Just as Ranch Water, the tequila drink long favored by Texas cattle ranchers, is catching on, a Houston bar has developed a cocktail based on a Southern tradition. The Hillbilly Highball at EZ’s Liquor Lounge stems from a 1920s blue-collar worker tradition of pouring peanuts into bottles of Coke.
The snack became popular for those who worked labor intensive, hands-on jobs and were without access to an immediate place to wash their hands. To keep residue off of their peanuts, workers poured them into the bottles of Coke for convenience and cleanliness.
The salty and sweet Hillbilly Highball, created by EZ’s co-owner Matt Tanner and made with Old Forester Salted Peanut Butter bourbon and Mexican Coca-Cola, is a modern homage to this tradition. Served with a side package of peanuts for dunking or enjoying on the side, the Hillbilly Highball has become one of the bar’s most popular drinks.
EZ’s Liquor Lounge, a playful, laid-back bar with a vintage feel from the Agricole Hospitality team, opened in late October. Inspired by cofounders Matt Tanner, Morgan Weber, Ryan Pera and Vincent Huynh’s collective love of a good neighborhood dive, EZ’s features a menu of classic liquor drinks, cold beers on draft and no-frills bar snacks such as chili pies, nachos, and hot dogs.