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 Brasserie by Niche bartender Michele Bildner. Part two, a Q&A with Bildner, will be posted tomorrow.
A cicada alights on a tree above the patio at Brasserie by Niche, all iridescent green and black. The weather is eerily perfect -- an unusual respite between summer heat waves -- but if the insect life is any indication, we are about to enter the thick of it, a world of sweat pooling at the small of our back. Michele Bildner, the head bartender here, is ready for the onslaught, pointing out the different pots of herbs that will make their way onto her cocktail menu: thyme, rosemary, lemon verbena, basil...and mint, ready to be smacked into submission and gently perched inside the Perfect Pimm's.
The Perfect Pimm's might be the perfect back-yard drink, the perfect barbecue drink and the perfect way to relax on a sweltering St. Louis afternoon. "It's such a great, easy drink for people to make at home," hints Bildner. So seek out some Pimm's and some cucumber vodka, squeeze those lemons and limes, grab a shaker -- and don't forget the mint!
Click through to see a video of Michele Bildner mixing a Perfect Pimm's...
If you know a local bartender who's worthy of a profile, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org!
Brasserie by Niche 4580 Laclede Avenue; 314-454-0600