AUSTIN, Texas — Sundays in Austin can be one of life’s best sources of happiness. On this particular Sunday, I ventured out to attend an event hosted by Austin’s resident whiskey (and now venue) sommelier, Anthony Jones – or by how you may know him, @theatxdrinker.
What You Need To Know
- Anthony was Born in New Jersey before migrating to Texas.
- Anthony Jones runs two social drinking pages on Instagram, @theatxdrinker and @thewhiskeyboys.
- Anthony believes that social drinking can bring people together and connect the city.
- Outside of drinking, Anthony loves attending live music around the city.
- Anthony has been a Secret Disco Society Member since 2020.
It’s 2PM and I arrive at Higher Ground over on Congress. The event is upstairs and per usual, I’m early to the event (I was raised on Lombardi time, google it – it’s a thing). I start in on my go to Sunday drink order, a beer, and a shot – on this day I went with Twisted X Brewing’s McConauhaze and nice sipper of Toki’s Suntory. A few seconds later Anthony walks in, over to our group.
“Ready for some drinks?” He says with a slight grin and eyebrow flair that you know means it’s time for some fun. Anthony orders an old-fashioned, greets the manager and we head outside to listen to some music.
People are coming up to Anthony, greeting him and expressing their admiration over what he has built with @theatxdrinker. Anthony greets everyone with a smile, a thank you, and of course – a cheers. Which, once you truly get to know Anthony – it is not surprising how open, interactive and appreciative he is.
Migrating here by way of New Jersey, Anthony wanted to live in a new city that supported his passion for food and drink – this passion was exaggerated even further during the COVID19 outbreak. Looking for ways to enhance this hobby, each week he would explore local liquor stores and sample new whiskey and bourbons.
In doing so, Anthony would start sharing his thoughts and stories through @theatxdrinker account on Instagram and guess what – he was not alone in his love for whiskey. The account started gaining major traction in Austin and has become a go to for whiskey lovers alike, but it is much more than a page that shares great tasting whiskey – it is becoming a platform for connection.
“I really just want to be relatable to people who follow and like my content” he says with a smile. One of his new creation’s centers around a NCAA bracket style ranking of the ‘best bars and venues’ in the city based upon specific genres. From best places to get a margarita to best bars with dance music and DJs, @theatxdrinker has elevated beyond whiskey – into the stratosphere of the top places for locals and tourists to drink.
Anthony has found a home here in Austin – but more than that, Austinites have found a home in what @theatxdrinker represents. “Drinking culture brings everyone together” He says between sips of his whiskey “Nothing matters when your drunk together feeling happy”
In spending Sunday with Anthony and his @theatxdrinker crew, one thing is very apparent – drinking should always be done together in the company of those who inspire enjoyable conversation, laughs and good times. “I really want to grow old in Texas. I want to be the guy people think of when they think where, how and what to drink and hopefully one day when I’m old and walking the streets of the city, people will smile and give a head nod”
It’s true that drinking can bring people together – Anthony is living proof of that. As we close out this Sunday Funday, I finish my drink and head for the door. Walking past groups of people, I can’t help but notice everyone smiling, drinking and connecting. I turn back quickly to see Anthony walking over to a group of people and shaking their hands – we make eye contact briefly – I smile and nod as he raises his glass to the air.