It's not yet summer in San Antonio, but everyone's sure feeling it.
Higher-than-normal temperatures are baking the Alamo City, and there's a good chance you're already calling your friends with pools to beg for a quick dip.
However, there's another way to beat the heat that doesn't rely on someone else's pricy backyard amenity or paying to have your own installed. Quenching cocktails can make the summer bearable, and all you need is a glass, some ice and a relatively well-stocked liquor cabinet.
We sourced these delightful drinks from a trio of San Antonio mixology masters specifically for their summer sippability.
La Cantera Resort & Spa offered this fresh and spicy bourbon cocktail, called the Honey Badger, specially designed for warm-weather sipping. It utilizes Alabama-born Clyde May's Straight Bourbon, which is aged in oak barrels and finished with a hint of apple. Jalapeño-infused honey provides an earthy sweetness while lime and agave nectar scream "summertime!"
1.5 ounces Clyde May's Straight Bourbon
1.5 ounces jalapeño-infused honey
1 ounce fresh lime juice
1 ounce agave nectar
Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker and give them a vigorous workout. Pour into a rocks glass and garnish with fresh jalapeño slices.
Maverick Whiskey Distillery and Brewery this month released the new tequila-inspired spirit Agave Blanco. Technically, the liquor can't be called tequila, but it offers similar flavors including agave, green fruit, vanilla and honeysuckle. Like its Mexican inspiration, the new liquor also makes a hell of a paloma cocktail, which Maverick Chef and Beverage Director Joshua Albert serves with a salted rim.
"The paloma is a fruity, super-refreshing and easy-to-make twist on a margarita," Albert said. "It is a perfect cocktail to enjoy poolside because you don't need any bar tools to make it. Just add a few ingredients to your favorite glass with ice, and you're ready to enjoy a tasty cocktail."
1.5 ounces Maverick Agave Blanco
1 ounce grapefruit juice
.5 ounce simple syrup
.25 ounce lime juice
Sparkling water or club soda
Combine freshly squeezed grapefruit juice, Agave Blanco, simple syrup and lime juice in a cocktail shaker and go after it. Strain over fresh ice in a salt-rimmed Collins or rocks glass and top with soda.
Bar Loretta, a newish Southtown spot with a flair for seasonal cuisine, offers the Jungle Bird cocktail for keeping the Texas summer at bay. A hot-weather favorite for home bartenders, this tiki classic is easy for amateurs since it contains only five ingredients: rum, Campari, pineapple juice, lime juice and simple syrup. The pineapple and lime smooth any rough edges created by bitter Campari and add an expected tropical vibe.
2 ounces Santa Teresa 1796 Solera Rum
.5 ounce Campari
1.5 ounces pineapple juice, fresh, if possible
.5 ounce fresh lime juice
.5 ounce simple syrup
Fill a hurricane or pint glass with pebbled or crushed ice. Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker and shake briefly and briskly with a small amount of crushed ice to foam the pineapple juice. Dump all ingredients into your waiting glass and add a dome of fresh crushed ice atop to make it look enticing. Garnish, serve and enjoy.
For garnish, Bar Loretta drink chief Michael Neff suggests "anything fun." He adds: "We use two pineapple fronds. An umbrella and some mint work as well." If you don't have crushed ice at your disposal, Neff suggests making your own by wrapping cubes from your freezer in a clean towel and hitting them with a hammer, mallet or rolling pin. "Watch your fingers!" he warns.
So many restaurants, so little time. Find out the latest San Antonio dining news with our Flavor Friday Newsletter.