Posted On: 12/01/2013
Spheres, blocks, cubes, chips … whatever its form, ice plays a starring role in cocktail-making. But its absence can be equally important, for without the cold stuff’s flavor- and proof-diluting properties, a spirit’s full character truly shines. “Certain spirits taste better warm,” explained Robert Griffin, bar manager at The Royale. “Simpler is better. You’re showcasing a base spirit rather than building a mountain of flavors.” With their robust taste and complex character, room-temperature cocktails – multi-spirit mixes stirred without ice and served neat – make ideal selections for cold-weather sipping. Here, three of our favorites.
Phase II, Eclipse Restaurant
After a month in an oak cask seasoned with Sump’s Ethiopia Abaya coffee, bartender Seth Wahlman’s innovative creation offers a complex, bittersweet flavor thanks to its unique mix of house-made Laphroaig cherry cordial and bourbon. Topped off with a cherry-coffee foam, this slow-sipper is handcrafted from start to finish. 6177 Delmar Blvd., St. Louis, 314.736.2222, eclipsestlouis.com
No. 29, Little Country Gentleman
Bar manager Jeffrey Moll Jr.’s concoction rounds out the vanilla and tobacco flavors of French rum with nutty and medicinal accents for a mellow richness that lingers on the palate. 8135 Maryland Ave., Clayton, 314.725.0719, littlecountrygentleman.com
Fanciulli, The Royale
Griffin uses Fernet-Branca and red vermouth to tame the burn and complement the toasty flavor of Bulleit rye whiskey in this edgy cousin to a Manhattan, one of a few ice-free offerings found on the bar’s Sunday night Cocktail Museum menu. 3132 S. Kingshighway Blvd., St. Louis, 314.772.3600, theroyale.com
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