Sure, Lone Star and one-and-one mixed beverages still hold a place in our hearts, but sometimes you really want a great Manhattan. Step into Slam Antonio where the daiquiris are cold and the large format ice is even colder. Get your drink on at any of these fine joints across the city.
Stay Classy, Stay Downtown • When you're hoping to impress with your cocktail knowledge, make friends with serious bar personnel or spend a pretty penny on high-end Scotch, SA's got you covered with several options. Head to one of the first bars to whet educated whistles at Bohanan's Bar (219 E. Houston St., 210-472-2600) and gaze at The Majestic from your barstool. Wander downstairs to The Last Word (229 E. Houston St., Suite 10) for cocktails on tap or a $35 Last Word. Just a ways away, you'll stumble onto the re-opened Juniper Tar (244 W. Houston St., 210-229-1833) where you'll find cocktails named after famous affairs. Downtown also holds the recently opened Haunt (300 E. Travis St., 210-352-3172) where cocktail themes veer into spooky specter territory. If you're hoping to soak in more San Antonio history, a visit to The Esquire Tavern (155 E. Commerce St., 210-222-2521) where you can overlook the San Antonio River Walk while sipping on classic cocktails. Rub elbows with tipsy tourists at SoHo Wine & Martini Bar (214 W. Crockett St., 210-444-1000). Aside from Downtown proper, there are plenty of area establishments that bring the cocktail quota up. Visit Jeret Peña's first solo bar, The Brooklynite (516 Brooklyn Ave., 210-444-0707) on Tuesday nights for Tiki libations or head to Sternewirth (136 E. Grayson St., 210-223-7375) and sit inside former brew tanks that have been converted into posh seating. While at The Pearl, visit Blue Box (312 Pearl Pkwy., 210-227-2583) for a serious happy hour. If you're hoping for better views, you can't do better than Paramour (102 9th St., Suite 400, 210-340-9880) and their barrel-aged program.
Wash It Down With Some Snacks • If you need a few bites to pair with those cocktails head to Barbaro (2620 McCullough Ave., 210-320-2261) for pizza and house-made sodas. Southtown's Francis Bogside (803 S. St. Mary's St., 210-988-3093) is a heavy-hitter for its potato bread and blue cheese plate alone ... but definitely add an Irish Old Fashioned to that equation. Pair Tiki-style cocktails with Asian fare at Hot Joy (1014 S. Alamo St., 210-368-9324) or stick with San Anto-inspired bites at The Old Main Assoc. (2512 N. Main Ave., 210-562-3440), or satiate your appetite for legit Mexican cuisine with a little copita at Mezcalería Mixtli (5313 McCullough Ave., 210-320-1660). Don't forget you can order from the dinner menu at Park Social (224 E. Olmos Drive, 210-822-0100).
Loopy Libations • Looplanders need cocktails, too. Visit George's Keep (17101 La Cantera Pkwy., 210-310-3733) for patio sippers and views of the North Side; The Green Lantern (20626 Stone Oak Pkwy., Suite 101) for intimate rendezvous; or sip on shaken and stirred cocktails at Stir (14355 Blanco Road, 210-444-9495).
Cocktails and Chill • If you need fewer vests and more laid-back atmospheres head to Ocho (1015 Navarro St., 210-222-2008) for a Martinique Punch and dazzling patio. TBA (2801 N. St. Mary's St., 210-320-1753) is the St. Mary's Strip's answer to a cocktail lounge — chill, inexpensive and plenty potent. Wear your flimsiest flip-flops while drinking rum-filled drinks at Concrete Jungle (1628 S. Presa St., 210-884-6455). Or make yourself at home at Alchemy Kombucha and Culture (1123 N. Flores St., 210-320-1168) where fizzy fermented tea combines with spirits for fun patio pounders. And, finally, the party often gets started on Stay Golden Social House's (401 Pearl Pkwy.) gravel-lined patio. Now, who's up for a daiquiri?