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.
Among the many upscale bars and restaurants of the Central West End sits the unostentatious Brennan's (4659 Maryland Avenue; 314-361-9444), a shiny beacon for those adrift, searching for the perfect drink to finish off a grueling workday. Ready to oblige is barkeep Zach Gzehoviak, who stands behind the long, narrow bar just itching to fix up a drink. We've come to the right place.
Brennan's has no TVs or thumping music, just a few tables and wooden shelves stacked with a copious amount of booze. Which leads us, as usual, to the cocktail list, outfitted with a seasonal selection of light, breezy concoctions like the "I Wanna Get Buzzed But I Don't Wanna Drink Drink," which Gzehoviak says is one of the more popular summer items on the menu. Sold.
As Gzehoviak starts tipping bottles, he explains that the intriguing name of our drink tends to attract a lot of attention. But truth be told, it's simple and straightforward, or as Gzehoviak aptly describes, "agreeable," and not to mention very easy to sip on a day when temperatures edge toward the triple digits. But don't be fooled by the name -- there's plenty of liquor swirling around, what with the two ounces of Tito's vodka and the St. Germain Elderflower. As Gzehoviak wryly assures, "you're still drinking."
While enjoying our refreshing cocktail, we sneaked a peek at Brennan's new retail space in the next room (they knocked a hole in the wall for your convenience) where you can buy wines, jams and fine Durango pipe tobacco cigars. The room smells pretty amazing -- you just feel classy, and we didn't even go upstairs to the platinum cigar lounge. But it wasn't long before we were back in the bar where we belong, sitting in front of the always-changing text running across the wall reminding us not to take ourselves too seriously.
Brennan's menu will soon be making the transition to cooler-weather drinks like a Blood and Sand made with Highland Park twelve-year scotch, and Gzehoviak is working on a few new inventions that feature top-shelf rum. But if that's not enough incentive, every other Wednesday Gzehoviak and fellow bartender Adam Lough host the "Falcon Punch Variety Hour," featuring traveling comedians and skits they come up with while working behind the bar. And that, in a nutshell, pretty much sums up the place: laid-back, well-made drinks and bartenders who can make you laugh.
Continue for the recipe.
"I Wanna Get Buzzed But I Don't Wanna Drink Drink"
2 oz. Tito's vodka 1 oz. St. Germaine Elderflower liquer ½ oz. Fresh-squeezed lime juice Shake and strain into a chilled martini glass.
Gut Check is always hungry for tips and feedback. E-mail us!