Best Of 2015

Elisabeth Forsythe
2720 McCullough Ave.
(210) 320-2261

Labeling Forsythe a pro is a bit of an understatement. The 14-year service industry veteran took the reins of the Barbaro cocktail program a year ago and thoroughly made it her own. There's something for all levels of cocktail lovers on her menu – The Good made up of lighter styles, The Bad filled with sneakily addicting and boozy potions and The Ugly for when you're not fuckin' around. Though she's amassed a small set of femme fatale apprentices, this culinarian sets the tone for her cocktails by creating infusions, sodas (the vanilla-lemon is pretty tight with gin of choice) and shrubs to her taste. There's nothing like ending the work week with her Slow Grin Fizz, a nod to "simpler times and soda shops," which combines reposado, chocolate syrup, cream, egg white, acid phosphate and soda for a special treat. The other woman behind the bar we're applauding has carved out a niche within a veritable boys club. Hillary Woodhouse of The Brooklynite is adding finesse to the Tiki Tuesday menu, while also earning a second place win during this year's Rivertini with a concoction of vodka, watermelon-infused Cocchi Americano, rosemary syrup, lemon and a yellow bell pepper slice. Meanwhile, David Naylor's gaining many fans with his floral and boozy porthole cocktails.


Hillary Woodhouse
The Brooklynite
516 Brooklyn Ave.
(210) 444-0707

David Naylor
Park Social
218 E. Olmos Dr.
(210) 822-0100

Liberty Bar
1111 S. Alamo St.
(210) 227-1187

Even if the breakfast options can't do much to exorcise your hangover, you've still got God on your side at the Liberty Bar, located in the bright pink former convent on South Alamo. The 9 a.m.–2 p.m. weekend brunch is a spectacular spot to post up, tap into an IV drip of coffee and nurse that resaca back to good health. With light options for an upset stomach, try something from the à la carte menu. For the sweet tooth, there's steel cut oats with choice of nuts, fruit and honey, or stacks of French toast and fresh fruit. For those who believe grease is the cure to any hangover, the Huevos New Braunfels and Chilaquiles Norteños provide enough weight to ground you for the day-after. If the hair of the dog is your thing, the bloody mary, tequila-based bloody maria or michelada are all tasty options to subtly keep the party going. Or, if you'll never touch the stuff again, there's the hungover holy trinity of Topo Chico, grapefruit juice and coffee.


Tucker's Kozy Korner
1338 E. Houston St.
(210) 320-2192

Various locations

1. Slackers Arcade & Sports Bar
126 W. Rector St., Suite 136
(210) 233-6263

Slackers they may be, the staff at this two-year-old arcade bar has established a fierce and loyal following of fellow layabouts who are into whiling away here after work. Happy hour (2 to 9 p.m. daily) is perfect for falling down the rabbit hole of arcade games (from classic Mortal Kombat II to NBA Jam, and Area 51 shooter), Wii Mario Kart, pool, beer pong tournaments, giant Jenga or the frustrating island ring toss. All while tossing back cheap drink specials, cool beers or frosty, boozy favorites. If it's a Sunday Funday you're after, $3.75 you-call-its and a chance to catch any big league game projected on the walls or on one of the 12 giant flatscreens littered throughout the place should be a big enough draw. You'll want to carve a spot alongside across from one of their bartenders, voted "best-looking" bar staff by our readers.


2. The Friendly Spot
943 S. Alamo St.
(210) 224-2337

3. Pegasus Nightclub
1402 N. Main Ave.
(210) 299-4222


2. Wurzbach Icehouse
10141 Wurzbach Rd.
(210) 877-2100

3. 4th Quarter Sports Bar
8779 Wurzbach Rd.
(210) 561-4444


2. Blue Box Bar
312 Pearl Pkwy.
(210) 227-2583

3. The Brooklynite
516 Brooklyn Ave.
(210) 444-0707


2. Lüke San Antonio
125 E. Houston St.
(210) 227-5853

3. Cured
(210) 314-3929


2. Schooners Sports Bar
1325 N.E. Loop 410
(210) 829-8252

3. Freetail Brewing Company
Multiple locations

The Last Word
229 E. Houston St.
(210) 314-1285

Some savants have suggested that there’s something special about descending into a space: Think a hint of danger, a whiff of indiscretion, a soupçon of seduction. If this is so, The Last Word, the latest creation by the team helmed by Jeret Peña y familia, had a leg up on success from the get-go. Located in the basement between Bohanan’s and The Palm, the darkly sophisticated space has become a downtown, after-work and theater-hours rendezvous of some renown. Part of LW’s appeal has to do with its seasoned bar staff, most with previous experience at The Brooklynite. But the 15 pre-batched cocktails on tap have their own appeal. “I prefer the boozier ones,” says talented ‘tender Rob Gourlay, who agitates all the barrels every time he arrives, just to make sure there has been no settling. The Boulevardier, a blend of bourbon, Campari and sweet vermouth, seems to work especially well on tap. But do not ignore the hand shaken or stirred specialty cocktails. The Blind Willie Johnson, blending infused tequila with grapefruit liqueur, lemon and Saigon cinnamon, is both great on its own and especially good with the house-pickled carrots or squash. “I only wish I had drunk more Champagne,” one luminary is alleged to have said upon the dying of the light.



2720 McCullough Ave.
(210) 320-2261

Park Social
224 E. Olmos Dr.
(210) 822-0100


2. On The Rocks Pub
270 Losoya
(210) 228-0000

3. Alamo Ice House
802 N. Alamo St.
(210) 758-5151

1. TIE: The Cove
606 W. Cypress St.
(210) 227-2683

1. TIE: Big Hops
Multiple locations


The Friendly Spot
943 South Alamo St.
(210) 224-2337