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Friday, May 24, 2013

Seven Great Summer Cocktails Available at St. Louis Bars, Restaurants

Posted By on Fri, May 24, 2013 at 11:00 AM

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"Flying Fish Cocktail" at Olio Olio's (1634 Tower Grove Avenue; 314-932-1088) drink menu of a dozen or so cocktails is always in flux, and it shines particularly bright in the summer: Bent toward the classics from near and far, cocktails over the next three months pay homage to sunshiny drinks and storytellers alike. During these waning days of May, stop by for an "Airmail," imbued with rum, honey, lime and Champagne for a drink that embodies springtime. June takes a cue from Charles H. Baker Jr.'s book Jigger, Beaker and Glass: Drinking Around the World, and, says bartender John Fausz, will highlight somewhat obscure drinks long overdue for a comeback, including the gin and citrus "Flying Fish Cocktail." July's an ode to Ernest Hemingway, who was born (and died) that month, and Olio will celebrate with Old World drinks from Cuba and the Caribbean: Look forward to the "Montgomery" martini, served at a chill 0 degrees Fahrenheit.

        Topnotch liquor is all-important at Sanctuaria. | Jennifer Silverberg
  •         Topnotch liquor is all-important at Sanctuaria. | Jennifer Silverberg

Caipirinha at Sanctuaria The people behind the bar at Sanctuaria (4198 Manchester Avenue; 314-535-9700) love cocktails. They love informing newbies about the history of cocktails, they love pulling out old-school books to explain the contrasts between this cocktail and that one...heck, Matt Seiter, Sanctuaria's bar manager and CLO (chief liquor officer, of course) has written his own book about it called The Dive Bar of Cocktail Bars: How We Rewrote the Rules and Recipes One Cocktail at a Time. There are tons of summer cocktail options at Sanctuaria, but for a quick hit of the faraway, try the caipirinha, Brazil's best-loved drink. It starts with Cabana Cachaça, fresh lemon juice, simple syrup and mint leaves plucked right from Sanctuaria's garden. Served over crushed ice in a double rocks glass, it's a cool South American escape right in the heart of the Grove.

"Barrel-Aged Unusual Negroni" at Taste Leave it to Taste (4584 Laclede Avenue; 314-361-1200) & Co. to concoct unusual (and delicious) summertime drinks in our back yard while drawing inspiration from distant places. Though its new list of a dozen or so cocktails for spring and summer is excellent all around, the real star is Taste's gin, which is aged on site for six to eight weeks in old rye and bourbon casks. (The aged gin is also available at Taste's sister restaurants -- Niche, Brasserie by Niche and Pastaria.) Taste's gin perfectly balances the "Barrel-Aged Unusual Negroni," and gives a classic cocktail a new twist: With the help of Lillet rosé and Aperol comes a lighter, brighter drink than a conventional negroni. The popular "Curious Flowers" is a romp through the garden, combining Hendrick's gin, Fruitlab hibiscus, crème de cassis, lemon juice, housemade orange marmalade and angostura bitters, all topped off with Brut and a sweet rosebud garnish.

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