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Where to Cool Down this Summer with a Cocktail


Photos by Krauses, Jessica Elizarraras and Jacqueline Fierro/Giant Noise
  • Photos by Krauses, Jessica Elizarraras and Jacqueline Fierro/Giant Noise

Smashes / Imbibe Magazine perfectly summed up the spirit of a smash: “At its heart, the smash is a wonderfully forgiving and flexible drink, made for hot days, for using what’s on hand and for smashing it all together over ice for pure sipping bliss.”

Summertime means stress-free hangs and that makes the smash the perfect drink. Easy enough to make at home, you could also grab a smash or two from newly opened Hanzo (7701 Broadway, 210-826-1488), an izakaya concept by Steve Mahoney, with its seasonal smash of blackberry and citrus, tequila, mint and lime. Or have the Piñata Smash at Bexar Pub (114 Brooklyn Ave., 210-236-7828) before the menu changes in the coming weeks. Made with rum, strawberry, lemon and orange soda and only $3 during happy hour, you’ll be hitting this piñata a few times. 

Sangria / A German bierhalle might not seem like the place to find Spanish sangria, but here we are. Krause’s Café, (148 S. Castell Ave., New Braunfels, 830-625-2807) a longtime New Braunfels staple that stood from 1938 to 1995, reopened early this year with new owners, German fare, 10,000 square feet of biergarten fun and yes, sangria. Poured out of one of the 80 taps on the wall, the Swashbuckler sangria is mixed with crushed iced and chunks of boozy fruit. Or try the namesake offerings at Sangria on the Burg (5115 Fredericksburg Road, 210-744-1448) where restaurant-goers can choose between red, white, grapefruit (made with rosé, pineapple, grapefruit Jarritos and Deep Eddy Ruby Red), Jameson ginger, or Big Red (made with sparkling wine, pineapple, cranberry, Big Red and Jack Daniel’s honey). But if you’re  looking for an authentic experience to go with your sangria fix, you’ll want to try Toro Kitchen + Bar (115 N. 1604 E., Suite 1105, 210-592-1075) where a pitcher of house sangria (red or white) is less than $20.

Aguas Frescas / Chisme’s (2403 N. St. Mary’s St., 210-530-4236) strong suit lies in its bar. Whether it’s the fanciful coconut-lime Chismosa (which is finally making its way to the happy hour menu), the michelada or your soon-to-be favorite aguas frescas. Created by bar manager Esteban Medina, the aguas include flavors such as watermelon-mint-grapefruit and pineapple and run $5 a pop during happy hour with the drinker’s spirit of choice, of which Medina says tequila and vodka are natural go-tos. With more flavors coming this summer, including mango, you’ll want to  grab a seat at this bar.

An Imposture / Denise De Glopper enjoys low ABV cocktails, and you will too when you get a sip of the Imposture. Made with Limoncello, gingembre amaro, and topped off with soda, the drink is smooth, balanced and perfect for patio-sipping. It vaguely recalls a boozy Arnold Palmer, so grab one of these drinks at Lowcountry (318 Martinez St., 210- 560-2224) before or after tee time.

The Chillton / A slight riff of the West Texas cocktail known as The Chilton, Bexar Pub’s version trades club soda for Topo Chico and a salted rim for a very San Anto chile salt rim. The result leans into rusa territory, and is refreshing as ever. And, it’s easy enough to replicate at home.

The Chilton
1½ to 2 ounces vodka
Juice of two lemons
Topo Chico

Rim a glass with chile salt (we used Twang’s chili lime). Fill glass with ice, add vodka and lemon juice then stir gently. Top with Topo and enjoy.

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