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Friday, March 18, 2011

Cafe Eau's JR Gosnell: Featured Bartender of the Week

Posted By on Fri, Mar 18, 2011 at 12:00 PM

Welcome to Girl Walks into a Bar, a weekly Gut Check feature that spotlights local bars and bartenders. This week Katie Moulton profiles Cafe Eau bartender JR Gosnell. Below is a Q&A with Gosnell, followed by the recipe for his own shot, the White Nasty.

Would you try a drink called the White Nasty if it was handed to you by a guy who smiles like that? - KATIE MOULTON
  • Katie Moulton
  • Would you try a drink called the White Nasty if it was handed to you by a guy who smiles like that?

JR Gosnell of Cafe Eau is battling a cold when GWIB springs an impromptu interview on him amid a midweek happy hour. As we chat, the next-level hotel bar goes from empty to buzzing with well-heeled business professionals and guests staying at the Chase Park Plaza. Maneuvering behind the elegant marble bar, the Pevely native, 33, shows no signs of being "all hopped up on cold medicine" but tends to each regular and traveler with attention and friendly competence.

Seems a far cry from Gosnell's bartending start, back when he was in college at Missouri State University inventing wild dorm-room concoctions and working in a restaurant. He was promoted to be the eatery's lone bartender because even at twenty, "I had the most knowledge of the drinks."

{If you know of a bartender who's deserving of a profile, e-mail}

Describe your bartending style in three words: [A fellow bartender volunteers "erratic"; after due consideration, Gosnell opts not to include that adjective in his answer.] Customer-oriented, fun-loving, wild-card.

My bar is the only bar in St. Louis where... You can see every kind of person but there are very rarely any fights. It's just social entertainment, always something exciting. People come in here with a lot of energy. A lot of people are here from out of town, away from families and everyday life, so it's time to party.

Gosnell makes the rounds -- literally! -- at Cafe Eau. - KATIE MOULTON
  • Katie Moulton
  • Gosnell makes the rounds -- literally! -- at Cafe Eau.

Girl walks into a bar, orders a _______. She has just earned my undying admiration. Scotch on the rocks. It's very uncharacteristic. It says she just doesn't give a shit about what other people think.

Most dumbass drink anyone has ever asked you for? Martell Royale. That's Martell Cognac on the rocks with a splash of 7-Up, splash of o.j. Martell costs $23 a shot. The customer regressed and changed it to a "Remy [Martin] Royale."

Other than your own bar, where do you go for a good drink, and what do you have? Blueberry Hill, Flamingo Bowl, Bar Louie. If I'm drinking, I'll get a Jäger bomb chased with a Jack & Coke.

If my friends and I simply must have a round of shots, what should they be? Something straight. So I don't have to do any work. I'm just kidding...but yeah, seriously.

The White Nasty, minus the vanilla wafer. - KATIE MOULTON
  • Katie Moulton
  • The White Nasty, minus the vanilla wafer.

The White Nasty 2 oz. Rumple Minze peppermint liqueur 3/4 oz. white crème de cacao splash of 7-Up vanilla wafer (optional)

Shake over ice in shaker, then pour. If desired, garnish with vanilla wafer, notched and slid onto rim of glass.

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