Whisler’s, East Austin’s destination for authentic craft cocktails, eccentric entertainment and kick-back patio hang time, is presenting a new seasonal cocktail menu, just in time for South By Southwest, when the bar will showcase a packed schedule of live-music performances from visiting and local artists.
Devoted to only serving authentic cocktail recipes handcrafted with premium ingredients, Whisler’s accomplished bartenders have augmented the bar’s already impressive vintage and signature cocktail menu with a curated list of springtime specialties, including several classic and original cocktail creations. New additions to the classic cocktail menuinclude the Corn & Oil, a Caribbean-inspired punch of a mixed drink, with rich, dark Cruzan Black Strap Rum, a touch of Velvet Falernum for a citrusy-sweet kick, Angostura Bitters and muddled lime; the Tipperary, a quintessential Irish cocktail, with Tullamore Dew Irish Whiskey, Dolin Sweet Vermouth and Dolin Genepy, a traditional herbal liqueur, all chilled and garnished with a lemon peel; and the Singapore Sling, an Asian cocktail reminiscent of turn-of-the-century island vacations, with Old Highborn Gin, a blend of Cherry Heering, Combier Orange and Benedictine liqueurs, Angostura Bitters, pineapple and lime juices, and grenadine, garnished with a lime wheel and a cherry.
Whisler’s is also spotlighting new original cocktails on its spring menu, created in-house by the bar’s masterful bartenders. Highlights include two handcrafted drinks from Aisling Gammill, a highly skilled mixologist whose degree in culinary arts and beverage management has led to a lauded career in the spirits industry, including acting as a mentor for Wild Turkey’s Behind-the-Barrel program, being a Tales of the Cocktail Apprentice Program alum and a prep-team veteran of the San Antonio Cocktail Conference, as well as twice being named a regional finalist in the World Class Cocktail competition. Gammill’s new featured cocktails include theJosephine Baker, a tantalizing blend of tangerine-infused Reyka Vodka, Grand Poppy liqueur, tangerine juice, honey syrup and Burlesque Bitters, garnished with a hibiscus petal; and theSt. Augustine, a comforting and bright cocktail of Mount Gay Black Barrel Rum, Chareau Aloe liqueur, lemon and raspberry tonic, topped with soda water and garnished with a cucumber wheel.
Also featured on Whisler’s original cocktail menu are drinks created by seasoned cocktail veteran Brett Esler, whose list of accomplishments and accolades includes being named the Broker’s Bowler Cup national winner and a Bacardi Legacy Cocktail Competition regional finalist, and receiving national finalist wins in the Bulldog Gin Modern Gin & Tonic competition and the Louis Royer Show Me the Proof cocktail competition, to name a few. A dedicated cocktail authority, Esler has had his handcrafted cocktails featured in Chilled Magazine, The Tasting Panel Magazine, as well as on Playboy.com, Vogue.com and TheSpiritsBusiness.com. His additions to Whisler’s original cocktails menu include the Way of the Dragon, a Chinese-inspired cocktail, with Bye Joe Baijiu spirit, Domaine de Canton ginger-flavored liqueur, Suze Bitters and a lemon-peel garnish; and the Colibri, a fiery concoction of Silencio Mezcal, Kummel liqueur, orange juice, golden-beet syrup and lemon juice.
Additional house-made recipes developed by Whisler’s bartending staff and featured on theoriginal cocktails menu include Matt Ross’ citrus-forward Jack of Hearts, with Old Forester Bourbon, Giffard Pamplemousse pink grapefruit liqueur, Cocci Rosa, Campari herbal liqueur and a grapefruit-peel garnish; Anne Vaughn’s whimsical The Pipsqueak, with Old Highborn Gin, Dolin Genepy, lime juice, celery-basil syrup, fresh black pepper, topped with soda and garnished with a lime wheel; and Emily Coleman’s Lava la Sandia, an intense yet satisfying combination of Cimarron Blanco Tequila, Aperol, watermelon shrub and lime juice, rimmed with a pink-and-black salt mix.
Whisler’s patrons visiting the bar during the first days of South By Southwest Music can kick back on the patio with a featured cocktail and be treated to two full days of live-music performances.
The musical lineup for Friday, March 18
1 p.m.: Aisling, featuring Whisler’s own Aisling Gammill
2 p.m.: Timothy Dan
3 p.m.: Stonehouse
4 p.m.: The Wilder Society
5:30 p.m.: Brother Nothing
6:45 p.m.: Luke Whitey
8 p.m.: Red Sun
10 p.m.: Odas Williams Soul Revue
The musical lineup for Saturday, March 19
1 p.m.: The Midnight Drive
2 p.m.: Oh Antonio and His Imaginary Friends
3 p.m.: Grand Champeen
4 p.m.: The March Divide
5 p.m.: Loteria
6 p.m.: Abjects
7 p.m.: Crocodile Tears
8 p.m.: Lolita Lynne
9 p.m.: Nic Armstrong and the Thieves
10 p.m.: The Division Men