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Photo courtesy of Picadas

San Antonians take their aguas frescas seriously. Look at the controversy when TikToker Gracie Norton called the beloved drink “spa water.” Still, locals are not likely to argue should one want to throw in a little booze.

Now entrepreneur Hugo Martinez has taken beloved Mexican flavors out of vitroleros and into cans with Picadas, a line of hard aguas frescas. Each can combines real fruit juice with cane sugar alcohol for a product that’s sure to take Fiesta by storm.

Martinez conceived the brand while completing an MBA at Stanford University. A fan of seltzers, he realized the category was missing a taste of home. After returning to Monterey, Mexico in 2021, Picadas was born.

“I became a seltzer enthusiast when I took my first sip, but I was searching everywhere for one with Mexican flavors. Tamarindo, Limonada... the stuff I grew up drinking,” Martinez explains via a release. “Coming from Mexico, we never sacrifice flavor.”

The name comes from the phrase “con piquete,” Mexican slang for “spiked.” Each 12-ounce can rings in at 130 calories with 4.5 percent alcohol by volume. The drinks can be enjoyed alone or amped up with tequila or mezcal.

Currently, the line is available in three flavors — mango, limonada, and guava. Every six-pack, retailing at $10.99, comes with a packet of spicy chile-lime salt to dress the rim. Texans can stock their fridges at 200 H-E-B stores statewide.

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CultureMap Emails are Awesome

'Little West Side gem" sparkles with summer grand opening, plus more top stories

Editor’s note: It’s that time again — time to check in with our top stories. From new neighborhood bars to downtown summer fun and booming real estate, here are five articles that captured our collective attention over the past seven days.

1. Little West Side gem" sparkles with summer grand opening. The new Prospect Hill spot Chiflada’s is female-owned and all about community.

2. Controversial comedian Dave Chappelle plots out 4 Texas arena shows, including San Antonio. The comedian comes to the AT&T Center in San Antonio on July 12.

3. City drops jam-packed summer schedule of downtown family fun in San Antonio. The City has locals covered with summer fun at downtown Travis Park, La Villita, and Market Square.

4. San Antonio had the 3rd largest population increase in the U.S., new Census report says. San Antonio added nearly 18,900 new residents between July 2021 to July 2022.

5. San Antonio tops U.S. as 2nd most active real estate market within the last decade. San Antonio had the second highest number of single-family home permits between 2013 and 2022.

James Beard award nominee Nicola Blaque set to open 3rd restaurant concept in Hemisfair Park

Hungry at Hemisfair

Chef Nicola Blaque has a new restaurant concept in the works at Hemisfair Park.

The City of San Antonio Historic and Design Review Commission officially approved Blaque's concept for her third restaurant, Port Royal, to be housed in the historic Schultze House in Hemisfair Park.

While Port Royal will feature similar menu items from Blaque's original restaurant, the Jerk Shack, the Hemisfair spot will also feature a full bar and cocktail program, the first of its kind for Blaque's restaurants.

For anyone who hasn't had the pleasure of eating at the Jerk Shack, Blaque's signature culinary style is artisanal Jamaican cuisine, with menu options like Blaque's signature jerk chicken, fried plantains, jerk egg rolls, and more.

Guests at Blaque's new restaurant concept will also be able to order 'steakhouse-menu like items,' per an official press release from Hemisfair. Port Royal will also have the distinction of being one of the first public tenants on what is the now-driveable E. Nueva St.

So we know what you're thinking — when does Port Royal open anyway? Can we expect cocktails and food at Port Royal this summer?

Bit of bad news fellow foodies — Port Royal is slated for a summer opening, but not until summer 2024.

However, anything new from the James Beard Award nominated chef (most recently she made it to the James Beard Award semifinals for 2023) is always worth the wait, so just hang tight for now and we'll keep you posted on details of Port Royal's grand opening.

Blaque, who is also a military veteran, had this to say about Port Royal in an official statement — "The response to The Jerk Shack has been amazing, which has allowed us to expand across the city...Our fans and customers have been extremely supportive of our growth so we’re looking forward to bringing The Jerk Shack to Hemisfair."

Port Royal will join other new tenants at Hemisfair's Civic Park, including Künstler Tap Haus, Bombay Bicycle Club and Kusch Faire.

Construction on Port Royal is slated to begin in fall 2023.

American Airlines adds summer travel perks including Wi-Fi enhancements, meals, and movies

Airline Food News

Fort Worth-based American Airlines has made some additions to its in-flight lineup for summer 2023, including new meals and foodie snacks, Wi-Fi updates, and new movie options to stream. That includes a special selection of films celebrating Pride Month in June.

Food first!

Food
The new food options include chef-curated menu options in premium cabins and choices for the indulgent or health-conscious traveler in the main cabin.

Plant-based: Customers flying on transcontinental American Flagship service flights have a new premium entrée and it's plant-based, woo-hoo: The new Plant-Based Bulgogi Noodle Bowl entrée comes with yakisoba noodles, stir-fry vegetables, and plant-based beef crumbles — offering a new meal option that is both nourishing and delicious.

Avli on the Park: Customers flying in premium cabins to Europe from Chicago's O'Hare International Airport this summer can enjoy dishes from Avli on the Park, a Greek restaurant in Chicago and a Michelin 2023 honoree. Options include a Greek Beef Orzo Stew and a Kagiana Egg Scramble for breakfast. These items from Avli on the Park are available on six nonstop flights to Europe: Athens, Barcelona, Dublin, London, Paris, and Rome.

Wi-Fi updates
Wi-Fi enhancements for the summer months include:

Complimentary Wi-Fi for T-Mobile customers: By July, 100 percent of American's Wi-Fi-equipped regional and narrowbody aircrafts will offer T-Mobile In-Flight Connection On Us, allowing eligible T-Mobile customers to enjoy complimentary connectivity with streaming on domestic flights.

Summer streaming: Travelers to international destinations should be able to enjoy faster Wi-Fi speeds and a more reliable service for all their connectivity needs thanks to increased bandwidth planned for American's widebody aircraft, offering 100 percent mainline aircraft with video streaming capabilities.

Entertainment
New film and viewing options include:

Monthly exclusives: New movies will be offered monthly which customers can watch exclusively inflight such as the new AppleTV+ movie Ghosted.

Pride Month: American is offering an entertainment channel featuring top LGBTQ+ talent; customers can choose from a list of movies and series.

American Black Film Festival channel: This summer, American is bringing new content to the American Black Film Festival channel, elevating the unique voices and power stories of the Black community to offer a deeper understanding of the Black experience.

"Our customers are the inspiration behind everything we do, and American is committed to consistently deliver a world-class experience for them,” said Kim Cisek, Vice President of Customer Experience. “We know customers want a convenient travel experience throughout their journey on American and to arrive at their destination satisfied and ready to explore — a focus we keep in mind when refreshing and creating new experiences for them to enjoy on the ground and in the skies."