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 Taste by Niche bartender Ted Kilgore. Part two, a Q&A with Kilgore, will be posted tomorrow.
"In reality, the best bartenders are unselfish ones," says Ted Kilgore, who mans the tiny bar at Taste by Niche in Benton Park. He could be a case in point: Kilgore has worked with many of the top bartenders in the game in St. Louis, both individually at Taste and Monarch and through his involvement with the United States Bartenders' Guild chapter here.
And one would be remiss to discount the role Kilgore's his wife Jamie plays in his work. Jamie is a formidable bartender in her own right, most recently at Terrene in the Central West end. But she also works with Kilgore on his consulting venture and provides him with feedback when it comes to fashioning new cocktails. A gin-based cocktail the pair crafted merited inclusion in journalist Gary Regan's The Gin Compendium -- though Kilgore laments the fact that owing to a snafu Jamie wasn't credited for her contribution. Perhaps most important, she gives many of his new creations their names.
Jamie hasn't had her lyrical way with the El Maestro No. 1, but the drink is poetic nonetheless, incorporating both Aperol and Cynar along with its sherry base for a fresh, aromatic cocktail to mark the end of summer.
Click through to watch a video of Kilgore mixing an El Maestro No. 1...
Taste by Niche 1831 Sidney Street; 314-773-7755