Crafting a cocktail at Brasserie by Niche - St. Louis, MO


Crafting a cocktail at Brasserie by Niche - St. Louis, MO

“My Old Missouri Mistress,” she said, slyly, as she raised an eyebrow and flashed a smile.

As I sidled up to the bar at Brasserie, restauranteur Gerard Craft’s take on French pub food, award-winning bartender Layla Linehan was there to take care of me.

We got to talking about time I spent in France, and as we did, I saw Layla’s mind kick into overdrive. She would ask a question, and while I was telling her about climbing up a cliff in Menton with everything I owned on my back, she would line up bottles of French apértifs.

She explained that she was going to create something that was a combination of my old stomping grounds of Manhattan with something that would remind me of my “old pals” in my hometown of Saint Louis.

By substituting the sweet vermouth with a combination of Benedictine®, an herbal liquer; Byrhh®, an apértif mainly comprised of wine and quinine; and a Calvados, a typical French apple brandy; and by spiking it with a hot dash of absinthe, it truly takes on the characteristics of two different bourbon cocktails, a Manhattan and an Old Pal. I asked for mine to be served “up,” which had a certain comfortable warming effect, but it can also be served “on the rocks” for a lighter, easier drink. It all depends on how you like to get along with your Old Missouri Mistress.

Old Missouri Mistress

1 part Basil Hayden’s® Bourbon
¾ part Domaine Dupont® Calvados
¾ part Byrrh® Wine
½ part Benedictine® Liqueur
6 drops of St. George Absinthe
Ice Served Up or On the Rocks with Lemon Twist


Brasserie by Niche

4580 Laclede Ave

St Louis, MO 63108

(314) 454-0600


Bottle of Basil Hayden's

Basil Hayden's®

Enriched by a hint of peppermint, it impresses with notes of pepper balanced by slight citrus overtones, and a spicy, warming finish.

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A Chicago-based storyteller, keeper of a whiskey blog and shop-owner who's known for his appreciation of America.