Best Cocktail Bar

Staff Pick

Courtesy of Jazz, TX
  • Courtesy of Jazz, TX
OUR PICK: Jazz, TX, 312 Pearl Pkwy., (210) 332-9386,

A lot goes into the making of a great cocktail bar. For starters, the bar itself should have attitude — not necessarily in-your-face, but, at the very least, a theme should emerge. Then there are the servers: both reasonably cordial and exceptionally well-versed in the classics. A selection of creative cocktails is a definite plus. And then there’s the music — for this imbiber, also not so in-your-face. Unless that music is at Jazz TX, a basement boîte at Pearl inspired and run by Doc Watkins and his Texas Swing band. If your tastes run to Ella and Earl, then this is your Texas-accented jive; a recent no-cover piano-bass-drums trio expertly rendered tunes such as “Body and Soul”, a ‘tender turned out a swingin’ Fall Back (applejack, rye, Carpano Antica, Amaro Nonino…) ode to Sasha Petraske — and later, a credible Caña Brava daiquiri. (Manager Jake Corney has the boys well-trained.) Fried pickled mushrooms happily kept hunger at bay
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