Food & Drink » Flavor

Avoid the bars the night before Thanksgiving and imbibe safely at home with these San Antonio cocktails


The El Baboso at Tony’s Siesta - COURTESY TONY’S SIESTA
  • Courtesy Tony’s Siesta
  • The El Baboso at Tony’s Siesta
Typically, the night before Thanksgiving is the biggest moneymaking shift for bars in much of the U.S. But given the rising number of COVID-19 cases in Bexar County, it’s not exactly the safest way to celebrate this year.

"Blackout Wednesday," as it’s referred to by some in the biz, is typically fueled by the prospect of a long holiday weekend — and prolonged time with relatives. Of course, the Great Dumpster Fire of 2020 may also be reason to imbibe.

To help people tip back a few safely at home, we hit up local drinkeries Tony’s Siesta and The Modernist for holiday-worthy cocktail recipes easily mixed up without the aid of barkeep.

Andy Palacios, proprietor of the recently opened downtown spot Tony’s, shared his recipe for the El Baboso, a signature riff on the classic Old Fashioned. The boozy concoction uses Angostura and Mexican chocolate bitters along with smoky mezcal to add warming depth to an already cozy cocktail.

The El Baboso at Tony’s Siesta - COURTESY TONY’S SIESTA
  • Courtesy Tony’s Siesta
  • The El Baboso at Tony’s Siesta
The El Baboso at Tony’s Siesta

1 1/2 ounces Abasolo Mexican Whisky
1/2 ounce Del Maguey Vida Mezcal
2 dashes angostura bitters
3 dashes Mexican chocolate bitters
1/4 ounce simple syrup
Lemon peel
Orange peel, to garnish

Add ice, Mexican whisky, mezcal, bitters and simple syrup to a rocks glass and gently stir until combined. Express the oil of the lemon peel over the glass and discard the peel. Add fresh orange peel to garnish.

The Modernist’s Poinsettia - COURTESY THE MODERNIST
  • Courtesy The Modernist
  • The Modernist’s Poinsettia
David Naylor, head honcho at craft-cocktail outpost The Modernist, shared an elevated recipe for a Poinsettia, a classic holiday drink that traditionally features a subtle spirit — vodka, for example — along with cranberry juice and sparkling wine.

The Modernist’s version keeps the bubbles, but uses tequila and pomegranate notes to create an effervescent and festive tipple perfect for toasting. Bonus: the recipe is easily duplicated, making it perfect for your small and safe holiday gathering.

The Modernist’s Poinsettia

1 1/2 ounces reposado tequila
1/2 ounce Pama pomegranate liqueur
1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice
1/4 ounce Giffard Grenadine (If Giffard is unavailable, ensure you're using sweet-tart syrup made with pomegranate, not the cherry-flavored syrup sold at grocery stores)
1/4 ounce Campari
3 drops salt water (1/4 teaspoon of salt to two teaspoons water provides the best balance)
Dry sparkling wine

Combine everything except the bubbles into a shaker tin. Add ice and shake lightly. Strain into a champagne flute and top with sparkling wine. Garnish with lemon twist and — if you’re super fancy — rose petals.

For more servings, multiply recipe by ten in a punch bowl. Add ice and a whole bottle of sparkling wine. Serve with a ladle at your small, socially distanced holiday gathering.

So many restaurants, so little time. Find out the latest San Antonio dining news with our Flavor Friday Newsletter.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the San Antonio Current Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the San Antonio Press Club for as little as $5 a month.