company Johnnie Walker is adding a Texas bottle to its blue-label cities series. The design includes images of a ranch, longhorns, prickly pears, bluebonnets, and more. It’s available at liquor stores and online for $249.99.

Tracking Austin restaurant events

The Johnson City location of Hill Country winery Lost Draw is throwing a rosé dinner this weekend. On deck will be tastings of its wines, including the 2022 saignee rosé, along with a dinner full of live-fire-cooked dishes including beef, chicken, and vegetables. It takes place on Saturday, June 3 at 6 p.m.; tickets are $85.

Cherrywood Mexican seafood restaurant Este is hosting a market at its newer Bar Toti space this weekend as part of its garden’s third birthday. Mercado del Girasol will include vendors like flower farm Cassiopeia, jewelry shop Zanny Adornments, and vintage shop Jello Mom. There will be raffles where ticket proceeds will go towards the nonprofit Casa Marianella. Then there will be cocktails and nonalcoholic drinks, a free sunflower picking hour, and purchasable lunch. It takes place on Sunday, June 4 from noon to 4:30 p.m.

Cherrywood Italian truck Patrizi’s is celebrating its tenth birthday with a party full of food, drinks, and music on Sunday, June 4 from 2 to 9 p.m.

South Congress Hotel Japanese restaurant Otoko and cocktail bar Watertrade are taking over the hotel’s pool for a party with Lucky Dog Sake and High Road Spirits. Food-wise, there will be hand rolls, cocktails, and the brand’s sake juice boxes. It takes place on Sunday, June 4 from 2 to 4 p.m.; tickets are $75 which includes a sake juice box, the drinks and food are available for purchase there.

Mexican restaurant El Naranjo is hosting a dinner next week with mezcal experts and co-founders of Oaxacan tourism company Mezscouting Andrea Hagan and Marco Ochoa. The five-course, mezcal-paired dinner will focus on the cuisines of Oaxaca’s Sierra Sur area, along with Gusto Histórico mezcals. Dishes will include smoky Oxacan chiles with pork picadillo, marinated striped bass with chile tabiche and pineapple adobo; and a prickly pear panna cotta. The restaurant will also offer one of the dinner’s dishes plus its accompanying mezcal — the infladita de salpicón de setas con chile tuxta (puffed blue corn masa with an oyster mushroom salad and chile tuxta) — on its regular menu through Saturday, June 24. It takes place on Thursday, June 8 at 7 p.m.; tickets are $142.

South Congress Hotel

1603 South Congress Avenue, , TX 78704 (512) 920-6405 Visit Website

Lost Draw Cellars [Johnson City]

1686 US Highway 290, Johnson City, Texas 78636 Visit Website

Fierce Whiskers Distillery

5333 Fleming Court, , TX 78744 (512) 537-5779 Visit Website


2113 Manor Road, , TX 78722 (512) 522-4047 Visit Website

Nickel City

212 South Main Street, , TX 76104 (512) 987-4294 Visit Website


1705 Cuernavaca Drive North, , TX 78733 (346) 241-1350 Visit Website

El Naranjo [South Lamar]

2717 South Lamar Boulevard, Austin, Texas 78704

Bar Toti

2113 Manor Road, , TX 78722 (512) 522-4047 Visit Website


207 East 53rd Street, , TX 78751 (512) 614-6683 Visit Website


1603 South Congress Avenue, Austin, TX (512) 920-6405


1603 South Congress Avenue, , TX 78704 (512) 994-0428 Visit Website

The Roosevelt Room

307 West 5th Street, , TX 78701 (512) 494-4094 Visit Website