The Chilton: It’s a Lubbock Thing

You may not find it hard to believe that the popular cocktail Manhattan originated in Manhattan, New York or that the sweet taste of a Long Island originated in Long Island. However, you might be able to thank Lubbock, Texas for introducing the refreshing cocktail known as The Chilton.

History of The Chilton

According to a local legend, it all started with Dr. Chilton, his need for a refreshing beverage, and Lubbock Country Club. According to an article by the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, some say Dr. Chilton “instructed his bar tender to mix the juice of two lemons with vodka and club soda and serve it over ice, with a salted rim.”

Just like that, the famous West Texas cocktail was born.

Chilton in the Present

Chilton from Gator’s Bayou. Karson Scharold/ The Hub@TTU.

Gator’s Bayou Cajun Grill and Bar is the perfect place to get your Louisiana fix. It is a lively atmosphere with a variety of cocktails to choose from, with one of their most popular being The Chilton.

Not only did they learn how to perfect the traditional Chilton, but at Gator’s Bayou you can choose from an assortment of different flavors.

“We are pretty known for the fact that we have specific flavors of Chilton’s, not a lot of restaurants do that,” employee Rachel Brennan said.

Every Red Raider is familiar with Broadway Avenue, but not many know that Broadway is also home to some of the best Chiltons.

Chilton from Cricket’s. Karson Scharold/ The Hub@TTU

Cricket’s Draft House is the go to spot for live music and a cold brew. According to the bar’s Facebook page, it has the largest beer selection in Lubbock.

“People order it all the time,” Cricket’s employee Erica Brooks said of the Chilton, which is offered for only $3 during happy hour.

Down the street is Local Bar and Grill. Although this is one of the smaller bars on Broadway, its rustic atmosphere combined with live country tunes will always ensure a great night.

Chilton from Local Bar and Grill. Karson Scharold/ The Hub@TTU

The rustic feel does not stop there. Local is known for its unique cocktails, which are all served in festive mason jars. This includes Local’s popular and tasty Chilton.

Local takes pride in making sure each of its drinks is made correctly, especially their Chilton.

“We use a full lemon and a shaker tin with the vodka and then shake it before we pour it in the glass, so none of the lemony goodness gets wasted,” Local bartender Jim Black said.

Although Bar PM is technically not on Broadway, it still attracts the college crowd. Bar PM is known for its friendly staff, great food, and wide music variety. However, it can make quality cocktails as well.

Chilton from Bar PM. Karson Scharold/ The Hub@TTU

While Bar PM does a great job at making a traditional Chilton, they also make a fantastic cucumber Chilton.

“Cucumber Chiltons are really good,” bartender John Feeley said. “They are super refreshing.”

After taste testing Chiltons at the various bars, Hub reporter Karson Scharold ranked them in order from Nos. 1-4, with No. 1 being the best. Each Chilton was ranked based on taste and presentation.

Chilton Rankings: 

  1. Local Bar and Grill
  2. Bar PM
  3. Gator’s Bayou
  4. Cricket’s Draft House

Go get your Chilton on and remember to drink responsibly!

About Karson Scharold

Karson is the Entertainment Reporter for The Hub@TTU. She loves traveling, obsessing over her dog Chloe, and binge watching Netflix. She will graduate with a degree in Electronic Media in December 2017 and hopes to find her place in an exciting new city!


  1. love it

    • Shannon Baker says:

      You should try the Red Raider Chilton from Pecan Grill at the Overton Hotel. It’s a great one!

  2. Carol at SKooners pours the best Chilton I’ve had in town.

  3. Chimy’s chilton is also awesome!

  4. Looking forward to tasting a classic Lubbock Chilton!

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