Austin Earle

Austin Earle is the general manager and mixologist at Broken Barrel in Hughes Landing.

Austin Earle is the general manager and mixologist at Broken Barrel in Hughes Landing.

Since Broken Barrel opened in early February with a gincentric cocktail menu, general manager and mixologist Austin Earle has been working hard to work to perfect the craft drinks as well as creating a few recipes of his own.

“One of the things that I like to play around with in my cocktails—since [I am] a sommelier and I love wine and beer—I like to cross the boundaries between spirits and wine and play around with wine or ports or sparkling wines inside my cocktails,” Earle said.

Broken Barrel offers six different gins—three traditional options and three more unorthodox. All gin and tonic drinks are served with an individual-sized bottle of Fever Tree tonic water for guests to pour themselves.

“I was kind of surprised at how well the gin cocktails took off,” Earle said. “People have really embraced it. We really wanted to put a focus on it because [the owner and I] both love gin, and we wanted to see other people get excited about it and learn about it and understand what it was that we were doing with this particular menu.”

Earle enjoys brewing his own beer, spirits and wines, and created and maintained the wine and specialty cocktail lists at his previous job. Two of Earle’s original crafted cocktails—the New Fashion and a raspberry mojito—will be featured on Broken Barrel’s brunch menu.

“In your cocktails, you always need that balance,” Earle said. “In the New Fashion, you’ll have espresso and whiskey coming together. The bitterness of the espresso mixed with the sweetness of the whiskey with those vanillas [and] with those caramels really help to play off each other.”

Earle focuses on mixing drinks that would be considered outside the norm and challenges himself to create the next best drink, he said.

“I always want to surround myself with people that are better than me and who are also passionate because I have a very competitive mentality,” Earle said. “I always want to get better and push myself.”

By Beth Marshall
Born and raised in Montgomery County, Beth Marshall graduated from The University of Texas at San Antonio in 2015 with a bachelor's degree in communication and a minor in business. Originally hired as a reporter for The Woodlands edition in 2016, she became editor of the Sugar Land/Missouri City edition in October 2017.