Happy Hump Day! Here's the cocktail that will get you through to Friday. Planter's House (Mississippi Avenue; 314-696-2603) is cocktail heaven. A place to sit back and enjoy a layered, carefully crafted drink. The dark wood and arched ceiling give the room a historic vibe, as if the bar has always existed here, even though it just opened on December 6. Fitting in perfectly behind the bar with his excellent nineteenth-century beard is Matt Sorrell. He's an expert mixologist capable of making great conversation while simultaneously throwing together ingredients with ease. And he's making the "Down for the Count" just for us.
"Down for the Count" is sort of an homage to Count Negroni, and the drink named in his honor, Sorrell explains. "It's a riff, but takes it one step further, he says."
"Complex" is probably the perfect word to describe what has to take place for the drink to come together. St. George Botanivore is a gin that stands up mighty tall, so when combined with Gran Classico, Salers (a French liqueur) and Zucca Amaro (rhubarb-based liqueur), which are all poignant in their own regard, it's tough to imagine how the final product would be drinkable. One miscalculation and the drink would be ruined. The key, of course, is finding the perfect blend.
Dry and bitter upfront with a crisp, sweet finish, "Down for the Count" is perfect harmony in a glass. The Gran Classico provides the initial herbal and zesty aroma that is powerful enough to keep pace with the gin. The Salers kicks in a unique twist of lemon that blends well with the bittersweet Zucca. Each sip has layers and layers of flavor that you'll want to let sit on your tongue.
Meanwhile, Sorrell is busy knocking out drinks for new customers with aplomb, but upon return, he carefully points out the intricacies of other drinks on the menu, meaning a second and third visits are already in our future. And why not? Planter's House, after all, is definitely on its way to becoming an institution.
After the jump, how to make the "Down for the Count" at home.
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