Mixologists across the state are crafting new Texas tastes with some favorite local flavors.
It’s easy to assume Texans drink nothing but ice-cold beers at the end of the workday—we have a ton of great ones out there, after all. But as refreshing as a cerveza may be, proper respect must be given to the delicious, regionally inspired cocktails also awaiting us in dimly lit lounges and on festive patios throughout the state. Here’s a sampling of the best cocktails Texas has to offer, along with some locations that mix them just right.
The Blue Door - Midland
This beguiling cocktail bar has a neighborhood feel and offers both classic and Texan libations for its many patrons. It wouldn’t be Lone Star without a little spice to it, so make sure to sip on the “Ghosted,” a ghost pepper–infused tequila mixed with strawberry and lime. The Blue Door’s bartenders can also whip up old-school cocktails like the Papa Doble at a moment’s notice.
Anvil - Houston
Texas’ first self-identified craft-cocktail bar also possesses one of the undisputed lengthiest menus in the state. If you can’t find a drink on Anvil’s “The 100 List,” named for the number of available variations, chances are it doesn’t exist. The establishment somehow goes above and beyond even that, with a rotating list of original, housemade beverages as well.
Drink.Well - Austin
Austin’s Drink.Well has been open for over a decade, and has garnered quite the reputation since its start. Seasonally rotating menus and cocktail lists provide constant varieties for newcomers and regulars alike, but you can’t go wrong with their Paloma, a longtime Texas favorite. The mix of tequila, fresh grapefruit, lime cordial, and sparkling water is a refreshing Southwest treat that’s truly perfect for any season. If you’re feeling hungry, try ordering some of their small plates, which include dishes like ancho chickpeas, as well as mushroom mac and cheese.
White Buffalo Bar - Big Bend
White Buffalo is one of Texas’ most highly regarded and famous bars, residing within the historic Gage Hotel. It’s got plenty of accolades and renown, but few things top the fact that this is the place that invented the Texas Ranchwater—a mix of tequila, lime juice, Cointreau, and Topo Chico sparkling water. It’s understandable if you want to stick with a couple rounds of those, but don’t forget to also sample the White Buffalo’s margarita, which is constantly considered to be one of the best in the entire state . . . and that’s saying something.