by Cheryl Baehr
Some consider him a misogynist and a drunk. Others say he's America's greatest novelist. The one thing everyone can agree on about Ernest Hemingway is his love of the adult beverage. In honor of the acclaimed author's birth (and death, depending on how you celebrate) month, the bar team at Botanical Heights' Olio (1634 Tower Grove; 314-932-1088) has created a cocktail tribute to Hemingway for their monthly rotating beverage program. Better than reading A Moveable Feast, thirsty patrons can drink their way through Hemingway's memoirs, sampling craft cocktails inspired by his life, loves and travels.
Fans of the author note that Hemingway was the original international man of mystery, drawing inspiration for his work from Paris to Pamplona, Cuba to Key West. In keeping with this theme, the Olio team has concocted a liquid world tour that invites patrons to travel to exotic lands without leaving their bar stool. Especially refreshing for the summer heat is the "Bailey," a potion of gin, mint, lime and grapefruit that evokes the writer's time in the south of France. One cannot think of Hemingway without envisioning Key West (a much better association than Jimmy Buffett), and the "Green Isaac's Special" of gin, lime, bitters and coconut water brings to mind thoughts of swaying palm trees, hammocks and gentle surf.
A Hemingway-themed cocktail menu must feature vermouth, and Olio's list has four ways to experience the spirit. For those identifying more with his Parisian Lost Generation days than with his time near the sea, the dry French vermouth, cassis and soda served as the "Chambery Cassis" will transport its imbiber to the cafes of the Latin Quarter. The good news? Should one be on the brink of an existential crisis, the drink serves two -- enough to share with a kindred spirit or to drown one's sorrows.
The sun will set on this list at the end of the month, so thirsty Hemingway fans have one more week to pay their respects. Hey, you may not be able to get away from yourself by moving from one place to another, but a good cocktail certainly can provide some temporary solace.
Check out the entire cocktail list here.
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