Viewing entries tagged
kinsman rakia


Go Explore: Visit Petra at Pastiche


Head into San Antonio’s Eastside and meet the folks at Pastiche!

If they look familiar, you may be a cocktail aficionado. The bar is the third operated by barman Benjamin Krick, who was responsible for menus at Juniper Tar, along with setting the tone at Jetsetter and now Pastiche.

For those unfamiliar with 1800 century art movements, Pastiche is “an artistic work in a style that imitates that of another work, artist, or period.” The interiors, rehabbed from their 1930s glory, are cozy and charming, and complete with Mucha the cat, an orange tabby that will become your new best friend.

Fans of Dorćol Distilling + Brewing Co. will be glad to know the staff has added a Kinsman cocktail for all to enjoy. Petra, served in a curvaceous Champagne flute, brings together Old World European ingredients like Ratafia Champenois, Italicus, Kinsman and Sparkling rosé in homage to the same art noveau style the bar draws from.

While away an evening at Pastiche with Petra on the patio. You’ll never know what it’ll inspire.



George's Keep's Butterfly Kisses


Let’s be frank — though Summer is winding down, seasonal menus will stay put until the weather starts dipping into the 70s.

That having been said, this gives you more chances to try the Butterfly Kisses at George’s Keep! Created by bartender extraordinaire Nick Kenna, the Butterfly Kisses is a patio pounder worth ordering as it combines Kinsman rakia, with the botanicals of gin, lemon, and lavender Butterfly Pea Flower Tea simple syrup. Not familiar with Butterfly Pea Flower Tea? This blue tea is made from petals and is known for its dramatic change to purple when combined with a citrus agent, in this case lemon juice.

The result is a balanced cocktail that’s as beautiful as it is tasty.

Try it at home by combining 1 ounce Kinsman Rakia, 1 ounce gin, 3/4 ounce lemon juice, 3/4 ounce butterfly pea tea/ lavender syrup in a tin over ice; shake and strain into chilled coupe. Or put down the pumpkin spice and the scarves and order one at George’s Keep today!



Meet Our Take on The Painkiller


This April, we stretched our creative muscles behind the bar and added four limited-run cocktails that highlight the versatility of Kinsman Rakia.

We tackled strong and boozy with the Arsenic + New Lace, dabbled in herbaceous with a Bijou, and added froth with a Pink Lady, but the most popular tippler by far has been our Kinsman-based Painkiller.

We traded rum for nuanced Kinsman Rakia, while still keeping the traditional tiki vibes with fresh pineapple juice and orange juice, silky coconut cream and a light dusting of freshly grated nutmeg.

The Kinsman pairs exceedingly well with the citrus and tropical flavors making this a hard-to-beat patio pounder that transports you to the Virgin Islands without leaving SoFlo.

Come try one in our tasting room Thursday, Friday or Saturday starting at 5 p.m.



It Started with a Still


When Boyan and Chris set out to open Dorćol Distilling Company (we weren’t brewing just yet), the first step was easy. The guys needed a still, and a coppersmith was practically extended family.

They connected with Nenad Poparić, a family friend and still maker based out of Novi Sad, Serbia, a city just an hour north of Boyan’s boyhood home in Belgrade. 

Nenad, a second generation coppersmith has been making stills all his life. He crafted similar still used by Boyan’s paternal grandfather (known as deka to the boys) and was commissioned the task of creating Dorćol’s hand-crafted, direct-heat copper still. 

Just as Dorćol Distilling was a family endeavor, so was crafting its still. Nenad made the 400-liter traditional European copper still alongside his son Igor, a third generation still maker. Dorćol’s still became the first of its kind to bare both still makers’ seals at its head. 

Tools of the trade found inside Nenad’s Novi Sad shop…

Tools of the trade found inside Nenad’s Novi Sad shop…

The still left Novi Sad in December of 2012 and made it to the port of Houston a month later in January 2013 with short stops along the way in the Croatian port city of Rijeka and Egypt. Since then, the still’s been responsible for distilling 17,000 liters of low-wine of our first product, the award-winning Kinsman rakia, a delicately balanced spirit filled with character and aroma. The small still is responsible for another 40,000-plus liters of grape-brandy and single-malt whiskey that’s yet to be put on the market. 

Given Kinsman’s popularity, and our passion for creating amazing spirits, a second still was commissioned to the Poparićs in April of 2017 and was completed in October of the same year. The 750-liter still No. 2 made it to the States in January of 2018, complete with a few custom design tweaks that accommodate our production process. 

Boyan, Nenad, Chris, Nick Kenna and Igor in Serbia, September 2017.

Boyan, Nenad, Chris, Nick Kenna and Igor in Serbia, September 2017.

This 2019, we’re banking on two stills being better than one!



The Return of the Cucumber Collins

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Spring is ALMOST here, and we can already taste it. As such, the Cucumber Collins is making a menu comeback!

Crafted by Dorćol Distilling + Brewing Co.’s former bar creative Nick Kenna, the Cucumber Collins takes a spicy turn with the addition of a habanero simple syrup, while staying refreshing as ever with Kinsman Rakia, fresh cucumber juice and a splash of Topo Chico. It’s finished off with a light dusting of Trechas chile-sugar mix.

Come try one of these classics for yourself and stay tuned for more springtime cocktails in the coming weeks!



On Transforming the Broadway Corridor: Jeret Pena, The Brooklynite's Future + More

Stephan Mendez, Jeret Pena and Rob Gourlay of The Boulevardier Group

Stephan Mendez, Jeret Pena and Rob Gourlay of The Boulevardier Group

One of the first barmen ever to test out Kinsman Rakia in cocktails in our very own taproom will open what is undoubtedly the city’s most anticipated new bar later this summer.

But this isn’t Jeret Pena’s first rodeo. After he helped open The Esquire Tavern in 2011, before moving on to open The Brooklynite in 2012, Pena has kept plenty busy and he’s learned a lot along the way. When the chance to lease a new space for the award-winning Brooklynite came up, he couldn’t pass it up. Not this time.

“Where The Brooklynite will be is where we wanted it to be from the beginning,” Pena said.

The appeal of opening his own craft cocktail bar superseded wanting to take on the higher rent of the Broadway corridor, which has seen enormous growth in the last five years. Pena and The Boulevardier Group leased the Brooklynite’s original location off Brooklyn Ave. and quickly turned it into a must-visit bar for the area, drawing plenty of national attention for their inventive cocktails, raucous Tiki Tuesdays and attention to detail.

Other bars would follow: Stay Golden Social House, The Last Word, The Old Main Assoc. (the latter would eventually close). Stay Golden, the casual patio bar with accessible porch-sippers, closed in 2017, only to open as Still Golden Social House, which Pena likens to an anarchist punk who grew up and went to college.

“It went off and got a degree, but it’s still kind of that punk kid. It’s a teenager that grew up,” Pena said.

Still Golden’s success, which he credits to its affordability and comfort level, have paid off enough to mean the barman can get back into cocktails.

“I didn’t want to let go of The Brooklynite. It (and Chris Hill at the Esquire) are what brought us here and put us on the map. We got tattoos of the damn thing!” Pena said.

After closing this past February, The Brooklynite will reopen behind Still Golden Social House at the intersection of Broadway and Grayson with a new look, and a re-imagined love of cocktails.

“It’s going to look timeless. The old Brooklynite looked like a period piece, a little doll house from the early 20th century,” Pena said. “We’re going with something more timeless you won’t be able to pin-point with Mid-century and splashes of art deco, Herringbone flooring, demascus wallpaper.”

Pena will lean on eau de vie, or unaged fruit brandies, for some of his creations.

“It’s a lot like math for me. If you can consolidate the strength of the spirit with its main flavor profile, like in Kinsman, you’re able to add modifiers and develop the complexity of the drink,” Pena said.

“That’s what I like about Kinsman — it’s a strong spirit and it puts that apricot flavor on center stage.”

Look for The Brooklynite to open with cocktails prices between $12-$18, for all to enjoy.



Mardi Paws Takes Over Dorćol Distilling + Brewing on February 23

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This February 23, we’re celebrating all things pets with our friends at 4 Paws Animal Hospital.

From noon to 4 p.m., we’re hosting a Mardi Paws Block Party and closing a portion of LaChapelle Street to welcome pet-supply vendors with treats, the latest in pooch and kitty fashions and pet-friendly services. Ten percent of the bar’s proceeds will benefit the Animal Defense League of Texas.

There will be treats aplenty for all the humans as well, as we welcome Third Coast Kitchens (the restaurant group behind The Cookhouse, NOLA Brunch, and Bud’s Rotisserie) for an authentic crawfish boil; fresh-fried beignets from market-favorite The Beignet Stand; and whimsical milkshakes from Honeysuckle.

Leashed and well-behaved pets are invited to don their best Nawlins-inspired ensembles for our pet parade, emceed by local fashion guru and former Express-News staff writer Michael Quintanilla.

Join us for Heritage Ranch pet food samples from our friends at H-E-B; giveaways from Rudy’s Feed Store; training demos by Stephanie Garza of Pup, Pup and Away; fun games from See Spot Run Pet Sitting, pet ambassadors from the Animal Defense League of Texas, Kinsman-filled FURRICANES, and more!

Noon-4pm, Saturday, February 23, Dorćol Distilling + Brewing Co., 1902 S. Flores St.

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We're Celebrating Valentine's Day at Dorćol by Eating Dessert First


This Valentine’s Day, Dorćol is dimming the lights…

…and getting ready to celebrate the sweeter side of things.

On February 14, we’re teaming up with The Sinister Sisters, Stephanie and Stacy, to showcase the versatility of our warehouse. By day, we produce and brew some of the finest spirits and beers in Texas. By night, we’ll transition our space to a candlelit respite from the urban madness. The evening will be perfect for cocktails and a lil somethin’ sweet.


Join us for a trio of desserts, a warm apricot bread pudding with Kinsman-soaked apricots, salted caramel drizzle topped with toasted almonds, and a Brandy Alexander cheesecake with chocolate cracker crust paired with a raspberry coulis. There’s also a sweet and fluffy surprise in store.

Desserts (meant for sharing) will be paired with Kinsman cocktails created by two of our favorite barkeeps, “Doc” Elliott and Ron Bechtol. Enjoy the Sherry Baby with Kinsman Rakia, Pedro Ximenez Sherry and Frangelico, and the coffee-based KinKafa with Aztec chocolate bitters, cardamom bitters and Kinsman Rakia.

Seatings are available for 7 to 8:30 p.m. and 9 to 10:30 p.m.

Tickets, available through, includes one portion of each dessert for the table, as well as two cocktail pairings, two HighWheel Beer pours (Russian Imperial Stout & Betty) and complimentary bubbles per person.



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.




Sparkling Rakia Cocktails for NYE


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.



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. 



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.



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.



The General Public's Merry Kinsman


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.



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.



Kinsman Rakia 2018 Brandy Alexander Tour: Piatti


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.



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.



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.


Kinsman Rakia 2018 Brandy Alexander Tour: George's Keep


Kinsman Rakia 2018 Brandy Alexander Tour: George's Keep


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.