Tag Archive | "Bohanan’s Bar"

Spice Up Your Margarita

Treat yourself to a Rosa Picante Margarita.

Treat yourself to a Rosa Picante Margarita.

National Margarita Day makes its annual appearance on Feb. 22, but why wait to try this spicy variation offered by Jordan Corney of Bohanan’s Bar? The kick comes from a touch of jalapeño, making it a real San Antonio treat.

To rim the glass, the recipe calls for rose salt, which may not be in your kitchen at the moment. Rather than buying some, why not make your own? This easy-to-follow idea comes from the Nourish Me website: “Gently pull the petals from 1 large, unsprayed red rose. Wash and dry the petals with care. Using fingers, rub the petals with 2 tblsp of sea salt crystals, keeping things a little chunky. Store in a lidded jar and allow a few days for the flavours to get to know one another. Keeps for at least a couple of weeks at (cool-ish) room temperature.”

Rosa Picante Margarita

2 ounces Patrón Silver tequila
3/4 ounce fresh lime juice
1/2 ounce simple syrup
1/2 ounce ginger syrup
1/2 barspoon jalapeño oil or a fresh jalapeño slice
Dash of rose water

Combine tequila, lime juice, simple syrup, ginger syrup and jalapeño oil or jalapeño slice in a cocktail shaker and shake with ice to chill. Strain into a chilled cocktail coupe that has been half-rimmed with rose sea salt and top with a dash of rose water. Garnish with a rose petal, if available.

 From Jordan Corney/Bohanan’s Bar

Ginger syrup adds a spicy touch.

Ginger syrup adds a spicy touch.

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Grab That Coconut — SA’s Texas Tiki Week Arrives

Tiki with Bartender cropped

All Tiki Photos Courtesy David Rangel.

This week, your favorite drinking and eating establishments want to interest you in fruity, boozy cocktails that are not only delicious, but comparable to a vacation in a glass.

Or – you know – a coconut.

In San Antonio, it’s time for Texas Tiki Week, going now through Sunday, June 29. (See Schedule below.)

These days, tiki is no longer considered tacky, and with the support of the United States Bartender’s Guild, high-end versions of these delightfully potent libations are appearing in your favorite craft cocktail bars in San Antonio.

In San Antonio, popular establishments doing tiki include Hot Joy, Bohanan’s and Blue Box at the Pearl.

Most notable, though, are The Brooklynite (a proponent of Tiki Tuesdays since its inception in 2012) and El Mirador (under new ownership); both of which are participating in this year’s Texas Tiki Week.

The Brooklynite will launch its new tiki menu this week. El Mirador will hold an educational seminar with Wahaka Mezcal before an Agave Tiki hour on the newly-renovated back patio.

The Esquire owners now own El Mirador, and bar manager Houston Eaves had the following to say about his excitement for Tiki Week:

Tiki with flame cropped“We are going to be hosting our event at El Mirador, instead of The Esquire. Texas Tiki Week is a way to involve our community in a lot of fun, educational, and philanthropic events (with rum!). It exposes consumers to a really fun part of American history that may be a bit misunderstood. Tiki drinks have gone full-circle. They began with fresh, tropical fruits, and a variety of rums, then got dumbed down to bottled mixes & sub-par rums. [Now] we are embracing the fresh and quality ingredients available to us, as well as innovative culinary technique. This is a week to celebrate the kitschy, contagious fun of Tiki!”

Jeret Pena owner of The Brooklynite adds, “Our focus is to go back to the basics of tiki vs. the modern flavors, weird colors and hyped out vibe.  The goal is to focus on the classics and still make them fun!”

Schedule for Tiki Week

The Esquire Tiki Week menu will be running now through Sunday featuring drinks like:

IMPROVED DAIQUIRI:  3-island rum, overproof Jamaican rum, lime, sugar, absinthe. WAKING THE DEAD:  bonded bourbon, espresso-fernet, italian vermouth, pineapple, lemon. MAI TAI: 3-island rum, jamaican rum, demerara 151 rum, curacao, orgeat, lime.  SINGAPORE SLING: dry gin, benedictine, cherry heering, lime, mineral water. SEA OF CONFUSION: Jamaican rum, demerara 151 rum, pear brandy, chartreuse, zucca rabarbaro, passion fruit, lemon, angostura bitters.

Wednesday (6/25) Agave-Tiki @ El Mirador (new concept)

3-5 p.m. Educational Seminar with Wahaka Mezcal for Industy only

5-7  p.m. Agave-Tiki Happy Hour

Texas Tiki Week croppedThursday (6/26 – 6/29)  Tiki Late Nite @ Hot Joy starting at 11 p.m.

Late night tiki menus (food & drink)

Sunday 6/29 – Blue Box

Bacardi Blender Bowl @ The Blue Box

Starting at 1 p.m. -3 p.m.

Bohanan’s will be hosting the closing SA party on Sunday (6/29) at 4 p.m. in their courtyard. With tiki snacks and guest bartenders making tiki drinks.

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The Negroni: A Beautifully Bitter Answer to Sweet Cocktails

A Negroni

I worked up an appetite for Campari earlier this summer when I visited Italy. This bitters, with the bright red color, is an apéritif, an herb-infused alcohol served largely before dinner as a means of working up your appetite for food.

It was one of several herbal and vegetal intoxicants that cast its spell over me, and I loved trying various amari as well as Cynar, an artichoke-based drink that went well with a splash of peach soda. I’m not fond of overly sweet cocktails, such as cosmos or the various candied martinis that are all too common nowadays. So, the bracingly bitter difference that these alcohols  brought to cocktails made them a pleasure to sip and study.

I realize that you won’t find Cynar at every bar in town — perhaps not any bar in town, though I have seen it at Twin Liquors, Saglimbeni and Spec’s for about $27 a bottle. Campari, however, is a little more popular (and it’s also priced around $27 a bottle).  It’s usually tucked in with the other supposedly weird bottles, with labels bearing names such as Pimm’s No. 1 and Drambouie, all of which were purchased by the bar manager who was there three or four years ago and they were promptly turned to dust catchers after he  moved on to another job.

And that bottle of Campari generally means I can get a Negroni, though, more often than not, I have had to explain (and occasionally explain several times again) what is in this classic drink.

Not familiar with this crazy red beauty? It’s been around for close to a century, according to Wikipedia, and in all that time, its recipe hasn’t changed: It’s equal parts gin, vermouth and Campari with an orange twist. What could be simpler, right?

Well, in an age when classic cocktails are precociously trendy and bartenders prize themselves on being able to layer a true Ramos gin fizz or  whip up a whiskey sour with egg white, getting a Negroni has not been easy. A few bartenders have refused to make any drink they’ve never heard of. One bartender seemed to believe that those three liquors should not be mixed together, because I was served each separately and left to mix my own.

A Negroni at Zinc

Kudos to the folks at the Havana and at Bohanan’s Bar for knowing how to make a Negroni properly without asking questions. And thanks go to the bartenders at Zinc, the bar at Oro in the Emily Morgan and the Blue Box because they at least asked what was in the cocktail, listened and then made one to order. The recipe is so easy that most tasted just like they did at home, though I suspect a dash or two of bitters might have been splashed into one or two for a little added spark of flavor, though the blend of herbs and spices in Campari offers quite an explosion on their own.

You can vary the recipe. I found one cocktail book that made a Vodka Negroni, substituting vodka for what the author referred to as the medicinal quality that she detects in gin. My counterargument is that you can at least taste something in gin; I still haven’t found much need for vodka because I don’t need alcohol that badly to settle for something flavorless. (She also uses more vodka than Campari and vermouth, which is shifting the focus in the wrong direction, as far as I’m concerned, but chacun à son goût, as the French say.)

That probably explains where the lighter appeal of the Americano comes in. This cocktail, which actually predates the Negroni, uses club soda instead of gin, leaving you with a fizzy mix of bitter, herbal Campari and lightly sweet, fruity vermouth. Trivia fans will know of the Americano because it is the first cocktail ordered by James Bond in the novel, “Casino Royal,” according to

So, during the waning days of summer (as least I like to think it’s waning), try something a little different to take the edge off the heat.

For more Campari cocktail recipes, click here.

1 part gin
1 part red or rosso vermouth
1 part bitters, such as Campari

Pour into a shaker with plenty of ice. Shake until cold. Pour into a rocks class, ice and all. Garnish with an orange peel twist. Some like to strain the drink into a chilled martini glass.

From John Griffin

Vodka Negroni

1 ounce vodka
1/2 ounce Campari
1/2 ounce sweet vermouth
Splash of Perrier (optional)
Lemon twist

Fill cocktail shaker with ice cubes. Add vodka, Campari and vermouth. Stir and strain into glass over ice cubes. Add optional Perrier. Garnish with a lemon twist.

Makes 1 cocktail.

From “Modern Cocktails & Appetizers” from Martha Gill


1 ounce Campari
1 ounce sweet vermouth
3 ounces club soda

In a highball glass filled with ice, pour in Campari and vermouth. Stir. Add club soda and stir.

Makes 1 cocktail.

From “Pink Panther Cocktail Party” by Adam Rocke


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