Join Riverfront Times Press Club. Because No News is Bad News.

Spirit of St. Louis 

Washington Avenue Bistro, 817 Washington Avenue, 314-418-5750

No, it doesn't contain toasted ravioli purée, Provel cheese, Michelob Ultra or single-engine airplane fuel, so you're just going to have to keep searching. In fact, you'd be hard-pressed to uncover exactly what is St. Louis about the Spirit of St. Louis, a citrus-based martini served at the Washington Avenue Bistro, part of the Renaissance Grand Hotel complex.

But that doesn't matter, because the Bistro is right next door to America's Center, and most of its conventioneer patrons probably don't know jack about St. Louis, nor do they care. For all they know, orange groves line the Arch grounds, we're fervent Buddhists and the city is integrated. Ha, silly foreigners, sipping a martini that has absolutely nothing in common with its homeland. The Spirit of St. Louis contains three very non-Midwestern ingredients: Hangar One "Buddha's Hand" citron vodka, Grand Marnier liqueur and fresh-squeezed orange juice. Welcome to St. Louis!

Our companion nailed the flavor, offering two choice comparisons: Tang, and orange Tic Tacs. She's right. This is orange, and it's delicious. It's delicious especially when you've got the entire dining room to yourself, your server -- and your companion -- are princesses and your boss is footing the bill for this per diem expenditure.

The ace in the hole, of course, is the "Buddha's Hand" citron vodka. The Hand in question is a citron fruit named so because it grows in bunches, and looks like the hand of a many, many-fingered divine being. Or like a bunch of carrots. (Six of one, half-dozen of the other....) Of course, the Hangar One gets lost within the orange juice, so despite its pedigree (a Cali handcrafted vodka), Buddha's Hand fades away. But the Buddha's fine with that; it's not a competition, after all. Mindfulness preaches acceptance, preaches tolerance, preaches peace. Qualities to strive for, definitely, and if St. Louis ain't exactly the tropics, at least the Bistro's spirit gives us something exquisite to meditate on.

Riverfront Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of St. Louis and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep St. Louis' true free press free.

Read the Digital Print Issue

September 9, 2020

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In St. Louis

© 2020 Riverfront Times

Website powered by Foundation