Check back each week as we challenge a new St. Louis bartender extraordinaire to come up with a drink that fits our monthly Thirsty Thursday theme. They’re pulling out all the stops, armed with their most inventive tricks, fresh-squeezed juices, superior liquors and house-made infusions. Their creations are sure to keep your taste buds guessing.
Herbie’s, 405 North Euclid Ave., Central West End.
Satisfy our craving for indulgence with a guilty pleasure-inspired cocktail.
The Water Lily
1 ½ oz Plymouth Gin
¾ oz Crème de Violette
¾ oz Cointreau
¾ oz lemon juice
½ oz simple syrup
Tony surprises us with two indulgent treats, starting with The Water Lily. We dubiously watch as he mixes a hearty helping of Plymouth Gin, Crème de Violette, and Cointreau, wondering if we’re going to be able to handle this afternoon kick without a nap. “It’s definitely not wimpy,” says Tony. “It has a real kick to it, but it’s very easy to drink.” He’s got that right—we cannot are surprised at how understated the taste of the liquor is. The sweet and citrusy flavor tantalizes our taste buds with notes of the violet liqueur and lemon juice without overpowering them, which is a testament to the success of the admittedly trial-and-error mentality used to cobble together the drink menu. Since we are in an indulgent mood, we choose to allow it when Tony goes on to show us his Spiced Mint Rosé Sangria as a second answer to the challenge. (Bonus recipe below.)
We’ve got to hand it to Tony, Amanda Wilgus and the rest of the bar staff over at Herbie’s. With its shiny mahogany counter tops, modern art décor and a wide array of delectable samplings, walking into Herbie’s immediately transports the diner to the likes of a swanky Parisian bistro. Although chic and modern, the environment does not deter a young crowd thanks to the delicious drinks—and events like the monthly Gong Show, an amateur talent contest inspired by the original ’70s television version that ran on NBC.
What’s your favorite drink?
I’m a vodka guy. After a day making drinks for everyone else, I like to relax with a vodka soda and a splash of tonic.
What’s the weirdest request you’ve gotten?
I’ve had someone ask for Bailey’s and Coke before, which I thought was an odd combination.
Someone orders ________ and you automatically know they have no idea what they’re talking about.
When someone walks into Herbie’s and asks for something like Busch beer. A less upscale place would have something like that, but we’re not really a Busch beer kind of place.
Spiced Mint Rosé Sangria
red and white wine
allspice, cinnamon and clove