Shotgun tequila at the liquor store

A graffiti-strewn building at the corner of Chicon and Sixth streets hints at East Austin's edgier and more troubled past.

A graffiti-strewn building at the corner of Chicon and Sixth streets hints at East Austin’s edgier and more troubled past.

When you place your bottle down on the counter in J&J Drug liquor store at  1131 East 11th Street, it’s hard for your eyes not to take in the pump-action shotgun nonchalantly leant against the wall, with a casual pistol lain beside, keeping it company.

I’d run out of tequila over the weekend–making margaritas, naturally–and popped in to stock up.

Two guys seem to run the store, one old, the other immensely old, but they’re always friendly and chat away–during a previous visit the less old gentleman reminisced about the scrapes he’d experienced in the store when the East Side was a much rougher part of town: it made Iraq and Afghanistan sound fairly tame.

Being a wannabe margarita aficionado, I always toil over the tequila selection (most important ingredient, after all; though tequila prices ain’t the cheapest, also).

Rather than reach for his shotgun and tell me to hurry up, the gentleman wandered over and recommended a bottle that had just come in.

It’s name, Señor Frog’s, didn’t exactly inspire confidence and it being rather incongruously wrapped in a random plastic bag gave it a whiff of contraband, but at $20 I was sold, plus it was reposado tequila.

Shotguns in liquor stores, tequila off the back of a truck–hell, it’s what you come to America for (having searched the Web, it seems Señor Frog’s is a pretty decent tequila, which shows what a poor aficionado I make. And it made for a fine margarita that night; so, Mr. Frog, you have my attention.)