I have a slowly growing document on my hard drive of Louisville restaurants. After each entry, I have notes on my experiences at each establishment including favorite dishes, price point, outdoor seating options, notes on the beer and wine list, and comments on the cocktails. I keep this list for my own information but also because it's a handy thing to email friends who visit our lovely city. It's also great when you want a very specific dining experience for the evening but draw a complete blank when you try to determine a location. This happens to me a lot since our restaurant scene continues to rapidly expand.
I'm not sure why, but one of the places that I often overlook or forget about is Hilbilly Tea. However, after my last visit, I doubt it will escape my attention again. In fact, it is making it's way to a permanent place on my top five favorite places to eat and drink. I took advantage of a few of their Groupon offers and am certainly glad I did. In fact, if they ever do a Groupon again, I highly recommend snatching one or a billion of them up.
I wish I could go into detail about the different dishes I tried in my last few visits. The smoky delicious broccoli bake, a burger of tofu cut into a darling circle topped with a savory mushroom sauce, the melt in your mouth brisket sandwich are all worthy of more conversation. Alas, today I rave about the hooch.
Yes, hooch! Hilbilly Tea is crafting their own tea hooch which is basically alcohol infused with various teas. You have to try it to understand and if you are a tea lover, I recommend you try it immediately; your life is likely not complete. While sitting on the most sweetest, romantic little patio, I took my first sip of smoked hooch. Infused with lapsang tea, it's was shockingly smooth and easy to drink. This was enough to entice us to order a flight. We had Redbush hooch, Twig hooch, and Big Earl hooch. While the smoked was by far the smoothest and most dangerous, I also was delighted with Big Earl hooch, which is made with Earl Grey tea. The Redbush was not as smooth but still compared to your average liquor, very drinkable and full of interesting flavor. I had a special soft spot for the Twig hooch made with Hojicha (roasted green tea), on of my favorite teas from my childhood and still frequent on my tea rotation today.
They also have a lovely selection of signature cocktails made with the hooch which are equally amazing and perfect for summer. The taste is more refreshing and light then what you find on a usual cocktail menu. It's completely unique and paired with their innovative cuisine, a big gigantic win.
So if you have a hankering for something new, a date you are hoping to impress, or out of town friends looking for a really special Louisville experience, my recommendation is to check out Hilbilly Tea. They do not disappoint.
120 South 1st St.
Louisville, KY 40202