You know how to EAT THIS CITY. With top chefs as tour guides, you’ve learned how to scout out hot spots for breakfast and brunch, where to go for a delicious date night, and how to feast like a local liege in the cities you love. But where do you wash it all down? Do you know how to find the best brewpub? Uncover who makes the meanest bloody marys and the most sparkling mimosas?
You’re about to find out. Welcome to DRINK THIS CITY!
This week we’re heading out to St Louis, where our expert guide to the city’s cocktail culture is Tim Wiggins, beverage director and partner at Retreat Gastropub. Tim knows his way around a cocktail — this self-taught bartender was named St. Louis’ Best Bartender in 2016, according to readers of Sauce Magazine, and his thoughtful bar program shows exactly why. Wiggins’s menus rotates with the season, showcasing aged spirits in craft and classic cocktails, beautifully prepared with house-made syrups, shrubs, tinctures, and cold-pressed juices. Ingenuity and expertise shine through in beverages like the Exit Strategy, which features Plantation white rum, aloe vera, Avuá Cachaça, bitter Bianco, pineapple, ginger, and lemon, all capped off with beer foam; or the Flotation Device, which features two not-to-be-missed rums (haven’t had Rum Fire yet? Get to Gastropub) and an amaro. Frankly, we’re here for it.
We’re also here for Tim’s newest undertaking, Yellowbelly, which he’ll be opening later this year alongside Retreat Gastropub partner Travis Howard and Top Chef winner Richard Blais. The food promises to be excellent, and the bar program a rum lover’s oasis. If rhum agricole isn’t yet part of your alcohol vocabulary, prepare for a delicious lesson, and order a ‘Ti Punch” from a man who firmly believes the spirit’s day in the sun is coming.
Who’s up for a drink with Tim? Let’s go Drink This City!
BRUNCH COCKTAIL OR HAIR OF THE DOG
Negroni at Vista. Vista is a beautiful little spot with an amazing brunch burger and a bar that is always on point. The bittersweet negroni is the perfect brunch sipper, because it isn’t too boozy and makes your tummy feel good too.
Since Vista is closing, I added another option: Campari and orange juice at Sardella. The astringent bitterness of Campari in the fresh sweet orange juice is magic. Sardella juices fresh citrus and vegetables daily and also has a great amaro selection. I consider this drink my mimosa. I can’t get enough.
Público’s Mezcal Margarita. My buddy Nick D’s mezcal margarita is perfectly balanced and just the right amount of savory. He uses a house-smoked salt around the rim that with the briny and smoky mezcal is stupid delicious.