"I must admit, I was skeptical visiting cocktail bars in San Antonio when I moved back home from New York City. I had just spent the past decade living in the city during the resurgence of the classic cocktail scene. What I found was that the bartenders here balanced hospitality and creativity nicely while still having a desire to learn more about the craft. Pretension doesn’t really fly here.
San Antonio entered the cocktail scene much later than cities like New York, LA, and even neighboring Austin. In hindsight, this seems to be a good thing. The growth of cocktail bars has been slow and steady. San Antonio has so much more room to grow both literally and figuratively. Latin American spirits like cachaça, pisco, mezcal, and, of course, tequila, lend well to our climate, culture, and food.
Places I tend to keep in steady rotation are the Esquire Tavern, especially with their revamped tequila and mezcal selection. Stay Golden Social House is a great outdoor space where I can enjoy a refreshing cocktail while soaking up the plentiful sunshine. My latest favorite place is Barbaro. This is a great little neighborhood pizza joint in Olmos Park. The cocktails are solid, creative, and only $5 during their happy hour -- it's an absolute steal." - Stephanie Moreno, distiller spirits director & editor at Drink Distiller