Photo courtesy of San Antonio Botanical Garden

Experience the sounds of the city with the help of these must-attend musical happenings. See The Zombies live in concert or groove to music under the stars at the San Antonio Botanical Garden. Check out the top five things to do in San Antonio this weekend. For a full list of events, visit our calendar.

Thursday, March 16

The San Antonio Botanical Garden presents "Lush: Twilight in the Garden"
A new after-hours entertainment series is in full bloom at the San Antonio Botanical Garden. This month’s activities are inspired by the theme "Luck in Lush" and will include extended garden hours, live music, entertainment, a signature beverage, and an array of floral displays for ambiance. For more information and to snag your tickets, visit sabot.org.

Ben Rector in concert
Singer-songwriter Ben Rector performs live at the Majestic Theatre in support of his album, The Joy of Music. Rector has released seven studio albums and has topped the charts with songs like “Brand New” and “Love Like This.” For seating availability, visit Ticketmaster.

Friday, March 17

Druski: Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda Tour
Comedian and Internet personality Druski takes his brand of comedy on the road as part of his first-ever, headlining comedy tour, Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda. Fans can experience his blend of skits, storytelling, and social media-infused content at Majestic Theatre live and in person. Visit the Ticketmaster for more information.

Saturday, March 18

The Zombies in concert
Legendary British psych rock band The Zombies comes to San Antonio for one night only. The group behind hits like “She’s Not There” and “Indication” performs at the Aztec Theatre in support of their new album, Different Game. They will be joined by special guest AJ Smith. Get ticket information via Live Nation.

Sunday, March 19

Lush: Twilight in the Garden
Photo courtesy of San Antonio Botanical Garden

San Antonio Botanical Garden invites revelers for "Lush: Twilight in the Garden" on March 16.

Tobin Center for the Performing Arts presents "Yamato: The Drummers of Japan"
See the spotlight shine on Japanese Taiko drumming during this special performance by Yamato. This storied drumming group hails from Asuka-mura Nara Prefecture, also known as the “hometown of Japan,” and has traveled to 54 countries in the almost three decades since its formation. A select number of tickets are still available at tobincenter.org.

Photo courtesy of Picadas

First Mexican hard aguas frescas brand splashes into 200 H-E-B stores across Texas


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.

Photo courtesy of San Antonio Botanical Garden

San Antonio Botanical Garden presents Lush: Twilight in the Garden

The San Antonio Botanical Garden’s after-hours series, Lush: Twilight in the Garden, will feature new, exciting themes. Each month, guests can enjoy extended hours, live music, entertainment, a signature beverage, and beautiful bloom displays as the sun sets over the 38-acre urban oasis.

Theme schedule

  • March 16 - Luck in Lush
  • April 13 – Fiesta Preparada
  • May 18 – Rosé and Roses
  • June 15 – Margarita Madness
  • July 20 – Dueling Pianos
  • August 17 – Sangria and Sunsets
  • September 21 – Knight at the Garden
  • October 19 – Day of the Dead Celebration
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13 San Antonio spots shaking up National Margarita Day


It’s a cruel coincidence that National Margarita Day falls on February 22, smack dab in the middle of San Antonio’s second coldest month. But even a winter chill won’t stop locals from enjoying the city’s favorite refresher. From upscale restaurants to dive bars, margs are served everywhere. The only tricky part is knowing who does them best.

The Bar at Mixtli
Everything at this modern Mexican Southtown restaurant is considered, so its no bombshell that its margaritas should follow suit. But the Overproof Spice Margarita really pulls out all the stops, both for its octane and it’s one-two punch of serrano and arbol salt.

El Camino
Although this downtown hangout has a traditional marg for the purists, the vibrant outdoor space calls for something with a little more color. The Mission Rita does just that, adding the crimson zing of prickly pear.

El Mirasol
This long-running Alamo City restaurant is the place to go for those who like a little flavor in their tequila. There’s 17 of them to choose from, ranging from mainstays like blue curaçao and strawberry to surprises like amaretto or apple pucker.

Hands Down
This artsy Southtown bar has been one of the most unanticipated recent additions to Alamo City nightlife, so it’s fitting that its margarita would be just as remarkable. Though based on the classic build, it has a woodsy kick courtesy of palo santo bitters.

La Fonda on Main
La Fonda has been at it since 1932, which has given it more than enough time to get the formula right. Its cucumber jalapeño take is especially zippy when paired with a platter of bacon-wrapped Diablitos.

La Ruina
OK, this rum bar’s El Tamarindo isn’t a margarita per se. But it has tequila, lime juice, and a touch of sweetness from ancho pepper liqueur. We say that’s close enough.

This perennially chic River Walk eatery is a top spot for those who like a little sweetness in their margarita without an instant cavity. Ranch Water — that kissing cousin of the marg — is well represented too, made here with earthy sotol.

Paloma Blanca
Few local libations are as famous as this Alamo Heights favorite’s vivacious ’09. But be warned! Don't expect to get anything else accomplished if you down a couple of these at lunch.

There’s no better excuse to visit Rosario’s new Southtown digs than National Margarita Day. The San Antonio staple has several varieties from a refreshing variety spiked with mint and watermelon to the Cocorita, a frozen marg mixed with a piña colada.

The La Babia margarita at Hotel Emma’s resident bar is as minimal as a Luis Barragan building. Blanco tequila, orange liqueur, and freshly squeezed lime juice slide into a shaker before landing in a turquoise etched glass.

When San Antonians rave about the mythical powers of the chispa, they are probably thinking about this spot. Order them with the traditional tequila or shake things up with mezcal. There’s even a $40 ultra-premium option for impressing the in-laws.

Summer Camp Bar
Have your own wet hot American summer (or winter) at this poppy Grayson Street newcomer. The Hot Pants Margarita is particularly steamy with jalapeños and a spicy rim.

Tony’s Siesta
This neighborhood haunt is celebrating the holiday with a vintage night market — and of course margarita specials. Shop around with a classic mango marg on the rocks or an intriguing mezcal and tequila frozen with hibiscus and cherry.

Double Standard/ Facebook

7 iconic New Orleans cocktails to sip during San Antonio's Mardis Gras

Laissez les bon temps rouler

Sure, you could celebrate Fat Tuesday with a technicolor daiquiri. Plenty of revelers do just that, stumbling around Bourbon Street (or the River Walk) with a topsy-turvy whalebone filled with enough go-go juice to ensure Wednesday morning regret. The hangover will be bad enough without us tauntingly saying, “ya basic.”

Still, we beg you to reconsider: New Orleans cocktail culture is legendary and well-represented throughout the world, including San Antonio — the only other U.S. city to make it past 300 years old while partying so hard. Alamo City is awash in cocktails that the Big Easy made household names. By all means, imbibe (with a rideshare app at the ready); Mardis Gras is only one night. But remember, the most spectacular floats make the parade.

Corpse Reviver at Double Standard
This eye-opener became popular in New Orleans due to the city’s adoration for AM tipples, a propensity that San Antonio shares. Double Standard knows the score. The downtown bar opens at 11:30 am daily and is glad to soothe any throbbing headache with Corpse Reviver No. 2. Pairing London dry gin with absinthe and Cocchi Americano, it’s the only drink that matters after catching too many beads. The extra crispy fries help too.

French 75 at Near Dark
Southtown haunt Near Dark certainly regales in its goth charms — but there is a little bit of NOLA in its ramshackle collection of antique mirrors and checkerboard floors (at least the spookier parts). So it’s a surprise that one of its signature drinks is so effervescent. Invented in Paris and named for a powerful French field gun, the French 75 has long been a staple of New Orleans’ most soigné bars. Though Near Dark doesn’t include NOLA-standard cognac, it does give it the setting the drink deserves.

Hurricane at Southerleigh Haute South
We’ve all seen those lipstick-red concoctions served in a bulbous glass. Thanks to Pat O’Brien’s, the Hurricane is synonymous with the Paris of the South. His version added a little razzle-dazzle via passionfruit to go through less-than-popular rum. Sailors loved them as undoubtedly San Antonio’s service men and women do today when served on draft at one of The Rim’s busiest hot spots.

Mint Julep at Restaurant Claudine
Though this iconic Southern libation is more associated with Kentucky today, it has deep roots in Louisiana. A rum version was popular in the Big Easy in the late 1700s, long before haberdashers proved their mettle during a certain horse race. Restaurant Claudine’s version has the standard Bourbon — Buffalo Trace, to be exact — but it’s just the thing for a weekday bacchanal. Order charbroiled oysters and a mess of cornbread, then sit a spell.

New Orleans Buck at The Bar at Bohanan’s
One of the oldest cocktail categories, the Buck purportedly got its name when whiskey was added to the previously nonalcoholic Horse’s Neck, giving it a “kick.” The New Orleans variation substitutes rum and keeps ginger. Its lively profile makes it the ideal early evening libation, whether downed before a night at a Frenchmen Street jazz club or a show at the Majestic Theatre.

Sazerac at Amor Eterno
According to popular myth, this New Orleans icon was first served in an egg cup, or coquetier in French. The bungled American pronunciation led to the word “cocktail” being coined. That’s hogwash, of course, but it speaks to the drink’s importance in the barkeep’s canon. Amor Eterno features it currently on the classics menu and mixes it with the traditional build. Just the way it should.

Vieux Carre at The Esquire Tavern
This rye-based sipper was created in 1937 by Hotel Monteleone head bartender Walter Bergeron, which makes the Esquire older. Nonetheless, it makes perfect sense for the River Walk mainstay to serve a post-Prohibition classic. Its version nearly mimics the original, only omitting three drops of Peychauds. But let’s not get hung up on bitters when a cocktail has the necessary oomph.

San Antonio Botanical Garden presents Cupids & Cocktails

San Antonio Botanical Garden will present Cupids & Cocktails, a night of dancing, cocktails and sweet treats. Visitors can enjoy remixes of favorite songs from every era and dance the night away at this adults-only Valentine party.

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Bask in local artistry with the inaugural San Marcos Studio Tour in April


A new way to interact with local Central Texas artists is debuting at the end of March. The inaugural, self-guided San Marcos Studio Tour will feature more than 50 artists all across San Marcos and the surrounding area.

The tour will be led by women-owned and operated MotherShip Studios, an up and coming studio and gallery located between San Marcos and Martindale. MotherShip aims to facilitate community development by providing an affordable, welcoming studio space for local artists.

A special event will kick off the tour on the evening of March 31 at the MotherShip warehouse. The evening celebration will feature a group exhibition, live music, a giveaway, an artistic demonstration, and more. Attendees can also try one of the specially crafted complimentary drinks by local breweries such as Middleton Brewing, Still Austin Whiskey, and Austin Beer Works, who are sponsoring the event.

The studio tour will take place the weekend of April 1-2. Tour maps will be provided with numbers assigned to each artist’s studio, and signs will be posted to help tour-goers find their way around. During the weekend, visitors can also check out different group showcases at the warehouse in between their studio stops. While at the warehouse, they can also browse a catalog by the tour’s artists that will be available for purchase.

One of the goals of the tour is to showcase the “raw spaces” each local artist creates their work in, according to a press release. From their paint-splattered or photo-covered walls, these creative environments are where an artist feels most comfortable to create their work.

The San Marcos Studio Tour is free and open to the public. The tour’s kick off event will begin at 7 pm on March 31, and the self-guided tour will take place from 12 to 6 pm on April 1-2.

More information about the tour can be found on MotherShip Studio’s website.

Own a piece of Utopia with this Hill Country riverfront retreat listed for $2.5M


Have you ever wanted to buy a retreat or say you own a slice of Utopia? Now’s your chance – the Utopia River Retreat, a remarkable 12-acre property on the Sabinal River in Utopia, Texas has hit the market for $2.5 million.

The secluded, tree-filled, riverfront estate boasts nine guest cabins and "the Fortress," a historic lodge that can sleep 12 guests.

Each cabin has its own full kitchen, living space, and covered porch. Three cabins have two bedrooms that can host up to six guests, and six cabins are single-bedroom that can sleep up to four guests.

The property has been a sought-after wedding destination since the first wedding ceremony took place there in 1861. The only structure on the land at the time was a stone fort, which has since been converted into the Fortress.

Other features of the Fortress include:

  • Two master suites
  • Three semi-private lofts
  • A full kitchen
  • Fireplace
  • Wrap-around porch
  • Original stonework on display

Another highlighted feature of the property is the renovated hay barn. The previous owners turned it into a bespoke event space with an open floor plan, wood beam ceilings, a stone fireplace, and attached deck. Also around the barn is a large green space and a covered gazebo with a breathtaking view of the Sabinal river.

The Utopia River Retreat sale is facilitated by Chad Foster, the founder and broker of Uvalde-based real estate group Foster Farm and Ranch.

“With its current amenities and space for expansion, Utopia River Retreat provides potential buyers with a lot of entrepreneurial opportunities,” said Foster in a press release. “The event space, cabins, and renovated fort make Utopia River Retreat a great addition to any real estate portfolio.”

As investors are snatching up properties left and right for the next wedding venue or event space, the Utopia River Retreat is touted as the next hidden gem in a booming wedding industry. The Knot estimates a Texas couple’s average wedding budget is between $24,000 and $30,000. Texas couples are also more likely to put 30 percent of their wedding budget towards a perfect venue for their special day.

Even outside of wedding season, the estate can host family vacations, reunions, and corporate retreats, and more.

The town of Utopia is located 90 miles west of San Antonio and 350 miles southwest of Dallas.

More information about the property can be found at the Utopia River Retreat website, and more information about the listing can be found at Foster Farm and Ranch’s website.

New clinical trial for lumbar spinal surgery begins in San Antonio


A new clinical trial is underway for an alternative method to lumbar spinal fusion surgery. Orthopedic medical center Ortho San Antonio and orthopedic spine surgeon Dr. Anton Jorgensen announced the BalancedBack Total Joint Replacement trial using a “first-of-its-kind” technology called the 3Spine MOTUS device.

3Spine is a healthcare company focused on integrating development, research, and execution of lower back total joint replacement. The combination of the 3Spine procedure and the MOTUS device aim to address leg pain, back pain, and spinal instability. The surgery implements reconstruction of the functional spinal unit to treat degenerative disease.

Dr. Jorgensen was trained by fellow orthopedic surgeon Dr. Scott Hodges, the co-founder and medical director of 3Spine. Dr. Jorgensen said in a press release that he is proud to be the first Texas surgeon to participate in an important clinical trial of this type. He encouraged the community to keep in mind the challenges that come with spinal fusion surgery while searching for “new and innovative solutions to improve patient care.”

“This is something new I had to learn and practice, but I am convinced that MOTUS has the potential to fundamentally change the way I treat degenerative lumbar disease,” he said.

The first surgeries in the trial were completed at the Foundation Surgical Hospital of San Antonio. 3Spine Inc. is seeking certain patients with single-level lumbar spine disease and lumbar degeneration to participate in the study. Patients interested in the clinical trial in San Antonio can email brouk.gebreab@christushealth.org for more information.