Take Me Out to the Speakeasy

Balcones Speakeasy mixes baseball with a Prohibition vibe.
Balcones Speakeasy mixes baseball with a Prohibition vibe. Kristina Rowe
A baseball stadium might be the last place you’d stumble upon a speakeasy. And a swank club with craft cocktails might be the last thing baseball fans have on their list of things to see at the game. But the Balcones Speakeasy is one of the premium clubs at the year-old Globe Life Field, and a visit there makes for a thrilling night out.

Modern-day speakeasies mean sophistication and an emphasis on cocktails as an art. That’s right at home here with an exclusive cocktail-of-the-night program and swank, comfy decor. Baseline seats outside the speakeasy and plenty of TV screens throughout the space make the game as much (or as little) a part of the experience as you choose.

You don’t need a password to access this speakeasy; premium Ranger game seat tickets are the magic word. You can buy single-game tickets on the same site as regular Rangers tickets and you’ll get entrance privileges for the night. Prices range from $184 for many weeknight games to $470 for certain in-demand Saturday night games including the July 31 Mariners game or the Aug. 28 Astros game.

Food and drinks are all-inclusive, and we’re not just talking ballpark food here. You can definitely have all you want of peanuts, popcorn, hot dogs and other traditional game night treats, served at your seat whether you’re watching from the baseline or ensconced in a luxe booth inside the speakeasy.

Small plates including upscale appetizers and sweet treats are also on the menu. Beer, craft beer and wine are also included. Of course, what shines at Balcones Speakeasy is the cocktail program.

Christina Henley, known to many Dallasites as Betty Cocktail, leads the operation, and a new drink made with Balcones spirits is offered at every game. Henley is downright giddy when talking with people about the speakeasy experience, which to our knowledge can’t be found in any other ballpark in America.
click to enlarge They nailed the posh speakeasy aesthetic. - KRISTINA ROWE
They nailed the posh speakeasy aesthetic.
Kristina Rowe
“People are looking for something they've never seen before, and we aim to provide that with a multi-sensory drink experience,” Henley said. “First you hear about the speakeasy and the cocktails. Then you see them when you walk in, get a vibe. The speakeasy aesthetic is modeled after the Balcones distillery in Waco.

"As you enter, you can smell fresh herbs, citrus zest, smoked applewood and a slew of other things aimed to get our guests excited about this experience. And finally, they are able to see the drink made and taste that first sip. The anticipation is real.”

Henley taps into her creativity and crafty humor when creating the cocktail recipes. Once when the Astros came to town, the drink of the night was an Orange Crush consisting of cream, orange soda and Balcones bourbon. To play off the cheating scandal in Houston involving trash cans, the drinks were topped with Tiki trash.

“We smoked red, big apples when we played New York for a series of riffs on the classic New York Sour which we called the Fault Line Sour.” Henley says.
click to enlarge A private room at Balcones Speakeasy keeps the focus on period-appropriate comfort. - KRISTINA ROWE
A private room at Balcones Speakeasy keeps the focus on period-appropriate comfort.
Kristina Rowe
A Minnesota Poodle, modeled after the well-known Colorado Bulldog, was the drink of the night for a Twins game, and a Peach Blossom made with peach vodka, coconut water, orange flower water and kumquats greeted Braves game watchers.

During a media preview in June, my overwhelming impression of the Balcones Speakeasy was that this experience is as much of a knock-your-socks-off date night as a seat at the hottest steakhouse in town. If there is a baseball fan you want to impress, this would undoubtedly knock it out of the park.
click to enlarge Balcones Speakeasy's patio offers a great view of the field. - KRISTINA ROWE
Balcones Speakeasy's patio offers a great view of the field.
Kristina Rowe
For some of us, speakeasy-inclusive tickets to a Rangers game might be out of reach, but you can still enjoy some of these exclusive craft cocktails. The Betty Cocktail website offers beautiful images and recipes for several previous game night drinks if you’d like to make them for yourself.

Also available to all is the Balcones Bar at Texas Live where the patio overlooks Arlington Backyard in the plaza in front of the stadium. Signature drinks there include a Texas Old Fashioned and the Blue Buck made with lemonade, ginger ale and Balcones Baby Blue, the official whisky of the Texas Rangers 2021 season.
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By day, Kristina Rowe writes documentation that helps users navigate software, and as a contributor to the Dallas Observer she helps people find their way to food and fun. A long-time list-maker, small-business fan and happiness aficionado, she's also been an Observer reader for almost 40 years.
Contact: Kristina Rowe