Though one of Texas’ hottest summers is beginning to cool off, that doesn’t mean it’s time to give up refreshing poolside cocktails just yet. To satisfy your craving for a thirst-quenching beverage, we’ve tapped the expertise of four hotels from some of Texas’ major metropolitan areas. Can’t make it to one of these hotspots? No sweat. The beverage selectors have included their inspirations and recipes below so that you can tap into your inner bartender at home.
Gemelle’s Bitter Sweet Cocktail
1.5 oz Herradura Reposado Tequila
.5 oz Campari
.5 oz lime
.75 oz grapefruit
.75 oz honey
Shake for four seconds in a shaker tin. Serve in a rocks glass on ice. Garnish with a lime wheel.
Opened in 2021, this container hotel located in Fort Worth’s River District is the first by celebrity chef and owner Tim Love. After a trip Love took to the Amalfi Coast, he was inspired to open Hotel Otto and its award-winning restaurant Gemelle. Love describes Gemelle’s Bitter Sweet Cocktail as their version of an Italian margarita—the perfect citrus-infused reprieve from the Texas heat.
Colton House, Austin
2 oz Desert Door Sotol
1 oz Blood orange juice
.5 oz lime juice
.5 oz simple syrup
A few dashes of ginger curry bitters
Topped with sparkling mineral water
Add ingredients into a glass over ice, add a few dashed of ginger curry bitters, and top with sparkling mineral water.
Named after the family who founded the small town of Colton, Texas, the Colton House sits on South Congress in Austin. Simona’s Coffee + Cocktails inside the hotel offers its own twist on a blood-orange Paloma: the Texas Sun. It’s made with locally distilled Desert Door Sotol, a spirit made from wild harvested sotol plants. “It’s comparable to tequila but with tasting notes of orange zest, mint, and sage,” says Sarah Vaz, Simona’s general manager. “It’s refreshingly citrus and subtly complex.”
1.5 oz vodka
.5 oz blanc vermouth
3 oz watermelon juice
1 oz lemon cordial
Add ingredients into a glass with crushed ice. Garnish with lime leaf and flower.
The Thompson Dallas is a luxury hotel located within The National, a 51-story mixed-use development downtown. The hotel is home to a number of eateries including Nine at The National, which makes this tasty Watermelon Breeze cocktail. “Texas has the best watermelons, and it’s a quintessential summer fruit,” says Wilborn Blalock, lead bartender at Nine. “Lemon cordial adds some brightness to make this the perfect refreshing cocktail on a hot day.”
Hotel Emma, San Antonio
3 oz of Prosecco
2 oz of Aperol
Splash of soda water
Serve over ice and garnish with an orange slice.
One of San Antonio-based Hotel Emma’s signature cocktails, La Babia Margarita, is a guest favorite alongside Ranch Water. But this year, according to Hotel Emma’s beverage manager Kendra Swords, the biggest hit has been the Aperol Spritz. “Having an Aperol Spritz top the chart is no surprise,” she says. “This Italian classic dating back to the late 1800s is perfect for any occasion, especially poolside. This classic and the variations we offer of it is a great way to partake in libations without feeling like you’ve overdone it on a Texas summer day.”