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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Blood & Sand's "No Rain": Gut Check's Hump-Day Cocktail Suggestion

Posted By on Wed, Mar 20, 2013 at 2:30 PM

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.

EVAN C. JONES
  • Evan C. Jones

This week's selection comes from Blood & Sand (1500 St. Charles Street; 314-241-7263), the members-only institution downtown. We met with owner Adam Frager, who highlighted a popular gin concoction created by bartender Jayne Pellegrino:

The "No Rain."

The inner workings of the "No Rain" cocktail at Blood & Sand. - EVAN C. JONES
  • Evan C. Jones
  • The inner workings of the "No Rain" cocktail at Blood & Sand.

"Jayne came up with the cocktail because she constantly pushes herself to grow and get better every day," Frager says. "The 'No Rain' is a great example of this, because it achieves a wonderful balance with subtle hints of spice and botanicals. It has a depth not typically found in a shaken cocktail."

The "No Rain" contains Hendrick's gin, lime juice, grapefruit juice, agave syrup, the Big O ginger liqueur and orange cream citrate bitters, and the whole mogilla's topped with sparkling wine.

"Wait a second...gin?" is probably the one of the more common responses when offered any drink with gin in it, and Frager concurs.

The "No Rain" cocktail at Blood & Sand. - EVAN C. JONES
  • Evan C. Jones
  • The "No Rain" cocktail at Blood & Sand.

"Gin gets a bad rap because most people's first experience was with tonic...and probably too much of both," he says. "That tends to leave a bad impression when you're younger."

Fortunately, Pellegrino's creation is an olive branch to those negatively influenced by gin-and-tonics. Agave syrup is crucial to beverage's success, he says, because "it adds more weight and depth that pairs perfectly with the bubbles."

And weight and depth are what this cocktail is all about. Pellegrino had Gut Check at gin with fresh-squeezed lime and grapefruit juices; the other ingredients make the drink sing a new song with each sip from the Champagne flute.

"What most people don't realize is how much variety exists within the gin family," Frager says. "There is London Dry gin, Plymouth, Old Tom, Genever and several new gins that don't fall into any category. Hendrick's exemplifies the type of wonderful complex flavor you get from gin. It's distilled with traditional and nontraditional botanicals, like cucumber and rose petals. This was another great choice by Jayne to use."

See also: -Five Bistro's Lock, Stock & 2 Smoking Barrels: Gut Check's Hump Day Cocktail Suggestion -Eclipse Restaurant's Set to Kill: Gut Check's Hump-Day Cocktail Suggestion -Farmhaus' All I See Is Gold: Gut Check's Hump-Day Cocktail Suggestion

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