It's the holiday season and temperatures are dropping, which means it's time for winter cocktails. We had the good fortune of stopping by Sanctuaria (4198 Manchester Avenue; 314-535-9700) right as the bar tending crew began experimenting with new drinks. They needed a guinea pig, and we were happy to oblige. In the end we chose three delicious drinks that represent the flavors of winter: spice, heat and smoke. All three are incredibly warm -- not the burning, chest pain inducing stuff, just a pleasant feeling that induces a smile. Try your hand at mixing up one of these concoctions at home, or stop by Sanctuaria -- we're hoping these cocktails make the final cut and show up on the new menu.
This is Sanctuaria's large-batch cocktail. The recipe is the result of collaboration between three bartenders and exemplifies the "spicy flavors" that offer "more warmth and body." It's very dark and cider-like in color and even tastes a bit apple-y. The citrus of orange juice combines with the sweetness of honey, thrown in with chai and Earl Grey tea, bringing out the herbal notes. The heavy stuff is a mixture of cognac and chocolate liqueur, which are warm and rich. The drink is served with one single ice cube that miraculously never seemed to melt. Enjoy by the fire, with chestnuts.
- ½ o. orange juice
- ¼ oz. honey
- ¾ oz. Earl Grey
- 2 oz. cognac
- ¼ oz. chocolate liqueur
A mere whiff of this drink flares the nostrils. The key ingredient is ginger -- a spicy, Jamaican ginger, in fact, that could easily overpower the drink if not for the addition of some sweet Benedictine and a splash of lemon. The Rittenhouse Rye kicks in some weight and balances the whole thing out. The result tastes like fire-hot whiskey with a ginger beer -- no absence of flavor here. Order this when an appendage turns blue or you want to jumpstart an evening.
- 1 ½ oz. Rittenhouse rye
- ½ oz. spicy ginger liqueur
- ½ oz. Benedictine
- splash of lemon
- orange garnish
Star is Born
Of all the winter drinks at Sanctuaria, this one is our favorite. Bringing together "winter spice and citrus tang" plus some smoky overtones, this drink hit the spot. Its brings the heat, but "isn't something that will kick you in the face." The drink arrives in a tall glass, and there's a pink star made of Peychaud's bitters resting on top of white foam -- a product of shaken egg white. Underneath the pacific top-layer is cinnamon and smoky mescal, which creates a two-punch combo. The final product is smooth, very smooth, with a tint of smoke behind each sip. The inclusion of orange juice, cream and cinnamon syrup provide the wintery spice. There might not be a better all-around cold-weather drink -- a sort of Santa's little helper for the holiday season.
- 1 ½ oz. Mescal
- ½ oz. lemon
- ½ oz. orange juice
- ½ oz. cream
- ½ oz. cinnamon syrup
- egg-white shaken in with a dash of Peychaud's bitters
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