Austin Nothing says, "I’m adventurous" like throwing back a craft cocktail with freshly sliced jalapeño in it -- well, maybe like rock climbing or fighting alligators or whatever… but that’s not the point. The point is that it’s Summer in Austin and a little kick never hurt anyone, so check out one of these peppery infusions guaranteed to put a little heat on your palate and hair on your chest.
La Condesa, Downtown
Speaking of adventurous, one must-try cocktail on our spicy radar is the Alma Blanca, which translates to "white soul". It combines habanero-infused Siembra Azul blanco tequila, ginger liqueur, agave nectar, pineapple juice, muddled fresh corn for texture and sweetness, hoja de hierba santa, and a colorful hibiscus rose-infused salt rim. Continue Reading
Icenhauer’s, Rainey St
Inspired by a former employee of Icenhauer’s, this cocktail sounds harmless, but packs a tasty punch nonetheless. It’s made with Hatch chile-infused Espolón silver tequila, mango, red pepper simple syrup, and fresh lime juice.
Cucumber Jalapeño Rita
Jack Allen’s Kitchen, Southwest
Drive a little ways out to Jack Allen’s -- or if you live in that 'hood already, just stay there. Their Cucumber Jalapeño Rita, made with Ambhar reposado tequila, St. Germain, muddled cucumber, fresh jalapeños, simple syrup, and fresh lime, is perfect for Summer day-drinking on the patio.
Peche, Warehouse District
While the name evokes images of portly gentlemen in masks and capes, the only thing the Lucha Mule will be fighting is your craving for a refreshing beverage. Tequila, lime juice, tamarind syrup, ginger beer, and jalapeño will have this cocktail crushing your thirst.
Jalapeño & Cucumber Lemonade
W Austin, Downtown
This spiked lemonade is the W Hotel’s #1 selling drink. Why? It’s both refreshing and boozy, and it also looks amazing when posted on Instagram, thanks to its emerald color (can you say X-Pro II?). The cocktail combines Deep Eddy vodka, jalapeño, lemon juice, and house-made cucumber water.
The Smokin’ Cactus
Freedmen’s Bar, Campus
A true Southern-inspired cocktail, the Smokin' Cactus is one of Freedmen’s most popular recipes. It’s made with Del Maguey VIDA mezcal, grapefruit juice, lime juice, jalapeño-infused agave syrup, and smoked sea salt. It tastes better than lighting a cactus on fire.
La Condesa is the place to go if you're looking for traditional Mexican flavor with modern Austin flair. The menu, offering up handfuls of tortas, taquitos, combos, and a few other staples, is shorter than most, but there's an obvious preference for quality over quantity at this Downtown restaurant. Tacos strewn with red pickled onion, cilantro, and guacamole make the ideal warm-up round before hitting the bar, where tequila and mezcal reign supreme in customizable flights.
Icenhauer's is a casual Rainy Street suds spot, a two-roomed affair given a living-room vibe via wood walls, a chandelier made out of wine glasses, and vintage lime-green/cream-colored furniture. There's an extensive drink menu featuring infused liquors and seasonal drinks. Look out for live music nights and chicken and waffles on Sundays.
Jack Allen's has nightly rotating specials of locally sourced additions to their usual menu, but also make sure you stop by for their brunch, or even just to try a cocktail, like the Cucumber Jalapeño Rita, with Tequila, St. Germain, muddled cucumber, fresh jalapeños, simple syrup, and fresh lime.
Consciously attempting to recreate the European art of mixology that was largely lost in America as a result of Prohibition, Peche is a genuine cocktail paradise, and it's the only place in Austin that you can experience absinthe "in its true form".
Just a few blocks from the mansion where another famous W rested his head as governor, the W's Austin branch has helped define the downtown 2nd St District, serving as a magnet for more youthful out-of-towners. Their WET Bar offers poolside sips and its Living Room Bar and TRACE has a menu that is updated frequently with new cocktails.
This is not your average barbecue joint. Freedman's has a patio and outdoor beer garden that offers a variety of brews on tap as well as a retro soda shop-inspired cocktail list. If you're not a fan of the throwbacks, the $3 tacos, tamales and whiskey of the month happy hour should entice you. Check out this vintage-y, saloon style spot near UT for rollicking night out on the town.