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Mar 23, 2018
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Posts Tagged ‘martini’

Drink This Weekend Edition: Vesper Martini

Thursday, January 29th, 2015



The martini is best known as the 007 or the official drink of James Bond – though any bartender will tell you it should definitely be stirred, not shaken. This Vesper martini combines both vodka and gin and requires a little finesse to perfect.

The ratio of vodka to gin varies, but most classic Vesper recipes have a 1-to-1 ratio. I prefer a stronger gin pour, particularly a stronger pine-forward gin like St. George Terrior. Sipped straight, it tastes like running through a pine forest with an open mouth. Stir it with vodka, which cuts through the gin botanicals, and Lillet, a French aperitif that balances this simple cocktail the way vermouth does in a classic martini. (Prefer a classic gin martini? Click here.)


Vesper Martini
1 serving

1½ oz. St. George Terroir gin
1 oz. Purus vodka
½ oz. Lillet Blanc
Lemon twist for garnish

• In a pint glass or shaker filled with ice, combine all ingredients. Stir to combine and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.

Natasha Bahrami is a member of USBG St. Louis and co-owner of Natasha’s Cafe and The Gin Room.



Drink This Weekend Edition: The Ritz-Carlton’s Sweet Basil martini

Friday, August 23rd, 2013



Sometimes the only way to end a workweek is with a stiff martini. If selection is what you’re seeking, head over to The Ritz-Carlton, St. Louis newly renovated Lobby Lounge. The Ritz’s theme for the remodel, “Rhythm and Martinis,” gives a nod to St. Louis’ tradition of music, and martinis refers to the hotel’s long-standing, martini-heavy cocktail menu.

The only problem (I can possibly imagine) with 200 options on a martini list is that the menu is too big to sit on a bar. Instead, the staff has shortened the list to include only a handful of signature and seasonal martinis, such as the Sweet Basil, pictured. Lillet Blanc, Hendrick’s gin and house-made basil syrup make up this slightly sweet, slightly peppery, very refreshing cocktail. The flash-fried basil leaf garnishing the rim adds a nice, aromatic touch.

Can’t find something you want on the abridged bar menu? Don’t be shy; ask for the full tome. Some of the martinis are fresh takes on old classics, some you will have never heard of, and one – the Grand XIII, which rings in at a whopping $500 – you will never be able to afford. Well, most of you. The Ritz actually sold one recently.



Drink This Weekend Edition: Drink The Dirty Persian at Cafe Natasha now, and for another 30 years

Friday, June 28th, 2013


When Natasha Bahrami tapped my shoulder recently to tell me I just had to try The Dirty Persian at her Cafe Natasha’s, I arrived at the restaurant’s doorstep at 3200 S. Grand Blvd., in record time. The draw? First, hearing the martini contained a spicy, 8-year-old brine her father had made for pickling Persian vegetables. Second, when I asked Bahrami which base spirit the restaurant used as the default for this classic cocktail, she replied, “I am a gin girl all the way, and The Dirty Persian is definitely better as a gin martini.” Sweet music to this gin aficionado’s ears.

The Dirty Persian is one of the most fabulous martinis that I’ve had the pleasure of drinking in quite some time. You’d think this cocktail would kill you from being too strong on a hot summer day. Not so. It’s nice and wet from a fair amount of Dolin dry vermouth. It’s super-cold – shaken so hard that condensation on the glass sticks around for a long, long time. But it’s the pickle brine that gives it such unique flavor. And if you get hungry, try it with the kookoo platter; the martini will accentuate the freshness of the herbs in this Persian quiche in ways you didn’t think possible.

Since the aged brine is such a precious treasure, Natasha’s only offers The Dirty Persian on its summer cocktail list. Order it this weekend before the restaurant closes July 1 to July 9 to prepare for its 30th anniversary party, slated for Aug. 15. (You have a chance  to win an invite to the party by liking its Facebook page.) When Cafe Natasha’s reopens, you’ll see a long-time, family-owned favorite with a whole new look. The front dining area will be transformed into a casual bar area, and the back dining room into a formal dining room. A new bar, lighter and brighter colors on the walls, carpeting replaced by a tile floor and new lighting are all part of the plan for achieving what Bahrami described as “a modern feel with Persian accents.” We’ll drink to that.

This week, Allyson Mace is obsessed with…

Thursday, June 20th, 2013

{The ginger sake martini at Mai Lee combines three of my favorite things: ginger, green tea vodka and sake. I usually don’t drink martinis with dinner, but this smooth cocktail pairs surprisingly well with the food at Mai Lee and, um, goes down nicely!}


{Food truck food that’s super healthy for you, and it tastes good? When faced with so many food options in my position, it is refreshing to find something as tasty and simple as the sweet potato falafel at Lulu’s.}


{Fish tacos have become my new obsession. I have tasted a lot of them around town, but this crispy morsel featuring grilled or fried tilapia and newly added to the Atomic Cowboy menu is quickly becoming my go-to taco!}


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