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210-222-2521 155 east commerce st. san antonio, texas

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San Antonio’s best craft cocktails: Esquire Tavern



Come for The Esquire Tavern’s historically long wooden bar, stay for the creative adult beverages that earned the local landmark a 2019 Readers’ Choice award for best craft cocktails.

The East Commerce Street saloon, which famously opened as Prohibition was repealed, underwent an extensive renovation 10 years ago and now serves inventive bar eats upstairs while operating an elegant speakeasy downstairs.

But it’s the 25 or so house and classic cocktails on the menu that caught readers’ attention. According to beverage director Houston Eaves, the drink menu changes twice a year. Current favorites include the Out to Lunch (dry-hopped cachaça-vermouth, kefir, strawberry, pineapple, grapefruit and orange) and the Soiled Dove (kirschwasser, rhum agricole vieux, dry curaçao, Don’s mix, lemon, demerara 151 rum and angostura bitters).

Many of Esquire’s recipes are created by the bar’s own staffers, who are encouraged to display their mixology skills.

And it’s an effort that’s paid off, although Eaves said he’s “not entirely sure” why the tavern received the award. Still he’s grateful for the acclaim.

“I’m glad to see locals recognizing what we’re doing here and hope that more San Antonians will come downtown to check us out.”