also >criollo cattle like corientes, longhorns, and crackers v english types like herfords and english shorthorns.>feeding native plants, like cactus v planting fields of cool-season grasses>mescal (including tequilla), licor de cana, and pulque v ale (warm, low hops, dark - the closest thing you can get now is stout or malt liquor), gin, and whiskey.
saloons were prices as one bit and two bit businesses. That means a beer, a gill/half cup of spirit, or a cigar was 12.5c or 25c for each individual item. You paid with a 25c peice, and got given back a dime, called a 'short bit.', which you were expected to spend then and there.
Most saloons were not the wide gallery ones you see in movies. The only realistic saloon I have ever seen was the Bull's Head on Gunsmoke. They were narrow, long, and small.
Here's the most important thing COWBOY WHISKEY WAS VODKA.
Rye, scotch, bourbon, etc. was not saloon whiskey. The market for these drinks wouldn't appear as large market shares until afteramerican prohibition. Saloon whiskey was not 'watered down', but it was dilluted. Saloon keepers bought almost pure alcohol because it was cheaper to transport, as opposed to buying 50% water, and just added water to about 40-50% abv. If they bothered to color it, it was colored brown with a little burnt sugar, not tobacco juice or pepper or acid. All that did was to help make it easier to see to fill a glass in dim saloons. The acid/spit/bullshit thing was prohibitionist propaganda.
But cowboys didn't only drink whiskey, as gin was very common in the west.
Most offered free lunch with the purchase of a drink, but lunch became dinner and breakfast too. It was normally dried, pickled, or preserved food like crackers, nuts, pickled eggs, and sliced onions. Hot food was beans, bread, and whatever was easy to get and cheap enough to justify.