The Chilton

What’s a Chilton, you ask? Ask anyone from Lubbock, Texas, and you will quickly hear about the Chilton. It’s a matter of local pride that Lubbock is home to this refreshing and simple cocktail. Legend has it that the drink was born at the Lubbock Country Club when Dr. Chilton asked the bartender to salt the rim and squeeze lemon in to his* vodka with soda water. Sit at any bar in Lubbock and now, several other Texas towns, and you can order a Chilton without providing the recipe to the bartender. Even Texas Monthly has written about the Chilton on (not just one, but) at least two occasions! It is my personal favorite when I’m not drinking wine and is especially enjoyable on a hot summer day or when tailgating in the Fall.

While the balance of the three main ingredients can be adjusted to taste, here is the simplest base to try:


  • 1.5 ounces Vodka
  • Juice of one large or two small lemons (about the same amount as the Vodka)
  • 6-7 ounces club soda

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I love that there are local Texas distilleries to source excellent liquor and Dripping Springs small-batch vodka does not disappoint! Dripping Springs is not incredibly close to Lubbock, but in Texas, everything’s local, right? Wherever you may be, I always encourage my friends to shop local, if at all possible.


Salt the rim and fill glass with ice. I personally prefer to wet the rim with lemon juice and then really cover the rim! Add vodka, lemon juice and then fill the remainder with club soda. Stir and garnish with a lemon. I personally believe the salted rim really makes it a true Chilton!

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* Very little actual evidence (lawyer-talk) exists to tell us who Dr. Chilton was, but in all the tall tales, “he” is referred to as a man.

Cheers!  – E

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