San Antonio's distilling scene is rising, slowly but surely, and now, downtown and midtown residents have a distillery to enjoy. Artisan on Alamo Distillery and Drinks is a hidden gem of sorts that quietly opened in late August on Eighth Street between North Alamo and Broadway streets.
Artisan on Alamo is operated by Nick Spink and has two products: Spike vodka, made from prickly pear cactus, and Texas Pride, a vodka made from corn. As far as anybody knows, Spike is the first and only vodka based from cactus.
Spink practically does everything at Artisan, from distilling to hand-rolling labels and filling bottles. His story is so compelling that the long-running television show Texas Country Reporter recently featured his exploits, even accompanying him on a run to help secure cacti from an area ranch for the vodka.
The new 4,000-square-foot distillery just north of downtown boasts enough room to support Spink's operations and a craft beverage lounge. The lounge features a bar, a few tables, some seating indoors and outside, and interior art from local artists.
The current menu features martinis, such as the Twizzler, Spike vodka, cinnamon candy infusion, and pineapple juice, and an Orange Raz, Texas Pride vodka, fresh raspberries, lemon, and handmade orange infusion.
Several cocktails are available too. The Wake Up includes Texas Pride, fresh-brewed cold coffee, and flavored creamer served over ice. The Mint Lemonade Fizz is made of Spike, fresh lemon infusion, fresh mint, and soda water.
Martinis and cocktails are priced at $7.50; during happy hour, 4-8 pm, they're $5. You can even get Texas Pride or Spike served as a shot with a sugar infusion, and customers can take home a bottle before 9 pm.
Artisan on Alamo is open 4 pm to 2 am on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. It's close to Pearl and other new residential multifamily properties, as well as Maverick Park and a rising number of retail options.
No doubt, Artisan on Alamo seeks to capture the attention of residents and merchants north of downtown, as well as people who appreciate a truly home-spun, unique take on a traditional spirit.