by Nancy Stiles
St. Louis Craft Beer Week may be bigger, but as Taste's Kyle Mathis recently told us, St. Louis is up-and-coming in the world of craft cocktails. Enter the second St. Louis Craft Spirits and Cocktail Week, which celebrates the craft distilleries, cocktails and mixologists around town. Take the opportunity to taste all the locally distilled liquors you probably didn't even know existed.
When: Saturday September 7, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Where: Lafayette Square Park (Park & Mississippi Avenues; 314-772-4644) The week kicks off with the St. Louis Classic Cocktail Party, where all of the featured distilleries will be offering craft cocktails, plus live music from Power Play Band. Proceeds benefit the Arts Council of Lafayette Square. Cost: Free, drink tickets are $2.50 each.
When: Sunday September 8 Where: The Libertine (7927 Forsyth Boulevard; 314-862-2999) Craft cocktails featuring StiIL 630 rye whisky will be available Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the Libertine, but the distillery's David Rtk will be on hand all day Sunday to talk about rye whiskey and StiIL 360. Friday's drink, a Libertine reguarl, is the "Tom Waits for No Man," its take on the classic Manhattan with StiIL 630's Rally Point high rye, Libertine sweet vermouth, Fernet amaro and house-made spring bitters. Saturday will be "Willie's Julep" (as in Willie Nelson), a peach julep made with StiIL 630's rye whiskey, house-made peach nectar and basil tarragon. Sunday's drink is the "Little Red Rooster" with StiIL 630 rye whiskey, pie cherry nectar, ginger beer and rosemary. Cost: Cocktails are $10.
When: Monday, September 9, 5:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Where: Sanctuaria Wild Tapas (4198 Manchester Avenue; 314-535-9700) A cocktail dinner will highlight The Big O, a ginger liqueur made in St. Louis. The five-course meal will be paired with cocktails by Mandi Kowalski and Joe Duepner. The Big O's Kathy Kuper and Bill Foster will be on hand as well. Reservations are required; call 314-535-9700. Cost: $50 per person; $45 for club members; $60 with a cocktail membership.
When: Monday, September 9, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Where: Three Monkeys (3153 Morganford Road; 314-772-9800) The bar and grill will be serving Crown Valley's Big Bison Burgers and Crown Valley vodka and moonshine cocktails. Normally you'd have to go out to Ste. Genevieve to get a taste! The bison are farm-raised and grass-fed out there, too. Cost: TBA
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When: Tuesday, September 10, 6:30 p.m. Where: Square One Brewery & Distillery (1727 Park Avenue; 314-231-2537) The rum dinner will pair Spirits of St. Louis rum with each of the five courses -- you'll get a taste of the rum as well as a cocktail for each one. Square One's chef Sean Scott designed the menu to complement the rum. Reservations are required; call 314-231-2537. Cost: $50 per person.
When: Wednesday, September 11, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Where: Sub Zero Vodka Bar (308 N. Euclid Avenue; 314-367-1200) Distillers from Cardinal Sin, Mastermind Vodka, Spirits of St. Louis, Pickney Bend Distillery, Crown Valley Brewing & Distilling and Mad Buffalo Distillery will be on hand for a tasting of their vodkas. There will also be $6 happy hour drink specials. Cost: Cocktails available for purchase.
When: Thursday, September 12, 6 p.m. Where: Table (1821 Cherokee Street; 314-449-1888) Cocktails from five local distilleries will be paired with each course. It starts with a wild mushroom mousse with bourbon glee, followed by beef tartare with beef marrow, roasted garlic, mustard vinaigrette and local sprouts. The third course is a braised pheasant pot pie with wild mushrooms, creme fraiche and frisee, followed by orange braised pork belly and red beets with pickled carrots. And for dessert, there's brown sugar cake with maple-pecan granola and cayenne shortbbread. Reservations are required; call 314-449-1888. Cost: $60 per person plus tax and gratuity
When: Saturday, September 15, noon to 4 p.m. Where: Lafayette Square Park (Park & Mississippi Avenues; 314-772-4644) The week closes with the Swig & Swine BBQ & Cocktails, presented by the St. Louis Bartenders Guild. Cost: Admission is free.