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Feb 10, 2016
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Intelligent Content For The Food Fascinated
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SERVING SAINT LOUIS SINCE 1999
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Extra Sauce: Top 5 Cocktails of 2015

Tuesday, December 29th, 2015

Matt Berkley works some odd hours as Sauce’s Nightlife critic, spending many a late night sipping craft cocktails around St. Louis on a hunt for the very best. Here, Berkley names his top five cocktails of 2015:

 

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5. The Zombie at Taha’a Twisted Tiki
A tangy and tasteful battleground of flavors where Puerto Rican and Jamaican rums duke it out with high-proof Bacardi 151 rum and absinthe, along with fruit juices, bitters and cinnamon syrup for good measure – truly a monster. Ask nicely, and they’ll even serve it up in a cool tiki mug.

 

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4. The Don Johnson at Art Bar St. Louis
This zesty little gin cocktail makes it worth a trip to Cherokee Street. The Don Johnson matches a liberal pour of Ford’s Gin with dry curaçao, Luxardo Sangue Morlacco cherry liqueur and grapefruit bitters.

 

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3. Yellow Brick Road at Tiny Bar
Spicy, sweet and mind-numbingly strong, Tiny Bar’s take on the classic margarita is a refreshing revelation that joins Ocho tequila with Cointreau, fresh lime juice and jalapeno honey.

 

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2. The Old-Fashioned at Anthony’s Bar
An institution within an institution, Anthony’s Old-Fashioned swims with spicy rye and is served up without the fruity flags or over-the-top frills of other bars. This the sort of satisfying cocktail that makes you close your eyes and smile after every sip.

 

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And the No. 1 cocktail of 2015 is… 

The Barrel-Aged Ginger Manhattan at DeMun Oyster Bar

Big O Ginger Liqueur sends this drink into the stratosphere. Expertly mixed with Four Roses bourbon, a splash of Italian vermouth, and Jerry Thomas’ Decanter Bitters, this is a phenomenal, easy-sipping spin on the classic Manhattan.

-Anthony’s Bar and Taha’a Twisted Tiki photos by Jonathan Gayman 

Cooking the Classics: Old-Fashioned

Thursday, November 26th, 2015

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A classic Old-Fashioned is the granddaddy of whiskey cocktails. The simple, time-honored trio of whiskey, bitters and sugar is best complemented by the natural sweetness of cherry and fresh orange. Dustin Parres, corporate bar manager at Gamlin Whiskey House, contended that technique makes the Old-Fashioned so special – something often ignored by bartenders who slap the drink together using bottled juices and bland, mass-produced cherries. “If they aren’t breaking out a muddler, you know that they’re doing it wrong,” Parres said. Check out his take on the classic.

 

Old-Fashioned
Courtesy of Gamlin Whiskey House’s Dustin Parres
1 serving

3 Luxardo maraschino cherries, divided
2 small orange slices, divided
1 Demerara sugar cube
A few dashes Angostura bitters
2 oz. Henry McKenna bottled-in-bond bourbon
½ oz. Dolin Blanc vermouth

• In a pint glass or shaker, muddle together 2 cherries, 1 orange slice, the sugar cube and bitters. Pour in the bourbon and the vermouth. Add a few ice cubes, cover and shake. Pour through a fine-mesh sieve into an Old-Fashioned glass, snifter or rocks glass filled with large ice cubes. Garnish with the remaining cherry and orange slice.

 

-photo by Greg Rannells

Extra Sauce: Top 5 Cocktails of 2014

Saturday, December 27th, 2014
Matt Berkley works some odd hours as Sauce’s Nightlife critic, spending many a late night sipping crafted cocktails around St. Louis on a hunt for the very best. Here, Berkley names his top five cocktails of the 2014:

 

Sandrinas

 

No. 5:  Sandanista Shot at Sandrina’s
The recipe for the Sandanista Shot reads like it came from a fraternity cookbook. One shot of Jose Cuervo is shaken with lime juice, Worcestershire sauce, Sriracha and white pepper for this sinus clearing, adrenaline-shooting monster.

 

SaltNSmoke

 

No. 4: Tennessee Rose at Salt + Smoke
A whiskey lover’s dream, this smooth-sipping, rye-based, barrel-aged cocktail warms you from the inside out. This revelation of a drink mixes a robust Dickel Rye Whiskey with sweet ginger liquor, Peychaud’s bitters and a dash of St. Germain.

 

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No. 3: Bloody Ghost at Gamlin Whiskey House
Pepper-infused Jacobs Ghost white whiskey adds bite to this spicy masterwork. My exact description from February: “a tall, white-whiskey infused bloody mary that smacks every other bloody I’ve sample hard across the jaw.”

 

WhiskeyRing

 

 

No. 2: Kentucky Mule at The Whiskey Ring
Whether it’s the dead of winter or a scorching summer day, the Whiskey Ring’s classic Kentucky Mule is a refreshing companion. Ginger beer, a heavy dose of bourbon and a splash of lime come together in a mighty copper mug for this treat.

 

And the No. 1 drink of 2014 is…

 

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Planter’s House Punch at Planter’s House
The rum and cognac in this icy punch give it a sweet boozy kick, while the lime, lemon, grenadine, bitters and dry curacao blend in to a citrusy, complex finish. The only thing that could make you love this easy sipping drink more is the fact that it’s available to order by the bottle.

 

-Sandrina’s, Salt + Smoke and Whiskey Ring photos by Michelle Volansky; Gamlin Whiskey House and Planter’s House photos Jonathan Gayman

 

The List: The Rattlesnake King at The Fortune Teller Bar

Thursday, April 10th, 2014

Welcome to The List, our annual homage to the people, places, dishes and drinks we love in St. Louis. Don’t miss a single pick; click here to read the whole List and share your thoughts on Twitter with #thesaucelist.

 

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With a name like The Rattlesnake King, you expect a serious bite. But the only thing dangerous about this citrusy, well-proportioned cocktail is its drinkability. Flavors of orange and apple mingle with smooth W.L. Weller Special Reserve 7-year-old bourbon in this easy-sipping antidote to a long workweek.

The Rattlesnake King
Courtesy of The Fortune Teller Bar’s Kristin Dennis
1 serving

1 oz. W.L. Weller Special Reserve 7-year-old bourbon
¾ oz. Calvados apple brandy
½ oz. Cardamaro amaro
¼ oz. freshly squeezed orange juice
4 to 5 dashes Angostura bitters
Orange peel

• Add all the ingredients except the orange peel to a cocktail shaker. Fill the shaker with ice and shake 3 times.
• Strain into a chilled Old-Fashioned glass. Garnish with the orange peel.

2635 Cherokee St., St. Louis, 314.776.2337, thefortunetellerbar.com

Matt Berkley’s Top 5 Cocktails of 2013

Tuesday, December 31st, 2013

Matt Berkley works some odd hours as Sauce’s Nightlife critic. In 2013, he spent many a late night] sipping crafted cocktails around St Louis on a hunt for the very best. Here, Berkley names his top five cocktails of the year: 

 

No. 5: Smoke and Fire from Mission Taco Joint
Hellfire bitters set off hints of peach and serrano syrup in this refreshing, mezcal-laden masterpiece.

 

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No. 4: The Rattlesnake King at The Fortune Teller Bar
Smooth-drinking W.L. Weller Special Reserve 7-year-old bourbon is reinforced with a hit of apple brandy and fresh orange.

No. 3: House Manhattan at Gamlin Whiskey House
Robust oak and sweet vanilla flavors mingle in the Knob Creek Single Barrel whiskey that was handpicked for this standout take on a classic Manhattan.

 

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No. 2: Pimm’s Cup at Bar Les Frères
This easy sipping, warm-weather drink is fashioned with fresh cucumber and sprigs of mint.

 

And my No. 1 cocktail of 2013 is…

 

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Beetnik Margarita at Atomic Cowboy
Fresh beet juice substitutes for lime juice in this potent little drink. My exact words in September: “Though I’m indifferent to beets, beet juice and actual beatniks, I love this drink. It’s a savory-sweet monster of a cocktail with a surprisingly tangy kick and a healthy wallop of tequila.”

And an honorable mention goes to moonshine cocktails from Hendricks BBQ. Subtle and smooth at first, these white whiskeys cocktails serve delightful a knockout punch of rich flavor.

-Bar Les Frères and Atomic Cowboy photos by Jonathan Gayman

 

 

In This Issue: Nightlife – Hiro Asian Kitchen

Thursday, October 10th, 2013

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In a time when simplicity, local sourcing and a “less is more” philosophy hold sway over so many bar owners and restaurateurs, it’s hard not to grin at a new establishment bucking all trends and, if anything, erring on the side of ostentation. Inside its chic little address in the nexus of Washington Avenue, the former Smash Bar and Sugar Lounge space has been reborn as Hiro Asian Kitchen. Part Pan-Asian eatery and part after-hours cocktail lounge, this ambitious newcomer is a bastion of excess.

Imagine if Benihana and P.F. Chang’s tied the knot and decorated their new downtown loft. That’s a close approximation to the look of Hiro – tastefully flashy. You can tell the owners threw some serious coin into this futuristic Asian-fusion redesign, which maintains a lively atmosphere throughout the night.

To read what our reviewer thought of this downtown hotspot, click here.

-photo by Jonathan Gayman

 

 

In This Issue: Nightlife – Atomic Cowboy

Thursday, September 19th, 2013
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It’s 9:15 p.m. on a Friday, and Atomic Cowboy’s juicer is on the fritz. It’s busted. Inoperable. Man down.

The bartender shrugs. I sulk.

Under normal circumstances, I could care less about the functionality of a kitchen appliance; however, tonight its out-of-order-ness means that I can’t get one of the bar’s signature beet juice or Beetnik margaritas, which, though it may sound froufrou as all hell, has become a personal obsession.

Though I’m indifferent to beets, beet juice and actual beatniks, I love this drink. It’s a savory-sweet monster of a cocktail with a surprisingly tangy kick and a healthy wallop of tequila. It blissfully blurs all thoughts of spreadsheets and TPS reports. It makes my cheeks red. I want one again. Now, even.

As sad as the juicer fiasco is, I’m not surprised. This is the second time Atomic has deprived me of one of my favorite cocktails on its new drink menu (Last time they were out of beets.). Much like Atomic itself, this reimagined take on a classic is still somewhat under construction.

To read more of what our reviewer thought of this revamped staple in The Grove, click here.
-Photo by Jonathan Gayman

 

 

In This Issue: Where to Watch the Big Game

Sunday, September 15th, 2013

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While rooting for your favorite team, the Gateway City has countless spots to wet (or drench) your cheering whistle – whether you favor cans of cheap Stag, local craft brews or specialty cocktails. To help pare down your options, we’ve compiled a guide that matches sporting events with our favorite game-day hangouts so your hoots and hollers will never fall on deaf ears.

Whatever your favorite sport, we’ve got the best place to watch. Click here to read more.

-Photo by Jonathan Gayman

 

 

In This Issue: Taco Takeover

Thursday, August 29th, 2013

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Formerly a take-it-or-leave-it option for platos especiales and pick-three platters, nowadays, tacos are not just experiencing a boom, but a renaissance. By elevating the plebian staple, returning it to its street-vendor roots and reimaging it with exciting new twists, chefs across the country have re-energized the Mexican food scene with their singular focus on tacos.

Their tacos bear little resemblance to the hamburger-filled, deep-fried tortilla shells that were a fixture at every Chi-Chi’s and Casa Gallardo during the heyday of Americanized, fast-casual Mexican-food chains. It’s safe to say that Chevys will never feature grasshopper tacos, a staple on the menu at Gringo in the Central West End. The taquería, which opened this spring, imports grasshoppers by the kilo from Mexico, where they are munched like beer nuts in cantinas. “I’ve probably sold tens of thousands of these bugs,” said Steven Caravelli, corporate chef of Gringo and Pi Pizzeria. “It’s a strange business I’m in right now.”

On an average day, Gringo’s kitchen goes through roughly 900 to 1,000 freshly made tortillas. Some fillings are familiar – chicken, shredded pork, even ground beef – and some – octopus, red snapper and, of course, grasshopper – are less so.

Click here to read more about how tacos both traditional and off-the-wall have taken over St. Louis.

- Photo by Carmen Troesser

 

In This Issue: Nightlife – Alpha Brewing Company

Thursday, August 22nd, 2013
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Alpha Brewing Company emerged this spring as the scrappy new contender in the ever-thriving St. Louis craft beer scene. There’s a distinct alternative appeal to this spot situated a block north of Washington Avenue. Alone in a gritty, nondescript back alley adjacent to the City Museum on Lucas Avenue, Alpha is flanked by a handful of parking lots. As the sun sets on a Friday, gaggles of club-ready 20-somethings click past the joint with hardly a glance. They’re not to blame, as the signage is almost purposely, yet fittingly, lacking.
Bellied up to the main bar is a herd of young guys – most in need of a shave, sporting flip-flops and T-shirts. Across from them in a dark leather sectional sits a brunette flipping through her smartphone, oblivious to her companions – two dudes in Polo shirts weighing in on politics. Opposite, a handful of middle-aged friends in button-downs hover over a narrow communal table stretching nearly the length of the entranceway. Outside, a small patio decked out in high-top tables teems with smokers, smokers’ friends and smokers’ dogs. Hardly an A-list, glitzy crowd, this is just the type of scene where anyone might comfortably blend in.
As you might expect from a fresh-faced endeavor deep in loft country, Alpha Brewing has a funky, laid-back look. A bright, abstract mural welcomes guests to a cozy, minimalist tasting room dressed with little more than a handful of wooden tables and a couch. From the center of the main bar, barkeeps pull on 10 taps – imposing pieces of custom metal (artwork in themselves) from which flows the real lifeblood of the place.
To read more about what Matt Berkley thought of this this tucked-away beer bar, click here.
-Photo by Jonathan Gayman

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