Cocktail culture hit SA with an obsession the last year, with crews of young mixologists (yes it really is a word — from the early 1900s) in eager attendance filling new drinks venues. Here's a list of our favorite new and old houses of elegant libation.
Tucked snuggly under the lofts at Blue Star Art Center, Bar 1919 takes its name from the last year before Prohibition. Founded by Don Marsh (Bohanan's, Green Lantern), this ode to cocktail culture cribs from NYC's trendiest spots, delivering over 300 spirits, classic recipes, and new cocktail inventions.
1420 S Alamo, Ste. 001
Jaret Peña (Esquire) has raised the bar again with the Brooklynite, the city's newest addition to the cocktail scene. Located a few blocks down river from our offices, it's our new local, and we're more than pleased. The Brooklynite delivers with amazing drinks, a unique retro atmosphere, and perfect service.
THE ESQUIRE TAVERN
The 80-year-old River Walk institution is about as San Antonio as it gets, serving crafted cocktails, craft beers, and small production wines paired with San Antonio comfort food. Lunch and dinner menu items include deviled eggs, sirloin and bison burgers, pulled chicken salad, fried apples pies.
155 E Commerce
BLUE BOX BAR
Named after a bygone blue cooler where brewery workers used to wind down after shift, the Blue Box is the Pearl's full-fledged watering hole. While it nods to the past with industrial design elements and a railing made from pieces of a retired mash tin, the place gives off a distinctly modern vibe. Classic cocktails are available, of course, accompanied by new inventions.
312 Pearl Pkwy
Filling the ground floor under Mark Bohanan's famed old world steakhouse, the swank interior features clubby chairs and a cherry wood bar as long and true as a bowling alley that was designed with the bar menu in mind: classic cocktails from the '20s, '30s, and '40s — delivered by a crew trained by one of the best in the biz, New York's Sasha Petraske, of Milk & Honey fame.
219 E Houston Ste. 275
SOHO WINE & MARTINI BAR
This sophisticated yet unpretentious riverside bar really does feel like a big-city hangout in its namesake Manhattan 'hood. The clubby atmosphere is helped along by deep-red walls, stylish furniture, the former bank's original 19th-century safe (doubling as an above-ground cellar), and a horseshoe bar that encourages long, conversation-rich happy hours.