Welcome to Girl Walks into a Bar, a weekly Gut Check feature that spotlights local bars and bartenders. This is part one of Alissa Nelson's two-part profile of Backstreet Jazz & Blues bartender Nikki Llewellyn. Part two, a Q&A with Llewellyn, will be posted tomorrow.
Every drink Nikki Llewellyn makes is a unique, boozy snowflake. "Girls come in and they want 'something fun,'" she explains. "So I invent a lot of drinks. But the sad thing is, I can never remember them. So it's kind of like I have to make something new every time."
Llewellyn has worked at Westport's Backstreet Jazz & Blues for more than five years. "I'm kind of a Westport baby," she says, having worked previously at Ozzie's. She came to Backstreet as a cocktail waitress but soon moved behind the bar. Despite an office job during the day, she keeps coming back on Thursday nights. "I can't get my foot out the door," she says. "I love it."
Llwellyn's Risqué Martini is an upscale version of a cosmopolitan: Stoli Cranberi vodka, Grand Marnier and cranberry juice, served in a well-chilled glass and garnished festively with a lime twist.
And yes, it is indeed fun.
Click through to see a video of Llewellyn mixing a Risqué Martini.
Backstreet Jazz & Blues I-270 & Page Avenue (at Westport Plaza), Maryland Heights 314-878-5800