judson welcome to the show thanks for having me on and tell us where you served I was in the Navy from 2002 until 2010 and did three deployments to the Middle East thank you very much for your service it was my pleasure thanks for saying and then you went to business school and you’ve created this really cool business and it all starts here with the sotol plant who decided to just crack this thing open and make alcohol with it somebody about 13,000 years ago made a decision and what we now know as Southwest Texas so the Native Americans back before the Europeans showed up we’re talking a long time ago so you think the Spanish came here about 500 years ago rewind it further 13,000 years ago the natives were using this plant not yet to make booze but at that time they were making weapons with it they were making utensils with it spoons and knives they made baskets out of the leaves has these long narrow leaves and then about a thousand years ago they figured out you could ferment it and then consume it to become intoxicated okay well there you go okay so I mean did you just wake up one day and said this is what I want to do I mean like how did this all fall into line like a lot of startups it was sort of a series of random coincidence right but my co-founders Brent and Ryan are also military veterans we all met in business school and we were taking an elective called new venture creation which is an entrepreneurship course and Bretton Ryan had already formed their their group they needed one more person and I was sort of the odd man out the last last kid picked for the kickball team so they asked me to join the group and I said okay what’s the project cuz the way the class works as you choose one business concept early and then take it all the way through to business plan and you present sort of Shark Tank style to local investors in Austin cool so they said we’re gonna do freight delivery and I thought I thought about that for a few minutes and it sounded really difficult and I was already having a hard enough time in business school as it was and I said let’s find something more fun and easier they say what do you have in mind I said I don’t know how about booze let’s do booze you’re speaking our language okay so the sotol I’m gonna pass these dishes or grab mine grab yours Johnson now so we’re gonna try just what it tastes like by itself drink it chilled or I like it chilled neat which is what you’re gonna taste right now okay oh you know similar to tequila but different different plant oh yeah it doesn’t have that up to key laughs I didn’t know though I might I might think it was some version of tequila but it’s so much smoother yes thank you and that’s just a tribute to the plant so tequila comes from agave right agave its distant cousin so tall okay and you’re gonna be cooked mix up a cocktail for us right yes so tall margaritas these are Palomas fruit is the best in the world so this is sexist grapefruit juice a little desert door and I’ll mix up a cocktail these are pre-made for you guys if you’re ready make it yeah so I like to use a shaker you don’t have to use one if you just have a stirrer at home it works okay mine as well but I’ll make one for myself so about an ounce and a half of sotol the bottles that you have these are beautiful thank you these are handmade in Mexico and they’re ceramic so we wanted the bottle to feel like something that you might have found buried in the ground it was yeah a thousand years old because there’s such a rich history to the plant dude I would not throw that away I was like a mouthwash bottle isn’t that beautiful lot of folks keep them and they put you know flowers in there whatever keepsakes okay what’d you just put in there so so far just a little bit of sotol and some lime juice okay here comes the Texas grapefruit love it I’ve got a little heavy cuz it’s from the valley yes and then I use a little sweetener we use a little sweetener this is a ghave nectar you can use whatever you prefer I don’t like it too sweet so just a dash and I was just gonna say this finished product here today is you know what it’s not too sweet at all it’s just right mm-hmm the complaint that I have with margaritas in general is they taste like a sugar bomb so frequently this is just right though yeah fresh people who like fresh loved as a door because we harvest our plants almost every day of the week and so once a week we have a truck that drives from West Texas drops them off at our facility to south of Austin and we make it that week so this what you’re tasting was still growing in the ground probably three weeks ago oh wow so we harvest all our plants in the wild in Texas so the plant should be very familiar to a lot of your viewers landscape architects love it and it just grows all over West Texas southeastern New Mexico and northern Mexico and Johnson while you are putting on that finished garnishing there where can we where can we find desert or here in Houston mm-hmm well thankfully Houston nights are starting to ask for desert door so there’s a few liquor stores that carry us and some restaurants as well we’re in all of the total wine yes we’re in Houston wine merchants they were an early adopter so thanks to them we are in let’s see I’ve got my notes I didn’t forget premier liquor on Yale Street and liquor source on San Felipe and for restaurants we’re in Kazushi we’re in a key which is a southeastern Asian restaurant yeah we’re eighth row Flint oh yes and Heights beer garden Oh as well as others congratulations Astra’s sotol and we appreciate your sharing this with us today thanks for having me look at that blue bottle and for more info just visit our website folks we’ll be right back Cheers