Cocktails To Serve The Parched In Three Digit Temperatures

In South Texas, escaping scorching temperatures – which easily peak past 100 degrees – with a refreshing, tropical cocktail is a way of life. At San Antonio’s oldest bar, The Esquire Tavern, Beverage Director Houston Eaves plays with fitting summertime fruit ingredients and thoughtful seasonal spirits, like pineapple and passionfruit to Mexican agave liquor and Jamaican rum.

Just the names of Esquire Tavern’s Desert Bird and Sea of Confusion offer respite to local patrons. The bright pink and orange hues of these cocktails deliberately evoke connections to an island sunset. Each name is as carefully thought out as the end result, infusing tropical  fruit flavors with their worthy spirit counterpart.

Desert Bird, SRP $12


1.5 oz Rancho Tepúa Bacanora*

0 75 oz Pineapple Gum

0 .5 oz Campari

0.5oz Lime Juice

1  Dash Saline Solution (or, pinch of salt)

Method: Shake, 2x strain over large-format ice. Glass: Double Old-Fashioned. Ice: 2″ x 2″ x 2.5″. Garnish: 1 Mint Sprig.

*Note: Bacanora is a Denomination of Origin-protected, regional mezcal produced in Sonora, northern Mexico(i.e. desert). The small Agave Pacifica is planted here and grows wild with the aid of local bat populations to help pollinate the fast growing quixotes when they bloom.

Sea of Confusion, SRP $13


1 oz Hamilton Jamaican Gold Rum

0.5 oz Clear Creek Pear Brandy

0.25 oz Chartreuse

0.25 oz Amaro Sfumato

0.75 oz Passion Fruit Syrup

0.5 oz Lemon Juice

5-6 Dashes Angostura-Lemonhart 151

Method: Build in glass, swizzle. Glass: Footed Pilsner. Ice: Pebble. Garnish: Abundant bouquet of mint.

Alma Vampiro, SRP $13


2 oz Junipero Gin

1 oz Sherry Blend #2

0.75 oz Coconut Milk

0.5 oz Orange Juice

0.5 oz Carrot Juice

0.25oz Petite Cane Syrup

Method: Shake & strain over crushed ice. Float 0.5oz beet juice. Garnish with Karma Orchid.

Sherry Blend #2


1 part Gonzales Byass Oloroso

1 part La Guita Manzanilla

1 part Dolin Dry

Texecutioner. SRP $10

Photo Credit: Emma Janzen

Cheekily named after Texas politician Rick Perry, Wahaka’s brazen espadín serves as an herbal fortitude for this memorable mix. Crafted in 2011 by bartender Houston Eaves during his time at ranch-like restaurant Contigo in Austin, the recipe traveled down to San Antonio’s historic Esquire Tavern after he relocated to Alamo City a year later. Thanks to its savvy balance of snappy grapefruit and sweet Cocchi Americano, the drink has endured as a menu staple at both bars.Served it up (as they do at Contigo) or on a large ice cube (as they do at Esquire), and watch for the punchy mezcal to soften as the honeysuckle and orange notes of Cocchi weave throughout.


0.75 oz Wahaka Espadín mezcal

0.75 oz Xtabentún

0.75 oz Cocchi Aperitivo Americano

0.75 oz Fresh grapefruit juice

Method: Grapefruit twist for garnish.


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