New Cocktail Menu Inspired by San Antonio’s Rich History is at Downstairs at Esquire Tavern
Downstairs at Esquire Tavern, the 2016 basement addition to the James Beard nominated Esquire Tavern in San Antonio, Texas, has launched a new cocktail menu. Curated by Beverage Director, Houston Eaves, each drink of the eight-part cocktail series, named San Anto Stories, is inspired by a tale that ties into San Antonio’s 300+ years of history. After all, The Esquire Tavern withstands the test of time after opening in 1933 to celebrate Prohibition ending. In true South Texas fashion, the drinks are packed with spirits and flavors popular to its own region as well as Mexico’s, like Ruby Red Grapefruit and Oaxacan Rum.
For instance, take the Flood of 1921: $60 strong, weak, sour, sweet, spice. served well-chilled, with plenty of ice for 4-6 people.
Inspiration: The Flood of 1921, is the greatest disaster Antonio has faced in modern times. More than 1,000 acres city were underwater up to 12 feet deep, including the future site of The Esquire Tavern. It took the magnitude and devastation of the Flood of 1921 to spur the development and creation of what we know today as the world-famous, San Antonio River Walk.
Flash forward to 1999…
Johnson’s Jumper, $12 championship rum blend, banana, lemon, almond
Inspiration: Avery Johnson made the game-winning jump shot to secure the San Antonio Spurs first NBA championship in 1999. The image in the menu is as Cruz Ortiz (the artist who designed the menu) recalled watching that momentous game at the longest bar in Texas.
Present Day…as we approach Fiesta April 2019
*Fiesta Babies, $13 high-proof tequila, pasubio, grapefruit, pear, tonic water.
Inspiration: This festive cocktail was inspired by the uptick of San Antonians born in January each year, as a result of their parents’ enjoyment of the revelry of Fiesta, San Antonio’s biggest annual party in the previous April. There are entire families whose children are all born in January, and their parents lovingly refer to them as their, Fiesta Babies.
*Fiesta is a citywide celebration held every April in San Antonio. This year marks 127 years since the start of this annual party. Each year, more than 100 events take place throughout the city, including parades, exhibits, creative culinary offerings and more. Eccentric hats, live music, elaborate gowns worn by Fiesta “royalty” and Fiesta medals are the norm in San Antonio during this unconventional festival.
These are just a glimpse of the stories inspiring this one-of-a-kind cocktail program. The entire ‘San Anto Stories‘ is a collaboration between Downstairs at The Esquire Tavern, led by Beverage Director, Houston Eaves and San Antonio-based artist, Cruz Ortiz of Snake Hawk Press. Each menu was stained with tequila, and hand silk-screened to make each their own singular piece of art.
About The Esquire Tavern
The Esquire Tavern opened in 1933 to celebrate the end of Prohibition and has been a beloved San Antonio watering hole ever since, with a short hiatus from 2006 to 2011. The Esquire is back as the quintessential downtown bar: dark, cool, redolent with history, and serving cold, cold beer, swanky cocktails, and excellent food.
155 East Commerce St., San Antonio, Texas
Sun-Wed: 11:30am to 12am
Kitchen closes at 10pm
Thurs-Sat: 11:30am to 2am
Kitchen closes at 1am
DESCEND TO A NEW LEVEL. Our new Downstairs is directly on the Riverwalk. An uncomplicated, intimate riverside lounge and hangout. Dishing out top cocktails, small-scale eats and unconventional inclinations.
Make reservations here!
Open Tuesday & Wednesday from 5pm-12am
Open Thursday through Saturday from 5pm-2am