The 360 Bar at the Hilton at the Ballpark (1 South Broadway; 314-241-8439), better known just as 360, has spectacular views of the Gateway Arch and downtown St. Louis. At 26 floors up over the street, the spacious patio view peers into Busch Stadium. We, of course, enjoyed the ambiance with a refreshing cocktail.
Bar manager Shane Doeppke suggested the "Midnight Bloom" for us to sample. The drink includes Four Roses Yellow Label bourbon, blackberries, mint and a topper of club soda.
"I think [Four Roses is] just a very easy bourbon for someone to walk in and drink," Doeppke says. "It doesn't have that overpowering taste that some bourbons have. It's a little bit smoother of a bourbon. And it's something, in all honesty, that mixing with the blackberries and mint that you're able to, even if you don't like bourbon, come up and still enjoy it."
The cocktail sprang up from the Bourbon Days festival in Kentucky.
"One of the things that came from that is that we wanted to do a barrel-aged bourbon on our own, something we made here," Doeppke says. "Four Roses is a company we partnered up with to do it. In the meantime, while we're waiting for that to age, we started looking into different cocktails and this just happened to be one with blackberries being in season at the time. Also, mint is coming into the summertime as well. We wanted to be able to make something a little bit refreshing but still at the same time something to represent the Bourbon Days and Bourbon Week in Kentucky."
The "Midnight Bloom" doesn't overwhelm one with bourbon. It's a more muted tone of the brown liquid from the Bluegrass State. The blackberry and mint give a fresh kick, and the club soda keeps it all light, unlike most bourbon-based drinks.
Doeppke stressed 360's commitment to fresh ingredients, stating that he'll get recommendations from the chefs when they go through local farmers' markets. Watermelon, honeydew and kiwi-inspired cocktails are imminent for the bar next season.
Continue on for the recipe.
Midnight Bloom 2 oz Four Roses bourbon 4 blackberries 5-6 fresh mint leaves
Shake all ingredients in shaker with ice. Pour into glass and top with club soda.
Wednesday. Hump Day. Congrats, you've made it halfway through the work week!
Unfortunately, you still have two days to go.
Dunno about you, but in order to survive the midweek blues, we're going to need a drink.
Which brings us to our Wednesday Gut Check feature: "Gut Check's Hump-Day Cocktail Suggestion"
Each week we take you to one of our favorite St. Louis bars (and, oh, the list is long) for a drink (or two) we -- in consultation with the bartender -- highly recommend.