San Antonio's 26 best bars, restaurants and tasting rooms for whiskey lovers 

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The margarita may be the unofficial drink of Texas summers, but there’s something to be said for a perfectly-balanced cocktail made with smooth scotch, rye or bourbon whiskey. Whether you’re hanging out on a downtown-area patio or enjoying a swanky basement-level speakeasy, SA has plenty of spots to cool off with a refreshing, whiskey-based tipple.

In preparation for the Current's annual Whiskey Business event — which will feature the more than 50 varieties of the rich, amber-hued booze — we dug up 26 local spots that can pour a mean whiskey cocktail.
OF 26
Bar Loretta
320 Beauregard St., (210) 757-3607,
This new spot offers cocktail mavens a bar menu that highlights a selection of Manhattans, created by bartender Michael J. Neff, founder of The Cottonmouth Club in Houston and The Rum House in New York.
Photo via Instagram / barloretta
306 W Market St., (210) 229-9222,
Ambler, the new eatery inside the iconic Hotel Contessa, serves up classically-inspired cocktails such as the Ambler Old Fashioned — made with Basil Hayden bourbon, amaro, salted honey and bitters — in an inviting space.
Photo via Instagram / amblersa
RD Speakeasy
8400 N New Braunfels Ave, (210) 824-0116,
Tucked behind The Barn Door restaurant, adorned by nothing more than a green lantern above the door, RD may not look like much at first glance, but once you’re granted entry — by way of a secret password, naturally — opulent details and expertly crafted whiskey cocktails await.
Photo via Instagram / atanotherangle
The Esquire Tavern
155 E Commerce St, (210) 222-2521,
This longtime SA boozery may be known for its record-setting 109-foot-long bar, but cocktail purists may find a respite in the River Walk tavern’s whiskey selection. Belly up to the iconic bar for a Texas is the Reason cocktail, featuring bonded corn whiskey, local Texas scrub-smoked whiskey, Italian liqueur, grapefruit and honey.
Photo via Instagram / esquiretavernsa
Jazz, TX
312 Pearl Pkwy., Building 6, (210) 332-9386,
The tagline for this swanky Pearl-area venue is, “Fine Jazz – Serious Food,” but is no one going to mention the cocktails? The boozy, Old Fashioned-style ensemble cocktail features bourbon, brown sugar, peach, basil and bitters. Sign us up.
Photo via Instagram, jazz_texas
Devils River Distillery
401 E Houston St., (833) 379-1840,
Offering five different expressions of Texas whiskey is no small feat, and this distillery celebrates its accomplishment with cocktails such as the Razmanian Devil, featuring Devils River Bourbon, raspberry and lemon.
Photo via Instagram / devilsrwhiskey
Downstairs at Esquire
155 E Commerce St., (210) 222-2521,
Downstairs, which can be accessed from the Paseo del Rio or from the adjoining Esquire Tavern itself, offers up a menu of craft cocktails, beer and wine, as well as impressive lineups of spirits for sipping. A small bites menu currently lists artisan black garlic beef jerky and fancy AF caviar service.
Photo via Instagram / downstairsatesquire
Tony’s Siesta
206 Brooklyn Ave., (210) 592-1199,
This revamp of a historic San Antonio watering hole marries the old with the new, offering easy vibes and expertly crafted cocktails. Be sure to mosey out to the back patio with your boozy libations for a cool breeze and food truck fare.
Photo via Instagram / tonyssiesta
Cellar Mixology by Toro Kitchen + Bar
1142 E Commerce St, (210) 592-1075,
Located in St. Paul's Square, just east of Downtown San Antonio, this speak-easy concept boasts basement walls that date back to the 1920's. While the space may feature older details, the whiskey cocktails are anything but tired.
Photo via Instagram / cellarmixology
Whiskey Cake
15900 La Cantera Pkwy Ste 21200, (210) 236-8095,
Whiskey is in the name, you guys! And this La Cantera-area spot certainly pays homage to that particular ingredient, offering cocktails such as the Tennessee Stud, with Jack Daniel’s, local honey, lemon and Old Fashioned and orange bitters.
Photo via Instagram / whiskeycakesa
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Sternewirth Tavern
136 E Grayson St., (210) 223-7375
This cool, cavernous spot offers plenty of space to post up with a cocktail or two. Be sure to check out the cushioned seating areas inside two large industrial tanks while you sip on a classic Vieux Carré cocktail, with rye whiskey, cognac, sweet vermouth liqueur, Bénédictine and Peychaud's bitters.
Photo via Instagram / historicpearl
Maverick Whiskey
115 Broadway, (210) 447-7010,
This Downtown distillery offers a selection of SA-made spirits, such as their Texas Straight Bourbon Whiskey. Try it in the Smoking Revolver cocktail, featuring Maverick Coffee Liqueur, bitters, smoked with cinnamon.
Photo via Instagram / maverickwhiskey
Bar du Mon Ami
4901 Broadway St, (210) 740-9229,
This cozy Alamo Heights staple takes pride in its quiet, dimly lit atmosphere, good for chatting with friends while imbibing in the bar’s selection of whiskies. Ask your bartender for booze recommendations, as the options abound.
Photo via Instagram / bardumonami
Rock & Rye
17631 La Cantera Pkwy RIM, Suite # 103, (210) 721-7753,
Fans of luxurious vibes and no-nonsense cocktails can now enjoy specialty spirits at Rock and Rye, a new far northwest spot from Bar 1919 owner Don Marsh. The smart and stylish space follows in Bar 1919’s footsteps, offering an impressive specialty cocktail menu and a spirit list that currently boasts 400 varieties of booze.
Photo via Instagram / rockandryebar
Bohanan’s Prime Steak and Seafood
219 E Houston St., (210) 472-2600,
Steak and seafood may gain top billing at this downtown spot, but believe us when we say the cocktails could please any discerning sipper. Snag a seat at the upstairs bar for a truly customized experience.
Photo via Instagram / bohanans
Ranger Creek Brewing and Distilling
4834 Whirlwind Dr., (210) 339-2282,
SA’s first “brewstillery” offers up a collection of Alamo City-distilled whiskeys including award-winning bourbon, single malt and rye varieties. Venture out and try the Texas Mule cocktail, a spin on the Moscow Mule using premium white whiskey instead of vodka.
Photo via Instagram / rangercreek
1. The Modernist
516 E Grayson St, (210) 446-8699,
This boozery offers innovative twists on classics and fancy house cocktails alike, serving up craft tipples in a space that borders on kitschy. Embrace the midcentury-modern decor and order up an expertly-crafted Manhattan, à la Don Draper.
Photo via Instagram / themodernistsa
The Hoppy Monk
1010 N Loop 1604 E, (210) 545-3330,
This north SA spot may be known for its extensive beer offerings, but a whiskey lover would be remiss not to try out their Penicillin cocktail, which features two types of fancy AF Compass Box Scotch whiskies.
Photo via Instagram / thehoppymonk_sa
300 E Travis St, (210) 352-3171,
The whiskey cocktails in this swanky joint lend themselves to a decadent experience, thanks to ingredients such as honeysuckle liqueur and chocolate bitters.
Photo via Instagram / rebellesanantonio
Lucy Cooper’s Texas Ice House
Masks Required
16080 San Pedro Ave, (210) 462-1894,
Her food may have won the 2021 Best Of SA award for best bar food, but if you haven’t tried chef Lucy’s Camp Fire cocktail, you’re missing out. Made with Devil's River Whiskey, Marshmallow Syrup and orange bitters — and topped with toasted campfire marshmallows — it’s like a weekend camping trip in a glass.
Photo via Instagram / lucycoopersicehouse
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2720 McCullough Ave, (210) 320-2777
While hungry diners could easily spend long evenings at this Monte Vista staple snacking on pizza and cheese plates, folks with a penchant for thoughtful cocktails crafted with care will also be thoroughly sated.
Photo via Instagram / sabarbaro\
Bar 1919
1420 S. Alamo St., (210) 227-1420,
Plenty of cocktail havens aspire to Bar 1919's dark and stylish speakeasy vibe, but what really sets this booze haven aside is the seriousness with which it approaches its craft. You'd be hard pressed to find a more robust list of Scotch and bourbon, not just in San Antonio, but much of the country.
Photo via Instagram / sacurrent
Brazed Bourbon and Beer
909 Broadway, San Antonio, TX 78215, (210) 632-1209,
While this spot was conceptualized by noted local cocktail guru Jeret Peña, the menu at Brazed focuses mostly on its impressive lineup of whiskeys. Located just North of Downtown on Broadway, Brazed serves up savory barbecue that compliments its 100+ whiskey options.
Photo via Instagram / brazedsa
George’s Keep
17101 La Cantera Pkwy., Suite 1200,
This La Cantera-area spot emulates owner Steve Mahoney’s two other bars, Green Lantern and Blue Box, in its classic cocktails and opulent decor. Pro tip: set up at the south bar for boozier drinks made with darker spirits, such as bourbon or rye.
Photo via Instagram / csj55
Havana Bar
1015 Navarro St., (210) 222-2008,
Along the San Antonio River, in the basement of the historic hotel Hotel Havana is the Havana Bar, a dark and swanky spot brimming with speakeasy vibes and whiskey cocktails galore. Whether you order up a classic cocktail or something fancy from the bartender, Havana Bar serves up sexy sips for all palates.
Photo via Instagram / randi.redmon
The General Public
17619 La Cantera Parkway, Ste. 102, (210) 920-1101,
This spot is one of many SA joints that stocks so many whiskeys, they’ve got their own section of the menu! Pop in for a classic Old Fashioned, or let the bartender create something totally custom. Either way, you’ll leave happy.
Photo via Instagram / thegenpublic
Bar Loretta
320 Beauregard St., (210) 757-3607,
This new spot offers cocktail mavens a bar menu that highlights a selection of Manhattans, created by bartender Michael J. Neff, founder of The Cottonmouth Club in Houston and The Rum House in New York.
Photo via Instagram / barloretta

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