The Planner: COTA creates signature cocktail, Silverman joins FFF lineup

The new signature drink of the Circuit of the Americas brings Texas distilling history to the track.

When the folks behind COTA decided they wanted to create a signature cocktail, they aimed for an Austin equivalent of the Kentucky Derby’s Mint Julep: a straightforward and iconic alternative to beer. So they turned to the W Hotel staff to help devise the perfect recipe.

Tasked with making a drink that was female-friendly and locally sourced, W Hotel libationist Joyce Garrison started with Tito’s Vodka, an “obvious choice,” she said, since Tito Beveridge was the first distiller in Texas. From there, she wanted to honor female contributions to the Texas booze industry, so she incorporated bright Paula’s Texas Orange (Paula Angerstein was the second distiller in the state and first female distiller), and spicy Bad Dog Bar Craft Fire and Damnation bitters (owner Lara Nixon created the state’s first homegrown bitters).

From there, Garrison brought in a variety of juice to keep the drink light and refreshing. She says because the drink would be served year-round at both the track and the hotel bars and needed to appeal to a variety of drinkers, she took inspiration from the hotel’s best-selling Jalapeno Cucumber Lemonade when devising the recipe. The COTA Flame has a similarly easygoing personality; it’s bright and citrusy with just a slight jalapeno-like kick from the bitters.

The drink will make its official debut at COTA’s Starting Grid event Monday.

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Silverman joins Fun Fun Fun lineup

Comedian Sarah Silverman has been added to the roster of funny folks on the Yellow Comedy Stage at Fun Fun Fun Fest, which is Nov. 8-10 at Auditorium Shores. She’ll do an FFF Nites show on Nov. 8 at the State Theatre; she will perform at the fest Nov. 10.

Previously announced on the comedy lineup: Tenacious D, Patton Oswalt, Craig Robinson, Rob Delaney, Doug Benson and Jenny Slate, among others.

Tickets for Fun Fun Fun and more information at

— American-Statesman staff

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