Maybe you’re a holiday orphan looking for a little cheer or maybe all that’s left in the house is a bottle of cooking sherry and a shot of peppermint schnapps. Or perhaps you just have cabin fever after a weekend cooped up indoors. There are many reasons to go out for a drink on Christmas Day. Luckily, these seven local bars — ranging from a candlelit speakeasy to a casual music venue — have plenty of spirit(s) to keep your yuletide bright.
Okay, so maybe this isn’t a bar per se. And it’s definitely not the place to go if you can’t stay off your phone for more than a few minutes. But if you need to relax after a day spent talking the kids down from their sugar high, you can’t beat a dark theater, a seriously good drama, and a pint of craft beer.
Bombay Bicycle Club
Sip on a cocktail at this eclectic San Antonio mainstay before checking out the light display and the camel rides at the nearby San Antonio Zoo. Just make sure you eat first — the kitchen will be closed for the day.
The bar inside the Omni La Mansión del Rio has a storied history as the location of the original dean's office for St. Mary’s School of Law. Naturally, that means you’ll want to educate yourself on the encyclopedic drink list featuring classics like sidecars, Manhattans, Queen’s Park Swizzles, and more.
The Havana Bar
The dark and mysterious bar located underneath the Havana Hotel is the perfect sanctuary from holiday stress. Order a mojito, slink into one of their cushy couches, and have a chat with one of the friendly patrons.
The Menger Bar
Have a Victorian Christmas at the historic Menger Hotel’s watering hole, an 1887 replica of London’s House of Lords Pub complete with sumptuous wood paneling and a gorgeous beveled mirror bar. As to what to order, we think you already know. Nothing is more suitable than an Old Fashioned.
Shake yourself out of your Christmas stupor at The Rustic’s “Drink the Tree” event featuring a tannenbaum made of $3 Real Ale Fireman’s #4 bottles, live music, and warming winter cocktails. If you get the munchies, try one of their house tamales in brisket, chicken tinga, pork carnitas, or roasted poblano and cheese.
The surprisingly cold weather forecasted for Christmas Day calls for a cozy atmosphere and a strong drink. We can think of no better place to cuddle up and hum a few bars of “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” than the Hotel Emma’s house bar. The Burning Down the House cocktail — mezcal, sotol, pineapple shrub, lime, house falernum, and habanero salt — will instantly chase away the chill.