Wednesday. Hump Day. Congrats, you've made it halfway through the work week! Unfortunately, you still have two days to go.
Dunno about you, but in order to survive the midweek blues, we're going to need a drink. Which brings us to our Wednesday Gut Check feature:
"Gut Check's Hump-Day Cocktail Suggestion"
Each week we take you to one of our favorite St. Louis bars (and, oh, the list is long) for a drink (or two) we -- in consultation with the bartender -- highly recommend.
This week's selection comes from Eclipse Restaurant (6177 Delmar Boulevard; 314-726-2222) in the Loop. It was windy and cold outside, and bar manager Tony Saputo suggested something that would melt away the chill.
"All winter flavors are a bartender's dream," he says, elaborating upon Eclipse's winter cocktail menu. "They're sturdy, heavy drinks with dark liquors that are robust and rustic."
Taking inspiration from a previous cocktail, (the Sazerac-esque "Set to Stun," from last winter's cocktail menu), Saputo decided to up the ante: He set out to create a cocktail that offered balanced flavors but aimed to "knock people on their ass."
Beam up the "Set to Kill."
The cocktail features W.L. Weller twelve-year bourbon, Booker's bourbon, Cynar (an Italian liqueur made from artichokes), green Chartreuse and house-made tamarind bitters and topped with a flamed orange peel.
Saputo says flaming the orange peel helps release the essential oils from the rind.
Gut Check enjoys us some bourbon, and this cocktail hits our barrel-aged sweet spot. The duality of a complex, nearly teenaged bourbon and a younger, spicier counterpart build a solid foundation for the herbal liqueurs and bitters, combining to keep the palate guessing. The flamed orange zest contributes hints of caramelized sugar and smoke. Where's a roaring fire when you need one?
This is a beverage not recommended for those with training wheels on their cocktail selection, but now's a good time to branch out from the comfort zone of your spirit repertoire.
"We like to challenge visitors with bold drinks in the winter," says Saputo.