Does Wichita Falls' "Red Draw" Exist Anywhere Besides This Texas Town?
A look at the tomato juice and beer combo much loved in Wichita Falls, Texas.
And you thought beer was amazing? If you love savory drinks, you may be well acquainted with red beer or red eye — beer mixed with tomato juice — or micheladas, a spicy Mexican cocktail with beer and tomato juice along with seasonings like chili powder.
But have you heard of the red draw? Likely not, unless you're from the Texas-Oklahoma border town of Wichita Falls, Texas. In fact, so proud is Wichita Falls of its tomato juice and beer elixir that you can order up this beverage at many places around town, as Texas Monthly's "The Texanist" column by David Courtney recently wrote in a deep dive on the subject of red draws. One such spot, P2-The Deuce, which dates back to 1948, even flaunts the tagline of "Home of the Red Draw. There, it's served with 12 ounces of Budweiser draft beer and four ounces of Campbell's tomato juice in a frosty mug. While the drinks have similar composition elsewhere, none are perhaps quite as famed as P2-The Deuce's, though they all go by the red draw moniker in these parts, unlike in other parts of the country, and even Texas.
"In a poll of joints located outside of Wichita Falls but inside of Texas, the Texanist discovered that a thirsty patron with a hankering for a red draw would not be disappointed upon stumbling into a number of watering holes located outside of Falls Town proper. The Rockin' S Bar & Grill in Graham, a good hour south of Wichita Falls, serves them, as does Doc's Bar & Grill in Muenster, an hour to the southeast of Wichita Falls, and the Vernon Parts Sports Bar and Grill in Vernon, 45 minutes northwest of Wichita Falls," wrote Courtney. "And then there's the Feedlot Restaurant and Red Dirt Saloon in Burkburnett, twenty minutes north of Wichita Falls, whose staffers serve a beer and tomato juice concoction they self-promotingly call 'Red Dirt beer,' though they're not fooling anyone."
Courtney further noted that "the farther one strays from the home region of a particular regional delicacy, the less readily available it will likely become" and he doesn't think he's seen a red draw on the bar menu at any venues in his Central Texas hometown of Temple, nor in Austin, Houston, San Antonio, North Padre Island, Midland, and others, "though he bets you could probably find one in Dallas or Fort Worth."
These days, we think we'll simply opt to find a bit of Wichita Falls in our kitchen. Pass the tomato juice and beer, please.