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New Works by Michael Stoltz

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Second Saturday is here and we’re celebrating the opening of a new exhibit.
New Works by Michael Stoltz will open Saturday, January 12 at 7 p.m. with the artist on-hand. Stoltz, an alumnus of the University of Texas at San Antonio, has been creating art in the city for the past 15 years.

His latest focuses on minimalist compositions drawn or painted with intentional repetitious mark making as a form of meditation.

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Our Cocktails of the Week Take on a Caffeinated Twist

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We’re big coffee drinkers around here. It doesn’t hurt that the sweetness of Kinsman Rakia lends itself as the perfect partner for coffee. This week, we toast San Antonio’s coffee scene, from established outposts such as White Elephant to micro-roaster 1885 Coffee Co., with two tasty cocktails anyone can make at home.

Rakia Shakerato

1 1/2 oz. Cold Brew Coffee (We used White Elephant)

1 oz. Kinsman Rakia

1/2 oz. Simple Syrup

Pour ingredients in a shaking tin. Add ice. Shake vigorously. Double strain into Nick & Nora glass and enjoy!

Coffee Old Fashioned

1 oz. Kinsman Rakia

1 oz. Cold Brew Coffee (We used 1885’s available here)

1/2 oz. Brown Sugar Simple

3 Dashes Angostura Bitters

Pour ingredients into a mixing glass. Add ice. Stir to combine. Strain and pour into glass over ice. Garnish with orange rind.

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Sparkling Rakia Cocktails for NYE

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Reaching for sparkling cocktails to ring in the New Year? We’ve got you covered.

Whether you’re reaching for a classic with a twist or a next-level cooler, here are a few recipes to try out this New Year’s Eve.

Henrietta’s Pick-Me-Up

1/2 oz. Grenadine

1/2 oz. Lemon Juice

1 oz. Kinsman Rakia

Bubbles of choice

Combine grenadine, lemon juice, Kinsman Rakia in a shaking tin. Add ice. Shake and strain into coupe. Top with bubbles and garnish with lemon twist.

Serbian Guayabera

1/2 oz. Brown sugar simple with star anise

1/2 oz. Lime Juice

2 dashes Angostura Bitters

1 1/2 oz. Kinsman Rakia

Small bundle mint

Combine brown sugar simple, lime juice, Angostura, Kinsman Rakia and a handful of mint leaves in a shaking tin. Add ice. Shake and strain into Collins glass and top with bubbles. Garnish with mint sprig. 

French 75

1/2 oz. Simple Syrup

1/2 oz. Lemon Juice

1 oz. Kinsman Rakia

Bubbles of choice

Combine simple, lemon juice, Kinsman Rakia in a shaking tin. Add ice. Shake and strain into coupe. Top with bubbles and garnish with lemon twist.

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Signature's The Downtowner

Photo by Kalyn Davidson

Photo by Kalyn Davidson

Signature rolled out a new cocktail menu this Autumn, we stopped by to speak with the bar creative, Isabella Morlet, about her newest Kinsman cocktail. Isabella is always creative when it comes to her cocktails and this time was no different. The Downtowner is a exceptionally delicious sherry and Kinsman cocktail that can be enjoyed by cocktail novices and master mixologists alike.

“Kinsman is one of my favorite spirits,” she says. “It has a bright approachable elegance that is prominent without over powering anything else. It goes with anything.”

She is no stranger to to the Serbian inspired apricot brandy as she featured it in three of her cocktails from the previous menu: Earnest Goes to the Southside, a local take on a classic Hemingway Daiquiri, and the Daydreamer, an apricot egg white sour, and a Brandy Alexander for dessert made with handmade cream that tops the cocktail nicely. 

Signature // The Downtowner

1 1/2 oz. Lustau Oloroso Sherry

3/4 oz. Kinsman Rakia

1/2 oz. Giffard Apricot Liqueur

1/4 oz. Demerara Cardamom Syrup 

2 Dashes of Bitterman’s Burlesque Bitters

1 Dash Orange Bitters

Combine all ingredients in mixing glass with ice, stir and strain into chilled coupe. 

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Kinsman Rakia 2018 Brandy Alexander Tour: Hoppy Monk

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Hoppy Monk has always been skillful at weaving in beloved Mexican flavors into their food and drinks. Their Brandy Alexander for iteration, the Mazapan Alexander, is the collaborative brainchild of bartender Brittany Dinhobl and bar manager Ricardo Ruiz.

When developing the drink, Dinhobl wanted to bring the flavors of San Antonio to the mix. Together with Ruiz, they developed a liqueur using HighWheel’s Black Kölsch (we call her Veronica), vodka, guajillo peppers and Mazapan de la Rosa, a Mexican candy made with various peanuts, almonds and pistachios.

Though the cocktail uses half-and-half instead of heavy cream, the viscosity remains, and the result is a blend of flavors both salty, sweet and subtle. A dash of powdered peppers and toasted nuts finishes this unique cocktail offering.

Mazapan Alexander

1 oz. Kinsman Rakia

1 oz. Half-and-Half

1 1/2 oz. Mazapan Liqueur

Combine ingredients in a shaking tin. Add ice. Shake vigorously. Strain into coupe. Garnish with powdered toasted nuts.

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Kinsman Rakia 2018 Brandy Alexander Tour: Tribeca 212

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Rudy Souberbielle took over the reigns at Tribeca 212 earlier this year, adding more than 30 years of design and hospitality experience to the Olmos Park favorite.

For Tribeca 212’s Brandy Alexander variation, Rudy tapped former co-worker and kombucha maker Bret Roberts to help highlight the apricot flavors in Kinsman Rakia. Roberts’ creation adds a new twist to the much maligned fruitcake by infusing vanilla ice cream with various fruits, and garnishing with dried apricots rehydrated using Kinsman Rakia.

Tribeca 212 // Fruitcake Alexander

2 1/2 oz. Vanilla Ice Cream with select chopped fruit

1/2 oz. Kinsman Rakia

1/2 oz. Chambord

1/2 oz. Disaronno

Combine ingredients in a shaking tin. Dry shake. Strain into martini glass. Garnish with dried cranberries, pineapple, rehydrated apricots using Kinsman Rakia and a mint leaf.

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The General Public's Merry Kinsman

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The holidays are stressful, but cocktails don’t have to be.

Enter The General Public’s Merry Kinsman created by Kara Trissel, Director of Beverage for FreeRange Concepts (behind The Rustic, Bowl & Barrel, and General Public) in 2017. Perfect for Friendsmas or your family holiday party, the Merry Kinsman is fun, easy to drink and crowd-pleasing. So much so, this little holiday number was put on the regular cocktail menu.

Visit The General Public for a taste or create it at home with your bottle of Kinsman Rakia.

The General Public // The Merry Kinsman

1 oz. Kinsman Rakia

1/2 oz. St-Germain elderflower liqueur

1/2 oz. lemon juice

Sparkling wine of choice

Combine Kinsman, St-Germain and lemon in a shaking tin. Add ice. Shake, strain into coupe and top with sparkling of choice. General Public garnishes the Merry Kinsman with a lemon wheel and a dried apricot.

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Kinsman Rakia 2018 Brandy Alexander Tour: The Modernist

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Cocktail aficionados familiar with The Modernist will be up for a stellar rendition at this bespoke bar owned by Olaf Harmel and Gerry Shirley.

Harmel plays off the terroir displayed by the apricots shipped in for Kinsman Rakia from Grocka near Belgrade, adds slight notes of bitterness from the Cynar and finishes with a satiny cocktail that’s less sweet than most on the tour.

The Modernist // Brandy Alexander

1 1/2 oz. Kinsman Rakia

3/4 oz. Heavy Cream and Coconut Cream, equal parts

1/4 oz. Vanilla Ice Cream

1/2 oz. Crème de Cacao Dark

1/2 oz. Clement Coconut

4 to 5 Dashes Saline

Combine all ingredients in a shaking tin. Dry shake. Strain into coupe or stemmed glassware.

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Kinsman Rakia 2018 Brandy Alexander Tour: Still Golden Social House

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The Brandy Alexander tour makes it first stop ever at Still Golden Social House where bar manager Stephan Mendez adds an unexpected ingredient to the mix.

A half ounce of Tapatio tequila añejo counters the sweetness of the apricot for a result that’ll be a hit with horchata fans.

Still Golden Social House // Golden Alexander

1 1/2 oz. Kinsman Rakia

1/2 oz. Tapatio Tequila Añejo

3/4 oz. Crème de Cacao

3/4 oz. Heavy Cream

Combine all ingredients in a shaking tin. Shake vigorously and strain into chilled coupe. Finish with a light dusting of fresh nutmeg.

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Kinsman Rakia 2018 Brandy Alexander Tour: Piatti

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There’s two very different chances to try a Brandy Alexander at Piatti. Beverage Supervisor Matt Collett created a pair of wintry cocktails with unique twists. Visit the Quarry for a Wonderland, that uses a Nocino liqueur to add a depth of flavor; or visit Eilan for The Santa Clause, which pairs Kinsman with a holiday simple syrup of nutmeg, sage, orange peel, clove and star anise) in a Collins glass for a refreshing holiday cocktail.

Piatti Quarry // Wonderland

1 1/2 oz. Kinsman Rakia

1/2 oz. Nocino walnut liqueur

3/4 oz. Heavy Cream

1/2 oz. Cinnamon Simple Syrup

Combine ingredients in a shaking tin. Add ice. Shake. Strain into coupe. Garnish with cinnamon.

Piatti Eilan // The Santa Clause

1 1/2 oz. Kinsman Rakia

1/4 oz. Branca Menta

1/2 oz. Holiday Simple Syrup (Collett makes his using nutmeg, sage, orange peel, clove and star anise)

1/2 oz. Heavy Cream

Topo Chico

Combine Kinsman, Branca Menta, simple and heavy cream in a shaking tin. Add ice. Shake vigorously. Top with Topo Chico.

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Kinsman Rakia 2018 Brandy Alexander Tour: Ostra at Mokara Hotel & Spa

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Over at Mokara Hotel & Spa, TJ Longoria was thinking of his favorite campfire snack while creating his Brandy Alexander variation.

“Who doesn’t love a s’more?,” said Longoria.

Can’t argue with that logic. Longoria, who has spent tiem at Jazz, TX, Cured, Bar 1919 and now Ostra, tweaked the original recipe by adding a hint of agave, and a hazelnut touch. It’ll keep you warm, that’s for sure.

Ostra at Mokara Hotel & Spa // Alexander S’more

1 oz. Kinsman Rakia

1/2 oz. Frangelico

1/2 oz. Crème de Cacao

1 oz. Heavy Cream

1/4 oz. Agave Syrup

Combine Kinsman Rakia, and other ingredients in a shaking in. Add ice and shake at length, like you mean it. Strain into martini glass and top with graham cracker crumbs and smashed cacao nibs.

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Kinsman Rakia 2018 Brandy Alexander Tour: Ocho at Hotel Havana

Espresso Alexander/Jess Elizarraras

Espresso Alexander/Jess Elizarraras

Picture it: You’re strolling along the San Antonio Riverwalk, taking in the sights and sounds, wishing for a boozy beverage to warm your bones.

That wish can become a reality with a visit to Hotel Havana where Food & Beverage Director Sean Goodale is putting a cozy spin on the Brandy Alexander at Ocho. For his rendition, Goodale adds a shot of espresso and a blend of cinnamon-infused simple syrup to create an inviting tipple that will help you keep the night going, or serve as the perfect digestif after a delectable dinner at Ocho.

Ocho at Hotel Havana // Espresso Alexander

1 oz. Kinsman Rakia

1 oz. Frangelico

1/2 oz. Cinnamon Simple Syrup

2 oz. Espresso

1 oz. Steamed Milk

Pinch of nutmeg

Combine Kinsman, Frangelico and Simple Syrup in a tin and shake. Pour into mug and top with hot espresso, steamed milk and finish with a pinch of nutmeg.

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Kinsman Rakia 2018 Brandy Alexander Tour: George's Keep

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Kinsman Rakia 2018 Brandy Alexander Tour: George's Keep

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As the opening barman at Dorćol Distilling + Brewing Co, Nick Kenna is intimately familiar with the distilled apricot flavors of Kinsman and his variation — complete with charred cinnamon stick — packs a punch.

Kenna might not be a fan of creamy cocktails, but his tongue-in-cheek approach adds a thick layer of frothy heavy cream that delivers a velvety mouthfeel and plenty of flavor.

George’s Keep // Milk Was a Bad Idea

1 oz. Kinsman Rakia

1 oz. Stolen smoked rum

3/4 oz. Tempus Fugit Crème de Cacao

3/4 oz. Punt E Mes

1 1/2 - 2 oz. Heavy Cream

1/2 oz. Brown Sugar Cinnamon Syrup

Stir Kinsman Rakia, Crème de Cacao, and Punt E Mes together and pour over a large rock. In a shaking tin, combine heavy cream and brown sugar cinnamon syrup and dry shake until frothy. Top with a light dusting of cinnamon and burnt cinnamon stick on side of glass.






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Kinsman Rakia 2018 Brandy Alexander Tour: El Colegio at Omni La Mansion

Neapolitan Alexander/Jess Elizarraras

Neapolitan Alexander/Jess Elizarraras

Tourists and locals alike will want to get a taste for El Colegio’s creamy, dreamy Neapolitan Alexander. Created by mixologist Diana, the variation is an ode to Christmas past when she would sneak into her grandparent’s freezer and eat scoops of Neapolitan ice cream while no one was watching.

El Colegio at Omni La Mansion // Neapolitan Alexander

1 1/1 oz. Kinsman Rakia

1 oz. White Crème de Cacao

2 oz. Scoop of Neapolitan ice cream

Sprinkles, for rimming

Pour Kinsman Rakia and White Crème de Cacao over chocolate, vanilla, strawberry ice cream. Shake. Rim martini glass with sprinkles of choice and pour neatly.


Neapolitan Alexander/Jess Elizarraras

Neapolitan Alexander/Jess Elizarraras

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Kinsman Rakia 2018 Brandy Alexander Tour: The Brooklynite

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After five years of setting the tone for cocktail standards in the San Antonio area, The Brooklynite is months away from relocating to a new home. But until then, there’s still time to enjoy expertly made cocktails at 516 Brooklyn Ave.

Bartender Rachel Rainwater leaned into the chocolatey nature of the Brandy Alexander while catering to the dairy-averse. Using a vegan chocolate Ripple pea milk, the Brandy Frapp alludes to Terry’s milk chocolate orange balls, or at the very least an orange mocha frappuccino you can enjoy with friends.

The Brooklynite // Brandy Frapp

1 oz. Kinsman Rakia

1 oz. 03 Orange Liqueur

1 oz. Ripple Chocolate Milk

Combine with ice in shaking tin. Shake. Strain into a rocks glass. Top with crushed ice and dark chocolate shavings.


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Kinsman Rakia 2018 Brandy Alexander Tour: Biga on the Banks

Biga on the Banks//Jess Elizarraras

Biga on the Banks//Jess Elizarraras

Spirits Manager Shane Clifford has been behind the bar at Biga on the Banks for the past five years. It’s from that unique perspective that he’s able to share the unique story of Kinsman Rakia.

“I love the story, the origins, and I love telling visitors to San Antonio that it’s being distilled right here in downtown,” Clifford said.

For his 2018 Brandy Alexander, Clifford created a depth of flavor with the addition of maple syrup and a touch of apple bitters that help enhance the apricot notes in the Kinsman.

Biga on the Banks // Rakia Alexander

1 oz. Kinsman Rakia

1 oz. Heavy Cream

1/4 oz. Maple syrup

2 Dashes apple bitters

3/4 oz. Tempus Fugit Crème de Cacao

Combine all ingredients in a shaker in and dry shake. Shake with ice. Strain into martini glass and top with cocoa powder.


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Kinsman Rakia 2018 Brandy Alexander Tour: Liberty Bar

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Kinsman Rakia 2018 Brandy Alexander Tour: Liberty Bar

Liberty Bar’s Yoko’s Oh No//Jess Elizarraras

Liberty Bar’s Yoko’s Oh No//Jess Elizarraras

History plays a huge part at Liberty Bar, the storied San Antonio staple that opened in 1980 and relocated to the Southtown area in 2010. Bartender Phillip Zamora decided to tackle the Brandy Alexander with some cheeky historical context.

Long rumored to be John Lennon’s favorite tipple, the Brandy Alexander at Liberty Bar takes on a creamier mouthfeel with the addition of a egg yolk and a double shake. The result? A smooth, egg cream-esque variation on the boozy holiday favorite.

Liberty Bar // Yoko’s Oh No

1 oz. Kinsman Rakia

1/2 oz. Amaretto

3/4 oz. Creme de Cacao

3/4 oz. Heavy Cream

1 Egg Yolk

Combine all ingredients into a shaker tin. Dry shake at length. Wet shake and strain into a coupe. Garnish with fresh nutmeg.

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Kinsman Rakia 2018 Brandy Alexander Tour: Bar 1919

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Kinsman Rakia 2018 Brandy Alexander Tour: Bar 1919

The Rakia Road Alexander/Jess Elizarraras

The Rakia Road Alexander/Jess Elizarraras

It was all about collaboration at Bar 1919, where Don Marsh and bartender Corey Farmer tag-teamed the creation of this year’s Brandy Alexander. This variation adds a citrusy touch from the China-China, made with sweet and bitter orange peels, and a sweet, spicy ginger foam created by Marsh for a refreshing take on the classic.

Bar 1919 // Rakia Road Alexander

1 oz. Kinsman Rakia

1/2 oz.China-China liqueur

1/2 oz. Creme de Cacao

1/4 oz. Ginger Foam

1 oz. Cream

Combine ingredients in a shaker tin. Add ice.  Shake. Strain into a coupe. Top with seasonal foam and coco.

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New hire spreading Dorcol gospel

Jessica Elizarraras, Dorcol Distilling + Brewing Company

Jessica Elizarraras, Dorcol Distilling + Brewing Company

Showing our affinity for journalists, we are announcing our hire of one of the city’s most followed foodies Jessica Elizarraras, the former food and nightlife editor at the San Antonio Current.

For more than 10 years, the Texas native has crafted stories about the food and drink scene for a ream of publications, including the San Antonio Express-News, Bon Appétit, Eater and Texas Monthly. As the newest addition to our small team at Dorćol, Jessica will focus on spreading the news for our award-winning brewery and distillery, as we set to celebrate our fifth year this December 15th.

As the company’s Chief Engagement Officer, the former journalist will be seen around Texas spreading our gospel. A recent member of the Les Dames d’ Escoffier, a group of women leaders in the food and drink industry, Jessica got a taste of being asked questions from a nosey writer, who in his past life used to sling Kinsman cocktails and pour HighWheel brews at Dorćol.

After more than a decade as a journalist, why the change?

I want to explore a more social role in this industry. These days, being in journalism for 10 years is pretty successful. I wanted to go out and see what else I can be successful at.

You’ve spent most of your career documenting San Antonio’s growing food and drink scene, which has come a long way over the last few years. Where do you see it going from here?

When San Antonio finds something it likes, it commits to it. More and more people find they like good food and good drinks and they like supporting local. As long as San Antonio can continue to support its local spots, the scene will continue to grow. We are no longer just a margarita city. I love having been part of the evolution of our food and drink scene and am really excited to continue sharing Dorćol’s story and contribution in shaping it.

Where does Dorćol fit in the city’s continuously developing scene?

Their story is so unique. They have this amazing brandy that you don’t see anywhere else in Texas or the nation. Just like the local scene, they’re creating something special and they continue to grow.

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Do you remember the first time you visited Dorćol?

It opened around the same time I started at the Current. I had heard about what they were doing but I had to see it for myself. I remember venturing into this random place in an obscure part of downtown along South Flores. It was like a Willy Wonka situation, two dudes making this smooth spirit no one can pronounce but that’s so magically flavorful that it goes with everything. It’s pretty special.

Where does Kinsman fit in the spirits scene?

It’s different and so versatile, lending itself to be used in so many creative ways. It’s playful and adventurous. Knowing that it’s local, it’s so much fun seeing it develop in the hands of some of the state’s top bartenders. Watching them use it to enhance classics or to create something totally new has been a treat.

What’s your favorite Rakia drink?

I loved the Clear Skies Ahead. I love the way it’s used in the Brandy Alexander. If you think Brandy Alexander in San Antonio, you better think Rakia.

When it comes to craft beer, a lot of breweries seem to go over the top with ingredients. What do you think about Dorćol’s HighWheel sticking to classic styles?

When it comes to craft beer, people seem to always look for the extreme. But there’s something to be said about perfectly crafted beer.

How would you describe Dorćol to someone who hasn’t visited?

It’s truly a neighborhood bar. You’re going to get quality every single time, whether it’s a cocktail or beer. What it has going for it, is that it’s so inviting. No matter if you’ve been once or all the time, you can’t help but to feel like a regular. You’re going to have a good time.

Any final thoughts about your new role?

I got into journalism for the storytelling. I wanted to ask the questions and inform people about what was happening in their community. I’m not going to stop doing that. I’ll still be telling stories at Dorćol, telling people that along South Flores there’s this evolving scene anchored by this special place doing amazing things. 

- Valentino Lucio

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